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Does anyone have a sense if the Nvidia GPUs and AMD CPUs that came out last year are finally available/not subject to crazy price gouging? At this age I just don't have it in me to keep too close of an eye on such things but I'd like to know if I can build a new PC anytime soon. Thanks.

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(hope it's ok to write about this again - Scott please delete if not)

I announced New Science (newscience.org) a week ago - a nonprofit the goal of which is to build new institutions of basic science, starting with life sciences.

The board of directors consists of me, Mark Lutter, and Adam Marblestone and we are advised by Tessa Alexanian, Tyler Cowen, Andrew Gelman, Channabasavaiah Gurumurthy, Konrad Kording, and Tony Kulesa.

If the site is exciting and *especially if you do biology*, I would love to talk to you -- alexey@newscience.org

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What is the rationalist stance on moral luck?

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What stabilizes the population of large carnivorous mammals? Pre-humans, how did the population of wolves or polar bears or killer whales change with time? Does it follow predator-prey population cycles? If so, how large are the oscillations? Are the population growing slowly most of the time, to decrease during rare die-offs? If so, how rare are die-offs usually? What causes the stabilization? Is it that predators die of starvation when they can't find food due to competition? Or do they kill each other for territory before food supply can become an issue?

How does this generalize to the ancestral environment of humans?

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I made a Substack! https://denovo.substack.com/

My first post is about CRISPR base editing targeting PCSK9 to lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.


More posts are in the works.

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Freddie's comment got me thinking, I can't help but see the synergy between crypto mining, machine learning, and computing generally as putting us in some kind of a paperclip maximizer problem, but we're maximizing compute wafers and integrated circuits. There appears to be no end in sight to how many revenue-generating things we could do with more compute. BTC in particular seems to be particularly problematic because it's just an arbitrary Molochian arms race to dedicating as much electricity and compute wafers towards the task as possible. Would BTC, if actually widely adopted, just be a new form of economic rent? Everyone merely holding onto BTC because someone will buy it from them later at a high price, and you need it because it's the reserve currency?

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Has the rise of SpaceX & other low-cost space carriers finally made Project Thor realistic? The proposed weapons system involves dropping bus-sized tungsten rods from space onto targets- it would have most of the power of a nuclear strike, but without the fallout, radioactivity, and presumably extreme escalation of actually using a nuclear weapon. It seems like it would be particularly useful for hardened bunkers (read- Iran's underground labs, or North Korea's). Unlike a cruise missile, I don't really see how you'd defend against it.


The knock against Project Thor (first proposed I believe in the 50s) is that launching that much sheer weight into orbit was always far too expensive to make sense- especially with advances in cruise missiles and long-range bombers. But costs to orbit seem to have fallen a lot, not just due to SpaceX but other low-cost launchers like India. So- could the US, Russia or China just drop big rods of tungsten outta orbit now? I'm not really clear how 'steering' would work, or even if a guidance system could survive the orbital drop.

Another one thing I always wondered about Project Thor is- could they drop smaller chunks of tungsten, maybe to specifically target say warships? Like a scooter-sized or smaller one? This would require vastly more precision to hit a ship, and I'm not clear if a smaller rod would burn up in orbit. It would be a pretty extraordinary weapon, especially if a satellite launch system could drop say 20-50 precision smaller rods against a navy (like one blockading Taiwan, say)

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I'm not a UFO buff, but I was super-intrigued by the recent "60 Minutes" episode about mysterious flying objects. Afterwards, I started looking into it, and I discovered some fascinating analyses done by aviation expert Mick West. He argues that the videos probably have mundane explanations, like camera artefacts caused by triangular apertures (which makes out-of-focus objects look like pyramids) and illusions caused by parallax. For some of Mick West's debunkings, see this this video (there are also other videos like it):


Mick West's explanations seem reasonable to me, but I'm not really qualified to judge. I'm wondering if any rationalists here have looked into the UFO sightings and come to any conclusions. I also wonder if the US government might have an ulterior motive in encouraging people to (falsely?) believe in extraterrestrials visiting the earth.

