Link blog: cancer, hitchens, christopher-hitchens

Less Wrong: Five-minute rationality techniques

Reader Digest rationality. Some good tips there.
(tags: rationality psychology less-wrong)

Kill or cure?

"Help to make sense of the Daily Mail’s ongoing effort to classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it." Marvellous. Now there's no need to read the Heil.
(tags: cancer science health funny daily-mail journalism)

Hitchens: ‘We’re all dying, with me it’s accelerated’ – News, People – The Independent

Video and article. Martin Amis comes in carrying a bottle of beer half way through. We'll miss Hitchens, and no mistake.
(tags: hitchens cancer religion atheism christopher-hitchens)

Cult Divided On Whether To Let Women Become Telepathic-Vision Clerics | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

Not the Church of England, this time. Via andrewducker.
(tags: funny onion religion telepathic cult)

Charlie Rose – Author Christopher Hitchens

The full interview with Hitchens (video, 1 hour long)
(tags: video christopher-hitchens cancer hitchens)

Hitchens Speaks Of God And Death During Interview | The New Republic

Commentary on Hitchens's statement that we should not believe any reports of a deathbed conversion, because even if it occurs, it would be because his mind had gone: "What is it, finally, that divides the believer from the atheist? … Levi and Hitchens imply that a person’s capacity to determine the truth depends on his or her ability to think calmly, coolly, dispassionately."
(tags: religion atheism death philosophy cancer hitchens christopher-hitchens primo-levi auschwitz)

TTA Press – Interzone: Science Fiction & Fantasy – Crystal Nights by Greg Egan

An Egan short story I'd not seen before. "You know what they say the modern version of Pascal’s Wager is? Sucking up to as many Transhumanists as possible, just in case one of them turns into God". Nice.
(tags: sci-fi ai sf science scifi fiction egan artificial-intelligence greg-egan)

8 thoughts on “Link blog: cancer, hitchens, christopher-hitchens”

  1. Egan’s new novel Zendegi has more satire of transhumanism, aimed squarely at Yudkowsky and the Singularity Institute.

    “… the Benign Superintelligence Bootstrap Project … Their aim is to build an artificial intelligence capable of such exquisite powers of self-analysis that it will design and construct its own successor, which will be armed with superior versions of all the skills the original possessed. The successor will produce a still more proficient third version, and so on, leading to a cascade of exponentially increasing abilities. Once this process is set in motion, within weeks—perhaps within hours—a being of truly God-like powers will emerge.”

      1. I haven’t read Zendegi, but I thought the material you quoted was every bit as transparent as you say. Perhaps other reviewers aren’t familiar with Overcoming Bias, Yudkowsky, SIAI, etc.?

  2. Subject: Where have you gone?
    Mr. Wright, I have been anxiously awaiting new posts. Are you busy, out of town, dead, or converted? (Those were the only plausible possibilities – plausibilities? – I could think of.) I have no account, so I apologize for posting anonymously. My name is Josh.

    1. Subject: Re: Where have you gone?
      Hi Josh,

      I’ll go for “busy”. Not sure how much to say on a public posting, but I’ve had a bit of a personal crisis and I’m in the middle of sorting it out. I’m determined I’ll come out the other side, but I have other things occupying my attention right now.

      Thanks for your concern, I’m glad to hear someone’s missed me. I do intend to resume normal service again, so keep watching this space.

      1. Subject: Re: Where have you gone?
        I’m very sorry to hear that. I’ll be, well, thinking supportive thoughts for you.

        Josh

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