Artificially Intelligent

Any mimicry distinguishable from the original is insufficiently advanced.

  • Things That Should Be Destroyed

    | 137 words

    An incomplete list: The programming in my water boiler that sings a song when the water is done boiling. The LED in my usb charger (I did actually destroy this one personally). Space heaters that have LED panels that can’t be turned off. Whiteboard markers that don’t have any ink...

  • How To Be (Semi)-Fashionable

    | 798 words

    “It is not a complex problem to appear nice to people! You identify the most popular targets in each of your classes, learn what they value about themselves, and give them a minimum of three relevant compliments each week. So long as they think you are agreeable, others will follow...

  • Retrospective On My 2020 FHI Research Scholar Application

    | 1997 words

    This is a research statement I wrote when applying to be a research scholar at the Future of Humanity Institute in September of 2020. My opinions about which research questions/projects are promising has shifted a lot since then. I thought it might be interesting to people to see what I...

  • Owning Multiple Copies of Objects Can Reduce Attention Costs

    | 339 words

    I own multiple copies of many objects so I have to spend less attention doing things like remembering to bring them places, actually bringing them places, charging them, plugging them into other objects, etc. Examples: Having two pairs of noise canceling headphones means that I don’t have to remember to...

  • Coase's Theorem Means The Customer Doesn't Have To Always Be Right

    | 374 words

    Sometimes, when I’m buying a good or service, the person selling me this good or service is rude to me. In the past I’ve thought this was pretty unreasonable because I was trying to pay them money for the thing they were trying to sell me, so shouldn’t they be...

  • Overly Specific Reviews: Tongue Scrapers, Floss Picks, and Whiteboard Markers

    | 600 words

    Most sites review things along dimensions like quality and cost. However, sometimes there are properties that various objects have that are pretty important that don’t get mentioned in reviews. In the spirit of optimizing literally everything, I will present my favorite objects in pretty narrow categories and explain why they...

  • Your Time Might Be More Valuable Than You Think

    | 1909 words

    Summary People often seem to implicitly value their time at the amount they can convert hours to dollars given their current skills. However, the value of saving the marginal hour today is to increase the total number of one’s working hours by one, resulting in a new hour at the...

  • Review: A Really Short History of Nearly Everything

    | 841 words

    I recently finished Bill Bryson’s A Really Short History of Nearly Everything. This book wasn’t very good, and I wouldn’t recommend it. However, I learned some useful things both at the meta and object levels, which I will relay in bullet point form. The book contains a number of factual...

  • Quirks with the Solomonoff Prior

    | 593 words

    A standard formalization of Occam’s razor is to fix some universal turing machine, weight all programs for that machine exponentially inversely related to their complexity, and then say the prior of a given bit string is the sum of all the weights of all programs that output that bit string....

  • Insights from Complications

    | 930 words

    Atul Gawande’s Complications is a tour of the medical system through the lens of a series of case studies. The cases are interspersed with semi-philosophical commentary. The prose is easy to read. Here are some insights that the book gave me (note that the book is from 1999, so some...