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Yes, preliminary studies were used as justification, but it's not the scientist's fault that media and private interests ran with unconfirmed data as long as the scientists made clear that the studies weren't definitive. The main failure on science's part is a failure to be more vigilant in refuting bad information.
They're just a bunch of attention-seeking wannabe activists who talk a lot of shit and try hijacking every major news story of unrest to convince the world that they're somehow relevant.
From that definition, consciousness is a property of any information processing system, regardless of the underlying "hardware" (whether biological or electronic). The fact that the mammalian brain can create consciousness proves that consciousness can be created from physical processes, so I see no reason why a computer wouldn't be able to do the same.
The thing libertarians constantly fail to recognize is that centralization of power itself is the problem. They recognize it in government, but then somehow think that a corporation wouldn't abuse it's power.
What happens when consolidation leads to a single company that controls the food supply? When they get to choose who gets to eat or starve, how is that any different from a government rationing food? Any sufficiently powerful organization becomes a de facto government.
Having the current weather a glance away is really handy. Sometimes when I'm about to leave my apartment I'll check the time on my watch, notice that it's colder out than I expected and realize I should grab a warmer coat before getting outside and having to run back upstairs.
There's the convenience of being able to see text messages and phone calls even while your phone is plugged in somewhere to charge or play music
And when I get a text that doesn't require a reply, it's nice to be able to read it without having to dig my phone out of my pocket. It saves just a couple seconds, but it feels less clumsy and if I'm busy I can see if a message is important without breaking my train of thought.
I don't think smart watches are a great deal for everyone, but if you're willing to spend $100 to make life a little more streamlined I think it's worth it. I have a Pebble by the way, which only has to be charged about once a week.
Little kids think all kinds of "random crap" is profound, are they tricked into it too? No, things just become mundane once they become common. If anything your sober mind is tricking you into thinking that common things aren't significant, and smoking weed or dropping acid allows your mind to overcome that and see how amazing most things really are.