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Showing posts from May, 2018

There's No One Left To Lie To

Mali, Guinea Bissau, Niger, its only sometimes that a military coup leads to greater democratization but it happens, occasionally. Burkina Faso, Burundi, were fought over extending term limits, Togo and Guinea, over succession—more often this is how these things go—a conciliation of power, rarely ever devolution to the people.

It's difficult not to be happy about the removal of, as grotesque and cartoonish a figure as Mugabe. His violent rhetoric, his ululating grandstands, his Hollywood-style motorcades, none of it will go having been missed but his departure doesn't inspire much hope for moderation. Zimbabwwe is one of the most corrupt countries in the world and what we're seeing from Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Zanu-PF and the nations military coup is a fight to keep it that way.

Under Mugabe, Rhodesia declined from a jewel in Southern Africa, with a surplus, now tarnished and left in starvation like a Weimar Republic. Poverty at seventy-two per cent, inflation peaking at …

Simulation Argument

Sometimes when ideas are trending in the scientific press, it's well deserved, a lot of the time it's not. I imagine by now most people have probably heard of the Simulation Argument, it comes from a 2003 paper by the philosopher Nick Bostrom. It's a statistical argument to the effect, that we're very likely living in a simulated universe rather than a real one. The argument goes something like this:

1. It's possible to simulate a universe like ours, with the kinds of experience we have in this world.

2. Perhaps far in the future, the technology to do so will exist and become sufficiently widespread.

3. Future beings will be interested in running ancestor-simulations of their past.

4. If 1-3 are true, then in the entire history of the universe simulated worlds will vastly outnumber real ones.

We should assume we’re typical observers and so, therefore, we are likely living in a simulated world rather than a real one. A lot of people like the idea that the universe i…