August 2018 gwern.net newsletter with links on genetic engineering, DRL, research quality, security, economics, and 4 book/movie reviews newsletter 2018-08-01–2021-01-09finishedcertainty: logimportance: 0
“Crunch: Building a Better Apple” (on apple selective breeding & the development of the Honeycrisp & SweeTango varieties; I took the opportunity buy 6 kinds of apples from my local grocery stores, and the Honeycrisp & SweeTangos were the best apples. I feel disappointed I let my bad experiences as a kid with “Red Delicious” stop me from trying better apples. Current apple ranking: SweeTango > Honeycrisp > Granny Smith > Cosmic Crisp > Autumn Glory > Golden Delicious > Braeburn > Smitten > Kanzi > Jazz > Fuji > Kiku > Ambrosia > Cripps Pink > Cameo > Envy > McIntosh > Paula Red > Ginger Gold > Red Delicious. Red Delicious is often told as a cautionary tale of how breeding inevitably destroys what we value about something, because “dumb consumers bought with their eyes and ruined everything”; but if that was the case, why do I have 16 better apples to choose from, most of which look like they sell better both in the aggregate & individually judging by displayed volumes, and why did the Red Delicious apple-growing industry implode starting in the 1990s under competition from better apples? A more likely story is that, like so many foodstuffs, the priority during industrialization and especially around WWII was to reduce the large fraction of individual incomes spent sheerly on subsistence by feeding the world as cheaply as possible with large-scale factory farming, with quality a lower priority, and culinary knowledge/sophistication further taking a big hit during the simultaneous urbanization, and, in a sort of a culinary Kuznets curve or Durkheim effect, have been gradually recovering ever since as consumers can now spend a trivial fraction of income on food for survival & instead treat food as a hobby in learning about & buying luxuries like fast food & meat & better apples & cheese & beer—and everything, really.)
“The International 2018: Results” (0/2) (round & commentary: game 1, game 2—losses, but pure PPO self-play went further than it had any right to. If PPO can go so far in a large-scale fog-of-war team game, one wonders what DM has achieved on SC2 with its access to even more compute and high-throughput DRL architectures like Ape-X & Impala… OA continues to run OA5 and has increased the model size substantially. I would give good odds for a victory at the next TI.)
Memories of the Space Age, J.G. Ballard (some striking images let down by short stories padding them out; reading them in one sitting, I thought that only 6 stories seemed like a rather short anthology—but it was actually 8 and I had completely confused some of them so much did they overlap, especially the ‘time compression’ theme, which I struggled to see how it related to the Space Age at all and is overwrought. I thought it might provide some examples for my Scanners Live in Vain essay but it all comes off as more of a sublimated reaction to psychedelics than the Space Age. To invert The Martian Chronicles effectively, Ballard would have had to vary the topics much more, gone less into his inexplicable metaphysics of time, and made the stories leaner.)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018; while featuring some of the typically unnecessarily convoluted plotting of the Marvel movies and idiot-ball-holding, Ant-Man pleasantly surprised me with a steady fare of humor and action scenes showing that someone involved once thought for a few seconds about how to effectively use shrink-rays, and didn’t feel like it was 2 hours long)
Newsletter tag: archive of all issues back to 2013 for the gwern.net newsletter (monthly updates, which will include summaries of projects I’ve worked on that month (the same as the changelog), collations of links or discussions from my subreddit, and book/movie reviews.)
This page is a changelog for Gwern.net: a monthly reverse chronological list of recent major writings/changes/additions.
Following my writing can be a little difficult because it is often so incremental. So every month, in addition to my regular /r/Gwern subreddit submissions, I write up reasonably-interesting changes and send it out to the mailing list in addition to a compilation of links & reviews (archives).
