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Robin Debreuil
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the idea of 'runaway AI' seems to ignore the fact that computers would need to construct their own FABs and assemble their own machines. It seems unlikely that would happen accidently.

 I think a bigger worry is they could (soon) give us abilities that we just aren't ready for. We aren't that far from this already. Like, here's near unlimited energy in a thumb drive sized device. Sounds like Utopia until someone vaporizes a city with it. Or here is a side affect free dopamine generator. etc.

That said i'm not worried, but I am starting to get the feeling big changes are coming.

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This is the most magical project I've ever had the opportunity to work on.  I've been crunching day and night for 8 months.  Any help would be appreciated.

Not to wince at this UI again, but is the ANY way to stop that 100px+ drop down from happening when you scroll up? That is like someone waiting for you to look up, and then hitting you with a stick.

And the content ------ a search bar where the address bar works fine, and my photo in case I have amnesia. Oh, and white space because UI designers are so very hip.

Wow this new UI is shit. It's like every person with a feature had to have their little idea jump in your fucking face every mouse move. The things you are actually here for take a back seat to the heros of the UI department.

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Excellent article on crime and punishment in the US. There seems to be rays of sanity breaking through the endless political shouting matches recently. The left and right have disintegrated into positions that are consistently wrong, without truths or solutions even lying between them. Politics may always be about point scoring and budgets, but people seem to be taking their own professions back into reality. Maybe this is the fruit of recession based cleansing.

Not to miss the point though, this is an excellent article with very solid ideas. It steers the conversation back to finding solutions that are helpful to actual people who live in this world. More like this please.

I have been on an ancient Greek kick for the last few months. It started for me with the The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, but there are many paths down this rabbit hole I'm sure. 

To be honest I always wondered why we are so focused on ancient Greece vs any other civilization. I assumed it was cultural affiliation, and probably better records. But I've certainly changed my mind. It is important because of the core radical idea - there is no greater power than the power of not believing in magic. Not only was this the first broad rejection of magic, but the lesson was pretty much forgotten until the renaissance. Even today we are quick to accept magic explanations when they suit us, and not just those of us who are religious. We really do need to always come back to this.

We need to look for the magic in any argument or process. So much out there is dressed in data and logic, but pivots on one or two key pieces of magic. Asimov famously said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". The reverse is also true though - any untested assumption is also indistinguishable from magic.

Closer to my reality, in code we often rely on magic without really being aware of it. If your program/simulation doesn't have a handle on the inputs, or doesn't fully understand the transformations, correct output can only come from magic. Large code bases will not magically self organize. Unit testing your assumptions will not magically validate your assumptions. Even assumptions about the utility of your code requires magically jumping into the heads of people other than yourself.

That isn't to say code can only be used for known domains or every line requires a proof, just we need to know and mark the magic parts. I think the amount of it will surprise us, but it will lead to less surprises down the road.

So, first question from here on, where is the magic?

Those theorizing that an infinite universe necessitates infinite possible worlds are missing the point that infinity cuts both ways.

Eg. imagine an atom can have infinite states, or even be made of infinitely smaller and smaller parts, then you could have infinite universes exactly the same other than a variation in some atom on your shoulder. Of course you wouldn't due to impossible probability, but that is the gist.

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Final score, picnic table is now just a hump in the snow, but it seemed to have mostly drifted around the truck. We live along an escarpment and in a sheltered yard, so I think a lot of this was blown in snow. 50+cm in Miami (just south of here), but only 15 cm or so in Winnipeg.
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