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Comment As machines get smarter, we can get dumber (Score 1) 571

People used to do lots of hard work in the fields. But machines made that unnecessary.

People used to know how to do arithmetic and spel. But machines have made that unnecessary.

People used to learn to read maps. But machines have made that unnecessary.

People used to know how to follow rules that approve housing loans or insurance requests. But machines have made that unnecessary.

People still need to think. For the time being.

Comment No need for clean (Score 1) 699

There is no need to reset the boot loader.

Most consumer machines do not even come with a replaceable operating system.

If the system gets hosed or riddled with viruses you just buy a new one. Does not happen very often. People accept that.

You hark back to days when you could have some understanding and control over your machine. Those days are long gone. Think about how a teenager interacts with a computer. That is the future.

Comment MP3 players, not Nukes (Score 1) 170

That is the deadly weapon N Korea fears mosts. Drop a million solar powered MP3 players on K Korea. Load them up not with propoganda or an in depth analysis, but instead load them up with South Korean soap operas.

It is ironic to note that Bush is responsible for all of this. Everyone has forgotten that under Clinton N Korea had nuclear inspectors and no bomb. But after 9/11 they were ignored.

This could still go very wrong. I am amazed at S Korea and Japan's tolerance of N Korea.

Love the Dick Cheney quote. He was spot on. But 9/11 made them angry so they followed their guts rather then their brains.

Comment Rockets beat Drones (Score 1) 168

Some day a 0.5Kg is going to fly within 10km of a heavy aircraft (that it would not even scratch) and it will be announced that the world will end.

But buy a few kg of perchlorate, make a 10kg rocket, add a couple of kg of ammonium nittrate and you have a different story.

The trick used to be how to control it so that it can find a target. But a Raspberry Pi with a small camera and some relatively simple software could easily identify an aeroplane against a blue sky. And shield it with a bit of aluminum foil.

The solution, of course, is to ban the sale of Raspbery Pis.

Comment Computers are actually why whe have so many laws (Score 4, Interesting) 287

The number of laws, regulations and bureacratic systems has grown dramatically over the last 50 years. Why? Because we now have computer automation that enables bureacracies to implement them.

Consider the Tax Office / IRS. It has roughly the same budget (as a proportion of GDP) today as it had in the 1950s, before (electronic) computers. But the laws are much more complex today. Today's laws simply could not have been administered in the 1950s, without computer automation. And the more laws the more lawyers.

In the longer term (50..200 years) computers will be able to really think. At that stage it seems unlikely that they would want people around, let alone lawyers.


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