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I'm looking for an SSC post in which Scott mentioned how some of his clients told him horror stories from their childhood that didn't seem to affect them as much as Scott would have expected. Something how even though they had been beaten to a pulp as a kid, the reason they'd gone to the psychiatrist was, I don't know, that they had trouble sleeping due to a loud neighbor. The gist of it was that people were more resilient than we think, or that people's expectations color their trauma. "Being beaten is normal, so it was not a monumental event in my life, so I don't count it as traumatic." Am I making this up? I can't seem to find the post.

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You and your thirty friends have been imprisoned by a mad logician.

You are going to be placed in a room together, each wearing either a buttercup yellow hat or a hat or a cadmium yellow hat (I like yellow!)

Each of you will then be simultaneously and secretly given the option to guess which shade of hat you are wearing (although you are allowed to demur and not guess if you choose). If any of you guess correctly and no-one guesses incorrectly then you will be released, but if anyone guesses incorrectly, or if all thirty-one of you decline to guess, then you will be sentenced to spend the next twenty years either unable to lie or unable to tell the truth, guarding a door which may or may not have a goat behind it.

Once the trial has started you are forbidden from communicating, but you can agree a strategy in advance. What is the best chance of escape you can manage?

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Does anyone know of a good cost benefit analysis of vaccinating teens/kids? Googling is only turning up stuff that seems a bit one-sided.

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I'm curious to know what others think about the reporting on Bill Gates following his divorce. Here's one from Vox: "Bill Gates Will Never Be the Same" - https://www.vox.com/recode/22441627/bill-gates-scandal-divorce-epstein and an earlier article from the New York Times: "Long Before Divorce, Bill Gates Had a Reputation for Questionable Behavior" - https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/16/business/bill-melinda-gates-divorce-epstein.html. That loaded word "questionable" implies bad judgement on his part and a call for a larger social condemnation by these journalists, who insinuate that there's more to the story. I say it seems gossipy, prudish and opportunistic.

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Scott, any chance of something like the old classified threads making a comeback? I have a niche job posting I'd like to list, but I don't know if that would be allowed in these regular open threads.

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since the main optimizer behind human achievement isn't individual competence but the evolution of behaviors we call culture, the ability to discern and harvest the most useful memes of today's multibillion megaculture is in itself invaluable.

rationality is mostly useful not for creating novel solutions (leave that to evolutions, idiot), but because it offers some good heuristics for selecting existing ones.

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I started a blog a few months ago at thechaostician.com .

It contains posts on a wide variety of topics. The ones I think this community would find most interesting are the ones on book reviews ( http://thechaostician.com/category/books/ ) and on the philosophy of science ( http://thechaostician.com/tag/philosophy-of-science/ ). I also write descriptions of science for a popular audience, posts about Mormonism, and occasionally posts on history.

I am currently updating every Monday and Thursday.

I hope you can find something interesting there !

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Anyone else surprised there's still IRC drama going on in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-one?

(moreover, is anybody *not* surprised that the ruling dynasty of Korea is still extant?)

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There are some injuries which seem like extreme bad luck (slipped on pet poo and hit one's head on the bathtub, or stepped in a deep narrow unmarked hole and broke bones), but a lot of them are more like "sneezed wrong and screwed up my back". "Something mysterious happened while I slept and now my shoulder is fucked up."

They do tend to happen more often to people over 30, though not always.

While this is a good place to share more stories, I'm also interested in what might be going on. Coordination becomes less reliable with age? Connective tissue is weaker? Those little muscles which specialize in support and stability are weaker?

Is this sort of thing less likely to happen to athletic people? Do sports injuries make up the difference? Is anyone even keeping track of weird injuries that happen for no apparent reason in normally risk-free activities?

There's a lot of talk about life extension. Should we assume that life/health extension will simply lead to at least some degree of rejuvenation?

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Carrying on from the Eurovision thread, I have to link to the Icelandic jury results from Saturday night because this is life imitating art https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aocIlMp-WWY

Italy were the eventual winners, if anyone is interested 😀

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I just want to recommend the work of comic artist Anders Nilsen to everyone. I think that this is probably a pretty weird environment to recommend his work, but what the heck? This thread is about everything right?

Here's a link:


Anders draws comics but to say that they are nothing like what you might think of when you think of comic books is a wild understatement. He's an artist who never ceases to shock me with his humor and unutterable artistry.

I got the fourth comic in his book TONGUES, his current ongoing project, and just read it today. It's just next level work.

