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Open Discussion (2019)

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Elliot Temple on April 8, 2019

Comments (30 of 627) (Show All Comments)

Error in Fox News article about another ice age

Chris Ciaccia (2019, Oct 30), Explosion in Antarctic sea ice levels may cause another ice age, *Fox News*:

> The last major ice age ended at the end of the Pleistocene era, about 2.5 million years ago, as glaciers have periodically grown and then gotten smaller.

No. The Pleistocene ended around 11,700 years ago. It *started* around 2.5 million years ago. According to the UC Museum of Paleontology's article "The Pleistocene Epoch":

> This mammoth (right), found in deposits in Russia, was one of the largest land mammals of the Pleistocene, the time period that spanned from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago.

*Fox News* appears to be correct when they say that the most recent ice age ended around the end of the Pleistocene. According to Wikipedia:

> The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period.


Alisa at 1:38 PM on October 30, 2019 | #14017 | reply | quote

DeepMind’s AlphaStar achieves Grandmaster level in StarCraft II

I think these two links are newsworthy:

- Leveling up: DeepMind’s AlphaStar achieves Grandmaster level in StarCraft II (2019-10-30) by Ouellette. *Ars Technica*

- Grandmaster level in StarCraft II using multi-agent reinforcement learning (2019-10-30) by Vinyals, Babuschkin, and others from DeepMind, along with Dario "TLO" Wünsch from Team Liquid. *Nature* (link goes to open-access pre-print)


Alisa at 3:19 PM on October 30, 2019 | #14018 | reply | quote

Stealing 50k from a bank, online, without even using a VPN:

https://www.wired.com/2008/05/man-allegedly-b/

It's an interesting story though. He set up thousands of accounts and stole the tiny account confirmation deposits (2 amounts under a dollar).


Anonymous at 11:46 AM on October 31, 2019 | #14036 | reply | quote

https://www.macrumors.com/2019/11/01/made-by-google-wearables-fitbit-acquisition/

> Apple Watch Competition to Grow as Google Plans Its Own Wearables Following Fitbit Acquisition

> Google today announced it plans to release its own "Made by Google" wearables following its $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness tracker maker Fitbit. The deal is expected to close in 2020 pending regulatory approvals.

Google isn't very focused. Why wouldn't they stick to software services and ads, and be the main service provider for Apple's hardware?

Also it's fucked up that they need government approval to spend their money like this.


Anonymous at 1:46 PM on November 1, 2019 | #14091 | reply | quote

> The Atlas Society made a motion comic version of Anthem which they put on YouTube

> https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnHOyZsmJroxNbv1p-TnXVh-2508EyeZK

> I have not watched it yet. It seemed like the sort of thing that could be good material for criticism on a curi stream though.

I looked but idk what to criticize. They appear to be following the book closely. They aren't expressing their own opinions about the book for me to agree or disagree with.


curi at 12:59 PM on November 2, 2019 | #14117 | reply | quote

I read a comment recently that I liked. I forgot where. It said that snapchat and 4chan are like a return to oral culture where stuff has to be repeated over and over or it disappears. That's a regression from writing.

The connection with snapchat is clearer because messages literally disappear there. You say it, someone reads it, then it disappears ... a lot like saying something outloud, then hear it, and that's it. For 4chan, they basically claimed the site is so spammy that stuff has to be repeated a ton or it gets lost in the flood of other messages.


curi at 1:17 PM on November 2, 2019 | #14118 | reply | quote

curi, have you thought about reaching out to the twitch streamer/youtuber destiny? He likes to debate, often about philosophy or politics, and he's pretty open to debating anyone who wants to debate him. I think it would be interesting to hear you talk with him.

He takes debate seriously and is interested in truth-seeking and discussion methodology. I think the first ~10 minutes of this video demonstrate that well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7XGOtOSWe4 (the rest of the video is just him addressing some recent controversy he's been in, probably not worth watching.)

