A Grander Possibility.
Don't Look Now.
Mounting evidence indicates that there may be multiple ways to sustain liquid-water oceans over billions of years. Decoding those recipes could accelerate our quest to determine how easy, or troublesome, it is for life to emerge throughout the cosmos. Freshly analyzed data from old spacecraft, plus recent observations by NASA’s Juno spacecraft and the James Webb Space Telescope, are adding to the growing evidence that these warm oceans contain chemistry beneficial to biology, and that the inner solar system is not the only place life could potentially call home.
These oceanic moons also offer a grander possibility. Temperate, potentially livable oceans could be an inevitable consequence of planet formation. It may not matter how far a planet and its moons are from their star’s nuclear bonfire. And if that’s true, then the number of landscapes we might explore in our search for life beyond Earth is nearly limitless. (Source: quantamagazine.com)
2. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted yesterday of stealing billions of dollars from customers of the doomed crypto exchange, in what prosecutors called one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history. A New York federal jury convicted him of all seven counts he faced. The verdict capped the stunning fall of the onetime crypto king, whose shaggy-haired, boy-genius persona helped catapult FTX into a powerhouse trading platform that sponsored sports teams and ran glitzy ads featuring football great Tom Brady, model Gisele Bündchen and comedian Larry David. (Source: wsj.com)
3. John Lanchester:
The question of his guilt or innocence (Michael) Lewis leaves to the criminal justice system. I think that’s good practice, given that the trial is happening right now. For what it’s worth, I see no contradiction between the person described in Going Infinite and the things SBF is accused of having done. In fact I think the book makes it easier to understand how and why he did what he allegedly did. I can easily imagine SBF seeing certain actions in terms of their Expected Value, and acting accordingly. If he had a 50 per cent chance of making $100 billion to give away, with a 50 per cent chance of being caught and losing everything and going to prison for the rest of his life, he wouldn’t have hesitated – the EV of that bet would be $50 billion, and in his value system it would be unethical not to take it. As Caroline Ellison said in court, ‘he said that he was a utilitarian, and he believed that the ways that people tried to justify rules like “don’t lie” and “don’t steal” within utilitarianism didn’t work, and he thought that the only moral rule that mattered was doing whatever would maximize utility.’ It’s as narrow and constricting a principle as it’s possible to imagine, and it has put Bankman-Fried in the narrowest, most constricted possible place. (Source: lrb.co.uk, wwnorton.com)
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