Christian Kleineidam

Wiki Contributions


The Next Einstein Could Be From Anywhere: Why Developing Country Growth Matters for Progress

We see Asian American's overrepresented in some metrics such SAT scores and see them overrepresented in tech employment. There overrepresentation is not a sign of equal distribution.

It could just be that Asian parents encourage their children to study in a way that builds specific talents that are useful for success at global technology companies. 

The claim that talent is equally distributed means that talent is both independent from cultural upbringing and of genetics and not supported by finding a single demographic that does well at something. 

When it comes to innovation it's worth noting as well that having different talents as other people is useful for innovation. 

The Next Einstein Could Be From Anywhere: Why Developing Country Growth Matters for Progress

In the modern era, we can trace the history of elite universities from Germany to the United Kingdom, and up to today in the American northeast and Bay Area.

What do you mean by elite universities in Germany? In the UK there's a sharp difference between an elite university like Oxford and Cambridge and the rest that doesn't exist in Germany. 

As the saying goes, talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.

Why just assert that this is true without providing any arguments about why you think it’s true?

What if they gave an Industrial Revolution and nobody came?

Wages are both about productivity and about how much value workers capture of their work. I asked GPT4 for the factors of why London grew in the 16th century and one of the reasons it comes up with is:

Dissolution of the Monasteries: When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1530s, vast amounts of land and wealth were redistributed, often ending up in the hands of the mercantile class in London. This led to further growth and development in the city.

Monks at monasteries were a class of people that were very poorly paid. GPT4 describes the economic effects further as:

Economic Shift: The dissolution of the monasteries led to significant economic changes. The rural economy, in particular, was affected, as monasteries had been major landowners and employers. After dissolution, many former monastic lands were converted into profitable sheep pastures, contributing to the growth of the wool trade, but also leading to rural displacement and unrest, a phenomenon known as the enclosure movement. Furthermore, the dissolution ended the monasteries' roles in providing social services such as healthcare and education, which had to be taken over by other institutions or simply vanished, leading to increased poverty and suffering among the poor.

AMA: Bryan Bishop, Biohacker & Founder of Custodia Bank

How much is innovation in genetic engineering held back by regulation?

Against Altruism

Most of the EA longtermist arguments are about future people existing at all. If there's an extinction event, there will be no future people with complex values. 

Progress Movement News

Usually "optimistic news on science" means writing newspaper article that take a scientific study and misrepresent it as being more important than it really is to entertain people who like reading about science. A big part of human progress is about fixing problems and roadblocks to it. 

One big undercovered progress story might be the new CTIS in the EU that became mandatory for new clinical studies at the end of last month. Clinical trials are important to advance science.

I'd love to read good reporting on CTIS that actually goes into what's good and bad with the new system and not just reporting that's optimistic about it.

Another interesting story that might benefit from good journalism is that the National Electric Code in the US is written by the National Fire Protection Association and thus for the interests of firefighters. It seems that they added a requirement for single module shutdown to solar cells with results in solar installation being more expensive while there's no clear evidence that it produces a significant safety gain. 

In both cases, the subject matter of how regulations relate to progress is very complex, but good reporting about those could do a lot more for progress than cheering on individual things. 

Philosophy in Space

I do understand that regular software updates can mitigate security threats.

Software updates give you protection against known attacks but not against zero-day attacks.

Jeff Bezos divorced largely because zero day attacks exist. He Saudi's hacked his phone by having access to zero days they brought and blackmailed him and he didn't do what they asked so they released data about his affair. 

The US famously had the data about all their personal with security clearances hacked by the Chinese.

Boeing seems to have a quite bureaucratic culture. Given that it's a defense contractor, I would expect that it has processes where it pays more attention to cyber security. 

Blue Horizon is likely also not good at cyber security because not being good at it is the default for companies. 

Philosophy in Space

Generally, the cyber-security of most systems is subpar. The military goes to extraordinary lengths to make its systems secure.

Elon Musk's philosophy of building things includes pushing engineers to work as fast as possible to make progress. That's helpful for getting to orbit as fast as possible but it's not helpful for having a system that lacks zero-day vulnerabilities. 

Philosophy in Space

When it comes to the philosophy of space technology, the effects of it on earth shouldn't be undercounted. Cheap satellites have a lot of implications for privacy when every spot on earth can be surveilled 24/7.

Orbital bombardment is a powerful weapon with a strength comparable to nuclear weapons and in cases like attacking underground bunkers even more powerful. At the same time, the existing fears of radiation don't exist for orbital bombardment. It's important to think well about how to handle the implications of powerful technology in orbit.

SpaceX tanker ships might be powerful enough to do serious damage and yet they don't have the safety against cyber attacks that military weapons usually had in the past. What happens if a SpaceX tanker crashes in the White House, removing it completely from the map and nobody really knows why it happened?

Age of Invention: How the Dutch Did it Better

Gavel-kind succession laws, whereby all children got an equal share of their parents’ estates, rather than it all going to the eldest. English primogeniture, by contrast, apparently left a lot of gentlemen’s younger sons having to become apprenticed to merchants.

It would be interesting to understand more about the effects of those laws. Being able to give all the wealth to a single son makes it easier to invest all the wealth in a single commercial enterprise because that enterprise doesn't have to be broken up.

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