When it comes to ethical issues, he calls himself an "egoist", by which he means that he ultimately only cares about his own interests, not about altruism. So he might be open to Oism.

Politically, he's left-wing, but he does frequently defend capitalism over socialism. Though he does believe in a bunch of state intervention. Here's one debate he had where he defended capitalism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7tfIxcQYPU

Epistemology doesn't seem to be one of his main interests, but I think he's some kind of inductivist, maybe a bayesian.

I'd be interested in hearing you talk with him, specifically about ethics, epistemology, or capitalism.


Anonymous at 8:35 AM on November 4, 2019 | #14152 | reply | quote

Feynman story - The power of good methods

One night or six months. A Feynman story about the power of good methods, told by Tony Hey.

Timestamped.

https://youtu.be/9miKIWIYi4w?t=183


N at 3:11 AM on November 5, 2019 | #14166 | reply | quote

https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/overwatch/t/new-feature-high-precision-mouse-input-gameplay-option/422094

Good explanation of a technical feature. Good use of very short video clips for showing how it works.


curi at 1:50 PM on November 5, 2019 | #14170 | reply | quote

Error in MathWorld's statement of Blichfeldt's Theorem

According to MathWorld's page on Blichfeldt's Theorem:

> Blichfeldt's Theorem

>

> Any bounded planar region with positive area >A placed in any position of the unit square lattice can be translated so that the number of lattice points inside the region will be at least A+1 (Blichfeldt 1914, Steinhaus 1999).

This is incorrect. To see this, note that the area of a disc with diameter 1.13 exceeds 1.002. The above statement of Blichfeldt's Theorem implies that such a disc can be translated so that it contains at least 2.002 lattice points. As I will show, this is impossible.

Here is an example of a disc with diameter 1.13:

Since only a finite number of lattice points can be inside the disc and since each lattice point is either inside or outside the disc, the number of lattice points inside the disc is an integer. Thus, the only way for *at least 2.002* lattice points to be inside the disc is for *3 or more* lattice points to be inside the disc.

However, in any set of 3 lattice points, there will be 2 lattice points separated by a distance that exceeds the diameter of the disc (i.e., 1.13). To see this, note that if the 3 lattice points are corners of a unit square, then 2 of the points will be a distance of Sqrt[2] ≈ 1.414 apart; if the 3 points are adjacent on the same horizontal or vertical line, then 2 of the points will be a distance of 2 apart; and if the three points are in some other arrangement, 2 of the points will be separated by a distance of greater than 2.

In any case, 2 of the 3 points will be separated by a distance of more than 1.13 units. Therefore, the disc cannot contain 3 lattice points.


Alisa at 9:13 PM on November 5, 2019 | #14172 | reply | quote

#14172 I thought of a simpler argument.

Consider a tiny disc having an area of, say, 0.0001. This tiny disc can include at most one lattice point, no matter how it is translated. But according to MathWorld's statement of Blichfeldt's Theorem, the disc can be translated to include at least 0.0001 + 1 = 1.0001 lattice points. The only way for it to do that would be for it to include 2 or more lattice points, which is impossible.


Alisa at 9:49 PM on November 5, 2019 | #14174 | reply | quote

John Adams on speaking your mind (1765)

On 30 September 1765, John Adams wrote in “A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,” No. 3:

> Be not intimidated therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom, whatever can be warranted by the laws of your country; nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty, by any pretences of politeness, delicacy or decency. These as they are often used, are but three different names, for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.

What Adams wrote still rings true today, some 250 years after he wrote it.


Alisa at 8:10 AM on November 6, 2019 | #14183 | reply | quote

#14172 Is this a MathWorld problem or a Blichfeldt's Theorem problem? I'm unclear on the extent of the problem, like how many people missed this.


Anonymous at 11:16 AM on November 6, 2019 | #14187 | reply | quote

Veganism

Has curi written about veganism?

Has he written about the morality of eating meat and factory farming?


