df fd's Shortform

post by df fd (df-fd) · 2020-12-12T04:21:19.526Z · LW · GW · 5 comments

5 comments

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comment by df fd (df-fd) · 2021-01-03T10:45:06.226Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

For all the flak that Qanon is getting for their beliefs and their allegedly atrocious epistemic hygiene, one must admire them for at least one thing. They are a people who act.

They are willing to risk their saving, their reputation, or even their life because they think it is the right thing to do. 

Granted, we found what they believe in hilarious. But how many of us actually act on our beliefs. We are besieged by doubt and false humility. Confused and lost. We stood paralyzed by indecision. 

And so with help from our unlikely friends, we are reminded that it's not enough to be right. You must act or you might as well not believe in anything.

comment by df fd (df-fd) · 2020-12-12T04:21:50.533Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

[Epistemic status: conspiracy theory/raving of the mads]

We all know that GPD/standard of living all track with energy use, yet arguably the most convenient and widespread energy sources current are fossil fuels, which saw mass adoption with the start of the industrial revolution. Which happened, it can be said without hyperbole, eons ago [citation needed].

For some time, nuclear fission seems poised to replace fossil fuel, yet a series of unfortunate events permanently sour the public perception of this technology [Chernobyl, Fukushima]. Even in countries that push for nuclear fission as an energy source [France, South Korea, China], nuclear reactors are plagued with construction delays and cost overrun. The whole field is generally regarded as a dead-end and widely distrusted [citation needed]. 

Let us digress at this juncture and talk about the virtue of silence. The one rightful Caliph Eliezer once lamented that the secret of nuclear power was unwisely disclosed/leaked. That due to such disclosure, we are now living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. He proposed that it may have been wiser for scientists, especially those that could coordinate, to form a cabal to keep dangerous power from unwise/unworthy hands. Yet reading between the lines, we can see that any form of empowerment is dangerous. We are now living with a higher quality of life than kings in the middle ages. It can also be argued that we have more power than them as well. For examples: a state militia with guns vs 10x the number of pikemen, truck transport vs horse transport, phone communication vs runner communication, etc. It is not hard to imagine with ever more power granted to our hands we would become ever more dangerous, so much so that future us would be to us now as we are now to medieval kings in the past. This is inherently destabilizing. Remember that medieval kings are immensely powerful beings, capable of changing the course of history. Imagine a billion of such individuals. Such a scenario is precisely what a Cabal of Scientists, if they exist, is meant to prevent.

Viewed from this lens, it is easy to see why in the civilized world, where cooperation and coordination are easier than their counterpart, every potent source of energy that could be turned to war is discredited and under heavy pressure to be phased out. Fission and fusion power are considered laughing stock, money invested into such ventures are considered wasted, proponents are universally derided [citation needed]. Imagine yourself as part of a Cabal of Scientists, knowing that a dangerous specimen of forbidden knowledge was leaked by unsteady hands, what would you do? Personally, I would orchestrate a series of events to smother current/future use and prevent investment in exploring the topic. Suspiciously, this is remarkably similar to reality. 

The only technology that seems to enjoy widespread support is renewable, which requires cooperation due to a long chain of supply and extremely hard to be converted directly to war purpose. 

In conclusion, this obviously [note: not obviously] prove the existent of a Cabal of Scientists controlling societies in the shadow, handicapping our power and technology until we prove worthy of such power. This, conveniently, also explains the great stagnation of our societies, where despite our striving, little progress has been made in any dimension. The solution is clear, we must prove ourselves capable of bearing the responsibility of such power so that the Cabal of Scientists would deign to share their blessing with us. We must prove that we are able to align our interests and be beyond the reach of moral mazes. Comrades I call upon you to do your duties to follow 5 years plans from the glorious leaders for an ever brighter future.

I mean what is the alternative to a Cabal of Scientists? Things just randomly happen as the world goes to the dogs? Hah, I laugh.