A subreddit for posting links of interest and also for announcing updates to gwern.net (which can be used as a RSS feed). Submissions are categorized similar to the monthly newsletter and typically will be collated there.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. While environment has undeniable impact, evidence suggests genetic factors play a significant role in completed suicide. We linked a resource of >4,500 DNA samples from completed suicides obtained from the Utah Medical Examiner to genealogical records and medical records data available on over 8 million individuals. This linking has resulted in the identification of high-risk extended families (7-9 generations) with significant familial risk of completed suicide. Familial aggregation across distant relatives minimizes effects of shared environment, provides more genetically homogeneous risk groups, and magnifies genetic risks through familial repetition. We analyzed Illumina PsychArray genotypes from suicide cases in 43 high-risk families, identifying 30 distinct shared genomic segments with genome-wide evidence (p=2.02E-07 to 1.30E-18) of segregation with completed suicide. The 207 genes implicated by the shared regions provide a focused set of genes for further study; 18 have been previously associated with suicide risk. While PsychArray variants do not represent exhaustive variation within the 207 genes, we investigated these for specific segregation within the high-risk families, and for association of variants with predicted functional impact in ~1300 additional Utah suicides unrelated to the discovery families. None of the limited PsychArray variants explained the high-risk family segregation; sequencing of these regions will be needed to discover segregating risk variants, which may be rarer or regulatory. However, additional association tests yielded four significant PsychArray variants (SP110, rs181058279; AGBL2, rs76215382; SUCLA2, rs121908538; APH1B, rs745918508), raising the likelihood that these genes confer risk of completed suicide.
Hwang Woo-suk is a South Korean veterinarian and researcher. He was a professor of theriogenology and biotechnology at Seoul National University who became infamous for fabricating a series of experiments, which appeared in high-profile journals, in the field of stem cell research. Until November 2005, he was considered one of the pioneering experts in the field, best known for two articles published in the journal Science in 2004 and 2005 where he reported he had succeeded in creating human embryonic stem cells by cloning. He was called the "Pride of Korea" in South Korea.
Cloning is widely used in animal & plant breeding despite steep costs due to its advantages; more unusual recent applications include creating entire polo horse teams and reported trials of cloning in elite police/Special Forces war dogs. Given the cost of dog cloning, however, can this ever make more sense than standard screening methods for selecting from working dog breeds, or would the increase in successful dog training be too low under all reasonable models to turn a profit?
I model the question as one of expected cost per dog with the trait of successfully passing training, success in training being a dichotomous liability threshold with a polygenic genetic architecture; given the extreme level of selection possible in selecting the best among already-elite Special Forces dogs and a range of heritabilities, this predicts clones’ success probabilities. To approximate the relevant parameters, I look at some reported training costs and success rates for regular dog candidates, broad dog heritabilities, and the few current dog cloning case studies reported in the media.
Since none of the relevant parameters are known with confidence, I run the cost-benefit equation for many hypothetical scenarios, and find that in a large fraction of them covering most plausible values, dog cloning would improve training yields enough to be profitable (in addition to its other advantages).
As further illustration of the use-case of screening for an extreme outcome based on a partial predictor, I consider the question of whether height PGSes could be used to screen the US population for people of NBA height, which turns out to be reasonably doable with current & future PGSes.
Like anything else, the idea of “breeding” had to be invented. That traits are genetically-influenced broadly equally by both parents subject to considerable randomness and can be selected for over many generations to create large average population-wide increases had to be discovered the hard way, with many wildly wrong theories discarded along the way. Animal breeding is a case in point, as reviewed by an intellectual history of animal breeding, Like Engend’ring Like, which covers mistaken theories of conception & inheritance from the ancient Greeks to perhaps the first truly successful modern animal breeder, Robert Bakewell (1725–1795).
Why did it take thousands of years to begin developing useful animal breeding techniques, a topic of interest to almost all farmers everywhere, a field which has no prerequisites such as advanced mathematics or special chemicals or mechanical tools, and seemingly requires only close observation and patience? This question can be asked of many innovations early in the Industrial Revolution, such as the flying shuttle.
Some veins in economics history and sociology suggest that at least one ingredient is an improving attitude: a detached outsider’s attitude which asks whether there is any way to optimize something, in defiance of ‘the wisdom of tradition’, and looks for improvements. A relevant English example is the English Royal Society of Arts, founded not too distant in time from Bakewell, specifically to spur competition and imitation and new inventions. Psychological barriers may be as important as anything like per capita wealth or peace in innovation.
Robert Bakewell was a English agriculturalist, now recognized as one of the most important figures in the British Agricultural Revolution. In addition to work in agronomy, Bakewell is particularly notable as the first to implement systematic selective breeding of livestock. His advancements not only led to specific improvements in sheep, cattle and horses, but contributed to general knowledge of artificial selection.
