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Comment: Re:And Chicago is relevant to Australia? (Score 1) 60

As an Australian, I point out (a) the lack of oversight in both situations, (b) the lack of checks and balances in both situations, (c) the lack of transparency in both situations, and (d) that the phrase "51st state" is not a compliment over here.

NSW Police, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police all declined to comment.

“It’s another example where [agencies] are collecting the entire haystack in order to find the needle,” Senator Ludlam said in an interview with Fairfax. “What we've seen with other techniques like this is there is no requirement to destroy the material that is collected incidentally after an investigation is complete,” Senator Ludlam said.

The primary thing in common isn't just the outrage they spark, it's the exact same reason it's sparked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will guard the guards themselves).

Comment: Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (Score 1) 160

by Sabriel (#47419807) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

"1) If you think a job is a right, you're wrong." - I don't.
"2) If you think any one company has to create jobs, you're wrong." - I don't.
"3) I, certainly, am not obliged to create a job for you either." - You're not.

"And the guys throwing rocks, they'll be wondering why no employer will touch them in a year's time."

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about just a few people. I was talking about what happens if national economies based on labour scarcity, already under strain from severe income disparity, run headfirst into automation advancements that make jobs obsolete faster than society can create and fill (because training takes time) new ones. Because what are the odds that governments, being governments, will decide to throw band-aids at the problem for far too long and put their nations at risk of economic collapse before/as they transition to a labour-surplus economy?

"The Luddites may have had cause to be upset, but they were pretty much gone shortly after - because there's only so long you can protest about not having a job before you have to go find another, or before the law steps on you."

Yes, and "the law" didn't bother to check who it stepped on. The original Luddites were "pretty much gone shortly after" because the British government of the day responded with indiscriminate show trials of the guilty and innocent alike, and heavy-handed sentencing including executions and penal transportation. I've noticed that when people make Luddite jokes, they leave out that bit. For some reason it kills the mood.

Comment: Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (Score 1) 160

by Sabriel (#47404053) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

The only consistent, ongoing factor in automation is that it does more, faster, more reliably, cheaper at the expense of staff who did less, slower and less reliably but cost more. Sure, people need jobs - but nobody but the government is obligated to create them.

"Your poverty isn't my problem" is usually where it all goes to hell, yes. Right up until the poor collectively discover that they can still throw rocks.

Comment: Re:Consciousness (Score 1) 284

by Sabriel (#47396913) Attached to: Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Why do you believe that there must be a religious explanation for a "soul"?

Why do you believe there must not be a religious explanation for a soul?

I don't believe either way. It's not a binary choice, you (should) know.

Ot goes both ways based on current evidence. There is evidence that the soul is a quantum phenomenon that can not be simply created (for varying definitions of simply) and this possibly explains so many things.

Actual evidence? I was under the impression there were only theories, and if I believe anything, it's that scientific evidence proving the existence (or non-existence) of souls should be front-page news. Okay, maybe page two or three, depending on what else happened that day. But major news nonetheless.

I acknowledge its only a possibility and the theory has only a small amount of evidence but you have exactly none to back your statements.

Which statements would those be? I made two. The first was that the previous poster had made a claim that relied on an unsupported assumption; you demanding I provide evidence for someone else's unsubstantiated claim being wrong is a tu quoque fallacy. The second was that it would be no less a major discovery if we found scientific proof that we did have souls (than if we found we didn't); I took it to be self-evident, but feel free to ask a journalist (or priest) their view.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 2, Insightful) 704

by Sabriel (#47395475) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

You know what's really weird? That so many people without a PhD in climatology think they need to look at the research to know whether the scientists are right or wrong.

http://in.reuters.com/article/...

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that efforts to address climate change should focus on engineering methods to adapt to shifting weather patterns and rising sea levels rather than trying to eliminate use of fossil fuels.

Tillerson said humans have long adapted to change, and governments should create policies to cope with the Earth's rising temperatures.

"Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around -- we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem and it has engineering solutions," Tillerson said in a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations.

It's so much easier to just follow the money.

Comment: Re:Consciousness (Score 2) 284

by Sabriel (#47395339) Attached to: Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

Why do you believe that consciousness must not emerge from brain activity for there to be a "soul"?
Why do you believe that there must be a religious explanation for a "soul"?

Whether or not there actually is a "soul", your provided definition of it doesn't require either of those to be true.

And it would be no less a major discovery if we found that we did have souls. Or that only some of us did. Or that we only got them at a certain age. Or only under certain conditions. Or that we could create them. Or destroy them.

Comment: Re:Do they own him? (Score 1) 272

by Sabriel (#47374195) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

Well, the 13th Amendment of the United States constitution reserves the power to make and keep slaves to the government; combine the latter's oligarchic aspects with the "revolving door" and it's obvious the poor little executives are just confused and forgetting which side of the curtain they're currently on ;p.

Comment: Re: and yet (Score 1) 173

by Sabriel (#47365405) Attached to: Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Oh, it's a matter of the risks?

Look at the Wikipedia entry for Hobson's choice: "The phrase is said to originate with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England. To rotate the use of his horses, he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all."

If it were solely a matter of the risks, the customer obviously also had the choice of stealing a horse. But the desirability of that happening and the likelihood of that working out for the customer is so low that we go ahead and call it a Hobson's choice. Ditto Snowden: the desirability of the remaining alternatives and the likelihood of that working out for him is so low - now that the revocation of his passport has caught up with him and that other countries are demonstrably willing to interfere with even presidential aircraft if they think he's on board - that I'm going to call it in the ballpark. YMMV, and apparently does.

Comment: Re: and yet (Score 1) 173

by Sabriel (#47364167) Attached to: Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

While true that any country can grant asylum regardless of the lack of a passport, the person still needs to be able to reach that country. Thus the second half of my original comment:

(perhaps he could still have got himself smuggled out in a diplomatic bag or some other James Bond shenanigans, but considering the Evo Morales grounding incident, that might not have worked out so well)

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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