[FRIAM] Theil

Steve Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Mon Nov 13 19:57:23 EST 2023

On 11/13/23 12:06 PM, glen wrote:
> You might want to check the Gurometer. Lex has an entry:
> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Oe-af4_OmzLJavktcSKGfP0wmxCX0ppP8n_Tvi9l_yc/edit?usp=sharing 
> While Lex's scores are relatively low compared to some of the wackos 
> on the list, we are known by association. And many of Lex's guests 
> score relatively high.

Fascinating resource,  thanks!  You are a veritable font (fount) of 
things like this that I should probably be able to find for myself.

I had to look a little to find a key to the columns of the table, I 
don't know if this is the preferred or only one, but it seemed close 
enough to be useful for my purposes:


I haven't listened to enough of Lex's podcasts (did I mention 1-2 hours 
each?!) to be able to evaluate what his "coupling" is with his guests... 
even without the GuruMeter I felt that theme ("known by association") 
from the more prominent/recent interviewees he has engaged... but my 
contingent judgement of the *content* and *style* of the interviews 
counterbalanced that almost to an extreme.   Which is why I brought it 
up here.

Implicit but likely opaque/arcane to your own references to community 
(self) policing and ?agonism?, I feel (with limited experience so far) 
that Fridman may well provide a regulating role within some community 
(of Galaxy-Brain Gurus?)...

I doubt I will get the 'round t'uits but it seems like there is a tensor 
product to be explored among these folks and their various interactions 
with one another...   something interesting might emerge?   Maybe this 
only occurs to me because Lex is more of a coupling agent than a primary 
source of any ideas/theories/positions from what I've seen so far.   I 
haven't investigated the GuruMeter guys enough to understand their 
methods but I take it for granted they are not unserious in this work.

