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Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 245

by ultranova (#48643091) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

No, that's what happens when you raise the minimum wage while keeping interest rates so low that the cost of capital makes automation much cheaper than humans.

No, that's what happens when you pay your employees so little they require public assistance to survive.

Rather than pay people to do stuff, you just borrow money to install machines that do it, instead.

Those people will require food stamps either way, which I'll end up paying for. The only difference is whether you get free labour or have to shell out for machines. So tell me: why should I subsidize your business?

You and your comrades in government are effectively paying corporations to get rid of human employees, just so you can whine about it afterwards.

And the alternative you're proposing is me effectively paying the payroll of those corporations. Even if I'd be willing to do so, which I'm not, it'll become impossible when my job is replaced by automation in turn.

Comrade me all you want, it won't change the fact that the system is breaking down. All defending status quo does is make the crisis deeper and the resulting changes more drastic.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 3, Interesting) 245

by CrimsonAvenger (#48642973) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Because last I looked, most of the developed world continues to struggle with unemployment.

Hmm, the USA considers "full employment" to be roughly equal to 6% unemployment (which we're pretty close to now).

Note that the "workforce" they're talking about is essentially everyone between the ages of 18 and 65.

Now, once upon a time, (immediately post-WW2, for example), the "workforce" did NOT include most of the women of the country. Which means that percentage employment has nearly doubled, using the 1950 definition of employment.

If we applied the modern definition of unemployment to that period, we'd say that during WW2 we were running probably 35-40% unemployment.

In other words, change the definitions, get different results.....

Comment: official statement (Score 3, Interesting) 106

The North Korean news agency mentioned (KCNA) has the statement on their website. It seems to be a weird webapp that doesn't allow direct linking, but you can find it if you click on "English" at the top, then scroll down a bit to "DPRK Foreign Ministry Rejects U.S. Accusation against Pyongyang over Cyber Attack". Or just look here:

Pyongyang, December 20 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA Saturday as regards the U.S. accusation against the DPRK over a cyber attack on a movie company in the U.S.:

Obama, Kerry and other high-ranking authorities of the U.S. cried out for sort of counter-measure Friday, claiming that the results of the investigation into the cyber-attack on the Sony Pictures Entertainment proved that the DPRK was behind it. They, without presenting any specific evidence, are asserting they can not open it to public as it is "sensitive information."

Clear evidence is needed to charge a sovereign state with a crime. Reference to the past cyber-attacks quite irrelevant with the DPRK and a string of presumptive assertions such as "similarity" and "repetition" can convince no one.

The U.S. act of daring charge the DPRK with a crime based on absurd "investigation results" reveals its inveterate bitterness toward the DPRK. This is proven, as in the recent cyber-attack, by the recent urge made by a man called a "human rights special envoy" of the U.S. State Department to movie-makers that they should harass the north Korean government and keep alive scenes hurting the dignity of the its supreme leadership. The U.S. ruling quarters are working hard to divert the criticism of its administration to the DPRK as the plan of putting on show the anti-DPRK film on Christmas Day canceled due to the controversial cyber-attack, causing an uproar in the U.S.

We will never pardon those undesirable elements keen on hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK. In case we retaliate against them, we will target with legitimacy those responsible for the anti-DPRK acts and their bases, not engaging in terrorist attack aimed at the innocent audience in cinemas. The army of the DPRK has the will and ability to do so.

The U.S. State Secretary is going to justify the production of the movie hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of a sovereign state while trumpeting about the freedom of expression. He should know that there is punishment of libel in enforcement of international law.

We propose the U.S. side conducting a joint investigation into the case, given that Washington is slandering Pyongyang by spreading unfounded rumor. We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture as what the CIA does.

The U.S. should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasure while finding fault with the DPRK.

Comment: Re:Wrong way of thinking. (Score 2) 245

by ultranova (#48642663) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

A minimally regulated market which has perfect knowledge by all participants.

Apart from "minimually regulated" being vague, it's in principle impossible to have "perfect knowledge". So claiming yours would be an awesome economic system is a bit like claiming that theocracy would be an awesome political system because it would have an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent deity at the helm. More than a bit, actually, since such ideologically pure economic systems always end up with deityfying their guiding principles, whether they be the Historical Inevitability of Communism or the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 4, Insightful) 245

by ultranova (#48642509) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Once again we have a clueless story about automation destroying jobs which ignores that the claimed effect doesn't happen.

Do you have any evidence for this assertion? Because last I looked, most of the developed world continues to struggle with unemployment.

Most of the developing world just doesn't have this problem. It's just another imaginary first world problem.

It sucks that the second and third world have problems. That doesn't mean the problems of the first world don't exist, or aren't potentially lethal.

