Thursday, January 27, 2011

Random comments I've posted elsewhere

On whether the Singularity's a problem:

Those who deny the Singularity also have to assume a near-future end to Moore’s Law and virtually no improvement thereafter. I think the contrary assumption is more probable, that Moore’s Law will continue to operate and may even accelerate in the 21st Century (and beyond, but that’s not essential).

I think it takes little imagination, that someone, somewhere, will use AI to make our lives better. I don’t expect AI to instantly turn our smart toasters into killing machines, and maybe they never will, but 10-20 Moore’s Law generations after the point of AI sapience, we’ll have little choice over the outcome.

We also might merge with the machines, but again, the biological part won’t be able to keep up with the non-biological part for very long.

On whether the biologists critiquing evolutionary psychology go on to condemn the entire field (I'm going to come back to this, it's relevant to climate denialism):

Carl, I think Coyne would disagree with your statement that he thinks evo psych can’t be done at all. This is from your link to him:

“Now I don’t oppose evolutionary psychology on principle. The evolutionary source of our behavior is a fascinating topic, and I’m convinced that the genetic influences are far stronger than, say, posited by anti-determinists like Dick Lewontin, Steve Rose, and Steve Gould. Evolved adaptations are particularly likely to be found in sexual behavior, which is intimately connected with the real object of selection: the currency of reproduction. I’m far closer in my views on this topic to Steve Pinker than to Steve Gould. And there are many good studies in the field, so I don’t mean to tar the whole endeavor.”

An older one on why the Obama administration took so long to partially fix the Republican War on Science:

One potential reason for delay is that there was an internal battle between this okay document versus pure drivel, this okay document versus something with more heft, or a combination of both. Just speculating.

And on a denialist claim that you can construct a climate model to say anything:

I’m not aware of any climate models that fail to show warming. I think Mr. Calhoun is talking out of his hat. And it’s not like the coal and oil industry is too poor to create a model. My guess is that they’ve fooled around with it privately, but the mangling they have to do to get the outcome they want is so bad that they’ve never trotted it out. Yet more evidence against the denialists, as if more was needed.

1 comment:

  1. On climate models that fail to show future warming, there's a decent response right after yours, here.

    "All you have to do is use an ordinary climate model, set aerosol forcing to a small number (which is within the error bands), set cloud feedback strongly negative (which there is some empirical evidence to support, although it’s still controversial and far from proven) and use an existing model with a high and strongly autocorrelated variance (an areas that most models fall far short of reality in – the way I would suggest is to link in stronger internal forcing from clouds as hypothesised by Spencer and Braswell 2010) and Bob’s your uncle! "


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.