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Comment: Re:Three words... (Score 1) 612

by Yosho (#49708911) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Because you have to work to eat! Anybody who works less than 40 hours a week is a freeloader who doesn't deserve a dime. I'm not paying taxes to the government so that it can feed and clothe people who are too lazy to get full-time jobs! They can starve to death in the streets if they're not willing to work hard enough to get a college education after we've automated away all of the unskilled labor.

* Note: I personally do not agree with that line of thought, but that is how a lot of people, including politicians, feel.

Comment: Re:It simply won't work (Score 1) 612

by Yosho (#49707201) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Ever notice how much skill is involved making those tight turns?

The funny thing is, so much of that skill is necessarily because a mere human has very limited awareness of the space and obstacles around such a large vehicle. It requires a lot of intuition and practice for a human to be able to do that reliably... but not so much for a vehicle with a couple of LIDAR units and stereo cameras that knows exactly where everything around it is to within a few centimeters and can use a pathfinding algorithm to figure out the most efficient way to maneuver into a given position.

Sometimes the trucks have to move over into the left lane just to get turned to the right. Will a computer-controlled rig do that?

Yes, why wouldn't they be able to? Lane detection and predicting how wide an arc you need to turn are easy.

And sometimes even the most skilled driver gets his rig into a spot where he has to back up several times and try again and again. Can a computer even come close to that kind of skill?

Yes, and because they can calculate the exact angle they need to turn at and how far they need to move, they'll be able to do it much more efficiently than a skilled human driver.

Can a computer back a truck into the dock behind your local supermarket when space is barely available to maneuver? Even some truck drivers wince at doing that.

Yep. Again, the reason it's hard for a human driver is only because they don't have persistent knowledge of the world around their vehicle and the ability to predict exactly how the vehicle will respond to any given input.

I get the notion that whoever comes up with these hair-brained ideas hasn't.

I get the notion that the people who spend five minutes thinking about things they think will be hard for autonomous vehicles to do and then post it on Slashdot don't realize that there are teams of people who have been working on these problems for well over a decade now.

The hard things for vehicles to deal with are poor terrain (like an old dirt road overgrown with tall grass, or a road completely covered in snow) and unpredictable human drivers. The logistics of "how do I maneuver efficiently through a tight space" are the easy part. Maneuvering through a city is tough, but it's because of all of the human drivers that zip unsafely back and forth between lanes without signaling, don't leave enough space for other vehicles, blow through stop lights, and so on.

Still, keep in mind that the vast majority of time spent driving a freight truck is on the interstate. Even if it's a while before trucks can operate autonomously within city limits, it'll be easy to have an unmanned truck drive between cities and then just send a driver out to get in the truck at the city limits and drive it the rest of the way. That will still be enough to shred the truck driving industry.

Comment: Re:Pressuring the majority? (Score 1) 847

by Yosho (#49694725) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Fortunately, these restrictions are all unenforcible.

Only if, after you've been discriminated against and filed a lawsuit, your case goes before a judge who interprets the constitution that way. There are plenty in the states in question who would say that the law doesn't constitute a religious test if it doesn't specify which supreme being you have to believe in.

Comment: Re:Maybe due to misclassifying, esp. the Big-P? (Score 1) 847

by Yosho (#49683849) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Think about it: It claims to prescribe what behavior is good or bad, generally expects its adherents to take its pronouncements on faith, and has a lot to say against various religions - just like ("other") competing religions do to their opponents.

Of course, none of those things are among the criteria for what causes something to be classified as a religion, but feel free to keep drawing parallels if it makes you feel better.

Comment: Re:This is not a good thing. (Score 3, Informative) 847

by Yosho (#49680811) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Thoughtful people would, of course, never use a phrase like 'religious wacko', idiot, etc, so, alas, this thread will see little deep inquiry.

It must be very convenient to be able to ignore the opinions of people who disagree with you just because they used a word you don't like.

If there are a few of you, here, you may be interested in this: lack of religion in the us is strongly correlated with poverty; economic mobility (escaping poverty, "climbing the economic ladder", achieving the "American dream") strongly correlates with religious affiliation.

I'm curious, do you have any source for your strong correlation? My own anecdotal evidence is that the poorest areas such as slums and ghettos usually have very high religious participation, while wealthy, highly educated people are more likely to be nonreligious. And everybody knows that the prison population is overwhelmingly religious.

Comment: Re:Even 200 miles of range means that you... (Score 2) 318

by Yosho (#49642137) Attached to: Tesla To Unveil Its $35,000 Model 3 In March 2016

Yes, if you make several 200+ mile trips per year, it will still make sense to own a gasoline car...

But keep in mind that, first of all, many people don't regularly travel that far, especially people who live in large urban centers. If you only go that far a couple of times a year, renting or borrowing a friend's car is perfectly acceptable.

Also keep in mind that it's already very common for families to own more than one car. If both a husband and wife work and they have kids who are old enough to drive, it's very likely they have two, three, or even four cars, and you really only need one of your cars to be capable of long-range trips.

That's before you take into account superchargers; if your trip is taking you along a highway that has a supercharger, it doesn't matter, anyway. You can take a break to stretch your legs and have a snack for a few minutes while you charge your car.

I don't know the exact statistics, but I, at least, would be perfectly capable of selling my old car and living only with an electric car that has a 200 mi range.

Comment: Re:Income taxes are paid automatically (Score 1) 109

by Yosho (#49514961) Attached to: For the most recent tax year ...

If you get money back from the state (assuming you live in the USA), what that means is that your employer withheld more than you actually owed in taxes. In other words, that money was already yours, but the government got to hold on to it as an interest-free loan from you until you filled out the paperwork to get it back.

You'll be better off of your have your employer adjust your withholdings so that they don't take as much and you end up owing a little bit at tax time. I know it doesn't provide the same instantaneous gratification as getting a sudden windfall from your return, but realize that that's money you should've had all along for the last year.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov