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Comment We have no idea what "superintelligent" means. (Score 1) 68 68

When faced with a tricky question, one think you have to ask yourself is 'Does this question actually make any sense?' For example you could ask "Can anything get colder than absolute zero?" and the simplistic answer is "no"; but it might be better to say the question itself makes no sense, like asking "What is north of the North Pole"?

I think when we're talking about "superintelligence" it's a linguistic construct that sounds to us like it makes sense, but I don't think we have any precise idea of what we're talking about. What *exactly* do we mean when we say "superintelligent computer" -- if computers today are not already there? After all, they already work on bigger problems than we can. But as Geist notes there are diminishing returns on many problems which are inherently intractable; so there is no physical possibility of "God-like intelligence" as a result of simply making computers merely bigger and faster. In any case it's hard to conjure an existential threat out of computers that can, say, determine that two very large regular expressions match exactly the same input.

Someone who has an IQ of 150 is not 1.5x times as smart as an average person with an IQ of 100. General intelligence doesn't work that way. In fact I think IQ is a pretty unreliable way to rank people by "smartness" when you're well away from the mean -- say over 160 (i.e. four standard deviations) or so. Yes you can rank people in that range by *score*, but that ranking is meaningless. And without a meaningful way to rank two set members by some property, it makes no sense to talk about "increasing" that property.

We can imagine building an AI which is intelligent in the same way people are. Let's say it has an IQ of 100. We fiddle with it and the IQ goes up to 160. That's a clear success, so we fiddle with it some more and the IQ score goes up to 200. That's a more dubious result. Beyond that we make changes, but since we're talking about a machine built to handle questions that are beyond our grasp, we don't know whether we're making actually the machine smarter or just messing it up. This is still true if we leave the changes up to the computer itself.

So the whole issue is just "begging the question"; it's badly framed because we don't know what "God-like" or "super-" intelligence *is*. Here's I think a better framing: will we become dependent upon systems whose complexity has grown to the point where we can neither understand nor control them in any meaningful way? I think this describes the concerns about "superintelligent" computers without recourse to words we don't know the meaning of. And I think it's a real concern. In a sense we've been here before as a species. Empires need information processing to function, so before computers humanity developed bureaucracies, which are a kind of human operated information processing machine. And eventually the administration of a large empire have always lost coherence, leading to the empire falling apart. The only difference is that a complex AI system could continue to run well after human society collapsed.

Comment Re:How is this even possible? (Score 2) 24 24

I think it has something to do with the online records requirements of the ACA. If you live in Chicago and have an accident while vacationing in Florida, the doctors in Florida are supposed to be able to access your medical records from Chicago without much effort in order to treat you more effectively and timely. Encrypting it would somewhat end that and somehow this is all supposed to be controlled by the IRS who will share information with about 200 or more other government agencies between the state, local, and federal levels.

Comment Re:Interesting argument (Score 1) 86 86

Yes, and it was Kevin Martin who classified Cable service as an information service to relieve them from having to open up their networks to all competitors as the telephone companies had been reluctantly doing.

I need a cite for this.
BTW, you do realize the cable service is not the same as internet service right? So if you do understand this, I'm not sure we are in disagreement. If not, there is our problem.

I think you've got it backwards. This is infrastructure, critical infrastructure, and it needs to be regulated.

Not really. There could be a number of things that could change this for the better without regulating it. I would even suggest it isn't critical infrastructure too. Without it, all that would happen is a little inconvenience and a few companies would have to limit who they sell to or find another way to reach people.

in fact, it was regulated until an unelected official unilaterally enacted the changes this FCC Chair is trying to reverse. Truth be told, this was a horrific decision and screwed all of us. Now the question of why this isn't a case where we just "come into anything you own and make it for the better without your permission" is because all of these companies use publicly owned properties (rights of ways) to deliver these services.

No it was not_ever_ regulated. The FCC position on the internet was never a title II position and they even segregated it from information services. Provide a cite for this. The best you can find is where the Portland case said it was and the FCC attempted to take comments for rule making but failed to accomplish anything before a higher court overturned the ruling.

Except that the law is already in place and the FCC has been challenged before as to whether it did have the power to make these decision. That power was upheld by the Supreme Court on more than one occasion.

lol.. When there is 40 some years of the FCC itself saying it does not have regulatory powers, even after the last law passed by congress is on the books, you will find problems with any court upholding this power. You see, there are FCC documents that they specifically say congress never intended them to regulate the internet. One of these is the 1998 report to congress on the access thing. A good portion of evidence cited in the filing is pulled from FCC case laws, FCC reports, and FCC declarations made to congress. The FCC has basically ignored 47 years of precedence in order to enact some political agenda. Read the filing. It lists all it's supporting evidence near the beginning. It is huge.