Genomic disorders resulting from large rearrangements of the genome remain an important unsolved issue in gene therapy. Chromosome transplantation, defined as the perfect replacement of an endogenous chromosome with a homologous one, has the potential of curing this kind of disorders. Here we report the first successful case of chromosome transplantation by replacement of an endogenous X chromosome carrying a mutation in the Hprt genewith a normal one in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), correcting the genetic defect. The defect was also corrected by replacing the Y chromosome with an X chromosome. Chromosome transplanted clones maintained in vitro and in vivo features of stemness and contributed to chimera formation. Genome integrity was confirmed by cytogenetic and molecular genome analysis. The approach here proposed, with some modifications, might be used to cure various disorders due to other X chromosome aberrations in induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from affected patients.
Profile of the development & launch of the SweeTango apple, a successor to Honeycrisp (via a hybridization with Zestar), developed by the University of Minnesota apple breeding program, which has been running since 1878 and created 27 notable apples (earning its role as the state fruit).
Breeding programs like that are part of why Americans have historically shifted from consuming hard cider (made with inedible wild-types) to ‘eating apples’, but progress was set back by a drastic decrease in variety to the McIntosh/Golden Delicious/Red Delicious triumvirate—Red Delicious degrading rapidly in quality. The apple revolution began in the 1970s when Granny Smith proved US consumers would buy a better apple, and was followed by the Fuji, Braeburn, and Gala.
How does one breed a new apple? Apples do not breed true and every offspring is wildly different. Apple breeders use brute force and brutally stringent screening: an acre of thousands of saplings will be grown, and in all, the breeders will walk the row, grab 1 apple, chew it briefly, spit it out, and mark the tree if good. Any sapling which is marked several years in a row (a few score out of thousands) survives; clones of it will be transplanted elsewhere for further testing, and evaluated similarly for another decade. If and only a new apple tree & clones pass all these tests, will it even be considered for commercialization.
“I’d like to give a tree a couple chances, but I just don’t have the mouth time for that,” Bedford explained. “So it’s one strike and you’re out. With all these new trees coming on each year, you won’t have space unless you thin out the duds.” He sprayed another tree trunk with the mark of death. “But it is kind of nerve-racking, because you want to give the tree a chance to do its best. No one wants to be known as the guy who killed the next Honeycrisp.”
The winner of such a process must be both brilliant and lucky, and Honeycrisp was both. But UMinn breeders watched with dismay as they felt the released Honeycrisp saplings were mistreated or poorly-raised by careless commercial growers, and decided the next apple, SweeTango, would be a “clubapple”: it would be fully patented & controlled, and sold only to select apple growers who would be required to follow stringent rules.
The “club apple” business model has proven to be its own revolution by internalizing the costs & benefits, incentivizing the creation of a dizzying variety of new apples reaching the American grocery market every year.
Honeycrisp is an apple cultivar developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station's Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Designated in 1974 with the MN 1711 test designation, patented in 1988, and released in 1991, the Honeycrisp, once slated to be discarded, has rapidly become a prized commercial commodity, as its sweetness, firmness, and tartness make it an ideal apple for eating raw. "...The apple wasn't bred to grow, store or ship well. It was bred for taste: crisp, with balanced sweetness and acidity." It has larger cells than most apple cultivars, a trait which is correlated with juiciness, as theoretically a higher number of cells rupture when bitten releases more juice in the mouth. The Honeycrisp also retains its pigment well and has a relatively long shelf life when stored in cool, dry conditions. Pepin Heights Orchards delivered the first Honeycrisp apples to grocery stores in 1997. The name Honeycrisp was trademarked by the University of Minnesota, but university officials were unsure of its protection status in 2007. It is now the official state fruit of Minnesota.
SweeTango is the brand designation of the cultivated apple 'Minneiska'. It is a patented cross breed between the 'Honeycrisp' and the Zestar! apple. The trademark name belongs to the University of Minnesota. The apple is a controlled and regulated product for marketing to the public. The apple is controlled and regulated for marketing, allowing only exclusive territories for growing. It has a sweet-tart taste that some food writers have described as something between brown sugar and spiced apple cider.
The 'Red Delicious' is a clone of apple cultigen, now comprising more than 50 cultivars, first recognized in Madison County, Iowa, in 1880. It is one of the fifteen most popular apple cultivars in the United States. From 1968 to 2018, it was the most produced cultivar in the U.S.
