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Comment: Re:What if there isn't any truth out there? (Score 1) 93

by invid (#47118531) Attached to: Hunt Intensifies For Aliens On Kepler's Planets
I'm going to assume that intelligent civilizations are much more rare than natural resources in the galaxy. Since intelligent civilizations probably develop in radically different ways, we would be far more valuable as objects of study than as a source of minerals. It would enhance the survival of a star spanning civilization to understand how other intelligent civilizations evolve.

Comment: George Carlin (Score 1) 136

by invid (#47073559) Attached to: Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped In Arctic Ice

Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

~George Carlin

Comment: Re:It's all about ME, ME, ME. (Score 2) 255

by invid (#47055151) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence
The robot should give priority to its owner. If the robot has to consider all humans equal, it will have to deal with ambiguity and uncertain intention in the external environment, which can lead to some disturbing possibilities. Consider the possibility that a robot could be manipulated into committing murder by having two pedestrians step out in front of a car on a narrow bridge. The car has no choice but to turn off the bridge, because two people are worth more than one. Or turning away from pedestrians (who are more likely to die) and instead going into oncoming traffic (where the oncoming car may or may not even have a passenger, or it may be a school bus). By always maximizing the survival of the passenger, I suspect that overall deaths will be minimized.

Comment: Re:Always? (Score 1) 104

Personally I like the idea that the underlying reality of the universe is random. I find the idea that the universe is a deterministic clockwork to be depressing. Of course, the universe is going to be whatever it is no matter what I think. Unless, of course, I'm the one who collapses the wave function.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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