• Aug 10, 2022

    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.

  • Aug 9, 2022

    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.

  • Apr 21, 2022

    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.

  • Apr 20, 2022

    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.

  • Feb 6, 2022

    Evolution and identity

    A recent study investigates the relation between evolution acceptance and evolution knowledge using largish numbers of students (mostly enrolled in biology related university programs) from many European countries. The authors are European researchers from many universities, supported by EU funding.

  • Nov 25, 2020

    Politics on the Appalachian Trail

    Inspired by the observation

    I have decided to play a bit more with plotly.express.choropleth.

  • Nov 23, 2020

    My preferred party - The New Greens

    In two weeks there will be elections in Romania. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it is easy to choose the best out of multiple bad choices. Still, it is unpleasant not to have a party or, at least, a candidate one could wholeheartedly trust and support.

  • Nov 18, 2020

    The Reagans

    Some thoughts concerning the documentary The Reagans from Showtime.

  • Nov 11, 2020

    Votes lost by Biden in 2020

    Upon discovering some data stores pertaining to the 2020 American presidential elections I could not resist playing with the data and with python visualization tools.

  • Oct 13, 2020

    Quantity has a quality of her own

    By talking to a few hundred senators Cicero was able to start a war. Luther has done it by nailing a piece of paper to a door and Hearst with a journal with maybe 100000 readers. Radio and television have been considered big revolutions in opinion forming. It is thus reasonable to wonder if the changes caused by social media are something new, different from the past. On the one hand the past shows a more or less gradual increase in the speed and strength of information dissemination and opinion-forming. The present follows this quantitative rule but, on the other hand, it could also be qualitatively different.

  • Oct 13, 2020

    Voters and pyramid of ages

    Some Fermi estimates of population structure suggest that 2020 is a turning point in Romanian politics.