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Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 634

by BasilBrush (#48647293) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

What would you label Al Gore "the polar caps will be gone in twenty years!!!"

One of the things that makes you an idiot, not a sceptic is the belief you can just invent a quote based on something you half remember from a denier site.

Another thing that makes you an idiot is the complete lack of knowledge that the north polar ice cap is indeed shrinking every year.

A third thing that makes you an idiot is believing that the truth or falseness of AGW depends in any way on what Al Gore says, even if you hadn't invented the quote.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that... (Score 1) 82

by MightyMartian (#48647159) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

I don't think NK is a satellite state in the usual sense of the word. China certainly shields NK, but its reasoning isn't always clear. NK does act as a major counterbalance to US interests (Japan, South Kore and Taiwan). At the same time, NK seems extremely suspicious of China and some believe that at least part of the reason for the latest purge was to cut out members of the regime with too close a ties to China.

Comment: "We didn't do it. Shutup or we'll do it again." (Score 4, Insightful) 82

by JoshuaZ (#48646997) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks
North Korea's response seems to be "We didn't do it. Shutup or we'll do it again." See for example the quotes listed at After saying that they didn't do it, North Korea then says that:

The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.

They then go on to say that their soldiers along with the hackers in question are sharpening their bayonets. North Korea seems to want to have it both ways: claiming that they didn't do it, but wanting everyone to take their threats seriously like they did. At this point, there really shouldn't be substantial doubt that North Korea is responsible. The only question is what the proper response is.

Comment: Re:So let me get this straight... (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645865) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

So who had TV in 1960? Not the poor, I'll tell you that. A phone from the year 2000 is still one hell of a lot better than the phone I had in 1965.

Sure, at some point, what we have today moves out of our economic grasp. But you simply cannot sensibly deny that the standard of living, lifespan, and contentment of the lower levels (not the lowest... that's another problem entirely, a legal one) are continually rising.

Comment: Taxes, shmaxes (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645853) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Money is a proxy for exchange of work. If the work is being done by automation that does not require exchange, money is not required.

o Mining: automated
o Agriculture: automated
o Livestock industry and/or artificial meats: automated
o Manufacturing: automated
o Ordering: Network based, zero cost
o Network maintenance: automated
o Transport: automated
o Delivery: automated
o Power: Solar and storage based, instead of local fuel-based

So what's left for you to do in this production context?

Consume. That's all. Outside of that, enjoy yourself. Hump a lot (robot partners or real ones.) Consume entertainment. Sleep. Exercise. Pursue hobbies. In a word, enjoy your leisure.


o Firefighting: automated
o Policing: automated
o Emergency response: automated
o Medical care: automated
o Scientific advance: automated
o Travel: automated

And of course:

o Repair of automation: automated

Only things of inherent scarcity would still have value; land, spectrum, that sort of thing. Those are going to be the initial "crunch points" in any transition we attempt to make. There will be others, such as extreme consumption (hand build vehicles like Lambos, huge domiciles, yachts, like that.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645811) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Well said. Except for one thing. It's not the government who pays them. They're just like a banker, they're just handling the money as it passes by. (Poorly, but that's another post.) We pay them. So the burgers do indeed cost more, it's just that the cost is hidden by moving the payment to the tax collection step.

Comment: Corporations outvote you every time (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645803) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Corporations don't vote.

You couldn't be more wrong. Corporations vote through extremely powerful multiplying proxies variously described as bribes, campaign contributions, assurance of later employment and so on, often via extremely powerful channels known as "lobbyists." These votes carry more weight by far than any collection of constituents. You can change the players, that is, vote congress in and out repeatedly, but this does not affect how corporations and the rich control the actual legislative outcomes in any significant way. It just changes who gets the bribes and so forth.

It's like your server changing at McDonald's. New guy or gal, they're now getting the the income the previous employee no longer receives, and they're still telling you "I'll see to it you get a great burger, sir!" but you're still getting the exact same burger. Every time.

Of course, this control isn't actually a voting process, instead they represent a much more direct and effective mechanism of control (direct meting out of money and power and opportunity), but the effect is that your vote and my vote isn't worth a plugged nickel in controlling what legislators do, or don't do. It's just like being outvoted, only much more consistent and effective. The only time your vote appears to matter is when you are voting for the same ideas the rich and the corporations are pushing.

There are very, very few legislators who retire poor. Funny thing, eh? Oligarchy: Look it up, read it, and weep.

Comment: Oh, no. You have this REALLY wrong. (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645765) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Of course they're benefiting from government assistance. When employees cannot survive on low wages, the government makes up the difference, thereby providing business with the continuing ability to pay lower than adequate wages. No health care? Government. Not enough food? Government. Can't pay the rent? Rent assistance. Not enough for day care? Childcare assistance.

And guess who pays for all this? Not walmart or pizza hut or subway... no, we do.

It's a shell game: hiding the actual costs of producing and serving and supplying goods (eg pizza, walmart's merchandise) behind a curtain of indirect government support. If the pizza server and walmart employee earned an adequate wage, this would show up in the price of goods. They don't want that. So instead, your taxes go up, the politicians shrug, and the walmart family is one of the wealthiest in the country, more than a little bit based on those indirect compensation boosts they don't have to pay.

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645737) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

What you're missing is that they think eliminating the need for THEM to be a slave to somebody is a good thing, as long as YOU are a slave to them. Because that, in a nutshell, is the situation that wealth concentration creates.

I should be rich.

You should do what I tell you to do, and I'll reward you miserably for it. Or not at all, if that can be managed.

Comment: Soylent Green (Score 1) 533

by fyngyrz (#48645727) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Ahhhg. Soylent Green was "bad movie all the way down."

Read Harry Harrison's "Make Room, Make Room" so you can (a) have a wonderful read and (b) see what a corrupted, idiotic mess Hollywood made out of a perfectly good story.

Soylent Green is the poster child for the message of a scene in The Majestic. Here's a great summary from the Intertubes:

The movie begins in a Hollywood story meeting in the early 1950’s. Before we see anything we hear a group of studio executives (hilarious vocal cameos by some of Hollywood’s top directors) eviscerating a script by casually throwing in every possible movie cliché. As they call out “How about a dog!” and “The kid should be crippled!” the screenwriter sits there, stunned into silence. Finally, he musters up a diplomatic, “That’s.amazing.”

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 533

by TheRaven64 (#48645719) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Most of the developing world just doesn't have this problem.

Actually that's not true. India and China did very well out of being a cheap place to manufacture things because of the low labour cost. Now, factories that are almost entirely automated are replacing those staffed by unskilled workers. This means that no one is building them in developing countries and creating jobs there. The only reason that companies like Foxconn have for picking places in Africa for manufacturing now is the the lack of environmental regulation: a few politicians get paid off, but the local economy doesn't benefit and the local environment gets polluted. The path Japan took, of cheaply copying things, being a cheap place to build factories, developing local skills, and then competing internationally with original products, doesn't exist anymore.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming