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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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  • What's in a rating?

    I often use the average ratings of books/movies from Goodreads/IMDB in order to decide what to read/watch next. Unfortunately, if there are not enough ratings, the average rating is often inflated, and it seems to decrease with the number of ratings. Plots of two datasets of books and movies show that the story is slightly more complicated.

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  • Dulce et decorum

    Since last week some verses are rattling around in my head. Initially I felt that they did not properly honor the resistance of the Ukrainians. Today, reading some refugees’ testimonials, I am convinced that these words are still relevant, even after more than 100 years.

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

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  • Thoughts about modern architecture

    If asked about traditional Romanian architecture one often thinks about something like this:

    Most houses in Romanian villages actually look like this:

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