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Comment Re:i love infrastructure (Score 1) 236 236

china says the spratlys are on ancient chinese maps (as if that's justification, just mapping something). no chinese ever lived there

all that happened is someone drew a nine dotted line on a napkin 70 years ago:

china plays the long game. they're an empire which has expanded and contracted for dozens of centuries. the area russia stole from them has been chinese many centuries more than russian

and is currently oveflowing with chinese:

remember how texas became part of the usa?

china wants resources

china is becoming imperialistic (they are boldly grabbing islands and you're claiming they aren't bold?)

outer manchuria was gobbled from them during the century of humiliation and unequal treaties

so the chinese are on the long view. they're just waiting. when the time comes, they will pounce, and no one will be able to do anything about it

outer manchuria is there's, they are certain of it, and when the time comes, it will be there's again. all it takes is a few more decades of russia continuing to rot economically, socially, and politically as it is, and china to continue to grow economically (and if they have social and political upheaval, then an ultranationalist demagogue may seize control and we'll see this happening sooner)

Comment Re:i love infrastructure (Score 1) 236 236

it won't be a nuclear war

siberia is already overflowing with chinese. china can complain about the poor treatment of minorities

sound familiar?

run it like russia in georgia in ukraine: inflame and create puppet separatist movements

russia can bitch as loudly as it wants that china is behind the whole thing. china can simply say it's a local uprising

if russia tries anything militarily against china itself, muscular china will smack dying russia (this is in 20 years, considering russia's current economic trajectory and china's current economic trajectory)

meanwhile china will have much more money, and simply provide "humanitarian aid" to chinese and other "repressed minorities" in siberia

small weak independent state in siberia will be created, and china will dominate them with money and social influence. no need for actual declared political control

there is no openly declared war of total destruction, so there is no reason to use nukes

Comment Re:i love infrastructure (Score 1) 236 236

you're talking about an openly declared war of total destruction

if russia continues it's economic, political, and social degradation, it will become weak enough that china can free siberia the way texas was carved from mexico: an uprising by locals, controlled by china covertly. buy off corrupt russian officials, provide "humanitarian aid", etc

then there is no war declared and no one for russia to nuke

russia can whine and bitch that china is supporting the whole thing, and china can just say it's a local uprising

if russia attacks china anyway, now muscular china has every right to openly attack dying russia

either way, you absorb the "independent state" later

sounds familiar?

yes, because this is how russia operates in abhakazia (georgian province), eastern ukraine, crimea: inflame, create, and encourage a puppet separatist movement

so what i'd like to see is: in 20-30 years china rushes in to "help" chinese minorities abused by russia

just for the irony

watch russia complain in blind hypocrisy

ukrainians and georgians are nodding their heads knowingly right now

already, chinese minorities in siberia are huge and a worry for moscow:

it won't be but 10-20 years before the chinese are running siberia by economic and social fiat, undeclared, informally, if not officially politically, with russia's weak economy and small population. the actual political control can come later, even much later

siberia breaks from moscow with chinese covert encouragement, just like russia in ukraine and georgia today, and china runs siberia as small weak puppet states

Comment Re:Two words: global warming (Score 1) 236 236

well yeah, on a trajectory of 100-200 years. i'm talking about right now

i even said so in my comment you are replying to: "someday, in only a few decades maybe the way technology and world populations are going, then the scheme would realize a profit" over a shorter period

Comment Re:i love infrastructure (Score 3, Interesting) 236 236


china is currently picking on vietnam, philippines, japan, india, etc., thugging han imperialist efforts to steal land

meanwhile, all is quiet on the northern border with crazy, dying russia

at some point, china will notice that it's stealing speck islands and barren mountains from its neighbors according to hilarious historical made-up "justifications," when russia actually stole vast tracts of resource-rich land from china only 150 years ago:

then things will get interesting with the derelict work force you are talking about, who can easily be handed a gun and told to charge. perhaps china will have some social/ political upheaval, an ultranationalist demagogue will take charge, and, like after every revolution (french, russian, arab spring, etc.) things quickly turn imperial on its neighbors

russia is a failed cult of personality petrostate that everyone hates because it also is a neoimperial thug (only on weak neighbors of course, like any insecure bully). it will continue to decay and have old rusty weapons someday

but china is a rising power a huge economy and with 10x the population of russia will continue to militarize with sophisticated advanced weaponry

THAT is the story with china and siberia, not this silly bridge

the world powers have to talk about how to divide russia when it finally implodes, that's the end game of the trajectory the joke country is currently on

japan gets back sakhalin, kirils

kamchatka would have to be "occupied briefly" by japan and the usa so it is not completely overrun by china when the inevitable happens

i welcome the new countries of tuva, irkutsk, yakusia, etc. (quickly and easily run over by china, and now new north korean style puppet states: i hope not, hopefully more like mongolia)

russia gets pushed back to the urals

and let's not even get started on the revenge that will happen in the european side of things...

hey germany, want to revive konigsberg?

finalnd, you deserve karelia back

abkhazia, crimea...

it's a continuation of the rot and decay that started in 25 years ago with the collapse of the USSR. that's the long term trend that has never been reversed. a brief lull with some petroleum money that is now gone, and mafia goon putin putting a face of denial on that, it doesn't change that trajectory

if you think the kgb thug chest thumping by putin on small, weak georgia and ukraine is supposed to impress anyone other than propagandized neoserfs in a walled media garden inside russia. no: the thugging just isolates russia internationally and makes everyone despise them. so they have absolutely zero friends, and enemies all around when the longterm implosion deepens

and if you think russia's nukes would prevent this scenario: no, any use of nukes would only hasten it

russia: you lost a maritime conflict with a rising japan and then a civil war 100 years ago. get ready for a much more humiliating conflict with china, and much more internal decay

i give it 20-50 years. sooner if china gets internal strife soon and therefore the desperate need to redirect that energy to han ultranationalism on the border

i would actually prefer if it happens in putin's lifetime. let's see that asswipe humiliated. unfortunately, he'll probably die a "hero" and then all the heroic destruction he's done to russia politically and socially will result in the country's serious collapse after he dies

Comment Re:i love infrastructure (Score 1) 236 236

ok, what does that change?

opening a small part a little early offsets by a tiny fraction the tiny amounts that would make the route profitable

we're talking about comparing the price of shipping on a container ship and the price of going by rail/ truck on this crazy route

Comment i love infrastructure (Score 1) 236 236

but this is nuts

if the cost is {Y}

and the profit per year is {X}

then 500 years * {X} = {Y} roughly

the cost, including building the roads/ rails to get to the bridge, greatly dwarfs, by many orders of magnitude, the quantity of commerce that would flow

finally, compare the cost to your average container ship fees and where you want to ship it

waiting for a many century payoff is not wise

someday, in only a few decades maybe the way technology and world populations are going, then the scheme would realize a profit in maybe 50 years

but we're not there yet

file this story under "will happen when i am a very, very old man or after"

Comment We have no idea what "superintelligent" means. (Score 2) 205 205

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:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 1) 153 153

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.

You may call me by my name, Wirth, or by my value, Worth. - Nicklaus Wirth