"The walls between sciences exist only in our minds."

But without walls sanity is difficult to sustain. The sociologist Erving Goffman once said: "society is an insane asylum run by the inmates".

How would a sane asylum run by the inmates look like?

Although written in the 1970s, Erving Goffman`s sociology and field experiments can offer new insights on related topics in the field of economics, psychology and management studies.

Expand full comment

The walls between sciences exist only in our minds.

Expand full comment

I have no particular hopes for singularityu.

Expand full comment

"How can the project be embedded more efficiently with NASA, Google and Academia?"


Expand full comment

Brainstorm - What is competition, good documentaries and the introduction of products.

How can we promote "reality" ? Problem: Demand shift in consumer market: Post-materialist values make big-bang-products less predictable?

What consumers need now: Moral Infotainment products, which overcome differences in religion, gender, status and education.

How about a re-enactment of Joe Kittinger`s "earth jump"? But this time, not just one, but several people jumping out of the helium balloon.Helm-cameras record the freefall and landing period in Blue Ray Disc Quality. Every medium would work.

IMAX Quality would be even better.

The last words before the jump:

"Dear People of the world. As parents at the risk of their lives watching over their children, so let everyone cultivate a boundlessly compassionate mind towards all living beings."



followed by reality video-footage of the jumps.

The question is: Which soundtrack to choose? Who would volunteer to make the jump? What are the costs...How can the project be embedded more efficiently with NASA, Google and Academia?

How can such a project become part of an worldwide indigenous peace movement (neo-institutionalist view)?

Are there better solutions for promoting the meaning of peace, that can reach a lot of consumers?

I would sure go to the movies to see a documentary, where people jump from the edge of space. If the message is good, I might be motivated by footage to strive on with diligence.

Expand full comment

"I start to feel like I can’t maintain the facade any longer, that I may just start to show through. And I wish I knew what was wrong. Maybe something about how stupid my whole life is. I don’t know. Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?... I don’t know the answer, I know only that I can’t. I don't want any more vicissitudes, I don't want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I’ve had it. I am so tired. I am 24 and I am already exhausted. But in the long run, sunshine follows after rain. Maybe the two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Expand full comment

The headline in my Contra Costa Times says "Court-martial for two Marines to begin today," but I would have chosen something like "Mutual cooperation in literal Prisoner's Dilemma":

Did two Marine Corps sergeants murder unarmed detainees during one of the fiercest battles of the Iraq war or were they following orders from their superiors? [...] Both men have made it difficult for prosecutors by repeatedly refusing to testify against one another.

A Los Angeles Times story from October reveals that there really does seem to be PD-like payoff structure here:

Now Nelson is refusing to testify against Weemer, and Weemer’s attorney said today that his client would refuse to testify against Nelson. The two are being tried separately here on charges of murder and dereliction of duty, which could lead to life sentences. Nelson refused to testify Tuesday despite an assurance from the military judge that a grant of immunity would prevent his testimony from being used against him.

Of course the full story is more complicated then the snippets I've quoted here, This isn't actually the canonical Prisoner's Dilemma, but I found the resemblance amusing enough to think that this Open Thread comment was worth posting.

Expand full comment

For a thorough discussion of Fermi paradox, evolution, and so on the best source I've found is Peter Ward's & Donald Brownlee's Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe. Their work suggests that simple, bacteria-like life may be very common, but that complex, multicellular life is probably vanishingly rare, and intelligent life even more so. They cover an enormous range of subject matter from the origin of the sun and oddities of our solar system, through geology and climatology, to the details of evolution.

Expand full comment

Peter Voss makes the news:

Innovation: Artificial brain for sale

Expand full comment

i"d like to comprehend what conscience actually is, and how it differs from non conscience.

How can an entity prove to be conscious, how can you prove and entity is/is not.

Expand full comment

The chances are high that there is one intelligent civilization in our galaxy - us.

That's the most common resolution of the Fermi paradox. If there were other intelligent civilizations around, we would probably have been invaded by aliens long ago. The chance of two such civilizations arising in the time it takes for one of them to spread through the galaxy is small.

Expand full comment

Remembering that Robin has concluded that "life here came from life elsewhere," I was fascinated to see a study estimating that under such a scenario there could be as many as 37,964 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy.

Expand full comment

I would like to see some discussion of non-Pascalian approaches to probabilities, or perhaps discussion of why such approaches wouldn't be worth investigating.

Expand full comment

Psy-Kosh, I tried to change a typo in Steve's and my "Share likelihood ratios" post, and it turned the post back into "draft" status. I didn't realize that was how permissions worked. I called Eliezer, who will repost it when he gets home at 3:30pm PST or so.

Expand full comment