The last really big work he completed is a tome of a book called BIG QUESTIONS. Like it sounds, it evokes really big topics.

He takes big archetypal imagery and weaves them together into dreamlike stories that can be unpacked for years.

He's always been a brilliant artist but his current work feels like he's deconstructing the whole form. Like you're seeing the future.

I don't have much agenda here. I've been sitting here all afternoon kind of in the hum of how good his most recent entry in TONGUES is and just wanted to say it somewhere. I saw this thread open and thought: why not.

This is the one I just read, but you'd want to start at the beginning:


Here's that:


Or just go all in and order a copy of BIQ QUESTIONS. Your libraries might have it. It's pretty famous in the comics world.

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Other question: has anyone ever written about how the current use of the term "rationalist" doesn't really square with like

How they talked about it when it was a question fo Descartes (a rationalist) v. Hume (an empiricist)

As I see it (and look I could be wrong)

I see today's rationalists as more like empiricists, but not quit so pure about it as Hume. Like they see reason itself as a decent little backup to observation, but they would probably put observation above reason.

Descartes tried to shake everything out JUST from reason and Hume basically said you can't get anywhere with reason (right?)

So it seems like the current conception in the SSC/Galef/LW end of today's culture is sort of a marriage of the two?

has that been dealt with substantively anywhere?

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Statements like "China is keeping the Yuan undervalued" confuse me. What does that even mean?

Sounds like it should mean that you can buy more stuff with Yuan than with the exchange-rate equivalent of Dollars. But if that's the case, can't I just arbitrage that away by buying stuff with Yuan, selling it for Dollars and exchanging back?

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I don’t know if this has come up here in the past. For people with strong feelings that they know the ‘best’ political/economic system to live under, they should consider Warren Buffet’s ‘Ovarian Lottery’ thought experiment before they go all in on it.


If the idea has already been discussed to death, well then, never mind.

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Hi all,

I’m working at a job that is really dragging me down emotionally. The pay is not bad but the work is stressful and not at all stimulating or meaningful (I’d like to have at least one of those two). I’m stuck when it comes to deciding what to do with my life and I don’t think I have the financial luxury of hopping from job to job until I find something satisfying. I think I’m pretty intelligent and willing to work hard but my educational background is narrow enough that it probably won’t help me do anything I would actually want to do. Anyone have any ideas/suggestions?

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(Hope this isn't too political for an odd-numbered thread.)

Nate Silver tweeted out that he puts the likelihood of the COVID lab-leak hypothesis being true at 60%.


Dr Fauci also said today that he considers it an open question that should be investigated.

What do people think about this? Are there any virologists in this community who can give an informed opinion on it? 60% sounds pretty high to me, although I don't view the lab-leak hypothesis as being a fringe conspiracy theory anymore.

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Posted this a bit late in the last OT and got no replies. While it contains the word "politics" I don't think it's actually political, so reposting:

If you think AI takeoff is likely to happen in the next 20-30 years but are useless at coding/politics/business management/finance, how do you do something useful with your life?

I mean, aside from literally stopping people from dying before singularity (which could actually be bad in case of Roko-style or MMAcevedo-style Virtual Hell), there's not much you can do for people that won't be rendered irrelevant by a bad *or* good AI takeoff, and without access to one of those you have ~0 control over the time and goodness of takeoff.

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If you're a genre fiction author, do you think of your novels also as story treatments for potential movies or series (in other words, are you actively hoping to get your books adapted)? If so, how does this affect your writing?

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I value being an independent thinker -- it is one of my highest values -- yet I realize I go too far with it sometimes. I hate to go with the crowd. I was raised with the idea that the crowd is mad and hate the stink of the herd, yet these days the educated wisdom is that the crowd is wise not mad.

Emerson says "One recognizes in the genius of others one's own aborted thoughts." I believe in the wisdom that statement, so I try to see my own thoughts through, even if they seem anti-social.

Perhaps the Internet has made a major difference in how one should weigh their own thoughts vs the crowd. As a pre-Internet person, "the crowd" was the high-school halls. You were a fool to follow that crowd. Or very clever.

Now you can choose your own crowd. You can follow a crowd that you know is smarter than you. That was rarely the case for most people for most of human history.

Perhaps independent thought has less value these days. Perhaps there are fewer $20 bills on the sidewalk simply because information travels so much faster.

My question is -- I usually have a question -- are there good signposts for determining when your independent thinking has gone astray?

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Since my earlier post was linked in this open thread as “Russia strong”, I should clarify that “Russia mediocre” would be more accurate and less interesting.

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One time a boss told me something that has stayed with me. He said "It's easy to say 'This is fucked. What's hard is contributing something better.'"

There's truth in that, yet I think more and more people should be saying "This is fucked." at their job. I read endlessly on the internet about people complaining about how woke or whatever their workplace is. What happened to saying "This is fucked."? Granted, I'm a Gen-Xer and that's all we said, so it's easier for me to say. I just don't get why people can't tell their corporate bosses these days how they are fucked.

Corporate culture has so much power today because people worship at its altar. We used to want to die before we turned 30. If you work at Google and complain about it's culture, well, you had other options than selling out. Your politics on the internet don't matter: You are the problem. You support our woke power structures if you work for corporate America.

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I can't believe Kentaro Miura is actually dead.

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Sorry for posting so much. I'll go to sleep soon and won't post again for a few weeks. Just getting all my ideas out now.

Why do people in this crowd care so much about future humans? I can understand caring about your grandchildren, but your grandchildren's grandchildren? Really? I don't care about them.

The future of the human race? Is that even going to be a thing? We're not crocodiles. Our environment is changing and we are changing with it. H.G. Wells probably had the right idea in The Time Machine: the future of humanity will not be humanity, it will be some bifurcation of troglodytes and geeks. Why care about the future of your genes? They will be a different species than you. We are Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals, to our descendants, or just dump apes. Or maybe our descendants will be more like rats. Intelligence isn't everything. Why do you care about our great grandchildren rats so much? You want to fill the universe with them? We'll be the species that fills the universe with rats. I know I will feel proud about that.

The Sex Pistols had it right, there's no future for humanity. Our genes may have a future, but it won't be human.

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Any thoughts on the role of fundamental energy balance in mental health?

Mental illnesses can often lead to poor sleep, which in turn leads to both general misery and an energy debt that prevents the tackling of the issue in the first place.

Similarly, declining physical fitness can reduce a person's ability to handle stress and the energy they have to resolve the stressors.

Basically I'm wondering if concepts from sports science have relevance to psychology.

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In Time Enough for Love, Heinlein has it that rejuvenation takes highly skilled professionals. I suspect this was at least partly because he wanted to have something for some of his characters to do, but does it actually make sense?

Also, though it was the story Heinlein wanted to tell, you might get a fairly dystopian society where whether you age and die depends on what you can afford.

I can believe rejuvenation is harder than extending life and health starting with a young person, but how hard would it be?

I talked with someone decades ago who was keeping records of his bloodwork so that when rejuvenation was possible, the doctors would know what his baseline is. He said that blood factors can vary a lot from one healthy person to another.

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I have started a Weekly Digest on tech, deeptech and futurism: https://www.jack-chong.com/2-jacks-weekly-digest/

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From the point of view of plagues-- perhaps something Taleb could have written if he had more dignity.

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A little introduction about hyperloops.

I'm wondering whether congestion at terminals would be so bad that a lot of the speed advantage would be lost. Is this reasonable?

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Unimpressed on comment #1. Of course Tim Cook, CEO of a company that tries to ensure its products are perceived as luxury (i.e. not cheap), under tremendous US domestic pressure to onshore some of their production given their absurd profit margins, would try to deflect "cheap" accusations and instead suggest American incompetence. It's hard to defend massive profit margins in an interview if you're just "cheaping out on labor".

The funny thing about tooling is you don't need to use it where you build it - the overwhelming majority of tooling globally is used, manufactured, and designed at different sites, often continents apart. Tooling is just as global a market as any other product. Makes you wonder, if China is such a high cost market, why those assembly lines don't make their way somewhere cheaper?

How quick we are to accept excuses when cost optimization pressures will suffice!

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Scott, I just watched the latest Robert Miles video: https://youtu.be/IeWljQw3UgQ?t=485

He mentions the possibility of an AI system working great, until someone factors RSA-2048 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_numbers#RSA-2048), at which point the AI realises it's in the real world and not a simulation and begins acting in line with its *real* goals.

Made me think of some of the fiction you've written, and seems like something you'd like in any case.

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Police anecdote time:

A small group of anecdotes, shared by my friend group across the nation in various urban/sub-urban areas.

I got robbed, door kicked in, various items taken, including credit cards and devices with logged in accounts.

Police called. Officer arrives 10 hours later. Looks around. Says "We'll get right on it". Leaves.

The same day, I locate logged in devices at a residential area near me, turned on, with ip address. Cops aren't interested, tell me to check in pawn shops for my stuff.

The next day, credit card is used at gas station. Gas station personnel say that the police can access security footage, and they have the plates of the car the stolen card was used on. Police categorically refuse to access the footage, require that I do it. I am told it is illegal for me to access the footage, I either need to get a lawyer or have the cops do it.

I find some stuff at pawn shop, owner will release copies of the probably fake id to the cops when they call. I tell the cops. Nothing. I call the pawn shop 2 weeks later; he hasn't heard anything from the cops. They didn't bother to call.

I cut my loses and just have my homeowners insurance comp me for everything, and anchor a jobsite box to my slab to lock laptops and guns and such in while I'm out and rout my NAS cables through the punch outs.

This is every story, with the details switched.

East coast friend was mugged at gunpoint; managed to get security camera footage of the dude using his card at a 7/11, cops weren't interested.

NW friend got his fancy bike stolen, got the security cam footage from his building, and the cops didn't even want it from him.

The only time I've ever seen cops do anything was being available for a guy that got fired at a jobsite, and clearing people who were too un-aesthetic from in front of big box stores.

While anecdotes are anecdotes, this has given me the feeling: The cops won't help. Calling the cops for anything other than a guy with a gun RIGHT FUCKING NOW is a waste of time.

I don't understand how 570 million for a medium metro area gets you about 20% above nothing. I'd expect to at least see cops out and about wasting my money for that amount.

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Reading Scott’s anger at people who want to deny people a chance to do better for their kids, I wanted to take some time to address why some of us who’ve spent a great deal of time in education oppose not just charter schools, but alternative forms of education outside of government run programs generally.

The basic idea is that these alternative (and sometimes improved) forms of education allow the upper class to “opt-out” of the general public system. This removes a strong direct incentive on those with the most political power to actually address educational problems and indeed you’ll often see people who use these alternative, and gated, forms of education work to reduce funding to public schools making things worse for those less well off.

To make an example of this dynamic, let’s visit a location near Scott and myself - the cities of Sausalito and Marin City inside of Marin County (near the Golden Gate bridge in California). In 2019, the city got hit with what LA Times reported was the first desegregation order in 50 years:


My family has been directly involved in the school system since the 90s so I’m aware of many of the public and not-so-public facts. The basic story was as follows:

1. The school district covered Sausalito (primarily white) and Marin City (primarily black and brown). The class makeup of Sausalito has continued to shift up over the years, from middle towards upper, while Marin City has not changed significantly from being lower class.

2. A charter school was set up that functionally only took students from Sausalito and took basically all of them, while children from Marin City continued to go to the public school.

3. Having a greater section of the population in the school district, Sausalito residents voted for officials who would allocate more resources to the charter school than the public school. The charter school would not only receive more money per student but many additional services both recorded and not (volunteer drives, waiving of fees, various services etc. can be granted without a paper trail).

I’ve watched this struggle one step removed for my entire life. Much has been made of the actual racism involved, and I can confirm it was there and it was ugly, but many of the parents who supported these policies were really just trying to get the best education possible for their own child damn the consequences. So if they could take a dollar per student from the poorer kids in the public schools and get away with giving it to their own kids, they did.

I’ve spent enough time in schools and education at this point to see that similar scenarios play out through a lot of the country, though generally the class lines are a little more pronounced and the racial ones a little less. Those with time and money available free themselves from the system, pool their substantial resources to provide an improved experience, then try to free themselves of obligations to those with less. We all end up significantly poorer for it. (I recognize some of this is institutionalized in property tax funding of schools, good essays have been written on that and I won’t repeat them here).

Rich people care deeply about their children’s education, allowing them to not encounter the same problems as everyday citizens allows them to not have to care nor expend power to improve the system for themselves in a way that also helps others. I think that’s a substantial loss for the society as a whole.