Instead the problem is the punishing of employers. When you mandate high minimum wages and plush benefits, regulations which drive up the cost of an employee while simultaneously making them hard to fire, and the creation of a variety of liabilities (eg, being exposed to large liabilities due to unsanctioned actions of your employees), you create an environment where it is better for employees to move the work to a better location and/or automate it.

Lowering or removing the minimum wage means that the poor will either starve or receive food stamps. Both jackbooted security forces and food assistance require money. And that, in turn, means the only difference between keeping - or preferably rising - the minimum wage or lowering it is that in the latter case my taxes ultimately go to subsidize McDonald's and Wal-Mart's profits and oppress people.

We will see not only jobs moved to other parts of the world, but the automation as well. Call it "race to the bottom", "exporting the pollution", whatever, but it remains that a growing amount of valuable economic activity has been chased out of the developed world and it's not coming back.

What valuable economic activity would that be? Surely you aren't referring to activities so unprofitable that paying minimum wage for them is a "punishment"?

Comment: Re:What are the implications for the textbook mark (Score 1) 159

by Firethorn (#48641529) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

Since I don't know your specific situation, I could be completely misinterpreting what you mean. But it seems you have 0% "figure out the problem".

Yeah, you're off. Really, my solve rate was darn near 100%, but I hit the occasional spot where I was asking 'what the hell are they looking for me to produce?' - and the answer wasn't in the book.

I wasn't counting the problems where I already knew what to do, or could figure it out without outside assistance. That's practice, not learning. Of my learning, IE learning the symbols, the properties of various constants and such, the execution of various rules*, that was done as I said - mostly NOT using the book.

*Not enough time in the tests to re-derive them, had to memorize

Like I said, I could be completely misreading your situation, but from what you wrote, it sounds like if there isn't a template for how to solve every single problem type that you give up.

I'd hardly call what I did 'giving up'. I would work a problem until I not only had it solved, but I understood the solving method. It must of worked, seeing as how I pulled an A in a class where 90% of my grade was from closed book tests.

Comment: Re:News at 11.. (Score 1) 609

by ultranova (#48641333) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Copyright infringement is theft because it denies a copyright owner the ability to sell the product for which they have the copyright and thus they lose money. If I sell a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag that looks like a real one to Madame A, I am depriving Louis Vuitton the right to sell a real bag to Madame A.

And since setting up a competing brand does the exact same thing, it follows that competition is theft. Why do you hate freedom so much, comrade?

Comment: Re:Life form? (Score 1) 359

by nine-times (#48641253) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

So I would think that if the dominant "form of life" in the universe were robots, it seems like a reasonable guess that they'd have learned to self-replicate. If they're really so smart and able to dominate the universe, one might suppose that they would accomplish this through master of nanoscale engineering, creating robots that are able to grow copies of itself. It'd seem likely that such a process would include having a machine made up of organic molecules, able to take in and absorb matter, both for the material and for energy.

Little by little, imagining the scenario based on what we know of science, it becomes increasingly likely that these "robots" would be life pretty much as we know it. Maybe not quite the chemical bonds that we're used to, and maybe not in the shape of things that we're used to, but something that eats "food", excretes waste, is made of chemicals comparable to proteins, DNA, and whatever else. Able to "get pregnant" and "have children". Perhaps as different from us as we are from exotic deep-sea fish, perhaps even more different, but still recognizably "life".

So I guess what I'm wondering is, what do we mean if we say that the dominant life form In the cosmos are "robots"? I we imagining something with microchips, circuit boards, and metallic gears? I could think that super-intelligent machines would be less crude.

Comment: Re:News at 11.. (Score 1) 609

by ultranova (#48641251) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Words mean things, and I wish people would use them correctly.

Maybe you should become the change you want to see?

Sharing: Willingly giving a portion of your possessions to another, denying you use or benefit thereof.

"Sharing is the joint use of a resource or space."

Copyright infringement is not sharing. If I share my cake with you, I have given up a portion of my delicious cake I can no longer eat. If I share a ride with you, I've given up my personal space and privacy. But if you copy my file, I haven't given up anything. We both have full use of the file.

"In a broader sense, it can also include free granting of use rights to goods that can be treated as nonrival goods, such as information."

This begs the question: do you simply not have a good grasp on the English language, or do you have some bizarre political motivation?

Comment: Re:BitTorrent Maelstrom (Score 1) 76

by ThePhilips (#48641069) Attached to: Tor Network May Be Attacked, Says Project Leader


Dismantling the centralized institutions one by one - DNS, IANA/RIRs, hosting providers - whatever Maelstrom is capable of - is a step in the right direction.

If sufficient number of decentralized alternatives appears, one can try to nest them like a russian dolls. More layers of the nested services - higher the privacy (at the potential cost of reliability).

You might have mail.