Society

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Now that Johnson will face a vote of Confidence…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/06/2022 - 7:48pm in

Whether he wins or loses, he is on the slippery slide out. There are also, it seems to me various further advantages: He has revealed that the UK constitution is so fragile that it allows an autocratic government, accountable only – and then not always – in the courts. He has shown that a good... Read more

The Circus is here

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/06/2022 - 7:49am in

I note that this pic is Crown Copyright for the UK MOD. Lets us hope that as a UK resident the ‘UK MOD’ includes me (indeed what is it if it doesn’t?) Anyway, here it is: I’m amazed that so many are so happy. Circuses are certainly in evidence – but where is the bread... Read more

‘Upgrading’ Brexit…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/06/2022 - 6:16am in

I need to flag up an article by Tobias Ellwood MP, Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee, who suggests that Brexit needs ‘upgrading’ as a consequence of the grave cost of living crisis. Hats off for his political skill in suggesting ‘upgrading Brexit’ when he is in effect suggesting we rejoin! But at least... Read more

Transport also misundersands money

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/06/2022 - 6:43am in

The Transport Select Committee have now recommended that there should be a supply chain levy in order to ensure there are proper facilities for truck drivers. No problem with improving facilities from me – but.. It is much opposed by the transport sector – and of course a major misunderstanding on the part of the... Read more

The Brexit Opportunities Ministry now have a list

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/06/2022 - 5:35am in

Allegedly (because the link is, after all, to the Daily Express) there were two thousand suggestions to the Minister for Brexit Opportunities of those actual Brexit opportunities. One might have thought that a government convinced of the advantage of Brexit would already have know about the ‘opportunities’. Apparently not. These (below) were the top nine... Read more

Graduates are supposedly of no use to government ….

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 31/05/2022 - 9:16am in

This is certainly what a Telegraph article indicates when it suggests that the fast track graduate scheme is to close for a year or more… If graduates are supposed to be good – our brightest – why are they not required in the civil service? It certainly puts into doubt the essence of the intelligent... Read more

Teachers’ ‘Responsibilities’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 31/05/2022 - 8:01am in

I thought this was a very striking image for the alleged duties (as seen by most Republicans at least) of American teachers: We thank our lucky stars in Europe that we don’t have the military arms problems that they do in America (which is, of course at variance with the American military itself, where even... Read more

conservatives might show Labour the way…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 28/05/2022 - 1:02am in

…as this comment from Richard Drax (who owns, poor chap, only 2% of the land in Dorset) suggests: An interesting insight that a right wing MP thinks that Thursday’s ‘mini’ budget (too little and too late though it was) will, next time round, give the socialists excuses to spend – and we cannot possibly have... Read more

Why AI isn’t coming for us any time soon

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/05/2022 - 4:38pm in

As some of you may know, I am now publishing a weekly substack of articles I’ve found interesting on the net and in some cases offering some summary commentary. In an unprecedented move, the kind of once in a 1,000 year event that could never have been predicted, I’m now publishing the odd sample up here on Troppo for general delectation.

Like this one.

They may be philosophers, but some of the effective altruism folks have a very ‘boys own’ idea of how the world works. As Eric Hoel argues in one of his many excellent essays, they haven’t taken on board the evolutionary forces from which intelligence emerged. In a nice turn of phrase, Hoel argues that their idea of ‘super-intelligence’ is deistic, not evolutionary.

The space of all problems is mostly stuff that human beings are really bad at, like picking out the same two color pixels on a TV screen (and three pixels triads, and so on). This scale or metric for intelligence fits perfectly with the deistic framework for intelligence, making it imaginable or at least definable that intelligence is a dial that can be turned up indefinitely.

In contrast, let’s now introduce the evolutionary framework. In this framework, intelligence is really about adapting to some niche portion of the massive state space of all possible problems. Its inspiration is On the Origin of Species, the closing of which I’ll quote in full because it’s such a wonderful paragraph:

Contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. …

In the evolutionary framework different intelligences live together on a tangled bank. … This is pretty much the way our artificial intelligences live together right now. One AI to fly the plane, another AI to filter spam from email, and so on. The evolutionary framework of intelligence doesn’t really allow for a superintelligence.

Failure to control inflation or mitigate its effects helps to control us

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/05/2022 - 6:55am in

Inflationary fears are another useful tool to keep the masses suppressed and more fearful than they should be – particulalrly when this government, as it does, tells us there is not much they can do about it. While usually infation is controllable, government seems to suggest this time it is an ‘act of God’. Actually... Read more

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