See here.

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I have a layman physics question about causality.

I don`t study science, just a bit of sociology and arts. I don`t understand quantum physics, nor do I really understand Einsteins theory of special relativity..

I came a long this question, resulting from a thought experiment. I don`t know if this thought experiment was already labeled or thought up by somebody else.

I apologize, if I accidently plagiarize.

Though experiment

There are two observers in different locations in space witnessing a chain of events: explosion (A) and explosion (B). Let`s say the explosions only create sound waves, but no light waves.The causalities are unknown:

A could cause BB could cause AA and B could happen simultaneously


Is there a constellation, in which observer (1) hears A before B and observer (2) hears B before A even though A and B happen simultaneously?

If you say A causes B, than A has to happen before B. There has to be a time difference because the information from A exploding has to reach B, before B explodes.

Is there a constellation, in which observer (1) hears A and B simultaneously and observer (2) hears B before A, even though A causes B?

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Can anyone do better for official OB theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watc... ?

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Hello Dr. Hanson,

I am not sure what sort of questions qualify as 'relevant questions'. But I am interested in seeing you write a post on the thought processes involved in deciding whether to procreate or not. In today's world of 6 odd billion people, there is no real threat to the survival of the species although one's special genes may die out if one doesn't procreate. I can't seem to find any rational justification for procreation by the economically well off since there is an overcompensating rate of procreation by the lesser economically developed nations. And unless one has evidence about racial superiority, there doesn't seem to be any incentive to procreate as an educated and reasonably well-to-do individual. I'll look forward to your analysis given that your bio suggests you've indulged in procreation yourself.

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I rather like nesting, I think the value of seeing responses together with the original comment outweighs the irritation of having to check for new responses. What I really hate is when Hacker News reorders the top level comments based on voting. That makes it really hard to find new comments to a popular post.

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I'd love to hear about your theory of "dealism", which was mentioned in Tyler's "In Praise of Robin Hanson" post. Is the idea that rational goal-focused people looking to make mutually beneficial deals would (under plausible assumptions) agree to some version of preference utilitarianism (perhaps similar to the economists' notion of efficiency)?

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Alternatively, if you could subscribe to a thread you could be sure of seeing all new comments, while first-time readers would get the benefit of nesting. (I love nesting.)

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This is my ‘position statement’ on the Anthropic/Identity puzzles; I make 5 main conjectures with links to papers;

(1)Talk of consciousness should be dispensed with and replaced with the language of information theory (complexity, entropy etc) , for an example of a theory along these lines see:

‘An Information Integration Theory of Consciousness’

(2)When reasoning about subjective experience, a more general theory of rationality than Bayesian Induction is needed, the whole notion of ‘anticipation of experience’ is simply incoherent, because Bayes is insufficient

(3)The required generalization of Bayes involves translating it to the information theory framework (1) by integrating it with analogical inference, so Bayesian Induction merely becomes a special case of categorization, and ‘Similarity’ turns out to be more fundamental than ‘probability’, see:

‘Integrating Analogical Inference with Bayesian Causal Models’

‘Exemplars, Prototypes, Similarities and Rules in Category Representation: An Example of Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis’

(4)The notion of ‘utility’ also needs to be generalized to convert to the information theory framework (1), this is done by defining a new type of ‘complexity’ based on aesthetics, see below paper on neuroaesthetics for some criteria of what bitstrings the brain regards as ‘interesting’,

‘The Science of Art’

(5) After steps (1)-(4), we have a new framework for dealing with subjective experience; (a) epistemological reasoning involves determination of which reference class we fall into (categorization, similarity measure), ‘anticipation’ and ‘probability’ has nothing to do with it, and (b) Reflective decision making (reasoning about our own valuation algorithm) involves information integration via the new complexity measure – ‘expected utility’ has nothing to do with it.

Have a good Christmas, see y’all around the galaxy!

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I thought you would post more about Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory by Randall Collins. I was expecting a post about the various groups children sort themselves into in grade school. I thought you'd say something like "Do we not make this common knowledge because it's too painful for us to acknowledge our kids are not dominant?"

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Dr Hanson,

You present a lot of research on different types of biases, but I was wondering if there is research on how biases might interact. For example, says we overestimate memorable events. This lends justification to using the death penalty as a deterrent. However, your discussion of near vs. far makes me think that criminals will focus more on the immediate crime rather than distant consequences. Any thoughts on how to judge between competing biases?- Charlie

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To me, nesting is a madness that reveals the frailty of the human mind. I take it that what Jason's saying would allow us to have it either way individually, as we like.

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Dr. Hanson,

The nested comment structure makes it difficult to locate and read newer comments in long threads. Can you consider adding a sorting option like Will Wilkinson's blog?

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Professor Hanson,

I read your article on the next great singularity, with much interest. Artificial intelligence is often looked to as the next evolution of technology, without consideration of its real impacts on the economy.

I have often thought about when and if the downfall of capitalism will occur. Marx predicted a time when control over capital would be a prerequisite for the advancement or improvement of technology. He predicted that monopolies would become more and more concentrated because they would be in control of the means of production and have an absolute advantage in the R&D necessary for the next stages of technology.

I never took this prediction seriously; It seemed to me that Marx grossly overestimated the efficiency of bureaucracies. I always tried to imagine a piece of capital able to block entrepreneurs from designing its successor. Could it be that AI will be that technology and that Marx was right, but way off on the time period?

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Looks like a pendulum?

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A reading suggestion for those who find signalling and status fascinating: the comedies of Thomas Berger."The Houseguest" in particular.

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