Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 174

by khallow (#49163189) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots
Another thing to consider here is Jevons paradox which is:

In economics, the Jevons paradox [...] is the proposition that as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.

One side effect of increasing automation is that human labor becomes more productive. The above model would then predict that "consumption" of human labor should increase. That actually happens on a global scale despite the relative tribulations of the developed world.

I think the combination of comparative advantage and Jevons paradox explains why the current myths of automation-induced unemployment are so consistently wrong.

Comment: Re:The phrase you're looking for (Score 1) 174

by khallow (#49163139) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots
I don't care what you call it. Sure, it's a race and the developed world is losing it. One of the symptoms is a growing unemployment rate. Another is offshoring. We can keep blathering about how bad this competition is for us, but that doesn't make it go away.

I'd rather win this race than lose it. That probably means a modest decline in my standard of living. I'm comfortable with that since it will mean a better future.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1) 174

by khallow (#49163019) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

What is interesting though is - robots cost the same price here as they do there. The only advantage Foxconn had was cheap humans...

An advantage which they still have. But they also have relaxed regulations and being in the largest industrial power of today with all the supply chain and infrastructure support that implies. I think a large part of the current economic problems with the developed world is that there is a profound ignorance of economics and what's actually going on in the world.

So not only are places like China great for job creation, they're also great places for the next wave of automation innovation.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1, Informative) 174

by khallow (#49157501) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Right, but the conversation that's being had around this is what are we going to do with all these people that we don't need anymore.

Employ them. That's what China will do. The two or three "lost generations" is a developed world problem coming from an uncompetitive labor force.

Comment: Re:Better definition of planet (Score 1) 180

by khallow (#49157433) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

I agree that it's a *bit* rare to change terms that are already in wide use. But in this case they had to. Their hand was forced because of all the new KBOs that were found.

Because school kids would be forced to memorize a few hundred planets, if measures weren't taken. There was no reason to care that there were a lot of new planets. That's actual science. Now, our "scientific vocabulary" includes "dwarf planets" that aren't "planets". It's just dumb.

Comment: Re:Let it happen (Score 1) 323

by khallow (#49153655) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.
You know, it's not that hard to set up betting markets to pay out for this kind of stuff. For example, the US DARPA tried to create such a market, the Policy Analysis Market for a variety of foreign policy events, including climate change related stuff. They got shot down hard by a couple of political clowns because it was going to cause political assassinations or something.

Punishing people for having the wrong opinions seems all too common in this debate, but if you want sensible argument then throw some securities on a stock market which pay out one way, if climate change predictions come true and pays out a different way if those climate change predictions come out false. I think that will give you the best possible predictions for this sort of thing.

Comment: Re:Climate change phobia (Score 1) 323

by khallow (#49153573) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

But I can imagine that a sea level rise of a few meters (at the turn of the century) will results in tremendous economic damage (relocation of hundreds of million of people *and* real estate, as most of the population on Earth is housed in large cities in coastal regions), famine (due to loss of agricultural land), and territorial conflicts.

And I can imagine that it won't. After all, those hundreds of millions of people are going to move and rebuild infrastructure several times each over that period of time. Some of those moves will just be uphill.

In any case, I think we have now arrived at the point where anyone that has children born after 2010 finds oneself in the situation where ones children, and grandchildren are going to be seriously affected by climate change and overpopulation.

Overpopulation has been a factor probably since the dawn of humanity. It's not that hard to reproduce to the point where you've reached the carrying capacity of the local environment.

Similarly, we've probably been affected by climate change over that same interval. It's just now that part of that climate change is human induced and maybe a bit faster changing than before. It's not otherwise significantly different.

Those have to ask themselves what they are going to tell their grandchildren, 50 years from now, about how they had the ability to make a difference but couldn't agree on how bad it was going to be and therefore decided inaction was the best course of action.

We made a best possible world. If I'm still alive then, I'll ask in turn, why do they think that a climate fixed at 1850 would somehow be better than the very concrete advances that have been made in the past 50 years. For example, we're in the eleventh year of New Earth, the first time in humanity's millions of years of past, where the population of humanity has declined, year to year via mostly peaceful, prosperous, democratic means rather than via the sword, disease, and death. This trend wouldn't have even started, if we had sacrificed our prosperity for a temporary environmental stability.

Similarly, we're in a situation where less than 100 million people can barely afford to eat. That used to be a billion people 50 years ago. Are you going to tell me that 50 years ago was better?

We were told that we were going to lose a lot of arable land. We sort of did. Some of it is under water and some of it takes more irrigation than it used to. OTOH, we have more arable land than we did back then.

Global trade is another area where things have gotten better. Due to the passage over the Arctic Ocean, those poor, suffering nations of Europe now have two weeks better access to Far East products and the greatest economic engine of the world, than they used to. Just imagine how much worse off they'd be, if we were still shipping products to them via the Panama Canal.

I'd also play a game of "where are we now"? The areas which embraced environmentalism at any cost, such as California or the EU, faced decades of economic disaster and corruption. They're still around, but they're significantly inferior in their economies and even in the actual quality of their environments(!) to the eastern coast of China, which need I add, had pollution so bad that you often couldn't see the sky. That's a pretty big change for 50 years.

I find it amusing at this point 50 years in the future that there are still lots of people throughout the world advocating for radical climate restoration back to that long ago year of 1850 even though we now have 50 more years of evidence that it's simply a very bad idea, both for us and for the environment.

There, you go. That's what I'd tell people 50 years from now. And need I add that if we do the same exercise as the grievance-seeking generation for the past 50 years, we'd be hard pressed to find someone to blame for not making our current world better than it could be. I'd go with the Communists, but aside from that, the results have been pretty damn good.

The two videos you link to are both remarkably stupid and wrong. For example, the first video asserts without thought or evidence that a "global depression" is better than elevated levels of extreme weather. No, you have to actually evaluate those costs to see which is worse. Deliberately inducing a permanent global depression is not necessarily the lower cost - especially if you continue to double down by using that same broken decision making process to make more such dumb decisions. The big missing decision is that we can gather more information and evaluate these actual risks rather than merely listen to what the worst predictors have to claim.

The second video asserts that a variety of disasters due to US mismanagement of resources, poor flood insurance policies which encourage building in flood-prone areas, and a century of aggressive forest fire control is all due to global warming.

Comment: Re:Corporation != People (Score 0) 382

A corporation is not a person, however that is not what is meant by 'corporations are people', the people in question are the people who start/run/own the corporations. Corporations are 1 or more people that own the corporation and the speech of the person that owns a corporation is limited by government, when government denies that person the right to use his corporation to express his view.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

Working...