Replies from: Viliam
comment by Viliam · 2020-12-20T13:14:46.070Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some people wonder why Keynes's prediction about 15-hour workweek didn't come true despite all improvements in productivity. Maybe the horrible secret is that these days, with all the cheap technology and the knowledge available online, it is possible for an average person to construct a world-destroying machine... if they could devote enough time to this goal.

Which is why the Cabal of Scientists invented bullshit jobs and addictive websites: to keep billions of people occupied with something harmless, so that they don't go and destroy the world.

Replies from: df-fd
comment by df fd (df-fd) · 2021-01-03T10:46:05.777Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

this is a web novel that explore a similar premise:

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/28111/ultra-ai

comment by df fd (df-fd) · 2020-12-12T04:21:20.660Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

[Epistemic status: conspiracy theory/raving of the mads]

We all know that GPD/standard of living all track with energy use, yet arguably the most convenient and widespread energy sources current are fossil fuels, which saw mass adoption with the start of the industrial revolution. Which happened, it can be said without hyperbole, eons ago [citation needed].

For some time, nuclear fission seems poised to replace fossil fuel, yet a series of unfortunate events permanently sour the public perception of this technology [Chernobyl, Fukushima]. Even in countries that push for nuclear fission as an energy source [France, South Korea, China], nuclear reactors are plagued with construction delays and cost overrun. The whole field is generally regarded as a dead-end and widely distrusted [citation needed]. 

Let us digress at this juncture and talk about the virtue of silence. The one rightful Caliph Eliezer once lamented that the secret of nuclear power was unwisely disclosed/leaked. That due to such disclosure, we are now living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. He proposed that it may have been wiser for scientists, especially those that could coordinate, to form a cabal to keep dangerous power from unwise/unworthy hands. Yet reading between the lines, we can see that any form of empowerment is dangerous. We are now living with a higher quality of life than kings in the middle ages. It can also be argued that we have more power than them as well. For examples: a state militia with guns vs 10x the number of pikemen, truck transport vs horse transport, phone communication vs runner communication, etc. It is not hard to imagine with ever more power granted to our hands we would become ever more dangerous, so much so that future us would be to us now as we are now to medieval kings in the past. This is inherently destabilizing. Remember that medieval kings are immensely powerful beings, capable of changing the course of history. Imagine a billion of such individuals. Such a scenario is precisely what a Cabal of Scientists, if they exist, is meant to prevent.

Viewed from this lens, it is easy to see why in the civilized world, where cooperation and coordination are easier than their counterpart, every potent source of energy that could be turned to war is discredited and under heavy pressure to be phased out. Fission and fusion power are considered laughing stock, money invested into such ventures are considered wasted, proponents are universally derided [citation needed]. Imagine yourself as part of a Cabal of Scientists, knowing that a dangerous specimen of forbidden knowledge was leaked by unsteady hands, what would you do? Personally, I would orchestrate a series of events to smother current/future use and prevent investment in exploring the topic. Suspiciously, this is remarkably similar to reality. 

The only technology that seems to enjoy widespread support is renewable, which requires cooperation due to a long chain of supply and extremely hard to be converted directly to war purpose. 

In conclusion, this obviously [note: not obviously] prove the existent of a Cabal of Scientists controlling societies in the shadow, handicapping our power and technology until we prove worthy of such power. This, conveniently, also explains the great stagnation of our societies, where despite our striving, little progress has been made in any dimension. The solution is clear, we must prove ourselves capable of bearing the responsibility of such power so that the Cabal of Scientists would deign to share their blessing with us. We must prove that we are able to align our interests and be beyond the reach of moral mazes. Comrades I call upon you to do your duties to follow 5 years plans from the glorious leaders for an ever brighter future.

I mean what is the alternative to a Cabal of Scientists? Things just randomly happen as the world goes to the dogs? Hah, I laugh.