Posts

About BOINC 2019-12-10T09:22:34.968Z
Question about a past donor to MIRI. 2019-09-01T15:39:02.219Z
FAI failure scenario 2019-07-16T11:49:41.983Z

Comments

Comment by teerth-aloke on Nuclear war is unlikely to cause human extinction · 2020-11-09T06:38:16.937Z · LW · GW

If a nuclear war happened, say, in 1983, what percent of people would die?

Comment by teerth-aloke on The Treacherous Path to Rationality · 2020-11-04T14:02:49.971Z · LW · GW

Taking the pandemic seriously was not local to the rationalist community. Many people, including my father, began to take the pandemic seriously in late January. He avoided any major travel, and largely remained at home. He began to wear masks from early March, when cases were few. This is in India, not USA.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-11-03T13:37:59.297Z · LW · GW

I agree. Some intellectuals in the West could not even condemn the execution of Lenin's comrades by Stalin on trumped up charges. I will trust no Sovietologist who tries to show that Stalin was a good person.

Comment by teerth-aloke on How should one deal with life threatening infections or air planes? · 2020-10-29T13:32:20.166Z · LW · GW

Effective Altruism.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-29T11:47:24.101Z · LW · GW

I agree, such whataboutism is not necessary. But my point remains. The 100 million killed by communism is an incorrect figure created by anticommunists with an agenda.

Comment by teerth-aloke on How can I reconcile these COVID test false-negative numbers? · 2020-10-28T06:48:38.101Z · LW · GW

Please follow up on what you find.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-28T02:11:09.321Z · LW · GW

A comparison with USA will be enlightening. I shall note that the methodology includes systematically choosing high estimates. Some of these high estimates like the prison population of USSR, the death toll of the famine stand discredited.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-27T14:21:29.137Z · LW · GW

USA itself is responsible for mass murder, by bombing, in Japan, Germany, North Korea, North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. US-backed regimes are implicated in mass murder in Indonesia, East Pakistan, Somalia, and Guatemala. USA also backed Pol Pot, the Cambodian genocidal dictator, during and after his ouster by the Vietnamese army. And we must not forget that USA backed military juntas in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay. These governments also killed thousands of opponents.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-27T14:14:54.267Z · LW · GW

I was just pointing out that 100 million killed by Communism is a dubious conclusion, arrived by large overestimates made in ignorance. Such estimates, are now rejected in the academic, but the 100 million figure is still used. 

'So what?' needs no answer. I am not justifying anyone, or defending Marxist regimes. 

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-27T01:50:46.358Z · LW · GW

The Soviet administration reduced the amount of grain to be exported in the first half of 1933 from Ukraine by 50% from the amount exported in the first half of 1932. Moreover, 300000 tonnes of grains were allocated to Ukraine to combat the famine. As the situation got worse grain acquisitions were decreased.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-26T16:35:26.504Z · LW · GW

While not defending Communist regimes, it is true that propaganda has greatly inflated the number. For example, Solzhenitsyn said '110 million Russians fell, victims of Socialism'. No one can seriously believe that. Meanwhile the methodology of including famine deaths is questionable, to say the least. Most scholars of the field regard the Holodomor famine as unintentional on the part of the Soviet government. There is evidence that members of the Soviet administration tried to reduce the impact of the famine. We are manipulating the definition of 'killed' if we include the dead of an unintentional famine. Purposeful deaths of Marxist regimes might be around 10 million.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-25T09:20:51.611Z · LW · GW

Soviet Union was, or might be, also involved in various coups like the 1978 coup in South Yemen, the 1971 coup attempt in Sudan, 1969 coup in Somalia, the 1978 coup in Afghanistan etc. However none of the pre-coup regimes had been democratic, and were friendly or allied to USSR. 

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-25T09:11:14.948Z · LW · GW

One hundred million? That is an extraordinary figure. So one hundred million were executed by Marxist-Leninist regimes? Or does this include excess deaths in Gulags, due to wars, famines etc. I can't believe that 100 million were executed.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-20T10:18:33.765Z · LW · GW

Can't say about the others but East Germany was certainly undemocratic prior to 1945.

Comment by teerth-aloke on A tale from Communist China · 2020-10-20T10:16:34.245Z · LW · GW

Who killed millions of people? Czech Communists? Or Communists in general?

Comment by teerth-aloke on A Priori · 2020-09-19T10:28:45.921Z · LW · GW

The debate is apparently about the meaning of 'different'. Someone might define different as, 'predicting different observations' and another as 'different ontological content'.

If there is a box in front of you, which either contains as $20 or $100 note. However, you have very strong reasons to believe that the content of the box shall be unknown to you, forever. Is the question, "Is there a $20 or $100 note in the box?" meaningful. Is the belief in the presence of a $20 note different from the belief in the presence of a $100 note? That is essentially, similar to the problem of identical models.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Hello ordinary folks, I'm the Chosen One · 2020-09-11T02:34:55.613Z · LW · GW

I was thinking that probabilities cannot be assigned to our observed constants, given, say the hypothesis that the Universe has not been created by God. The Fine-Tuning Argument tries to update in favour if theism by observation of constants. For it to work we have to estimate the probability of our constants under the theistic hypothesis and its negation. I don't think it is possible.