> On 11/13/23 10:08, Steve Smith wrote:
>> It seems (maybe only to me?) that "will" is what defines the 
>> intersection of memory and imagination? The free-will-less-ness-ers 
>> among us (ala Sopolsky 
>> <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/oct/24/determined-life-without-free-will-by-robert-sapolsky-review-the-hard-science-of-decisions>) 
>> may find this an entirely specious thing to consider or discuss 
>> (though without free will, what means "specious" or "discuss" or 
>> "consider" sans free-will?).
>> I recently discovered Lex Fridman's podcasts 
>> <https://lexfridman.com/podcast/> and was quite surprised by several 
>> things (albeit with very limited sampling... all of his most recent 
>> interview with Musk and a bit of his interview with Isaacson and 
>> about half of the Harari one):   I don't significantly disagree with 
>> the general mistrust of Musk in his Autistic-ish style and affect, 
>> but I'd say that Lex brings out the best in him, showing him to be 
>> capable of thoughtful and even empathetic-ish observations.  As I 
>> understand it (from my reading of Isaacson's biography of Musk) 
>> brother Kimball may also be a significantly similar "regulating 
>> influence" on Elon.   Grimes maybe, maybe not.  The other mothers of 
>> his children, same-same... probably each and all of them for a period 
>> of time or within certain frameworks.   And again, same with the 
>> children... though maybe projection on my part having been moderately 
>> well-regulated in several modes by my own children during each of 
>> their phases (right up to their current middle-agedness).
>> As an aside, Fridman's other interviews also all sound potentially 
>> fascinating... though I cringe at the fact/thought of interviews with 
>> Netanyahu, KanYE, Kushner, Rogan...     the commentary I've read 
>> around those interviews tends to skew toward "how could you normalize 
>> (amplify?) those A**holes by even giving them the time of the 
>> day???!!!?".   Lex's interviews are definitely long-form (1-2 hours) 
>> compared to today's tik-tok/ad-jingle/bumper-sticker/snark-pith 
>> calibrated sound-bitery.    I find myself avoiding them for this 
>> reason (not wanting to commit to listening past some of my own 
>> prejudices long enough to hear what they are really about?) but 
>> recognize (and have already begun to practice) that as with long-form 
>> written journalism, I can take it in bits, like I might eat a rich 
>> holiday meal... not try to gulp it down quickly in one sitting like a 
>> TV-dinner (for you X-ers, "Hot-Pocket", and Millenials == "??") for 
>> the mind.
>> My recent fascination with Deacon's "Teleodynamics", Jeff Hawkins' 
>> take on the structure/function of the neocortex and Ian McGilchrist's 
>> updated  take on brain bicameralism (Master and Emissary 
>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_and_His_Emissary>) feeds 
>> into this question of the intersection of memory and imagination and 
>> the implications of Transformer Models and other Generative Models in 
>> general.   My direct experience with GPT-4 and DALL-E is significant 
>> (many 10s of hours of engagement) but still a drop in the bucket.  
>> There are times when I feel that all I've done is engaged with an 
>> incredibly high-dimensional french-curve/bezier spline and thereby 
>> been able to smoothly interpolate/extrapolate a handful of 
>> interesting (to me) data points into what feels like a powerful 
>> elaboration of what is implied by said curve-fit in the past (unknown 
>> knowns?) and future (unknown unknowns)?    When I'm not totally 
>> enraptured by the (apparent?) novelty (relative to my 
>> expectations/predictions) of it's responses I'm generally 
>> disappointed at it's limited creativity...   and left puzzling over 
>> the question of "novelty vs creativity".
>> Bumble,
>>   - Steve
>> On 11/13/23 10:27 AM, Marcus Daniels wrote:
>>> It seems to me that neither Musk and Thiel are interested in the 
>>> unknown. They are interested in doing things they can already 
>>> imagine.    For Musk I thought that was because it is how he raises 
>>> money.   Now I think he is not imagining consciousness in a, say, a 
>>> transporter pattern buffer, he imagines life on the Enterprise 
>>> bridge in his body.   Rockets are comparatively science fictiony for 
>>> people that can't imagine transport without a car, so he gets some 
>>> points for that.
>>>> On Nov 13, 2023, at 10:11 AM, glen<gepropella at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>> There's an interesting parallel between the Stross and Gellman 
>>>> pieces: Stross both laments and implicitly appreciates the 
>>>> bureaucracy of getting a book published, where Thiel's aggrieved by 
>>>> the bureaucracy of societal evolution.
>>>> It reminds me of the engineering-vs-biology dichotomy (yes, false, 
>>>> like all of them) I came to appreciate after being exposed to 
>>>> enough biomimetics (to kill a horse). Some of us see the world and 
>>>> think about how to change it, build a better world ... or perhaps 
>>>> destroy the world, whatever floats your inner engineer. And some of 
>>>> us see the world and are awestruck, hypnotized, baffled by its 
>>>> qualities (whether beautiful or horrifying). It's easy to give the 
>>>> latter a pass and denigrate the former when confronted with, say, 
>>>> butterflies or the Grand Canyon. And it's easy to give the former a 
>>>> pass when confronted with poverty and war.
>>>> But the next time you're at the DMV or arguing with some poor 
>>>> sucker manning the phones at the IRS, it can be useful to remember 
>>>> the falseness of the dichtomy. Similarly, when all you want to do 
>>>> is sleep under the stars and those damned gnats keep homing into 
>>>> your ears, it can be useful to think like an engineer.
>>>> Policy and science fiction aren't that far apart.
>>>>> On 11/10/23 13:46, Marcus Daniels wrote:
>>>>> original.png
>>>>> Peter Thiel Is Taking a Break From 
>>>>> Democracy<https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2023/11/peter-thiel-2024-election-politics-investing-life-views/675946/?utm_source=copy-link&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share>
>>>>> On 11/10/23 11:26, Roger Critchlow wrote:
>>>>> Text of Charlie Stross' talk to Next Frontiers Applied Fiction Day 
>>>>> in Stuttgart on Friday November 10th, 2023, concerning where the 
>>>>> techno-industrial elite found their horrible philosophies/secular 
>>>>> religions.
>>>>> https://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2023/11/dont-create-the-torment-nexus.html 
>>>> -- 
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