Comment Re:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 1) 142 142

The overriding principle in any encounter between vehicles should be safety; after that efficiency. A cyclist should make way for a motorist to pass , but *only when doing so poses no hazard*. The biggest hazard presented by operation of any kind of vehicle is unpredictability. For a bike this is swerving in and out of a lane a car presents the greatest danger to himself and others on the road.

The correct, safe, and courteous thing to do is look for the earliest opportunity where it is safe to make enough room for the car to pass, move to the side, then signal the driver it is OK to pass. Note this doesn't mean *instantaneously* moving to the side, which might lead to an equally precipitous move *back* into the lane.

Bikes are just one of the many things you need to deal with in the city, and if the ten or fifteen seconds you're waiting to put the accelerator down is making you late for where you're going then you probably should leave a few minutes earlier, because in city driving if it's not one thing it'll be another. In any case if you look at the video the driver was not being significantly delayed by the cyclist, and even if that is so that is no excuse for driving in an unsafe manner, although in his defense he probably doesn't know how to handle the encounter with the cyclist correctly.

The cyclist of course ought to know how to handle an encounter with a car though, and for that reason it's up to the cyclist to manage an encounter with a car to the greatest degree possible. He should have more experience and a lot more situational awareness. I this case the cyclist's mistake was that he was sorta-kinda to one side in the lane, leaving enough room so the driver thought he was supposed to squeeze past him. The cyclist ought to have clearly claimed the entire lane, acknowledging the presence of the car; that way when he moves to the side it's a clear to the driver it's time to pass.

Comment Re:The issue is not title 2 (Score 1) 86 86

A lot of the carriers have been doing the same. They did it with that money they collect from your phone bills designated to connect poor and rural areas. Instead of running land lines, they can build out towers for their cellular networks and claim compliance thereby getting their share of the cash.

Comment Re:Interesting argument (Score 1) 86 86

Face it. They are telecommunications service providers. The jig is up they've been called on it. Congress delegated the authority to the FCC to make the call and even if it didn't and we call back on what congress decided, Congress decided 20 years ago that they were telecommunications service providers which is why they were up until the year 2002.

Who is telling you these lies?

Seriously, who is lieing to you about this 2002 crap? You are not the first person to bring it up, you are not the first person who has failed to investigate it, you are also not the first person to be completely wrong about this. The FCC has never taken the position that the internet was anything other than an enhanced service or information service. Before the 1996 telecommunications act, it was commonly referred to as enhanced services and distinguished from telecommunications since 1968 with the original computers paper published by the FCC. The entire terminology "information services" comes from the computers II paper and congress' attempt to codify it into law. Several FCC papers including reports to congress (during Clinton's administration) distinguish the internet as separate from telecommunications services.

Please look into it yourself. Whoever told you that everything all the sudden changed in 2002, told you a lie. What had happened was a court case ruled the internet provisions of a cable company were title II and it was overturned in 2002. The FCC did not change any position at all, they just had the opportunity to ignore a court ruling in the Portland case.

Comment Re:Interesting argument (Score 1, Informative) 86 86

The same as they were after computer I and computers II and the interim reports to congress in 1996, 97, and 98.

The FCC has never taken the position that the internet was ever anything other than an information service. This is prominent and clear starting as early as 1968. The only thing that happened to differ was the Portland cable case temporarily said cable internet was title II but it was overturned on appeals in 2002. The FCC did not let anyone do anything other than what they maintained for the 34 years previous.

Believe it or not, the history on this goes back a lot further than 2002 or whenever you were born. Before 1996, the term used was enhanced services and the telecommunications act of 96 turned it into information services but it modeled it directly of the definition in the FCC paper computers II.

Comment Re:Interesting argument (Score 1) 86 86

As memory serves, it was Kevin Martin who created the informational service distinction in as far as the current internet is concerned. I believe he did so thinkng that this would allow free enterprise the opportunity to build out our networks to which I would point out has been only partly successful.

I cannot find any reference to Kevin Martin outside of some basketball player for some team I frankly have never heard of before. I couldn't say if you are right or wrong about the creation of the term itself. I can however tell you that the terminology was placed in the telecommunications law (1996) to model after the computers II paper published by the FCC. Before that, it was largely refereed to as enhanced services. I don't know if that is connected or not.

At the same time, to suggest that the Internet isn't rapidly taking over telecommunication is patently absurd. Next year, the POTS network will likely be scrapped and we have seen times when portions of our telecommunications network has been taken down due to weather incidents leaving people without the ability to call for help when they needed to.

Here is the problem. Telecommunications and information services are legally defined. It is the type of communications not how it is delivered, transported, or imagined. You could have a line of people holding hands who twitched a finger in serious that relayed communications from one end of the state to the other in real time. That could make that communications service a communications service but it wouldn't make the infrastructural (1 million people holding hands) automatically under regulations of the FCC. Part of the law
(pre title II change) was with what type of assurances and reliability communication services would be transported on. In that scenario, one person pausing for a bathroom break breaks the entire ordeal.

More to the point, we have seen what was once considered to be the gold standard in the world for telecommunications become an embarrassment where one of our larger carriers actually ran advertisements asking "Can you hear me know?" Is this the communications network you believe our country should have?

Lol.. You mean for a cell network? Of course I think it should be better. I travel a lot and am dropping calls all the time or having to ask people to repeat themselves because it sound like they stuck their head in a barrel every 5 words. But hey, should I be allowed to just come into anything you own and make it for the better without your permission or any specific act or law created by your elected officials?

Where we disagree (apparently) is that I believe the Internet is an infrastructure built for the common good and not as a cash delivery system for commerce.

No, we do not disagree with this.

And while I have no issues with people using the net for business (I do so myself) the idea that corporations should have the ability to do whatever their profit margins tell them to do with our net is past absurd as far as I'm concerned.

And we are not in disagreement here either. I guess if there is any disagreement, it would be in how to correct the situation. First, I think an actual law should be passed instead of unelected appointed officials reversing over 47 years of precedence (the first FCC reference that I know of about computer communications being an enhanced service and not telecommunications is circa 1968) and pushing their own agenda.

I do not have any problems with the goals involved, just the process in which they were implemented. It's like giving a murdering bank robber a pass because he donated all the money he stole in a bank robbery, where 5 customers suffocated after being locked in the vault all weekend, to charity looking for cures of childhood cancer. Well, no- it is not like that at all. But in the same, doing something wrong for the right reasons does not make that wrong right. At best it only makes it acceptable. Someone shoplifting to feed their family is acceptable to me. someone shoplifting because they are poor is not. Inventing new laws with absolutely no congressional oversight is not either if you ask me.

Comment Re:more interesting when the FCC said the same thi (Score 1) 86 86

The Portland case doesn't really say that. It basically says that information services use telecommunication services to develop and deliver the information services. It in essence says cable companies were telecommunication companies when they offer telecommunications services carrying information services over their infrastructure.

The news brief you linked to was about the FCC using this to develop and roll out broadband because it now has authority that can restrict or override local franchising boards.

I don't think it is a matter of being able to switch between the two rather that the lines between the two are getting blurred. For instance, you use a telecommunications service to transmit an information service but when it is IP telephony (like Vonage), you are transmitting a telecommunications service over a telecommunications service as if it was an information service.

Comment Re:Interesting argument (Score 1) 86 86

Information service is defined by law separate from what you are describing as an information service. It is as apposed to the legal definition of a telecommunications service. When speaking of such in pertaining to the FCC actions, we need to consider the legal definition and not the common one.

Comment Re:Interesting argument (Score 1) 86 86

No they did not. The internet was never Title II except for the attempt now and a brief lived stent coming from a ruling in the Portland cable case in which was overturned about a year later on appeals.

The FCC and congress behind them have repeatedly took the position that the internet and computer communications were information services and the variants signifying the same leading up to that terminology being created in the mid 1990s. There is a long and complete record of the FCC treating computer communications separate from telecommunications from about 1968 and on up until the Portland case (which the FCC argued against) and this FCC trying to change everything.

Comment Re:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 2) 142 142

The motorist in the video committed a crime -- several actually. But the cyclist committed an indiscretion by chasing down the motorist to give him a piece of his mind. That's not illegal, it's just a very bad idea.

Many years ago I heard an interviewer ask the great race driver Jackie Stewart what it takes to be a great driver. He said that a driver ought to be emotionless. I think this is very true for any kind of driving -- or cycling. Never prolong your reaction to anything that anyone does on the road beyond the split second it takes to deal with it. Let your attention move on to the next thing. Never direct it to a driver because of something he *did*. Keep focused on what's happening now.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun