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Comment: Re:And the scientific evidence for this conclusion (Score 1) 380

> First, there is no reason to believe that we can built robots that can reproduce themselves.

What? This is exactly the technology humans are trying to reach! We're already a significant way down this path!!

> Second, there is no evidence that we or anyone else can build intelligent machines, as the original story seems to presuppose.

Nature did it. We can do it.

> Third, biological organisms are so many orders of magnitude more efficient and flexible than machines that it barely makes sense to put them into the same qualitative category "form of life".

This whole conversation is about extrapolating on the cosmic scale. If you look at the path robotics has taken in the last century it does, as pointed out, actually support the premise of this article.

> Hint: A human consumes only about 2.9 kilowatt hours per day, the equivalent of 1-2 light bulbs ...

Not relevant. Once machines are replicating and repairing themselves they'll do exactly what we do and find other sources of energy.

Frankly I agree with you that it's hard to picture Transformers inhabiting the universe, but OP did make a really good point that extrapolation isn't even in the ballpark of refuting this clown. Honestly I'm shocked he didn't come back with that XKCD cartoon.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

by swillden (#48624819) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

I used the phrase "thinkers", not "elites". Those groups I "give credit" to are huge. I don't hesitate for a moment that there are members of those groups who have the intelligence at hand and the foresight to see where things are going and to prepare for them. Lumping everyone in those groups as either/or doesn't make sense.

Regardless, you still give them way, way too much credit.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 3, Insightful) 658

by swillden (#48619251) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

he "thinkers" in govt, business and academia know this. The increasing militarization of the police, the complete disregard for the Constitution, the NSA monitoring everything, etc is getting ready for this.

You give the elites credit for way, way too much foresight, organization and discipline.

Comment: Re:Hmmmmm. Interesting decision history... (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by AuMatar (#48613253) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

True, a degree doesn't mean they have those traits. But this is where conditional probability comes into play. More people with the degree will fall into this category than those without, because the degree gives them the knowledge to wield those traits effectively. That means that when looking at a resume, you're more likely to get a good hire from one with a degree than without. And several of those traits are positively associated with a degree. Additionally, the floor is higher- while even those with a degree can be a bad hire, a mistake is more likely to be a mediocre worker than a bad one. So you minimize your risks and maximize your potential gains by just dropping the other pile, looking for diamonds in the rough isn't worth the time and money. Especially since the type of person you're discussing won't be easily discernible from a resume, you're looking at phone or in person interviews at much higher cost/effort to have a chance.

One exception I would make is with a personal testimonial of the non-degreed dev's skill by a developer I trust. But you're looking at corner cases there.

Comment: Re:Hmmmmm. Interesting decision history... (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by AuMatar (#48612989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

No, it absolutely won't. First off- drop the idiotic lingo. All it does is make you look like a tool. Secondly- the "rockstar" tends to have a degree. That's part of why he's so good, he's studied the foundation of his craft and understand the costs and benefits of different approaches. Once again, someone with a degree is far more likely to be able to do that then one without.

Secondly, when looking for high impact workers- the things you want don't correlate to no degree. What you want is hard working, creative, a willingness to step up and take ownership, and high intelligence. Lacking a degree means he's not likely to be hard working, he wasn't willing to put in the work to go to college. It means he wasn't willing to take ownership of his own career path. And it means he was either too stupid to get into college, or too stupid to see the benefits of it. The only one you might get is creative because he "went a different way"- but he did so without thought or a good reason for doing so, which again isn't what you want.

So yeah, the non-degree holder loses again. THere's a few exceptions (although only 1 I've ever met and he had 3 years of college before quitting for health reasons and needing cash too much to return), but I'm happy to miss out on them- a given engineer is more likely to be high impact with a degree than without, so again I'm using it as a good first screen to weed out the 90%+ who are useless in that category.

Now I have found some good engineers with alternative STEM degrees and a passion for coding- physics, EE, comp eng, mech end, etc. But you have to carefully screen to see if they actually know what they should, I would expect their math to be on par (or better), but not necessarily their knowledge of CS concepts.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.