I’m sure I’d enjoy a lively debate with Scott on some of his other views on education, but that stood out to me as unaddressed.

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Hey Scott, when are you (will you ever) get around to putting out Unsong in print form?

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The best recent popular-science book out right now on modern biology of ageing research is Andrew Steele's (2020) "Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old." I'm only a few chapters in but already confident saying that. (I study the evolutionary-theory side of ageing as a master's student.)

It's accessible, leaving unnecessary technical details unspecified (but also not giving faux-precise "lies-to-children" substitutes for them*), but covering all the right stuff at the right level for pop science: e.g. the first chapter introduces long-lived species and talks about the demography of aging (increase, roughly exponential, in the risk of death over time) and how life expectancy and the age distribution has changed over the 20th century. The second chapter talks about the evolutionary theory (Medawar's "mutation accumulation" theory, Williams' "antagonistic pleiotropy" theory, the "disposable soma" version of the antagonistic pleiotropy theory), and also corrects the fallacy in thinking aging is "just" entropy. The third chapter tells about how modern biogerontology was born out of studying the mechanisms by which life was extended in model organisms by the Calorie Restriction diet (first observed in rats in the 30s) and singe-gene longevity mutations (first seen in C. elegans nematodes in the late 80s / early 90s). Etc.

Its account of the mechanistic side of ageing (introduced in chap. 4) is based on the mainstream "hallmarks of ageing" framework (cf. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.cell.2013.05.039), also giving a shoutout to its dad, Aubrey de Grey's SENS approach: this categorizes those age-related changes, that we have good reason to suspect are causal, into a modest number of categories based on what kind of process they are and how they might be treated. This gives a semblance of order to the fact salad that was the biology of aging, at least useful for learning, and also likely useful if we do ever manage to treat aging in humans. Steele uses a slightly different list of categories than the usual hallmarks list (merging two and introducing two, for a total of ten hallmarks). Steele's list is:

1. Trouble in the double helix: DNA damage and mutations;

2. Trimmed telomeres;

3. Protein problems: autophagy, amyloids and adducts;

4. Epigenetic alterations;

5. Accumulation of senescent cells;

6. Power struggle: malfunctioning mitochondria

7. Signal failure;

8. Gut reaction: changes in the microbiome

9. Cellular exhaustion;

10. Defective defences: malfunction of the immune system.

I'm partway through chapter 4 now, and excited to read the rest.


*e.g. he talks about ageing as a roughly exponential increase in the risk of death w.r.t. age, over much of the adult lifespan. The precise version of this would mention the "Gompertz equation," and that "risk of death" in the Gompertz equation is defined as the "hazard rate" or "force of mortality" (instantaneous relative rate of decrease of the survival function; i.e. on a graph of a newborn's probability of still being alive at each age x, the hazard rate is the slope, divided by the height, times minus one); the hazard rate is not a probability, and in principle has no upper bound, though its growth in fact may or may not turn out to asymptote in some or many species. The hazard rate is sometimes conflated, either accidentally or as a lie-to-children, with the per-interval probability of death, which is a probability and has an upper bound of one. Even some textbooks accidentally say that the Gompertz equation says the probability of death grows exponentially (it couldn't possibly, at least not forever)—but Steele avoids that mistake.

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So, Fermi paradox time. Could an inhabitable planet have a much higher proportion of mountainous terrain than earth? Or a much lower proportion of mountainous terrain?

Would that affect the odds of a technological civilization which could get out into space?

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Is there any way to indicate blockquotes in a comment? Markdown's `>` prefix doesn't work, and googling variations of "substack comment syntax" is failing me.

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Who are the really fascinating people you follow, who are not related to each other? To keep an open-mind and a broad perspective on things? I'm looking for real quality material.

I follow:


Derek Sivers


But I'm looking for more widely-different people

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During WWII, the U.S. shifted almost all of its clothing production towards making military uniforms, creating shortages of new civilian clothing. At the same time, worn-out or damaged uniforms at the front lines were thrown away. Why didn't the U.S. ship those garments back to the homeland again to clothe civilians? Old pants, shirts and jackets could be cleaned, patched up, and dyed to look almost new. There was no shortage of available shipping for this since the merchant ships went west across the Atlantic practically empty.

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Can we add in the nutritional value of either choice?

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