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gwern branwen
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A common objection against starting a large-scale biomedical war on aging is the fear of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation). This fear is only exacerbated by the fact that no detailed demographic projections for radical life extension ...
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That's not the scenarios they analyze, though. Of the 5 scenarios, #1 can be considered the 'worst-case' but since Sweden has a TFR <2, it unsurprisingly, due to the asymptotic logic they outline, is not that bad. As long as TF<2, a population of immortals will not grow infinitely (a point often missed) and for realistic values like Sweden's 1.9, will not even grow all that much (that would max out at <20x). The demographic transition, along with examples like the South Korean (TFR<1.25!) and Japanese birth rate, suggest that even much longer lives with decades of extra life expectancy and orders of magnitude more wealth, reduce birth rates by a huge amount. Having kids is seen as an obligation and way of immortalizing oneself, so if you expect to never die or to live another millennium (no age acceleration of mortality), it's totally plausible that TFRs would drop even more. You could argue that maybe the psychology is wrong and people actually want to have 1 kid per 80 years, so 1k lifespans means TFRs of ~12, in which case the population does increase unboundedly, but that won't produce a huge increase within the next century or two, which is what we care about - as long as it's not a problem within a century or two, that's plenty of time for society to reach accommodations aside from 'torture everyone to death horribly to make room for their kids'. (On this timescale, even stupid solutions like 'send the excess population to colonize Mars' will work.)
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Everything is heritable: shared genetics between bad things happening to you & psychoticism.

"Background
Stressful life events (SLEs) are associated with psychotic experiences. SLEs might act as an environmental risk factor, but may also share a genetic propensity with psychotic experiences.
Aims
To estimate the extent to which genetic and environmental factors influence the relationship between SLEs and psychotic experiences.
Method
Self- and parent reports from a community-based twin sample (4830 16-year-old pairs) were analysed using structural equation model fitting.
Results
SLEs correlated with positive psychotic experiences (r = 0.12–0.14, all P<0.001). Modest heritability was shown for psychotic experiences (25–57%) and dependent SLEs (32%). Genetic influences explained the majority of the modest covariation between dependent SLEs and paranoia and cognitive disorganisation (bivariate heritabilities 74–86%). The relationship between SLEs and hallucinations and grandiosity was explained by both genetic and common environmental effects.
Conclusions
Further to dependent SLEs being an environmental risk factor, individuals may have an underlying genetic propensity increasing their risk of dependent SLEs and positive psychotic experiences."

Part of our continuing theme of phenome and comorbidity results which have been streaming out lately...
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Abstract: We show that adversarial examples, i.e., the visually imperceptible perturbations that result in Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) fail, can be alleviated with a mechanism based on foveations---applying the CNN in different image regions. To see this, first, we report results in ...
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Everything is heritable: "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration", Proto & Oswald 2015 https://www.dropbox.com/s/qkrzqpby5mqnd4e/2015-proto.pdf

"This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries’ happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the long-observed ranking -- one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables -- is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being
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A Third Test: Using Data on US Immigrant Descendants in an Examination of the Possible Genetics of Subjective Well-being
The paper provides a final, and purposely different, form of evidence. One of the unusual advantages of a genetic influence is that in principle it should be visible even if historical measures are used.
This is because genetic patterns inherently stem from a previous era.
In Table XIII, we exploit that idea. The table uses data on 29 nations, which is the largest sample available to us for the exercise.
The independent variable here is the coefficient obtained from an ordered probit regression, where (current) happiness of individuals who are born in the US is regressed against their family country-of-origin dummies. There are also controls in the regression equation for age (and its square), gender, income, education and religion; these latter corrections are to provide some control for cultural values. 7 The dependent variables -- there are four in Table XIII -- are the same well-being measures used in the paper’s earlier tables.
The exact methodology is the following. For Americans who report, say, that they have family origins from Italy, we create an independent variable derived from the happiness level of current Italian-Americans.
That independent variable is used, in a regression equation, to help explain the current happiness level of Italy. In effect, the same procedure is repeated for each country within the data set. Here the ultimate aim is to see whether the current well-being of nations is correlated with the reported well-being of Americans who have ancestors from that nation. The purpose of this statistical exercise is not, of course, to argue that happy Italian-Americans directly cause the happiness of today’s Italy. Rather, what the evidence suggests, consistent with the existence of an underlying genetic component in international well-being patterns, is that there is an unexplained positive correlation between the happiness today of Country X and the observed happiness of those Americans whose ancestors came from Country X. In the first column of Table XIII, for example, the coefficient is -46.5 with a standard error of 16.8 (the reason the coefficient is negative is that it is for an equation for Struggling rather than well-being). Such evidence is consistent with a genetic influence.
...Are these effect-sizes substantively significant? It is natural to consider within Table IV what a coefficient of more than 5 on the Nei coefficient, in this best-fitting specification, implies. The standard deviation of Log Nei Distance is slightly greater than 1, and the standard deviation of High Life Satisfaction is approximately 12. Hence one standard deviation in genetic distance is associated with more than one third of a standard deviation in national well-being."