Reinforcement learning algorithms rely on carefully engineering environment rewards that are extrinsic to the agent. However, annotating each environment with hand-designed, dense rewards is not scalable, motivating the need for developing reward functions that are intrinsic to the agent. Curiosity is a type of intrinsic reward function which uses prediction error as reward signal. In this paper: (a) We perform the first large-scale study of purely curiosity-driven learning, i.e. without any extrinsic rewards, across 54 standard benchmark environments, including the Atari game suite. Our results show surprisingly good performance, and a high degree of alignment between the intrinsic curiosity objective and the hand-designed extrinsic rewards of many game environments. (b) We investigate the effect of using different feature spaces for computing prediction error and show that random features are sufficient for many popular RL game benchmarks, but learned features appear to generalize better (e.g. to novel game levels in Super Mario Bros.). (c) We demonstrate limitations of the prediction-based rewards in stochastic setups. Game-play videos and code are at https://pathak22.github.io/large-scale-curiosity/
Unsupervised image-to-image translation techniques are able to map local texture between two domains, but they are typically unsuccessful when the domains require larger shape change. Inspired by semantic segmentation, we introduce a discriminator with dilated convolutions that is able to use information from across the entire image to train a more context-aware generator. This is coupled with a multi-scale perceptual loss that is better able to represent error in the underlying shape of objects. We demonstrate that this design is more capable of representing shape deformation in a challenging toy dataset, plus in complex mappings with significant dataset variation between humans, dolls, and anime faces, and between cats and dogs.
Compilation of studies comparing observational results with randomized experimental results on the same intervention, compiled from medicine/economics/psychology, indicating that a large fraction of the time (although probably not a majority) correlation ≠ causality.
This paper estimates the effects of personality traits and IQ on lifetime earnings, both as a sum and individually by age.
The payoffs to personality traits display a concave life-cycle pattern, with the largest effects between the ages of 40 and 60.
The largest effects on earnings are found for Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness (negative).
An interaction of traits with education reveals that personality matters most for highly educated men.
The overall effect of Conscientiousness operates partly through education, which also has significant returns.
This paper estimates the effects of personality traits and IQ on lifetime earnings of the men and women of the Terman study, a high-IQ U.S. sample. Age-by-age earnings profiles allow a study of when personality traits affect earnings most, and for whom the effects are strongest. I document a concave life-cycle pattern in the payoffs to personality traits, with the largest effects between the ages of 40 and 60. An interaction of traits with education reveals that personality matters most for highly educated men. The largest effects are found for Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness (negative), where Conscientiousness operates partly through education, which also has significant returns. [Keywords: Personality traits, Socio-emotional skills, Cognitive skills, Returns to education, Lifetime earnings, Big Five, Human capital, Factor analysis]
A positive relationship between brain volume and intelligence has been suspected since the 19th century, and empirical studies seem to support this hypothesis. However, this claim is controversial because of concerns about publication bias and the lack of systematic control for critical confounding factors (e.g., height, population structure). We conducted a preregistered study of the relationship between brain volume and cognitive performance using a new sample of adults from the United Kingdom that is about 70% larger than the combined samples of all previous investigations on this subject (N = 13,608). Our analyses systematically controlled for sex, age, height, socioeconomic status, and population structure, and our analyses were free of publication bias. We found a robust association between total brain volume and fluid intelligence (r = 0.19), which is consistent with previous findings in the literature after controlling for measurement quality of intelligence in our data. We also found a positive relationship between total brain volume and educational attainment (r = 0.12). These relationships were mainly driven by gray matter (rather than white matter or fluid volume), and effect sizes were similar for both sexes and across age groups.
