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Comment: Re:And who will collect the trash? (Score 1) 439

by Prune (#48657661) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years
It will be for the worse. While the level of resistance of a system of inequality (hierarchical civilization) to revolutions that remake the social order has not been increasing monotonically throughout history, on average it has been increasing. In recent times, sufficient corrective feedback mechanisms have been integrated into human society that, in my opinion, successful revolution is impossible. Save for a global catastrophe (whether manmade or natural) that decimates the population, the current trends will continue. The endgame I would bet on is that advanced robotics will make poor people obsolete; what happens to them at that point is going to be something akin to what Marshall Brain wrote about in his story "Manna", minus the happy ending. So, you can't beat them, and chances are against you joining them. Upward mobility is mostly a game of luck no matter how skilled, dedicated, and intelligent you are. However, playing this lottery is the only hope, small as it is, that you, as a representative of the non-elite, have to create a decent life for yourself and your offspring.

+ - Congress passes bill allowing warrantless forfeiture of private communications->

Submitted by Prune
Prune (557140) writes "Congress has quietly passed an Intelligence Authorization Bill that includes warrantless forfeiture of private communications to local law enforcement.
Representative Justin Amash unsuccessfully attempted a late bid to oppose the bill, which passed 325-100. According to Amash, the bill "grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American""

Link to Original Source

Comment: How can it prove it when (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by Prune (#48529237) Attached to: How Astronomers Will Take the "Image of the Century": a Black Hole
The surface of the collapsing star takes an infinite time to cross the event horizon form the point of view of an outside observer? No star which has collapsed has yet turned into a black hole, and no one will at a finite age of the outside universe. The only way to prove the existence of a black hole is to fall through an event horizon. Of course, then you only prove it for yourself, and cannot tell anyone else.

Comment: Nuclear: least deaths per terrawatt-hour generated (Score 1, Informative) 652

by Prune (#48461677) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change
For all the talk of the dangers of nuclear, it has still caused less deaths per amount of energy generated than any other method that has been used to practically generate electricity: If you're not ignorant of these facts, then the only remaining reasons to oppose nuclear are either political (Naomi Klein-style anti-capitalist), or you're simply a misanthrope.

The whole issue of waste has been beaten to death. Reprocessing and breeder reactors leave only a little waste that can't be used for energy, and waste transmutation is a proven concept that further reduces any dangerous waste. With these processes, the actual nuclear waste left over is a tiny amount, and glassification trivially takes care of that.

Comment: Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (Score 1) 455

by Prune (#48454319) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba
I don't disagree that the body provided inputs can be simulated, but that is non-trivial because the brain-body system forms a very complicated set of feedback loops. My point is not that human-like AI is unachievable, but that most here are underestimating what, and how long, it will take. Regarding your question as to the minimum feedback needed, Damasio goes to some extent to address this; really, look up his latest book in the library (it helps that he's a great writer and it's easy to read). As for making intelligence that is non-human like so you can avoid having to deal with the embodied cognition issue, I discuss this in my post here:

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.