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?
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 ef... (read more)
How much is innovation in genetic engineering held back by regulation?
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.
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... (read more)
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... (read more)
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.
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 tank... (read more)
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.
I would prefer if progress goes in a way that decreases the chance of nuclear war instead of minimizing its chance.
I like living in a big city. I like being close to other interesting people. I'd prefer it if even more interesting people would live in a short distance.
When it comes to progress I would look for a world where reducing the damage done by nuclear weapons is not the prime consideration.
ideally some degree of population de-concentration
Why? I like being in a concentrated city. I like having a lot of interesting people near me.
What EU regulations that aren't really justified in terms of providing safety are most responsible for holding back innovation?
A while ago there was a kickstarter project called Origami Bag. They basically have a material that has for most purposes a smooth purpose but at the same time behaves like velcro.
While the product itself is not that interesting the material itself seems interesting. Naively, I would expect that it would find applications in which velcro is currently used like shoes because it seems much nicer.
To me, there's an open question of why a new material like this didn't find adoption. The fact that it didn't seems also to have applications that might be har... (read more)
How likely is it that commercial products will be manufactured in the next one or two decades in space, making use of the zero-G environment?
This list the existing NEPA lawsuits before the supreme court and while some of them have government agencies as the plaintiff many don't.
Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms is one example.
Removing a group of people from the planet is what genocide is about.
Violent men, in the sense that commits crime, are predominately young. In our society, the decision-makers who decide on war and peace are generally much older and not in that group. Queens waged more wars than kings.
Let's commit massive genocide to archive world peace in itself is also not a peaceful plan.
That still seems surprising to me. The Koch's for example seem to be very willing to spend a lot of money think tanks to advance the public good as they see it.
Is there a reason why billionaires like the Koch's who are willing to spend money on policy changes don't care about NEPA?
Given that the supreme court frequently ruled against NEPA, why aren't there more cases involving NEPA in front of the supreme court to curb its excesses?
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.