Link roundup: Jan–Mar 2022

2 minute read


Since these AIs are just giant matrix multiplication machines, “intuition” now has a firm grounding in math - just much bigger, more complicated math than the usual kind that we call “logical”.

This would be a common pattern for sciences: much worse at everyday tasks than people who do them intuitively, until it generates some surprising and powerful new technology. Democritus figured out what matter was made of in 400 BC, and it didn’t help a single person do a single useful thing with matter for the next 2000 years of followup research, and then you got the atomic bomb (I may be skipping over all of chemistry, sorry).
What Are We Arguing About When We Argue About Rationality?

What he seeks to practice is, in a phrase popularized by the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.”
Can Science Fiction Wake Us Up to Our Climate Reality?

Caulfield then introduced two different ways of thinking about how we engage with ideas when we’re on the internet: The web as a garden and the web as a stream. Think of the web as an organically developing garden: a space in which there’s no predetermined order or relationship of things to one another. Caulfield writes, “Every walk through the garden creates new paths, new meanings.” What came first in the garden doesn’t matter either. Each thing in the garden is related to the other things as it exists in the moment.
The Faithful Gardener

Dual use of artificial-intelligence-powered drug discovery
Twelve quick tips for software design
Computer Scientists Prove Why Bigger Neural Networks Do Better
Failing the test: DNA barcoding brought botanist Steven Newmaster scientific fame and entrepreneurial success. Was it all based on fraud?
What’s the buzz? Let’s talk about numbing ingredients
The pandemic’s true death toll: millions more than official counts
5 nutrition goals that are better than weight loss

Transformative Experience and Pascal’s Wager
Do Good Doorbell Cams Make Good Neighbors?
How to Want Less
It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart
How to be useless
What We Don’t Want to Know
It’s Time for Some Game Theory
Why does woman have ‘man’ in it and female has the word ‘male’ in it?

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