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 BlogAnatoly Karlin Archive

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In his September 1, 2017 speech to incoming Russian schoolchildren, Putin made waves by proclaiming that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become "ruler of the world." This provoked a variety of reactions, from Elon Musk commenting on his belief that competition for AI superiority will be the likeliest cause of World War III... Read More
Is now ready for the period 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017. The Weighted Fraction Count (WFC) of the Nature Index is is probably the single best proxy for quality-adjusted scientific output in the world today. You can read about the methodology here. The first publicly accessible Nature Index dates to 2013, and covers... Read More
Look, I realize Elon Musk is really cool and all, but this latest is just not that significant. The Falcon Heavy can carry 63 tons into orbit - but only if the rocket isn't reused. If it is, it's just a sad 8 tons [for GTO launches]. That already rules out commercial applications involving very... Read More
It was already known that these adorable critters tend to live ten times as long as other mammals of their size. What is more surprising is that according to a new study funded by Calico, Google's life extension research branch, they seem to defy the Gompertz Law outright (i.e., the tendency of mortality to increase... Read More
London Student: Exposed: London’s eugenics conference and its neo-Nazi links Some background: This scandal broke out when Toby Young, a conservative British political figure with a colorful history of Twitter controversies, was appointed to a government board on education - and removed almost instantaneously, after this story broke in The London Student, and was subsequently... Read More
Commenter Polish Perspective draws attention to a startling new statistic: In my 2016 longread, I pointed out that China was converging with America on a broad range of hi-tech economy indicators. Now yes, Chinese papers have a reputation for shoddiness, being worse on average than Western ones, but absolute values do matter, and quality is... Read More
I want to gather most of my arguments for skepticism (or, optimism) about a superintelligence apocalypse in one place. (1) I appreciate that the mindspace of unexplored superintelligences is both vast and something we have had absolutely zero experience with or access to. This argument is also the most speculative one. That said, here are... Read More
Grigoriev, Andrey & Lynn 2009 Studies of Socioeconomic and Ethnic Differences in Intelligence in the Former Soviet Union in the Early Twentieth Century Abstract: This is essentially a short history of psychometrics in the USSR/Russia. (1) The first measurement of Russian IQ was performed in 1909 by A.M. Schubert, who used the French Binet test... Read More
Partridge, Emily et al. - 2017 - An extra-uterine system to physiologically support the extreme premature lamb *** Abstract: This is really cool. I have been ad
Tang, Lichun et al. 2017 CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human zygotes using Cas9 protein Abstract: Gwern Branwen's comments: Back in February 2015, qualia researcher Mike Johnson predicted that dedicated billionaire with scant regard for legalistic regulations could start
Silicon Valley's tech oligarchs are becoming increasingly interested in brain-computer interfaces. The WSJ is now reporting that Elon Musk is entering the game with a new company, Neuralink. At the low end, they could improve function in patients suffering from diseases such as Parkinson's, which is the modest aim that the first such companies like... Read More
This blog post by Sarah Constantin has an impressively comprehensive tally of performance trends in AI across multiple domains. Three main things to do take away: In games performance, e.g. chess (see right, based on Swedish Chess Computer Association data) "exponential growth in data and computation power yields exponential improvements in raw performance." So the... Read More
Ashburn-Nardo, Leslie 2017 Parenthood as a Moral Imperative? Moral Outrage and the Stigmatization of Voluntarily Childfree Women and Men Abtract: Nationally representative data indicate that adults in the United States are increasingly delaying the decision to have children or are forgoing parenthood entirely. Although some empirical research has examined the social consequences of adults’ decision... Read More
Fundamentally solve the “intelligence problem,” and all other problems become trivial. The problem is that this problem is a very hard one, and our native wit is unlikely to suffice. Moreover, because problems tend to get harder, not easier, as you advance up the technological ladder (Karlin, 2015), in a “business as usual” scenario with... Read More
Today I was at a talk with Robin Hanson to promote his book THE AGE OF EM hosted by the Bay Area Futurists. As an academic polymath with interests in physics, computer science, and economics, Hanson draws upon his extensive reading across these fields to try to piece together what such a society will look... Read More
In recent years there has been a surge in interest in gut flora in the wake of research on its substantial effects on personality, so much so that researchers have even taken to describing it as a neutral network. And much like humans, and even their brains, they are not going to be an exception... Read More
Last month there was an interview with Eliezer Yudkowsky, the rationalist philosopher and successful Harry Potter fanfic writer who heads the world's foremost research outfit dedicated to figuring out ways in which a future runaway computer superintelligence could be made to refrain from murdering us all. It's really pretty interestingl. It contains a nice explication... Read More
