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Comment: Yes. That's the zeroth law (Score 2) 165

by karlandtanya (#47026285) Attached to: US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

The problem is not putting morality into machines. The problem is letting these machines execute this "morality" in a complex environment with life-or-death stakes.

I program protective systems in factories. A guy opens a monitored gate and walks into a conveyor area. If the conveyor runs while he's in there, he will have a messy and painful death. The conveyor "knows" it's "wrong" to move under those conditions.
We don't use the word "morality", we say "safety". When auditing the software that lets the conveyor run I find a potential for exposure. Hang a lock and shut it down until it's fixed. The first law. In all except one case over 20 years I have received full support from production for similar decisions. That's precedence of the first law over the second law.

We know what's "right", and we try to teach that to the machines. Industrial safety operates with a very limited set of variables, and exception handling is simple--just STOP. Immediately stop moving and disconnect all power.

This idea that we can "program" morality and justice is not problematic. Of course we can; we write code for those things all the time. Heck, it's even called "code". Here's some. Here's some more. The execution engine for this code is a group of complex elements (people) from which emerges an even more complex "society". This "morality" execution engine constantly goes hideously and indefensibly wrong.

Now we want to create far simpler code and execute it with a far simpler machine. But with the same stakes and in the same environment. And the source of this simplified code and execution engine is the existing society, particularly the part of it most directly involved in many of the atrocities.

It's wise they're starting with autonomous "good" machine--search and rescue, first responder, etc. Maybe they'll learn something before humanity starts building autonomous "bad" robots. Thankfully, those exist only far into the future...

Comment: Need motivates Fear inhibits Trust mitigates fear (Score 1) 331

by karlandtanya (#46852923) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

Trust can never be the primary motivator; there is no intrinsic value to trust. Trust reduces the perceived risk; decisions influence by trust can result in better or worse outcome--depending on who we trust.

The inhibitor is emotionally fear, or rationally an expectation that doing something gives another person an opportunity to take action against me. Emotionaly, trust removes that inhibitor--or, again in a rational sense I know another person (or community, or machine) well enough that I can predict the behavior--and predict the person/people/machine or whatever will NOT take some action which will hurt me.

In order to replace a sensor I need to climb inside of a machine which can easily crush me. Where do I hang my lock? Do I trust that mechanical blocking device? Do I trust that software-based safety lockout system? The fact that I have a heavy steel blocking device that very reliably protects me from injury doesn't motivate me to go inside the machine.
I have very high trust I will not be injured if I go in the machine, but if I don't need to replace the sensor (or have some other business in there); I'm not going to do it.

The bleak tone of the headline suggests that not finding trust as a primary motivator implies that trust isn't present in the commons. If you look for trust as a primary motive, you wont' find it because that's not where trust lives. The conclusion that trust is not present or not important is an artifact of the observer's method--not a property of the commons.

Comment: They should put it at L5 (Score 4, Funny) 230

by karlandtanya (#46842539) Attached to: How Japan Plans To Build Orbital Solar Power Stations

Words: Bill Higgins and Barry Gehm c. 1978
Music: "Home on the Range"

Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus
And the three-body problem is solved,
Where the microwaves play down at three degrees K
And the cold virus never evolved.

CHORUS: Home, home on LaGrange,
Where the space debris always collects.
We possess, so it seems, two of man's greatest dreams:
Solar power and zero-gee sex.

We eat algae pie, our vacuum is high,
Our ball bearings are perfectly round.
Our horizon is curved, our warheads are MIRVed,
And a kilogram weighs half a pound. CHORUS

You don't need no oil, nor a tokamak coil,
Solar stations provide Earth with juice.
Power beams are sublime, so nobody will mind
If we cook an occasional goose.

INTERLUDE (to Oh, What A Beautiful Morning)
All the cattle are standing like statues.
All the cattle are standing like statues.
They smell of roast beef every time I ride by,
And the hawks and the falcons are dropping like flies...

I've been feeling quite blue since the crystals I grew
Became too big to fit through the door.
But from slices I sold, Hewlett-Packard, I'm told,
Made a chip that was seven foot four. CHORUS

If we run out of space for our burgeoning race
No more Lebensraum left for the Mensch,
When we're ready to start, we can take Mars apart
If we just find a big enough wrench. CHORUS

I'm sick of this place, it's just McDonald's in space
And living up here is a bore.
Tell the shiggies "Don't cry," they can kiss me goodby,
'Cause I'm moving next week to L4!

Comment: You can't "inspect in" quality (Score 1) 235

by karlandtanya (#46789239) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

If we take a less-than-good-enough-quality product and iteratively inspect and rework/repair each defect, we will produce a good-enough product. Intuition seems to suggest that this *should* work! Can't you polish a rough piece of metal until it shines? Heck, mythbusters proved you actually can polish a terd.

The manufacturing industry figured out a long time ago that you can't inspect in quailty. Your process has to produce a product-that-meets-customer-requirements, and if it doesn't you have to fix your process.

Oh, and the terd? It was shiny, but it still stank. And they don't last very long, anyhow.

Comment: When Harlie Played One (Score 1) 169

I learned this one at Genericon, but it's older than that:

Music: "The Children's Marching Song"
Robert Osband, c.1974
This machine, it played one.
It pushed start and program run.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played two.
Overloaded voltage to the CPU.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played three.
Designed its memory to 1 IC.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played four.
Changed its logic from AND to OR.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played five.
Memorized data from tape drive.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played six.
Told the CE what to fix.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played seven.
Printed out the road to Heaven.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played eight.
Shipped itself to Rome, Air Freight.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played nine.
Told the Pope it was divine.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played ten.
To sing once more push start again.
It's an IBM 360/85;
We computers are alive.