Comment by teerth-aloke on 2020's Prediction Thread · 2020-09-09T03:06:47.398Z · LW · GW

I think that the Constitution of India might be modified to declare it a 'Hindu nation'

Comment by teerth-aloke on 2020's Prediction Thread · 2020-09-09T03:05:51.169Z · LW · GW

Difference in intuition. Otherwise, I think that there will be no state-sponsored space colonization program- and there will be no incentive for any private organization to establish a colony - given the price of sending and sustaining.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Objective Dog Ratings: An Introduction & Explanation · 2020-09-05T03:03:36.256Z · LW · GW

I don't like dogs of Western breeds due to this reason. They become overly committed to their owners. However, I like to feed street Indian dogs - who don't show any particular commitment.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Hello ordinary folks, I'm the Chosen One · 2020-09-05T01:07:33.608Z · LW · GW

Fine-tuning argument does not work for another reason : we simply don't know the number of universes and the mechanism that chooses the constants.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Forecasting Thread: AI Timelines · 2020-08-29T12:45:46.489Z · LW · GW

I see. Thanks for responding.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Forecasting Thread: AI Timelines · 2020-08-27T16:30:11.347Z · LW · GW

An endowment policy is a life insurance contract designed to pay a lump sum after a specific term or on death. Typical maturities are ten, fifteen or twenty years up to a certain age limit. That is only an example. If you believe that , for example, that it is likely that humanity will go extinct in 2030 - you shall not make an investment for which the pay day is after 2030. Because the anticipated profit is 0. So, rephrasing my question: Is it rational to make an investment today for which the returns are after 2040? (Because humanity might go extinct due to AI by then).

Comment by teerth-aloke on Forecasting Thread: AI Timelines · 2020-08-27T07:45:53.046Z · LW · GW

So, hypothetically : should I buy an endowment life insurance in which the maturity is after 20 years?

Comment by teerth-aloke on The "Outside the Box" Box · 2020-08-26T14:59:40.347Z · LW · GW

And now? Do you still believe in an all-powerful creator? (Not that I have any problem with that)

Comment by teerth-aloke on Forecasting Thread: AI Timelines · 2020-08-24T12:08:19.529Z · LW · GW

But your timeline should be highly significant for your actions. How has your timeline update affected your planned decisions?

Comment by teerth-aloke on Why don't countries, like companies, more often merge? · 2020-08-23T12:31:26.668Z · LW · GW

USSR itself formed by the merger of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic, Beylorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and Russian Soviet Socialist Republic in December 1922. It is believed that Joseph Stalin preferred the other states to be annexed into Russia, while Lenin, the then Prime Minister of Russian Soviet Republic, favored a federation.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Why don't countries, like companies, more often merge? · 2020-08-23T08:09:20.118Z · LW · GW

You misunderstand the problem in Kashmir. Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir was invaded by tribals from Pakistan, and India intervened militarily to rescue the Kingdom, under the condition that Jammu and Kashmir joins India. For 2 years around the 1971 war, my grandfather worked in Jammu. Another connection : my grandfather was a member of the organization RSS's youth wing that had a role in the start of the religious conflict in Kashmir, in October 1947, which led to the invasion by the coreligionists of Muslims under attack there.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Why don't countries, like companies, more often merge? · 2020-08-23T01:16:35.923Z · LW · GW

Malaysia is a merged country. I don't know of any other. Do you?

Comment by teerth-aloke on Forecasting Thread: AI Timelines · 2020-08-22T14:43:00.149Z · LW · GW

Apparently, GPT-3 has greatly influenced the forecasts. I wonder if this is true?

Comment by teerth-aloke on Status for status sake is a fact of political life · 2020-08-19T14:45:45.549Z · LW · GW

I apologize for nitpicking. But the name is Khrushchev.

Comment by teerth-aloke on This Territory Does Not Exist · 2020-08-16T03:44:19.742Z · LW · GW

But how can I believe that the photon-containing map predicts my experiences without implicitly believing in the existence of photons? Why should I believe in the success of the Photon-Containing map without believing in the existence of photons?

Comment by teerth-aloke on This Territory Does Not Exist · 2020-08-15T07:53:34.574Z · LW · GW

My concept of a meaningless claim is a claim that can be substituted for any alternative without any change to anticipated experience. For example, the claim 'Photon does not exist after reaching the Event Horizon' can be substituted for the claim 'Photon exists after crossing the Event Horizon' without bringing any change to anticipated experience. Thus, it is not rational to believe in any of the alternatives. What is your practical definition of 'meaningless'?

Comment by teerth-aloke on Chapter 1: A Day of Very Low Probability · 2020-07-16T01:49:41.722Z · LW · GW

Yes

Comment by teerth-aloke on Progress review: genome sequencing - June 2019 · 2020-07-09T08:30:32.756Z · LW · GW

I did not know how much work is going on.

Comment by teerth-aloke on TurnTrout's shortform feed · 2020-06-29T03:52:52.824Z · LW · GW

My Dad it seems might have psychosomatic stomach ache. How to convince him to convince himself that he has no problem?

Comment by teerth-aloke on Atemporal Ethical Obligations · 2020-06-29T01:55:12.739Z · LW · GW

One obvious thing comes to mind : veganism. But I plan to do nothing famous and have no monuments dedicated to me, I have nothing to fear from the mobs of the future.

Comment by teerth-aloke on TurnTrout's shortform feed · 2020-06-29T01:46:42.987Z · LW · GW

This is unlike anything I have heard!

Comment by teerth-aloke on What was your reasoning for deciding to have 'your own'/ natural-birthed children? · 2020-05-26T04:31:06.046Z · LW · GW

If you were in India (1.37 billion population) what would your position be.

Comment by teerth-aloke on How to convince Y that X has committed a murder with >0.999999 probability? · 2020-05-21T11:57:16.390Z · LW · GW

This problem is known in the philosophy of science as the underdetermination problem. Multiple hypotheses can fit the data. If we don't assign a priori probabilties to hypotheses, we will never reach a conclusion. For example, the hypothesis that (a) Stephen Hawking lived till 2018 against (b) There was a massive conspiracy by his relatives and friends to take his existence after his death in 1985. (That was an actual conspiracy theory). No quantity of evidence can refute the second theory. We can always increase the number of conspirators. The only reason we choose (1) over (2) is the implausibility of (2).

Comment by teerth-aloke on Suspiciously balanced evidence · 2020-05-20T15:13:40.457Z · LW · GW

There are a few questions on which the evidence is really one-sided - like the common ancestry of huamns and chimps.

Comment by teerth-aloke on UAP and Global Catastrophic Risks · 2020-05-17T11:39:42.360Z · LW · GW

What is your assessment of the probability that some kind of Third Level Explanation is needed for such events?

Comment by teerth-aloke on UAP and Global Catastrophic Risks · 2020-05-16T12:32:56.672Z · LW · GW

There is a tiny error in the paper. It mentions in one place that multicellular life has existed fro 500 million years on Earth. That is not correct. I suppose you have mistaken the Cambrian Explosion which happened just before 500 million years ago, with the origin of multicellular life.

Comment by teerth-aloke on UAP and Global Catastrophic Risks · 2020-05-15T09:20:15.481Z · LW · GW

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33371/here-are-the-detailed-ufo-incident-reports-from-navy-pilots-flying-off-the-east-coast

Comment by teerth-aloke on Studies On Slack · 2020-05-14T03:59:45.894Z · LW · GW

Are you a Christian? Otherwise, I don't think anyone can trust Lee Strobel. Did he mention Behe's evidence for common descent :

  1. vitamin C pseudogene: "Both humans and chimps have a broken copy of a gene that in other mammals helps make vitamin C." (71); "It's hard to imagine how there could be stronger evidence for common ancestry of chimps and humans." (72)
  2. hemoglobine pseudogene: "More compelling evidence for the shared ancestry of humans and other primates comes from (...) a broken hemoglobin gene." (71)
  3. yeast whole-genome-duplication: "Although duplicated genes can be used to trace common ancestry" (74) From 'The Edge of Evolution'
Comment by teerth-aloke on Kids and Moral Agency · 2020-05-08T14:01:33.303Z · LW · GW

Um, the lines of moral agency are blurry. For example, would you consider an chimpanzee to have moral agency? A gorilla? An orangutan? A gibbon? An elephant? A dolphin?

Comment by teerth-aloke on Anthropic effects imply that we are more likely to live in the universe with interstellar panspermia · 2020-05-04T12:49:57.865Z · LW · GW

Well the probability might be even lower, according to Eugene Koonin.

https://arxiv.org/ftp/q-bio/papers/0701/0701023.pdf

Comment by teerth-aloke on Fast Takeoff in Biological Intelligence · 2020-04-26T12:21:39.518Z · LW · GW

Evolution might have optimized intelligence, if there were no trade-offs.

Comment by teerth-aloke on Fast Takeoff in Biological Intelligence · 2020-04-26T10:18:42.363Z · LW · GW

What is your estimate of the probability of ubiquitous genetic engineering for cognitive enhancement prior to 2045-50 (one estimate for when Singularity might happen)?

Comment by teerth-aloke on How special are human brains among animal brains? · 2020-04-01T10:58:44.199Z · LW · GW

I think that the problem of the specialness of the human brain might be illuminated by information of its evolution. At what point did the ancestors of humans become cognitively superior to most other animals? And how much distance did Brain evolution cover after that point? From what I inferred from data of cranial size increase, it seems like there was a strong positive selection for increase in brain size. Is this right?