[Keywords: intelligence, educational attainment, brain volume, preregistered analysis, UK Biobank, open data, open materials, preregistered]
Lucid dreaming is a remarkable state of consciousness in which one is aware of the fact that one is dreaming while continuing to dream. Based on the strong relationship between physiological activation during rapid eye-movement sleep and lucid dreaming, our pilot research investigated whether enhancing cortical activation via acetylcholinesterase inhibition (AChEI) would increase the frequency of lucid dreams and found AChEI to be a promising method for lucid dream induction. In the current study we sought to quantify the size and reliability of the effect of AChEI on lucid dreaming, dream recall and dream content as well as to test the effectiveness of an integrated lucid dream induction protocol which combined cholinergic stimulation with other methods for lucid dream induction. Participants (n = 121) with high dream recall and an interest in lucid dreaming were randomly assigned counterbalanced orders of 3 doses of galantamine (0, 4 and 8 mg). On 3 consecutive nights, they awoke approximately 4.5 hours after lights out, recalled a dream, ingested the capsules and stayed out of bed for at least 30 minutes. Participants then returned to bed and practiced the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams technique while returning to sleep. The percentage of participants who reported a lucid dream was significantly increased for both 4 mg (27%, odds ratio = 2.29) and 8 mg doses (42%, odds ratio = 4.46) compared to the active placebo procedure (14%). Galantamine also significantly increased dream recall, sensory vividness and complexity (p < 0.05). Dream recall, cognitive clarity, control, positive emotion, vividness and self-reflection were increased during lucid compared to non-lucid dreams (p < 0.0001). These results show that galantamine increases the frequency of lucid dreams in a dose-related manner. Furthermore, the integrated method of taking galantamine in the last third of the night with at least 30 minutes of sleep interruption and with an appropriately focused mental set is one of the most effective methods for inducing lucid dreams available today.
Galantamine,, is used for the treatment of cognitive decline in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and various other memory impairments. It is an alkaloid that has been isolated from the bulbs and flowers of Galanthus nivalis, Galanthus caucasicus, Galanthus woronowii, and some other members of the family Amaryllidaceae, such as Narcissus (daffodil), Leucojum aestivum (snowflake), and Lycoris including Lycoris radiata. It can also be produced synthetically.
Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound with clinical applications produced by dozens of mushroom species1. There has been a longstanding interest in psilocybin research with regard to treatment for addiction2, depression3, and end-of-life suffering4. However, until recently very little was known about psilocybin biosynthesis and its ecological role. Here we confirm and refine recent findings5 about the genes underpinning psilocybin biosynthesis, discover that there is more than one psilocybin biosynthesis cluster in mushrooms, and we provide the first data directly addressing psilocybin’s ecological role. By analysing independent genome assemblies for the hallucinogenic mushrooms Psilocybe cyanescens and Pluteus salicinus we recapture the recently discovered psilocybin biosynthesis cluster5,6 and show that a transcription factor previously implicated in its regulation is actually not part of the cluster. Further, we show that the mushroom Inocybe corydalina produces psilocybin but does not contain the established biosynthetic cluster, and we present an alternative cluster. Finally, a meta-transcriptome analysis of wild-collected mushrooms provides evidence for intra-mushroom insect gene expression of flies whose larvae grow inside Psilocybe cyanescens. These larvae were successfully reared into adults. Our results show that psilocybin does not confer complete protection against insect mycophagy, and the hypothesis that it is produced as an adaptive defense compound may need to be reconsidered.
“Discovery of psychoactive plant and mushroom alkaloids in behavior-modifying fungal cicada pathogens”, Greg R. Boyce, Emile Gluck-Thaler, Jason C. Slot, Jason E. Stajich, William J. Davis, Tim Y. James, John R. Cooley, Daniel G. Panaccione, Jørgen Eilenberg, Henrik H. De Fine Licht, Angie M. Macias, Matthew C. Berger, Kristen L. Wickert, Cameron M. Stauder, Ellie J. Spahr, Matthew D. Maust, Amy M. Metheny, Chris Simon, Gene Kritsky, Kathie T. Hodge, Richard A. Humber, Terry Gullion, Dylan P. G. Short, Teiya Kijimoto, Dan Mozgai, Nidia Arguedas, Matt T. Kasson (2018-07-30):
Entomopathogenic fungi routinely kill their hosts before releasing infectious conidia, but select species keep their hosts alive while sporulating to enhance spore dispersal. Recent expression and metabolomics studies involving “host-killing” entomopathogens have helped unravel infection processes and host responses, yet the mechanisms underlying “active host transmission” in insects with Entomophthoralean fungal infections are completely unexplored. Here we report the discovery, through global and targeted metabolomics supported by metagenomics and proteomics, of the plant amphetamine, cathinone, in Massospora cicadina-infected periodical cicadas, and the mushroom tryptamine, psilocybin, in M. platypediae- and M. levispora-infected annual cicadas. The neurogenic activities of these alkaloids provide a hypothetical framework for a chemically induced extended phenotype of Massospora that alters cicada behavior by increasing endurance and suppressing feeding prior to death.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class. It is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. There are several known mechanisms of action to explain the effects of caffeine. The most prominent is that it reversibly blocks the action of adenosine on its receptors and consequently prevents the onset of drowsiness induced by adenosine. Caffeine also stimulates certain portions of the autonomic nervous system.
Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. In the 1980s Shell and in the 1990s Bayer started work on their development. The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world. Compared to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoids cause less toxicity in birds and mammals than insects. Some breakdown products are also toxic to insects.
Recently popular sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic substances such as truffles, referred to as microdosing, allegedly have multiple beneficial effects including creativity and problem solving performance, potentially through targeting serotonergic 5-HT2A receptors and promoting cognitive flexibility, crucial to creative thinking. Nevertheless, enhancing effects of microdosing remain anecdotal, and in the absence of quantitative research on microdosing psychedelics it is impossible to draw definitive conclusions on that matter. Here, our main aim was to quantitatively explore the cognitive-enhancing potential of microdosing psychedelics in healthy adults.
Methods: During a microdosing event organized by the Dutch Psychedelic Society, we examined the effects of psychedelic truffles (which were later analyzed to quantify active psychedelic alkaloids) on two creativity-related problem-solving tasks: the Picture Concept Task assessing convergent thinking, and the Alternative Uses Task assessing divergent thinking. A short version of the Ravens Progressive Matrices task assessed potential changes in fluid intelligence. We tested once before taking a microdose and once while the effects were manifested.
Results: We found that both convergent and divergent thinking performance was improved after a non-blinded microdose, whereas fluid intelligence was unaffected.
Conclusion: While this study provides quantitative support for the cognitive enhancing properties of microdosing psychedelics, future research has to confirm these preliminary findings in more rigorous placebo-controlled study designs. Based on these preliminary results we speculate that psychedelics might affect cognitive metacontrol policies by optimizing the balance between cognitive persistence and flexibility. We hope this study will motivate future microdosing studies with more controlled designs to test this hypothesis.
Some early experimental studies with LSD suggested that doses of LSD too small to cause any noticeable effects may improve mood and creativity. Prompted by recent discussion of this claim and the purely anecdotal subsequent evidence for it, I decided to run a well-powered randomized blind trial of 3-day LSD microdoses from September 2012 to March 2013. No beneficial effects reached statistical-significance and there were worrisome negative trends. LSD microdosing did not help me.
Sophisticated attackers find bugs in software, evaluate their exploitability, and then create and launch exploits for bugs found to be exploitable. Most efforts to secure software attempt either to eliminate bugs or to add mitigations that make exploitation more difficult. In this paper, we introduce a new defensive technique called chaff bugs, which instead target the bug discovery and exploit creation stages of this process. Rather than eliminating bugs, we instead add large numbers of bugs that are provably (but not obviously) non-exploitable. Attackers who attempt to find and exploit bugs in software will, with high probability, find an intentionally placed non-exploitable bug and waste precious resources in trying to build a working exploit. We develop two strategies for ensuring non-exploitability and use them to automatically add thousands of non-exploitable bugs to real-world software such as nginx and libFLAC; we show that the functionality of the software is not harmed and demonstrate that our bugs look exploitable to current triage tools. We believe that chaff bugs can serve as an effective deterrent against both human attackers and automated Cyber Reasoning Systems (CRSes).
The Dōjima Rice Exchange, located in Osaka, was the center of Japan's system of rice brokers, which developed independently and privately in the Edo period and would be seen as the forerunners to a modern banking system. It was first established in 1697, officially sanctioned, sponsored and organized by the shogunate in 1773, reorganized in 1868, and dissolved entirely in 1939, being absorbed into the Government Rice Agency (日本米穀株式会社)(cf.ja:食糧管理制度).
Raphael Aloysius Lafferty was an American science fiction and fantasy writer known for his original use of language, metaphor, and narrative structure, as well as for his etymological wit. He also wrote a set of four autobiographical novels, In a Green Tree; a history book, The Fall of Rome; and several novels of historical fiction.
A time dilation tool from an anime is discussed for its practical use on Earth; there seem surprisingly few uses and none that will change the world, due to the severe penalties humans would incur while using it, and basic constraints like Amdahl’s law limit the scientific uses. A comparison with the position of an Artificial Intelligence such as an emulated human brain seems fair, except most of the time dilation disadvantages do not apply or can be ameliorated and hence any speedups could be quite effectively exploited. I suggest that skeptics of the idea that speedups give advantages are implicitly working off the crippled time dilation tool and not making allowance for the disanalogies.
José or Joseph Penso de la Vega, best known as Josseph de la Vega, was a Sephardi Jewish merchant in diamonds, financial expert, moral philosopher and poet, residing in 17th century Amsterdam. He became famous for his masterpiece Confusion of Confusions. Vega's work is the first study written about the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and its participants, the shareholders. In a stilted style he describes the whole gamut, running from options, futures contracts, margin buying, to bull and bear conspiracies, even some form of stock-index trading. The publication of Confusion de Confusiones helped lay the foundations for modern fields of technical analysis and behavioral finance.
Memories of the Space Age is a collection of science fiction stories by British writer J.G. Ballard. It was released in 1988 by Arkham House. It was published in an edition of 4,903 copies and was the author's first book published by Arkham House. The stories, set at Cape Canaveral, originally appeared in the magazines Ambit, Fantastic Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Interzone, New Worlds and Playboy.
James Graham Ballard was an English novelist, short story writer, satirist, and essayist who first became associated with the New Wave of science fiction for his post-apocalyptic novels such as The Drowned World (1962). In the late 1960s, he produced a variety of experimental short stories, such as those collected in the controversial The Atrocity Exhibition (1970). In the mid 1970s, Ballard published several novels, among them the highly controversial Crash (1973), a story about symphorophilia and car crash fetishism, and High-Rise (1975), a depiction of a luxury apartment building's descent into violent chaos.
Cordwainer Smith’s classic SF short story “Scanners Live in Vain” is remembered in part for its use of the space-madness trope, “the Great Pain of Space”, usually interpreted symbolically/psychologically by critics. I discuss the state of aerospace medicine in 1945 and subsequent research on “the breakaway effect”, “the overview effect”, and other unusual psychological states induced by air & space travel, and suggest Smith’s “the pain of space” is more founded on SF-style speculation & extrapolation of contemporary science/technology and anxieties than is appreciated due to the obscurity of the effects and the relative benignity of the subsequent best documented effects.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to Ant-Man (2015) and the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Peyton Reed and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari. It stars Rudd as Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Van Dyne, alongside Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip "T.I." Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the titular pair work with Hank Pym to retrieve Janet van Dyne from the quantum realm.
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Coolkyousinnjya. The series began serialization in Futabasha's Monthly Action magazine in May 2013, and is licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. Two spin-off manga, one by Mitsuhiro Kimura and the other by Ayami Kazama, are serialized in Monthly Action. An anime television series produced by Kyoto Animation aired in Japan between January and April 2017. A second anime season is scheduled for 2021.
Subscription page for the monthly gwern.net newsletter. There are monthly updates, which will include summaries of projects I’ve worked on that month (the same as the changelog), collations of links or discussions from my subreddit, and book/movie reviews. You can also browse the archives since December 2013.
Analogous to the dog cloning scenario, I consider the case of selecting for extremes on PGSes, motivated by a scenario of scouting tall men for the NBA.
Setting up the NBA selection problem as a liability threshold model with current height PGSes as a noisy predictor, height selection can be modeled as selecting for extremes on a PGS which is regressed back to the mean to yield expected adult height, and probability of being tall enough to consider a NBA career.
Filling in reasonable values, nontrivial numbers of tall people can be found by genomic screening with a current PGS, and as PGSes approach their predictive upper bound (derived from whole-genome-based heritability estimates of height), selection is capable of selecting almost all tall people by taking the top PGS percentile.
Robert Bakewell was a English agriculturalist, now recognized as one of the most important figures in the British Agricultural Revolution. In addition to work in agronomy, Bakewell is particularly notable as the first to implement systematic selective breeding of livestock. His advancements not only led to specific improvements in sheep, cattle and horses, but contributed to general knowledge of artificial selection.
The Zestar! apple or Minnewashta (cultivar) is an apple cultivar released in 1999. It was developed by the horticulturalists at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Horticultural Resource Center, at the University of Minnesota.
The McIntosh, McIntosh Red, or colloquially the Mac is an apple cultivar, the national apple of Canada. The fruit has red and green skin, a tart flavour, and tender white flesh, which ripens in late September. In the 20th century it was the most popular cultivar in Eastern Canada and New England, and is considered an all-purpose apple, suitable both for cooking and eating raw. Apple Inc. employee Jef Raskin named the Macintosh line of personal computers after the fruit.
The Granny Smith is a tip-bearing apple cultivar which originated in Australia in 1868. It is named after Maria Ann Smith, who propagated the cultivar from a chance seedling. The tree is thought to be a hybrid of Malus sylvestris, the European wild apple, with the domesticated apple Malus pumila as the polleniser.
The Fuji apple is an apple cultivar developed by growers at Tohoku Research Station (農林省園芸試験場東北支場) in Fujisaki, Aomori, Japan, in the late 1930s, and brought to market in 1962. It originated as a cross between two American apple varieties—the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet apples. According to the US Apple Association website it is one of the fifteen most popular apple cultivars in the United States. Its name is derived from the first part of the town where it was developed: Fujisaki.
Gala is a clonally propagated apple cultivar with a mild and sweet flavour. In 2018, it surpassed Red Delicious as the apple cultivar with the highest production in the United States, according to the US Apple Association. It was the first time in over 50 years that any cultivar was produced more than Red Delicious.
Club goods are a type of good in economics, sometimes classified as a subtype of public goods that are excludable but non-rivalrous, at least until reaching a point where congestion occurs. Often these goods exhibit high excludability, but at the same time low rivalry in consumption. Thus, club goods have essentially zero marginal costs and are generally provided by what is commonly known as natural monopolies.Furthermore, Club goods have artificial scarcity. Club theory is the area of economics that studies these goods.One of the most famous provisions was published by Buchanan in 1965 "An Economic Theory of Clubs," in which he addresses the question of how the size of the group influences the voluntary provision of a public good and more fundamentally provides a theoretical structure of communal or collective ownership-consumption arrangements.
This paper estimates the internal rate of return (IRR) to education for men and women of the Terman sample, a 70-year long prospective cohort study of high-ability individuals. The Terman data is unique in that it not only provides full working-life earnings histories of the participants, but it also includes detailed profiles of each subject, including IQ and measures of latent personality traits. Having information on latent personality traits is significant as it allows us to measure the importance of personality on educational attainment and lifetime earnings.
Our analysis addresses two problems of the literature on returns to education: First, we establish causality of the treatment effect of education on earnings by implementing generalized matching on a full set of observable individual characteristics and unobserved personality traits. Second, since we observe lifetime earnings data, our estimates of the IRR are direct and do not depend on the assumptions that are usually made in order to justify the interpretation of regression coefficients as rates of return.
For the males, the returns to education beyond high school are sizeable. For example, the IRR for obtaining a bachelor’s degree over a high school diploma is 11.1%, and for a doctoral degree over a bachelor’s degree it is 6.7%. These results are unique because they highlight the returns to high-ability and high-education individuals, who are not well-represented in regular data sets.
Our results highlight the importance of personality and intelligence on our outcome variables. We find that personality traits similar to the Big Five personality traits are significant factors that help determine educational attainment and lifetime earnings. Even holding the level of education constant, measures of personality traits have significant effects on earnings. Similarly, IQ is rewarded in the labor market, independently of education. Most of the effect of personality and IQ on life-time earnings arise late in life, during the prime working years. Therefore, estimates from samples with shorter durations underestimate the treatment effects.
A lucid dream is a type of dream where the dreamer becomes aware that they are dreaming. During a lucid dream, the dreamer may gain some amount of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment; however, this is not actually necessary for a dream to be described as lucid. Lucid dreaming has been studied and reported for many years. Prominent figures from ancient to modern times have been fascinated by lucid dreams and have sought ways to better understand their causes and purpose. Many different theories have emerged as a result of scientific research on the subject and have even been shown in pop culture. Further developments in psychological research have pointed to ways in which this form of dreaming may be utilized as a form of sleep therapy. There are two means of initiating a lucid dream:
Dream induced lucid dream (DILD)—Something within the dream triggers the dreamer to understand that they are dreaming.
Wake induced lucid dream (WILD)—The dreamer moves from waking to dreaming with no loss of awareness.