Latest data from NASA: At +1.35C, this is the biggest monthly temperature anomaly (measured from the base period of 1951-1980) ever measured, and it is a near certainty now that 2016 will be warmer overall than 2015, making for a third-time consecutive record breaking year. There are several reasons for this: (1) The El Nino... Read More
The heroes of Hikaru's Go were off by 86 years. As some of you might have heard, the word of go - or weiqi as it is known in its homeland of China - is currently undergoing its Deep Blue moment as one of the world's strongest players Lee Sedol faces off against Google's DeepMind... Read More
Prolific IQ researcher Richard Lynn together with two Russian collaborators have recently published arguing that multiple aspects of socio-economic development - infant mortality, fertility, stature, and literacy-as-a-proxy for intelligence were significantly intercorrelated in late Tsarist Russia. Here is the link to the paper - Regional differences in intelligence, infant mortality, stature and fertility in European... Read More
Charles Murray has made the entire database compiled for his book Human Accomplishment freely available at the Open Science Framework. Here is the link: Incidentally, my concept of Apollo's Ascent was to a significant extent the result of my reaction to Human Accomplishment. (A brief reminder of the AA thesis: The rate and global distribution... Read More
The latest data from Top 500, a website that tracks the world's most powerful supercomputers, has pretty much confirmed this with the release of their November 2015 list. The world's most powerful supercomputer, the Tianhe-2 - a Chinese supercomputer, though made on American technology - has now maintained its place for 2.5 years in a... Read More
Work shouldn’t start until 10am and school even later, says sleep expert Can't agree more. The 9-5 workday is a structural microaggression against people who identify as night owls like myself. *warning: crappy evopsych theorizing follows* In ancestral times, you didn't want everyone dozing off at the exact same time. It would have made sense... Read More
The cultural and scientific achievements of Ancient Greece are so manifold that it is barely worth recounting them. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle laid the foundations of Western philosophy. Pythogoras, Euclid, and Archimedes launched mathematics as a disciple grounded on logic and proof, a break from the approximative techniques that had held sway in other civilizations... Read More
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD RATING: 8/10. (Please note my ratings system is harsh and virtually no films get a 10). In 2011, American sci-fi giant Neal Stephenson bewailed the pessimism prevalent in the genre and called for writers to start thinking more positively about the possibilities of technology in order to inspire new generations to "get... Read More
HBD, Hive Minds, and H+
Today is the publication date of Hive Mind, a book by economist Garett Jones on the intimate relationship between average national IQs and national success, first and foremost in the field of economics. I do intend to read and review it ASAP, but first some preliminary comments. This is a topic I have been writing... Read More
Image by Kerihobo. While everybody is discussing the tantalizing possibility that this far off star with its strange dimming patterns hosts an alien megastructure, perhaps a Dyson Sphere under construction, there are even more exotic scenarios out there. For instance, why not the ruins of one? One of the obvious (if pessimistic) solutions to the... Read More
The newly released paper by Anne Case and Angus Deaton showing that mortality rates amongst middle-aged White American males (MAWAM) increased from 1999-2013 has been generating a lot of discussion of late. This mortality increase was concentrated amongst MAWAMs with a high school degree or less ("Fishtown," to borrow from Charles Murray's archetype of a... Read More
So 2015 will almost certainly set a new global temperature record. In so doing, it will also discredit the last lingering skeptic arguments that the 2010s "pause" in global warming somehow negates thermodynamics and a century of observations. Which does bring a new sense of relevance and perhaps urgency to Emil Kirkegaard's recent post on... Read More
Chanda Chisala's article on black/white IQ differences has been making quite the stir in the HBDsphere. It is well worth reading in its entirety, as some of the points he makes - e.g., the evidence for high IQ amongst certain African ethnic groups such as the Igbo - are quite compelling and novel even to... Read More
Why is the HBDsphere so damn interested in IQ, anyway? While I can't speak for the "movement" at large, in my own case the interest stems from the fact that it explains so much about our world. (In fact, I was interested in this topic long before I discovered HBD, Charles Murray, Jensen, Lynn, Rushton,... Read More
Founded by eight NASA scientists, the Rainbow Mansion is a kind of academic coop, where you have to demonstrate you're working on something interesting to get a rental agreement. The building itself is true to its name, a mansion spacious within, and surrounded by lush gardens without. Every week they host a group dinner, followed... Read More
In a new paper at the (conveniently open) journal The Winnower (h/t @whyvert), building on his earlier work, geneticist Davide Piffer has tried to calculate the genotypic IQs of various world populations, and how they compare to measured phenotypic IQ: Piffer, David - Estimating the genotypic intelligence of populations and assessing the impact of socioeconomic... Read More
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.