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Comment Re:Post-scarcity is fictional and will never happe (Score 1) 542

Precisely. Economies of scale can do amazing things, and when you include massive automation and robotics into that equation: technology and the industrial efficiency of the future can and will lead to a situation where a company employing like six people could EASILY replace the whole market providing food to the world. You'd have a bunch of hardworking AIs and algorithms, roboticized farms (that might not resemble Big Agra much) and simply incalculable output.

The question then becomes, do you make people compete for this oversupply of food by proving their willingness to fight and defeat each other and thus their worthiness to be fed? We could call it 'Hunger Games, the society'.

Comment Re:Question in the title? The answer is likely "no (Score 1) 542

Look at the West now: no one is poor, not by any reasonable definition of the word. Barring drug addiction or mental illness, everyone has enough to eat, a roof over their heads, a mobile telephone, a television, and likely even a car. This would have counted as wealth 200 years ago.

The capitalist saying is very true: "a rising tide floats all boats". The problem is that no one wants to own the little boats.

Is this what they're teaching people on the Google campuses now? But then when I look closer, Bradley, this is you:

I am a professor of computer science at the University of Applied Sciences, Northwest Switzerland. If you are one of my students, you may find some of the links on the right to be of interest.

I also consult for small businesses, especially businesses interested in using an ERP system to make their business more efficient. I have written ERP systems for small businesses, managed ERP projects, and I teach this stuff too. If you are interested in an outside assessment of your needs, or looking for someone to help manage an ERP project, I would be happy to help!

Life, the universe, and everything
My favorite hobbies are programming and math, when I can find the time for them. I am currently working on a new ERP system for my wife's whisky business. You can also find links to a couple of other projects on my software page.

I am also interested in political issues. Politics is too often driven by special interest groups, while the rest of us just stand by and watch the train wreck happen. We - the ordinary citizens - need to be involved. I am interested in three main areas:

Technology. Too many "green" and "eco" groups do not understand technology. They oppose everything and offer no alternatives - apparently they want to go back to squatting in caves. Technology and cheap energy are the foundation of civilization!
Freedom. The free exchange of information is essential to a free society. Freedom of expression is a basic human right. Yet every western country has laws that enforce censorship and restrict your right to express your opinions.
Africa. Send food, and destroy the livelihood of local farmers. Send money, and watch it be sucked up by corrupt governments. "for God's sake, please just stop!" Africa does not need aid. Africa needs long-term projects that help people help themselves.

I see that you ALREADY live in the Gene Roddenberry post-scarcity future and act as if you do. You give resources freely and share information, though you're making assumptions like 'African farmers need to be able to compete for money on the global marketplace' which seems a weird assumption in this context. I'm just going to suggest that from where you're standing (not even IN THE WEST if you take the West to mean the USA. You're in Switzerland! We'd be doing pretty good too if we were in freaking Switzerland!), you should not be saying things like 'no one is poor, everyone has enough to eat, a roof over their heads' etc.

Go on with your nerd self, you're beautiful. But capitalism is not worthy of your faith, and I gotta say, you being in Switzerland and relatively wealthy as a college professor and not in economically challenged areas of the USA, YOU don't get to say nobody is poor.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 542

When every person has free time to create original artworks, every person DOES and they become valueless. This has already happened in music.

You can stick the greatest violinist in the world in a subway station and people won't give him a penny if they're too hurried and stressed. Value is always a social consensus, so it becomes a reputation economy and as a rule people only WANT one guy's original artworks, partly because it's a social consensus (see Warhol)

The trick is making it so that this is optional. If you MUST survive by being the guy with the reputation to create artworks, that gets ugly quickly.

If you're totally surviving but you want to be important, that's somewhat different and depends on what counts as important.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 542

That's a fallacy. Any intuitive jump a human can 'miraculously' do that seems illogical can be done by the genetic algorithm on a sufficiently large dataset with a certain (not huge) amount of initial randomness and bad answers to recombine.

This is why the freemarket capitalist ideal is counterproductive. You don't want to cull all the unfit things and promptly focus on all the fittest organisms. That gets you plateaus (sometimes very modest ones) and stultification: look at, say, Comcast. Good at culling competitors, but lame even in its continental US environment.

What you want is to maintain a diverse 'soup' of organisms/answers of varying fitness, maintaining the survival of the weaklings by force if necessary, so that you can exploit all possible recombinations and bust past plateaus. It's trivial for AI to do this, especially since it's demonstrably superior and only flawed human emotion tells humans that 'cull all the weaklings and make the most of the strongest!' is a winning strategy.

In the context of the genetic algorithm that's a fallacy, and it's trivial for AI to figure that out when simple experimenting shows you the answer.

And given that sufficiently large dataset with 'bad quirky answers' to mix in, the genetic algorithm FAR out-performs human intelligence. So, no such human geniuses can exist. Best they can do is match the AI/genetic algorithm performance by luck.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 542

If robots have done all the things, people have access to all the things that have been done (true NOW for musicians, writers and artists thanks to BitTorrent etc) and AIs are prepared to take on doing some of the toughest things, why SHOULD humans do things?

Specifically, strive and acheive, which is typically what's meant by 'drives people to do things'? If 'do things' is 'be good neighbors and care for one another' that changes the goal.

If you're thinking of human drive in some sort of John Henry way you've got to take into account the steam-drill aspect of that story. John Henry died, and the next steam drill built probably would've beaten him, so he'd have lost AND died. What good is he then?

We're all John Henry now. Within our lifetimes, there will be nothing a human can do that's not better done by a shellscript, a robot, or a corporation of mostly scripts and robots. They'll do ART better than humans (every heavily data-driven game, movie and TV show that panders to the common denominator and succeeds, driving out some creator-owned property, is evidence of this. They just can't quantify and distill 'artistic triumph' yet so they're focussing on 'Gilligan's Island', obvious pandering and trusted formulas)

People are going to have to be driven in different ways. Achievement is not going to be an option. Maybe you'll get a little prize of 'most successful human to do this'?

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 542

Yes, this. Slashdot is super hardcore in favor of the IP post-scarcity world put in place by Google, in which digitized everything is everywhere for the asking. Not to create scarcity means most creators are valueless, at more or less the valuation of a person capable of doing what you can do with a simple shell script.

Removing money creates a REPUTATION economy. It also makes creators die unless they're fed in some way (welfare, et al, or a universal basic income taken disproportionately from the biggest winners). Due to network effects from all this 'communication everywhere', the biggest winners get wildly more reputation than the run of the mill guys, to the extent that they can easily turn that into cash money in the current system. That's even true in music, barely, though you have to be Taylor Swift, who started out with money and used it to get into the pay-back position (beyond most people's abilities anymore)

You don't have to have a money economy. You can have a reputation economy, but to properly have one you have to switch off the money economy and set up a basic income removing money from the survival equation. That means covering food, housing, perhaps even basic things like means to communicate and create. Luxuries still require competing in some way to exploit whatever the economy is, and get a disproprtionate share of resources (such as being allowed to be the captain of the starship).

If it's a money economy, these things invariably go to whoever has taken the most money under whatever rules or lack of rules exist, much as the US Presidency has predictably gone to whichever candidate raised the most money in recent years (and will continue to do so) even after Citizens United which would seem to decouple it from 'one donation one vote'.

If it's a reputation economy, perhaps these things will go to whoever earned the most reputation under whatever criterion exist?

Comment Re:Numbers, please? (Score 1) 364

In that case (at least according to Russell Brand!) that means any Democrat will beat any Republican. We're not going to be running all the little candidates against each other, it amounts to one lump sum against another lump sum and the Democrats win.

Technically, that means it's time to get Bernie in there (he's pretty well matching Hillary, particularly with actual voter donations) because according to the piles of money, whoever's in the Dem chair will win. Demographics tell a similar story. There's no such thing as 'unelectable Democrat raising piles of money larger than the top three Republican candidates combined', and both Hillary and Bernie are in a position to say that.

Comment Re:Not News (Score 2) 364

The truth of it isn't interesting, to me. It's that this sort of guillotine-bait is being publicized when the 'deep state' OP cites, is specifically interested in having no such information be available.

I think it just goes to show the power of the whistleblower, and the instability of extreme injustice. When it gets this obnoxious, it's as fragile as it appears impregnable. Kind of like the USSR, which more or less imploded and balkanized.

News is the interface between the information and the act of communicating it. In this case the information is very old news to anyone who's been studying the world for a while, but the act of communicating it is strikingly different. This is off-script, and doesn't serve the interests of the 'deep state'.

Comment Re:Your laws ignore my rights (Score 1) 389

'Citizens United' was fairly recent by historical standards. In the last twenty years or so there's been a LOT of deregulation and it's been thoroughly taken advantage of by big money, who paid for exactly that.

It's not like this is normal by historical standards. It's more 'gilded age', characteristic of the precursor to a crash and subsequent overhaul of the system, reinstating the rules that used to govern.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen