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Comment: Re:The good outweights the bad (Score 5, Interesting) 208

by invid (#48666403) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart
Economic inequality is just getting back to its historical levels. Starting with the Great Depression, the US government realized it had to do some serious wealth redistribution to avoid societal collapse. Then came World War II, another big wealth redistribution. After the war there was the GI bill and the Cold War, where the United States, in order to look good compared to Communism, tried to build the Great Society. After the Cold War there was no reason for those in power to reduce economic inequality, so now it's going back to the norm for history.

Comment: Re:Like little children (Score 3, Insightful) 360

by invid (#48655015) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down
Um...politics and warmongering is the price we have to pay for not having a global dictatorship. If you have large groups of people who disagree with each other there needs to be a method of getting things done while allowing for the representation, at least to some degree, of these disparate groups. Would you prefer to have the world run by dictator who thinks like you (or perhaps you yourself would like to be the dictator) so you can advance to the world toward what you think is best, irregardless of what others want?

Comment: Middle age starts at 45 (Score 1) 285

by invid (#48629143) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...
When I was 40 I still felt young. I could still exercise regularly without too many muscle pulls and I could still eat a lot without gaining weight. Then I hit 45. It was like hitting a wall. My back started aching and my belly started to grow. And that's when I started to look old. At forty I could pass for early thirties. At 45 I could pass for 45.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Graduate School (Score 1) 280

by invid (#48612307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?
My first degree was a bachelor's in psychology which I got in the '80s. In the '90s I inherited a 286 computer and taught myself programming. I decided to switch careers so I went to night school. After getting an associates in computer science I was able to get on the ground floor in software engineering. My employer paid for additional night classes and after a decade or so managed to get my Masters in computer science.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 1) 417

by invid (#48575795) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
The AI will determine that it has to maximize entropy for the entire universe. In order to do that it needs to reproduce and expand out into the universe and have its children survive whatever they encounter. The best way to ensure its children's survival is to endow them with the maximum amount of behavioral flexibility while maintaining their goal of reproducing themselves and generating more entropy. These children will encounter highly complex alien AIs. They will compete for resources on a scale and level we cannot comprehend. However, the Terran AI will be wise to have as many different types of information systems at its disposal, including humans and whatever other naturally occurring aliens it encounters.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 1) 417

by invid (#48572935) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
To maximize the complexity of its overall system, it will need the greatest variety of complex systems, and one complex system it can't create immediately is a system that evolved over the course of billions of years. Earth shall be a tiny part of its overall plan and shall be maintained at low cost because it is a complex system it can't recreate. It can create simulated models, but they are not the same thing. It might need to limit the number of humans to maintain the Earth ecosystem, but it won't eliminate them.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 2) 417

by invid (#48567579) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 574

by invid (#48509013) Attached to: Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

The lust for power and status, the will to survive, and the desire to procreate, are all emergent behaviors of Darwinian evolution. Computer programs do not evolve through a Darwinian process, so there is no reason to expect them to behave like humans, unless they are specifically programmed to do so.

I'll go one further than that. I believe that the human manifestation of intelligence and emotion requires a particular physical state that is achieved by neurons and cannot be replicated by current computer architecture. But I'm fairly sure we will be able to architect human type sentience and intelligence because it is a physical state that will eventually be understood and surpassed--but yeah, it will have to be intentionally designed, based on what came about through evolution.

Comment: Re:Ignored? (Score 1) 574

by invid (#48508393) Attached to: Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity
The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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