Anonymous at 11:35 AM on November 6, 2019 | #14188 | reply | quote

#14188 I have material about whether animals can suffer (no). Check e.g. the FI archives and my YT videos on 12 rules for life.


curi at 11:38 AM on November 6, 2019 | #14189 | reply | quote

#14152 Destiny looks reasonably interesting. How would I get his attention? He has 462k twitch followers, a spammy twitch chat, doesn't write much, and has a memey subreddit. He does tons of social when he talks. It's not very clear where to get some canonical or introductory positions, where he explains his views (not a discussion), to comment on and respond to. Like what's his best stuff, best claims, that he'd care about comments on?

Could find something he said that's wrong and write an article or make a video criticizing. Could talk in his twitch chat. Could donate with a message. Could ask for his opinion on stuff like my liberalism essay without asking for a debate – maybe that works well if I donate?

It seems hard to find out what he thinks in any kinda short way. I tried listening to the start of the capitalism socialism debate but I didn't like it cuz they're both missing what I regard as the key issues. Like they start talking about what society or economy they want but that's not the right starting place. That assumes some authorities planning society, something like that. A better starting place is non-violence aka freedom (which comes out of reason).

You have to be careful kinda cuz you don't wanna come off as just being a nobody seeking access to his audience, trying to get attention from them for free. There's no way he just talks to any random person who wants attention. He appears to talk to streamers/youtuber types a fair amount which i'm tiny as.

And while he looks alright to try talking with, idk that this sorta outreach project is worth a lot of effort to figure out the best way to approach it. But I would need to at least have a better sense of what he does and thinks before approaching him even if I just try something multi-purpose (like a critical article or video is the kinda content i might make anyway).


curi at 12:52 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14192 | reply | quote

#14187

Good question. I should have said more about that in my original comment.

It's a MathWorld problem. Aside from the MathWorld page authors, I'm not sure who else missed the error; Blichfeldt's Theorem doesn't seem to be very well-known. (It lacks an English Wikipedia page, for example.)

I proposed a correction via MathWorld's contact form.

A true statement of (what is alleged to be) a version of Blechfeldt's Theorem is given in *The Geometry of Numbers* by Olds et al. (2000) (retyped from Google Books link):

> If the area A of a two-dimensional set C is greater than the integer n, then, by a parallel displacement, C can be made to cover at least n + 1 lattice points of Λ.

This version, like the MathWorld version, is simpler and less general than Blichfeldt's original statement of the theorem from 1914.


Alisa at 1:08 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14193 | reply | quote

#14192

I'd guess the best way to get his attention would be to make a post on his subreddit describing who you are and what you wanted to talk about. If the post gets upvoted he'll probably see it himself, and even if he doesn't some people might bring it to his attention. You could also go to his discord channel and say that you want to debate him. He almost definitely won't see the message himself, but if you explain who you are and chat there for a while, and explain why it would be good for him to talk to you, some people with a more direct way of communicating with him might let him know about you.

I don't think he would read an article from someone he didn't know anything about, but he might watch a relatively short (<30 mins) video criticizing his stuff.

afaik he doesn't have any sort of canonical intro to his positions. He's layed out most of his positions during conversations and debates with other people.

>There's no way he just talks to any random person who wants attention. He appears to talk to streamers/youtuber types a fair amount which i'm tiny as.

He definitely doesn't talk to every random person, but there have been many times where he's just pulled in no-name people from his twitch chat or discord or subreddit, so there's a good chance you'd be able get his attention if you wanted to.


Anonymous at 4:38 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14214 | reply | quote

Blatant thinking in terms of intellectual authorities (also low standards), from Destiny's discord:


Anonymous at 5:42 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14215 | reply | quote

is TulipQulqu Destiny?


Augustine at 6:15 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14216 | reply | quote

#14216 No


Anonymous at 6:26 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14217 | reply | quote

#14214 OK so I started streaming while chatting with Destiny's discord and looking at his reddit. First an Objectivist ("Existence Exists") comes in my YouTube chat and says he got banned from Destiny's discord for making fun of Europe's lenient immigration policy and said a lot of false bans (contrary to the rules) happen on the server.

Then B Rytharius said he debated Destiny on stream about Objectivism and Destiny **banned him and DELETED THE VOD**.

So, looks grim.


curi at 8:59 PM on November 6, 2019 | #14221 | reply | quote

#14221 I talked on Destiny's discord again (and streamed it again) and no one wanted to talk much. So I'm done.

Here's an example of a message I wrote which got zero replies:

>@Kyouu#3374

>> You haven't argued from any coherent standpoint, all you have done is assert some book I haven't read to have proven your position beyond doubt and demanding me to refute your points from within your system

> Refuting points from within a system is the best place to start. If you have no within-system refutation, we can consider refutations external to the system. Within-system arguments are better first because they're easier to make, understand and evaluate. I've brought into the discussion a detailed system which you or anyone could point out flaws in. If you think neither you nor anyone else can do that or has done it, that's a good start on analyzing it, that'd be discussion progress, and if you disagree with that you can provide a refutation.

> On the other hand, you haven't specified a system either by using the literature or yourself. Economic and political philosophy systems are much too complicated to specify in adequate detail, rigorously enough, in a real time discussion, so using the literature is the only realistic way to do it. If you don't specify your system enough – e.g. you brought up Market Social but didn't give full details of how it works – the there's no good way for anyone to learn that you're right or wrong, because they don't know what you're claiming enough to evaluate it.


curi at 11:06 PM on November 7, 2019 | #14231 | reply | quote

#14231

> So I'm done.

Done with talking to people on his discord or done with trying to reach out to destiny himself?


Anonymous at 12:43 PM on November 8, 2019 | #14234 | reply | quote

#14234 Both.


curi at 12:44 PM on November 8, 2019 | #14235 | reply | quote

#14235 Why be done trying to reach out to destiny himself? He and many of his audience members have relatively similar ethical and economic beliefs to you, and he seems like he's really interested in truth-seeking and debate. His platform is really big, so talking to him would be a great way to grow this community. Wouldn't that be a good thing, and be worth pursuing? The effort involved in making a post on his subreddit describing who you are and what you want to debate about seems pretty minimal, and the upside seems large. So I don't understand why you don't want to do that.

Idk much about his discord, but even if isn't managed super well and the mods ban people for bad reasons sometimes, why is that a reason not to talk to him? If that's a big issue you could debate him about it, or about moderation and discussion policy in general and why its important. And I'm suspicious of that story that he deleted a vod of a debate about Oism. He's popular enough that it would be really hard for him to hide a debate he'd had, even if he deleted a vod someone watching probably would have recorded it themselves. Deleting it would just make him look bad.


Anonymous at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2019 | #14238 | reply | quote

#14238 I agree that I find the story about the vod being deleted rather unplausible. The debates he has are streamed live on I think both twitch and Youtube. With such a large audience I think he would not risk deleting a vod where he performed poorly.

I find the story suspicious too.


The Lil lion Augustine at 1:29 PM on November 8, 2019 | #14240 | reply | quote

#14238 You or anyone else can reach out to Destiny. You can post to his reddit and say who I am and why he should debate me. Good luck. I'll talk with him if he wants to.

> he seems like he's really interested in truth-seeking and debate

I don't think so. And what reason would I give Destiny for wanting to debate him? At this point, I have enough information that I can't honestly say I think I'll learn good ideas from him. I also don't think he'll be rational and learn from me.

I don't think I should seek people out for discussion/debate unless I see merit. I investigated in various ways, which I didn't explain all of (you'd know more if you watched my streams about it btw) and I don't see merit worth pursuing. I don't think he's up to my standards. I'm much more lenient if people come to me, though, and try to give ~anyone a chance.

If you think I'm wrong feel free to use https://elliottemple.com/debate-policy


curi at 1:30 PM on November 8, 2019 | #14241 | reply | quote

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