See also http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/03/23/the-price-of-glee-in-china/
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Short sellers are always so interesting. Few people are so motivated to see through the miasma of lies and bullshit and optimism in the business and finance world.

(Even in economically sophisticated places you see some strikingly gullible comments. Like someone commenting that maybe a public offering of Saudi ARAMCO would be a good investment since the books are kept by PriceWaterhouseCooper, one of the Big 4. Chanos puts no stock in such books, as he notes that all of the big accounting frauds like Enron had books kept by big accounting firms. There are many ways to lie.)
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I. Albion’s Seed by David Fischer is a history professor’s nine-hundred-page treatise on patterns of early immigration to the Eastern United States. It’s not light reading and not…
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Walter Russell Mead's " Special Providence" better answers the questions SSC tried to answer, and in a book much more readable than albion's seed.
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You look around and appear to be in a restaurant. Some countries have more restaurants (per capita/per land area) than others, so you decrease the odds that you're in Algeria or Sudan and increase the odds that you're in Singapore or other high-restaurant-density places.
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This was really interesting.
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Application to future CRISPR work & the Chinese economic situation left as an exercise for the reader.
China is positioning itself as a world leader in primate research.
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After sharing the idea behind this post with Bruce Schneier, I’ve been encouraged to think a little more about what Werewolf can teach us about trust, security and rational choices in communi…
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+Alex Schroeder Great idea. Next time I'm a wolf I'll accuse the other one, then use this argument to convince everyone that they should be trusted.
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A new study shows that peer-review scores for grant proposals are random anyway.
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The great scientists became great because they made many discoveries. Scientific discoveries do not follow any sort of curve you would expect if it was just shaking a Magic 8-Ball with a one in thousands chance of success, it follows a Lotka distribution where a few figures make many discoveries. Einstein didn't win his Nobels because he was 'lucky' to figure out Brownian motion, and then lucky again to figure out photoelectric, then lucky again to do special relativity, lucky yet again to do general relativity, any more than Ramanujan or Gauss or Euler's notebooks keep yielding discoveries out of sheer luck and winning the lottery a hundred times in a row... Some researchers are just much better than others at knowing where to look and being able to follow through: they see promising areas and keep hammering at it. There's a lot of interesting work by Simonton and others on these questions, since it goes well beyond 'must be random chance! case closed'. Grant reviewers, on the other hand, apparently are just blind and throwing darts at applications.
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+gwern branwen NB: I find your posts interesting, but lacking too much in context. An intro/lede 'graph would help greatly.
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'Winter is coming.'

(I've been reading up on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Angora / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_Coon / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Forest_cat trying to figure out what breed my cat is - probably Norwegian Forest cat since that fits best overall in being relatively common, consistent with his current weight of ~12lb, and non-vocal; a cat genome for $7k http://felinegenetics.missouri.edu/99lives might nail it down further but is way more than I want to pay  - and the joke for this one I found while scrolling through Google Images was too good to pass up.)
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