Comment: Re:God, Family, Country in that order for good rea (Score 1) 1255

by karlandtanya (#44735417) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

Thank you very much--this is *precisely* the example I was hoping someone would feed me. Consider that you have a duty higher than that to family.

To be a silent witness to crime is to be an accomplice to it. In your example, your family member is the "worst criminal". Not someone whose "crime" you don't find to be particularly evil--"stealing" mp3s, or driving faster than the posted maximum speed. In your example, the crime to which you would be an accomplice is "the worst"--murder, rape, genocide--whatever it is, it's that thing that you find most morally repugnant.
There are many ways you can address the issue. Turn them in to the police. Remove from them the ability to commit their crime--perhaps by having them committed under a physician's authority. Kill them and then turn yourself in to the police. It's up to you how you handle it--or fail to. And you'll be held accountable for that, too.
There is a duty higher than that to family. Your duty here is very clear. It's just not *easy*.

You have moral priorities, whether you like it or not. When you can't please everybody, who do you please? The priorities I cited are fairly well known and quite successful at producing societies populated by generally happy people. But they're by no means the only ones. I can't comment on the priorities you proposed because you didn't propose any.

It's not really *that* complicated, and that, I believe is why you take issue. You know what you need to do; you just don't want to do it. It's a lot easier to debate away your duty with complicated BS than admit the simple truth that you *have* a duty. But if you must, take solace in the abundance of books, preachers, teachers, prophets, enablers, self-help gurus, lawyers, partners-in-crime, and a panorama of religions ready to convince you that whatever you want to do is the right thing to do.

Comment: God, Family, Country in that order for good reason (Score 1) 1255

by karlandtanya (#44734271) Attached to: Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

tl/dr:
It doesn't work if you put your country before your family or your family before God or your Country before your God.
Volunteer to help your community. Help the schools. Feed the sick. Wash the feet of the poor. Who's stopping you? Do those things AFTER you take care of your family's needs. Anyone who looks out for their community BEFORE their family is dangerous to his community and his family.

God:
Whether I believe in your God or a God is not relevant; this is just the phrasing of the idiom.
This means "duty to self" to be morally correct--that is to say "maintaining myself as an instrument for good". Not as "looking out for number one"--(looking out for #1 is exactly the opposite!). It doesn't mean that I get to set myself up as a moral absolute and ignore everyone else's needs in order to satisfy my superiority. This comes first solely for the obvious practical reason that in order to do good, I must first be good or at least not particularly evil at that moment.

Family:
Once this instrument of good exists, the first I must serve is my family. This needs no further explanation.

Country:
A little thought tells me that I have a greater duty to those closer to than farther from me in this large community we call country. I cannot save the world. So I am responsible to do good where I can. I must help my neighbor before an arbitrary person on Earth (or off of it, I should be so lucky). That person has neighbors as well. In this area is of course Military Service, which also needs no explanation.
My community's schools fall under the rough grouping of Country, more specifically somewhere between "Neighbors" and "any other sophonts in the universe" or "All God's kids" if you prefer.

Way after Family.

These priorities are in that order for a simple practical reason: The results of screwing up the order suck:
History is full of examples: Good party members who rat out their family or neighbors for love of Country. A father who does things he knows are unethical in order to provide every luxury for his family. Nationalistically motivated genocide perpetrated by people who know *exactly* what "thou shalt not murder" means.

Comment: Freedom of expression is given... (Score 2) 582

'Freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they’re saying and not hiding behind anonymity,'

Fuck you. It's a human right. Happens to be protected by our constitution, but that's not where it comes from either.
You (Arianna Huffington) are a sanctimonious twit to sit there and dictate terms under which freedom of expression is "given".

Comment: Of courese AA's a religion; it's actually a cult (Score 1) 330

by karlandtanya (#44538169) Attached to: The Science of 12-Step Programs

Yes, it is. There's lists of criteria that help you recognize cults--read the lists and then go to a couple of meetings.
Religion and cults are not bad per se. Just powerful social tools for making people do or be something other than what they are right now. Such tools can be used to do very, very bad things. But they can do good things, too.

So they're a cult. That's the point. I joined with full knowledge that these people are trying to brainwash me. Because that's what I wanted them to do. Help me reprogram my thinking because what I was doing wasn't working. I believed (yes, thats a "d' there) in it for the same reason anyone believes in anything. I chose to.

After a while, I didn't believe in it anymore. Character flaw I guess; after I'm around some BS for too long I can't believe in it anymore--even if I want to. Same thing happened when I tried a sales job. I kicked ass until it finally sunk in this was all cynical manipulation and made-up BS.

27 years later still clean and sober. AA helped me get that way. But when I was done believing I was done believing.

I go to a meeting from time to time; the fellowship is still there. But I don't believe the religion anymore. In life, if somebody asks for help, I'll share what I have experienced, and if I need help I'll ask for it. And if somebody wiser than me points out a character flaw I have, I'll take a look at it and maybe do something about it. I don't do this within AA because I don't hang out there. But I learned how to do these things in AA.

What's the point? None; I'm not trying to prove a point. Just thought somebody who'd actually been there should speak up.

Comment: Wow--I'm really glad to read this! (Score 1) 237

by karlandtanya (#44333599) Attached to: Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water

Our household in Ohio depends on a private well for all our water, and it would surely be miserable if it got contaminated.

Just today, our dogs were freaking out because of the fracking machinery running on the neighbor's property.
Poor Blanche just shivers and pants. It's better with her Thundershirt, though she's still fearful.
And my wife told me she felt another earthquake this afternoon. She's from CA, so she knows earthquakes.

I guess we can live with all that, but you gotta have clean water! It's just such a relief to know that our well is safe.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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