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  • Algorithms

    After a few months of more or less diligent study I finished “consulting” three great resources for learning about algorithms: Algorithms Illuminated book series by Tim Roughgarden, Introduction to Algorithms, by Corben et al. and the Stanford course CS 168: The Modern Algorithmic Toolbox. I was not diligent enough to do the homeworks and solve all the proposed problems but I followed all the arguments and most proofs.

    The most important thing one learns from such resources is how and where to look for a good algorithm if the need arises. But for me the most surprising thing have been the data structures.

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  • The burden of knowledge

    Some people argue that most easy great ideas have been plucked already and great discoveries are more and more difficult to come by. My take on this is that over the past century there has been a decreasing number of marketable innovations. These days is very difficult to sell ideas and one usually needs to buy - hire the person/team that holds the IP. I recently found a paper that formalizes this idea using the concept of knowledge burden.

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  • The problem with bubbles

    For some time I have accepted that each of us is somehow trapped inside a (filter) bubble, an echo chamber that reflects over and over our own opinions. The same happens for everyone else and their opinions become as distorted and far from reality as ours. There is here a dangerous relativism, because, even if there are bubbles and echo cambers, some of them can still be mainly truthful representations of the world and others simply wrong.

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  • I do not care about AI alignment

    For the past few months I have had a love-hate relationship with the rationalist movement. Their capacity to produce extremely insightful analyses on very diverse subjects is particularly exciting. But I am bothered by their hubris. It is clear that they have the capacity to accumulate, assimilate and analyze new ideas. But I am not convinced that “reason [can be] the only source of knowledge”. As it is impossible for one person to completely understand most facets of most problems, a healthy dose of (reasoned) trust is necessary. Also, I am bored by their fascination with the AI alignment problem.

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  • War and peace

    Eight weeks ago it became glaringly apparent that we do not understand the Russians. And that, while most people in the western world do not want it or believe it, we are in a state of war with the Russian Federation.

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