Richard Hanania [on his Substack on the 2nd of February](https://richardhanania.substack.com/p/podcast-appearances-responding-to)
> Speaking of Ukraine, Metaculus has an invasion in 2022 at 49%. That’s about where I was, but I’m upping my prediction to 65% based on recent events. Namely, America refuses to even pretend to address Russia’s core concerns, and the choices for Putin now are to try to settle this once and for all or look like a man that tried a bluff that failed in the most humiliating manner, while ensuring that Ukraine accelerates its turn...
Tyler Cowen [yesterday](marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2022/02/a-simple-model-of-what-putin-will-do-for-an-endgame.html):
> In my simple model, in addition to a partial restoration of the empire, Putin desires a fundamental disruption to the EU and NATO. And much of Ukraine is not worth his ruling. As things currently stand, splitting Ukraine and taking the eastern half, while terrible for Ukraine (and for most of Russia as well), would not disrupt the EU and NATO. So when Putin is done doing that, he will attack and take a slice of territ...
I first looked at how long past currency unions lasted, estimated a rough yearly collapse risk from eyeballing the data and updated downwards from there afterwards.
How long different ones lasted that had at least 5 members, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currency_union
- 7 years Gulf rupee
- 16 years British West Indies dollar
- 48 years East African shillin
- ~ 50 years British West African pound
- 62 years Latin monetery union
- 67 years French Indochinese piastre
- 120 years South German gulden
Eyeballing that this looks like a r...
Having thought a bit about this without much background knowledge and with being slightly overwhelmed how to think straight about this:
- the CCP had very bad experiences with highly centralised power under Mao and consequently underwent policy changes (e.g. introducing term limits, mandatory retirement at 68 for party members)
- Explanations I can think of for the restrengthening of centralisation under Xi are:
- A) Xi is seen by CCP leaders as doing a very good job
- B) Xi is trusted to step down if it's better for the party and to generall...
**Reference class ideas**
- how many election did the CDU win?
- 13/19 [source](https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundestagswahl#Kanzlerkandidaten)
- how many elections did the leading party win again?
- 15/19 [source](https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundestagswahl#Kanzlerkandidaten)
- how many elections did the leading party win again in a year of positive economic growth? with some level of polling support? with some level of satisfaction with government?
**Other possibly relevant info to look up**
- 30% CDU, 20% Greens
- general vot...
[Replika AI Shuts Down Erotic Role Play, Community Shares Suicide Prevention Resources Over Loss](https://knowyourmeme.com/news/replika-ai-shuts-down-erotic-role-play-community-shares-suicide-prevention-resources)
Interesting development, I assume there are pretty difficult tradeoffs for Replika at play, maybe Apple or Google threatened to remove it from their app stores? Previously I heard multiple rumors that PayPal has fairly low tolerance for sex-related services like sex work or porn. This might be a serious hampering factor for romantic chatbot se...
I think I'd like to have more information how I should think about "expert consensus is that the control problem is solved", as a lot hinges on that in my mind.
Also, how would the question be asked to the experts. Is it "Do we know of a way to build an AGI that we, the creators, will have indefinite control over such that it will never harm us, the creators?"
I also don't like that the control problem is framed around harming the creators. I always thought of its key motivation to resolve around general control, and not about specifically avoiding har...
@Jgalt Huh, wouldn't have guessed that North Korea might play a role here. The idea is that China will back NK in case NK will start a war with SK or Japan, and then we escalate from there? It somewhat feels like NK are so obviously the baddies to most governments that it would be extremely costly for the CCP to go to war for them, with relatively little upside. Though I don't have much actual understanding of the context here.
Post from the EA forum last month:
> Canva CEO commits at least $6 billion “to do the most good”
> Canva have already taken the 1% pledge, but are now looking to expand their philanthropy further. Excitingly for EAs, this starts with a $10 million pilot program with GiveDirectly in South Africa.
from the comments:
> We at Founders Pledge are working on having this conversation with the Canva founders as well. I will update as and when we have more information.
> The Russian establishment sees encouragement of Ukrainian nationalism as a key element in Washington’s anti-Russian strategy. Even otherwise calm and reasonable members of the Russian establishment have snarled with fury when I have dared to suggest in conversation that it might be better for Russia itself to let Ukraine go. They seem prepared, if necessary, to fight on ruthlessly for a long time, and at immense cost and risk to their regime, to prevent that happening.
> Replika, a San Francisco startup launched in 2017 that says it has about 1 million active users, has led the way among English speakers. It is free to use, though brings in around $2 million in monthly revenue from selling bonus features such as voice chats. Chinese rival Xiaoice has said it has hundreds of millions of users plus a valuation of about $1 billion, according to a funding round.
> Both are part of a wider conversational AI industry worth over $6 billion in global revenue last year, according to market analyst Grand View Research.
From yesterday's [Money Stuff](https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-04-21/elon-got-his-money):
> I want to discuss these things in more detail but I should lead by saying: Good for him! These are real commitment letters from real banks, or rather at least half of them are. (The $21 billion is a commitment from himself to himself.) He … seems to … want to … buy Twitter? When Musk sent Twitter’s board of directors a proposal to buy the company at $54.20 per share, the stock dropped, because Musk’s casual offer and generally weird behavior di...
The article from the introduction with this quote came out in May 2020
> About 40 percent of Replika’s 500,000 regular monthly users see their app as a romantic partner, according to the company.
April 2020, the Replika app had 144k ratings in the Google Appstore, let's say 150k in May.
Today, it's 370k, growth of roughly 250%, so today you naively expect 40% * 500k * 250% = 500k users who use it in the romantic mode. Extrapolating naively here seems...
> Biden is by far the best bet for the Ds
I think this is my main uncertainty. Current polls (overview at (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/national/)) and forecasts don't suggest that Biden is a particularly strong candidate, right? And I imagine that Democrats will try hard to find someone with better chances? And I imagine that Biden is enough of a party-man that he would step back for/support somebody with clearly better chances? Maybe somebody new might not be as penalized due to inflation and econo...
Twitter may require payment of no more than $15 USD for permanent verification.
As Twitter Blue is a subscription, it would not be permanent verification in case it should introduce actual ID verification. So maybe this question actually should be resolved positively should Twitter Blue start verifying identities? :see_no_evil: