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 BlogAnatoly Karlin Archive

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There's a lot of interesting data in the recent PEW poll on public attitudes to gene editing research, though it's really just the increasing intelligence part (4th column) that's of civilizational significance. Gene editing for IQ is still a philosophical discussion at this stage, despite very fast progress in the relevant fields. So these numbers... Read More
A correspondent brought this new paper to my attention: Binder, Seth, Ethan Holdahl, Ly Trinh, and John H. Smith. 2020. “Humanity’s Fundamental Environmental Limits.” Human Ecology, April. This is in the same order of magnitude as my ~100 billion estimate. Our results also approximate those of models tied to current technologies. De Wit (1967) and... Read More
While we wait for the last data to trickle in to update Russian Demographics in 2019 for the new year, I would note that Rosstat released a new demographic forecast at the end of December. Here is the TLDR on what they project for 2035: As usual, there is a Low, Medium, and High scenario.... Read More
I am not going to cover things that well-informed normies already know: How Israel is a weird outlier in fertility by First World standards, and the collapse of fertility in the Islamic world; how life expectancy has been soaring nearly everywhere; the "Great White Death" in the US and how all races in the US... Read More
In my Age of Malthusian Industrialism concept (see archive), I explore the possibility of a future scenario in which technology stagnates due to problems becoming harder and dysgenic reproduction patterns. Meanwhile, the demographic transition will be reversed, since fertility preferences are heritable, and ultra-competitive in a post-Malthusian world. This may eventually bring the world population... Read More
The past weekend saw the ninth Geek Picnic. This is an annual Russian science/sci-fi festival where technologists and futurists come together to hear lectures presentations, see tech exhibits, and do other futuristic things. I decided to come to this one to see what's it's all about. Some of you may have followed my Twitter thread... Read More
Kodyleva, T. A., A. O. Kirillova, E. A. Tyschik, V. V. Makarov, A. V. Khromov, V. A. Guschin, A. N. Abybakirov, D. V. Rebrikov, and G. T. Sukhikh. 2018. “Эффективность создания делеции CCR5Ddelta32 методом CRISPR-Cas9 в эмбрионах человека.” Научный Медицинский Журнал РНИМУ имени Н.И. Пирогова 4. This makes Russia the world's fourth country to have... Read More
Recent paper (h/t @whyvert). Kim, Yuri, and James J. Lee. 2018. “The Genetics of Human Fertility.” Current Opinion in Psychology 27 (August): 41–45. There's basically two classes of people having more kids: Interesting to see who will win out by the time of the Age of Malthusian Industrialism. (Certainly the former would be more successful... Read More
The latest polls, jointly conducted by KIIS (Ukraine) and Levada (Russia), show that the collapse in Ukrainian sentiment towards Russia may be turning a corner. Legend: Ukrainian attitudes towards Russia [blue]; Russian attitudes towards Ukraine [orange] For the first time since April 2014, more Ukrainians have a positive impressive of Russia than the converse. Attitudes... Read More
The drones from Wolf Warrior 2. To date the world's most successful (non-state) terrorists have only been getting about ~100 kills / death (or capture). The 9/11 hijackers each killed 2,996/19 = 158 people. Anders Breivik methodically killed 77 people. Brenton Tarrant got 50 while livestreaming it like a video game. Aircraft bombings can take... Read More
Polish Perspective points us to a recent FT article: Window for poor countries to industrialise ‘closing fast’ TLDR: As PP points out, while many of these factors might a
For a long time, the world's most recognizable proponent of radical life extension - not to mention significant scientist in his own right, and not just in gerontology - kept refraining from giving any quantitative predictions of when we would reach "longevity escape velocity." However, I notice that he has been getting a great deal... Read More
This is the fourth in a series of posts about the demographics of the coming Age of Malthusian Industrialism. In the decades and centuries to come, technological progress will slow to a crawl, as dysgenic reproduction patterns deplete the world's remaining smart fractions (assuming that there are no abrupt discontinuities in humanity's capacity for collective... Read More
This is the third in a series of posts about the demographics of the coming Age of Malthusian Industrialism. In the decades and centuries to come, technological progress will slow to a crawl, as dysgenic reproduction patterns deplete the world's remaining smart fractions (assuming that there are no abrupt discontinuities in humanity's capacity for collective... Read More
This is the second in a series of posts about the demographics of the coming Age of Malthusian Industrialism. In the decades and centuries to come, technological progress will slow to a crawl, as dysgenic reproduction patterns deplete the world's remaining smart fractions (assuming that there are no abrupt discontinuities in humanity's capacity for collective... Read More
Technology Review: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies It's a popular meme that a China unencumbered by Judeo-Christian morality/superstitions (cross out as appropriate) will be more open to transhumanist technology. For instance, here is a typical statement of this argument from my friend Hank Pellissier:
Joseph Tainter - The Collapse of Complex Societies (1998) Rating: 5/5 Notes: Can be downloaded here. Access my other reviews here: TLDR: Joseph Tainter argues that the root cause of civilizational collapse is because of over-investment into and declining marginal returns on complexity. Societies invest in complexity to solve their problems and typically need to... Read More
Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky: Kiev in 1905. I suppose that if superintelligence is developed soon, or the entire world melts together into a post-historical open borders dystopia/utopia, or some existential risk does as all in, then these considerations will become rather irrelevant. However, if the 21st century continues on a more or less "business as usual" path,... Read More
Though they remain a solid majority, fewer and fewer Russians are getting their news from TV. . 2009 2013 2018 TV 94% 88% 73% Internet (journals, websites, etc) 9% 21% 37% Friends 26% 24% 18% Social networks 6% 14% 28% Radio 41% 16% 15% Newspapers 37% 20% 13% Journals 8% 4% 3% Other 0% 1%... Read More
Wei Geisheing (2013). Aerial Shanghai by Crane Operator 2. Let's take the standard assumption that national power consists of three main elements: Economic, military, and cultural ("soft"). Why can we be confident that China is on its way to superpowerdom? China has already overtaken the US in terms of GDP (PPP) in the mid-2010s at... Read More
Pursuant to the discussions at the last big thread, I am making a quick post with my assessments of how realistic various "transhumanist" spheres of technology are. *** Has been, is, and will continue to happen - and will affect lower-IQ occupations sooner. Since it takes IQ to design and maintain the robots, this will... Read More
I have long been of the opinion that the only real countries are the playable ones from the Civilization video game series (and DLCs don't count!). So I am liking Thorfinnsson's sizzlingly powerful idea of Trump annexing Canada more and more. The moral case: They’re anti-American and constantly inventing dubious reasons as to why Canada... Read More
There are some fairly good reasons in favor of Russia's decision to intervene in Syria, which is why I have always been modestly if unenthusiastically supportive of it: It is basically a giant and continuous live training exercise for Russian pilots and generals, making it almost "free" in financial terms. The value of the Khmeimim... Read More
Population size doesn't matter much if your goal is to live as a small, comfy, unambitious Switzerland or Singapore. But a large population, along with a sufficiently high IQ, remains of sine qua non of being a Great Power or superpower. France went from having 20% of Europe's population during the reign of the Sun... Read More
Though it is Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan that have dominated the news these past two weeks, this month also saw a flare-up in separatist sentiment in Brazil. This region apparently has a have a fleeting historical experience of independence: They are the the whitest states:
There are three main reasons why the correlation between national IQ and GDP per capita is only around r=0.7, instead of r=0.9. Oil/resource windfalls: Saudi Arabia would otherwise be about as prosperous as Yemen. The legacy of Communism: Central planning and especially the lunacy that is Maoism are far less effective than free markets. The... 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
I'll be busy the next few days, there won't be many poasts, so I suppose now is as good as any for a big linkfest covering the past month. Adventures in Afrotriumphalism Russia Becoming *More* Russian Russians and Westerners (Mostly) Agree on the Most Influential Russian Writers I also published the notes and slides for... Read More
The population of the world's major regions according to the UN's World Population Prospects 2017 report. World Population Prospects (2017) 2015 2050 2100 WORLD 7,383,008,820 9,771,822,753 11,184,367,721 Sub-Saharan Africa 969,234,251 2,167,651,879 4,001,755,801 East Asia 1,635,150,365 1,586,491,284 1,198,264,520 South Asia 1,823,308,471 2,381,796,561 2,230,668,781 South-East Asia 634,609,846 797,648,622 771,527,666 MENA & C. Asia 551,964,576 850,895,914 1,045,856,658 Europe... Read More
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
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
There is a new expert survey out which, amongst other things, queries the world's top psychometrics experts on the future of the FLynn effect (Flynn + Lynn - clever). James Thompson has a summary at his column. The two most important reasons for the end of the FLynn effect in the West are regarded to... Read More
  Online version with hyperlinks: I am a blogger and independent researcher who is interested in the intersections of intelligence theory, futurism, economics, and geopolitics. Here is a summary of my ideas relevant to Effective Altruism: Intelligence is central to explaining the wealth and poverty of nations, so a good understanding of it is central... 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
Source - The Economist Not only has there been an increasing incidence of rampages in the US in the past thirty years but it seems that average kill scores have been ramping up. I think this trend will only intensify in the years ahead. A couple of years ago there was a lot of agitation... Read More
I have been extremely busy the past month, hence not a lot of blogging. Hopefully that will be resolved soon. For now, here is a recap of some of the things I've been up to. On May 6, Richard Spencer and the Bay Area Alt Right organized a "safe space" for Europeans at Sproul Plaza,... Read More
Organized by IEET and Brighter Brains (Hank Pellissier). I'll be participating in one or perhaps two of them. My positions, briefly: Immigration/Open Borders - Opposed, and not even just from an HBD/"waycist" perspective. See Immigration and Effective Altruism. UBI - For it, and not even just from an automation perspective. See The Ethnic Politics of... 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
Foreign Policy reports on a massive opinion poll of International Relations experts on immigration, the wisdom of leaving Iraq, and the likelihood of war between the US and China or Russia. Here is the PDF. In some cases, their answers are compared to those of the public at large. For the most part, it's all... Read More
This conference is organized by brain health and IQ researcher Hank Pellissier, and its aim is to bring all kinds of quirky and visionary folks - "Biohackers, Neuro-Optimists, Extreme Futurists, Philosophers, Immortalist Artists, Steal-the-Singularitarians" - together in one place and have them give speeches and interact with each other and the interested public. One of... Read More
One of the standard memes about Russia's demographic trajectory was the "Russian Cross." While at the literal level it described the shape of the country's birth rate and death rate trajectories, a major reason why it entered the discourse was surely because it also evoked the foreboding of the grave. But this period now appears... Read More
I just remembered I'd made some in 2012. It's time to see how they went, plus make predictions for the coming year. Of course I failed to predict the biggest thing of them all: The hacking that made me throw in the towel on Sublime Oblivion (remember that?), but with the silver lining that I... Read More
Editorial note: This article was first published at Arctic Progress in February 2011. In the next few weeks I will be reposting the best material from there. The Arctic to become a pole of global economic growth? Image credit – Scenic Reflections. - Northward ho!: An account of the far North and its people. In... Read More
In the Japanese TV series Dennō Coil, people wear Internet-connected augmented reality glasses and interact with a world that is now split between the real and the virtual. Citizens and netizens become one. The story is set in 2026, some eleven years after the introduction of this technology. Considering that this series was first conceived... Read More
This guy Andrew Miller used to be The Economist's Moscow correspondent. This is his prediction from 2000. I also imagine he'd get on splendidly with K.F./Keif. No further comment is necessary. (h/t Patrick Armstrong) JRL 4331 #9 From: "andrew miller" Subject: The Gathering Storm Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 Topic: The Gathering Storm Title: The... Read More
Before the 2012 Russian Presidential elections, 23 particularly courageous (or foolhardy?) netizens and Russia watchers participated in a contest on this blog to predict its results for the chance of eternal glory and a free S/O T-Shirt. The winner is the person with the least aggregate error, i.e. the sum of the absolute discrepancies between... Read More
Inspired by Kireev's similar posts in Russian, I'm asking S/O readers to predict (1) The official results of the elections, and (2) The actual, i.e. non-falsified, results. Please give them to one decimal point, and include all the five candidates as well as the share of invalid votes. They will be displayed in the table... Read More
It is now increasingly evident that Russia's population has settled on a small but decidedly firm upwards growth trend. I have been vindicated. According to the latest data, in the first eight months of the year births fell by 1.4% (12.5/1000 to 12.3/1000) and deaths fell by 6.2% (from 14.6/1000 to 13.7/1000) relative to the... Read More
The river of time flows on, and empires crumble, leaving behind only legend that becomes myth, while new polities arise to take their place. This process of decay and creation is going to receive a boost from "peak energy" and, above all, climate change - which will redraw the maps of power to an extent... 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.