More of NYR

Scott Aaronson : How Widely Should We Draw The Circle?

It’s about quantum computing. It looks like at least one acceleration is possible here. In his words:

there exist Boolean functions with super-quadratic quantum speedups

How can I believe him, when he laments about Antarctica’s snow melting for the best part of his article? Especially now, when we have record ice down there? I am giving him 6/10.

Max Tegmark: Wisdom Race Is Heating Up

He is more afraid of another kind of warming – the technology warming. More real and far more dangerous process. Will we be smart and wise enough to handle intelligent machines when they will be ever more smart and ever more common? Still he finds a place in his article to say:

Many of humanity’s most stubborn problems, from destructive infighting to deforestation, overfishing and global warming

Well … this overfishing question is kind of intrigued me before. If I catch a big fish, a lot of smaller fish will therefore not be eaten by it. A big fish ate a ton of smaller fish to gain this much weight, right? Now, a ton of smaller fish will be spared in the year ahead. I have just killed 100 kg fish meat and therefore rescued much more than that of a fish meat in a smaller packages. Still, some even bigger fish will have less to eat. But their total mass is not that great anyway.

In fact, there is a pretty constant amount of fish meat in the ocean. It depends of how much plants are in the bottom of the marine food chain. It’s difficult to exterminate all the marine animals, but will be possible one day. When and if those smart machines Tegmark (and almost everybody else now) is talking about, are going to go the Terminator’s way.

I am giving him 8/10.




2 thoughts on “More of NYR

  1. willard says:

    Your point on over-fishing is very interesting and sounds valid. Unless the fish we catch the most happened to be at the bottom of the food chain (i.e., shrimp). That, then, would be pretty bad. Even when taking the by-catch out of the equation.

    Somehow similarly, I question another concern that appears regularly in press. That is about the species from tropical regions “evading” those with milder climates, presumably due to global warming. How do we know the evasion isn’t due to massive transportation or the species evolving and becoming adept to new climates?

  2. Shrimp catching, provided that the lantern fish can’t substitute shrimp as the dominant predator of even smaller creatures, could be a way to over-fish.

    We would have an explosion of planktonic species in that case. But someone would probably love to eat those, anyway.

    Migrating species is just biological evolution’s tool. You don’t like fire ants? They are bound to come to your neighborhood, sooner or later. If you don’t like them, exterminate them. Worldwide if need be.

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