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Comment Sweet entrapment stimulus program (Score 1) 81

Well here is the way out of the economic doldrums. The government just needs to hire a fake terrorist, a fake sex worker and a fake drug dealer to stand outside your door every morning. They spam you with various goodies and opportunities. If you turn them down, you don't get a tax credit but you don't go to jail either. If you do take them up on it, everyone involved gets "statistical accomplishments" and it keeps the lawyers busy!

Synthetic decision tree spam (i.e. entrapment, stings) are pernicious and limitless, but there's no reason we can't use them to fix the economy. It's been working great for decades at a smaller scale.

Comment Western bias in consciousness threshold (Score 1) 244

There is a pretty heavy conceptual bias in defining what counts as consciousness, and as these borderline experiments continue it will only become more obvious. Outside of "the West" a much larger circle of reality is defined as conscious. That may include sacred elements of the landscape, celestial bodies, plants etc. The radical psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich held that everything in the universe was suffused with what he called "orgone" energy that tended to pulse and potentially spontaneously organize into more complex forms. By this logic planets and stars are also alive, the universe is not a dead object, even though they don't usually reproduce, they seem to have other features shared with what we conventionally understand is alive and/or conscious. The Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose also didn't draw such a hard line between dead and living matter, much to the chagrin of the UK Royal Society.

We still struggle to understand what happens at the energy threshold of activity in our neurons, and what is coming and going from the dirac ocean. The different behaviors of observed particles suggests that consciousness, or perception, is some kind of loop that can reach down to the atomic level in an experiment and back up to our human scale again. Perhaps these researchers can determine if that brain can "observe" a quantum experiment somehow, I think that'd be pretty interesting.

I honestly wonder how many people that make all these blanket assurances about how various things aren't conscious have ever hung out with some ferns while on something like psilocybin mushrooms, an experience which arguably discards a lot of ordinary perception filters - the very filters that tell you 'no, that plant is not conscious right now' etc etc. How many of these people also tend to say that animals don't have emotions, which is pretty obviously a false claim.

Comment reverse: impending graceful failures of government (Score 1) 264

I think it would be great if people could just shut down federal agencies because they can be predictively judged to continue being shady balls of fail in the future. Sorry FBI and DEA, we the people predict you will gracefully fail to notice any banksters laundering drug money again in 2016 and 2017 so your appropriations have been pulled. Later!

Comment Alternative tech: Greensock and WebRTC (Score 1) 220

WebRTC is maturing quickly with good vendor support for creating direct audio, video and data connections among browsers with many peer-to-peer possibilities including for example a sort of BitTorrent client: . Already WebRTC is the data conveyor for the Facebook Messenger app for example. I have been lucky to attend a couple talks in recent months about this. Be sure to check out Red5 if you are interested in video superpowers:

For flash-like HTML5/Javascript controls I have been impressed with Greensock - see - it even has a lot of 3D capabilities. Greensock started as a Flash toolkit and moved into HTML5 later, as I understand it.

We are getting to the point where even Unreal Engine can roughly compile for the browser so I think most of the unique capabilities of Flash are finally becoming supplanted in better and more open ways.

Comment Samsung Terminators need a Skynet (Score 0) 75

Samsung is a world leader in the insane killer robot business ( ) and now has robotic Howitzer, ammo and fire control platforms ( ) ... having a network of satellites too. Now all you need is a malicious AI to troll up a war with North Korea and it's game over... or something like that.

Comment dump standardized testing (Score 1) 99

This type of tech - maybe not just in one wave, but things of this nature - should replace standardized testing. To hell with filling in little dots, let the kids actually *create* things and then they are more likely to succeed. Tons of nasty leech organizations grab the kind of money needed for these sorts of initiatives. Swat them away and get creative - and yes 3D printers are manufactured in the US.

Comment A matter for free software (Score 1) 24

One hopes that GPL compatible software can be installed. As Stallman pointed out in his Libreplanet keynote a couple weeks ago, the separate computers are not really designed correctly to defend the other parts from runaway music player components or whatever. Having a Michael Hastings style crash is only a few malfunctions away...

Comment a lot of hostility to prisoners here (Score 1) 305

I think it shows a lot of insecurity about tech jobs that so many people here attack prisoners and fear job market competition from them after some basic tech training.

It is great that people could learn a trade which would let them prosper and be rewarded for their efforts. This could be much worse - they could be trained to become lawyers!

Comment Can any Greek speakers help translate GPL software (Score 1) 253

I helped cleanup & docs on a GPL project called Integral Community Exchange System (ICES) just approved as full project module suite . It is already used by Ecoxarxes (econetworks) around Spain specifically Catalonia to provide timebanking/time credit and needs/offers listings. It feature-replaces closed source CES software used in places like South Africa and Australia.

I think that getting basic needs connected and covered for people and enhancing trust among a web of people, without need for deflated (or low velocity /liquidity fiat currencies like Euro in depressed Spain or Greece), with either timebanking or basic services listed, already helping a lot of people. Exchanges: developer docs Thanks for considering something practical. No fancy blockchains, but an OAuth / OpenTransaction implementation to exchange crossovers is working in dev. If anyone would like to plugin or translate please check it out...

Comment So is SystemD or the old ways moar secure then?? (Score 1) 755

Is SystemD and these related libraries going to actually be more secure? It seems like init scripts were not a source of disaster earlier. The kludgy if-then scripts, while somewhat embarassing, seem predictable enough in their effects. I wonder if the converting of this idiosyncratic system into one big spaghetti monster will create more vulnerabilities.

Is the logging too verbose like a firehose to follow what's important? And would this help them charge money for DevOps? Where has the center of this conversation been? Without digging around Slashdot seems to be the only venue this gets any attention. Is it a result of centralization in the open source world, wherein relatively few people decide the fate of upstream distros?

Even if it works fine and solves some major problems, still: what can be done to decentralize the open source world? Can maybe SystemD get a kind of POSIX like clearly defined set of functions, and truly be made hot swappable for something less bulky and possibly devious? What would it take to unplug or supplant SystemD's role in GNOME?

Comment USI Fiber is a cheap business to operate, solid (Score 1) 110

I was lucky enough to have access to a home hookup on a lower USI tier for a while. It was of course far and away the best Internets around locally (altho now it's prompted CenturyLink to roll out). Coverage maps here

Another thing I loved was Comcast was forced to slash its rates in the covered zip codes dramatically, finally resembling a reasonable price. The solid upstream is very good for getting videos online, altho its true that the chokepoint winds up being the Youtube server, not the pipe. The entire time, except when someone doing laundry unplugged the basement router, it never really bogged down & you could tell the peering points were not saturated like is always the Comcast experience.

I happened to run into a bunch of the USI staff at an event & they explained to me that while they didn't have much capital, the little bit they were riding on could suffice to slowly build out the network. It took awhile to develop a process w the city to get easements on the boulevards but now proceeds smoothly. Conveniently everything is reliable (who knew buried optical cables are more reliable than coax on poles?) and the whole city network gets like 4-5 service calls a day. They were actually happy to not have to bother providing TV service w its finicky boxes, because they don't cover the whole city.

The ping times to the U of Minn timeserver at were around 2-4ms if you don't go thru a router.

Obviously they were a bit proud they'd been able to hang in the biz over those years, and considered themselves the "last man standing" against the big monopolies.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.