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Comment: Re:As a Developer of Heuristic AI ... (Score 1) 499

by khallow (#49149973) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Until self awareness happened, human beings did not exist - they were just apes who could walk on two legs. And until an "AI" has self awareness it is just a computer.

Defining something as intelligent when it is not self aware is just meaningless playing with words. A world beating chess computer is no more intelligent than my alarm clock. It's just a machine doing a job.

Funny, you should mention "meaningless playing with words". You redefine three important concepts: "intelligence", "existence", and "self-awareness" in ways that just aren't relevant.

"Existence" is the most broken concept. I'm currently sitting in a chair. By that observation, I can determine that the chair exists. Since it exists, then it must have in your sense enough "self-awareness", which puts a really, really low threshold on the amount of self awareness and intelligence that a thing needs in order to exist. None seems to be the absolute minimum threshold here.

Similarly, intelligence is not the capacity for self-awareness. Instead, it is:

the ability to learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations

If we are to speak of the narrow category of the things having to do with learning or understanding aspects of oneself, then I suggest that wisdom is a closer label than intelligence.

And of course, this brings up the obvious point that if we have a machine that can fulfill the definition of intelligence far better than humans can, even if it has absolutely no self awareness (say due to deliberate programming of that blind spot for safety, efficiency, or ethical reasons), then of course, it is more intelligent than we are.

Comment: Re:Now I want to see an endless stream of railcars (Score 1) 429

by khallow (#49138429) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

FYI - oil is currently flowing through the Keystone pipeline from Alberta all the way to the Gulf Coast, and it's been flowing that far for over a year. It's been flowing to Illinois refineries for almost 5 years. But don't let facts like that stop your hatred for Obama.

The proposed XL extension would almost double the capacity of the pipeline and add access to the pipeline from eastern Montana. So I think the grandparent was correct in asserting that rail accidents would decrease as a result of the pipeline extension.

Comment: Re:Nothing important. (Score 1) 201

by khallow (#49134967) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

100 years ago the grows was like 30% or bigger.

No, it wasn't.

Even worse :D supporting my point. No one forces the USA to destroy their own farming area, just to sell "a bit of food" to foreign countries (destroying the farming economy btw with that in those countries, to be able to buy land cheap there, doing the same destruction there as well)

It's just a good benefit for the US which is the point of trade. Plus that "destruction" is renewable.

Blaming population growth there is just cynic. Farm land is destroyed because the big food companies try to manipulate world, just like the oil companies.

I already explained this. Why are you still here?

There is no problem. The planet can hold 4 times as many people without problems, perhaps even ten times. The way our economy/politics works is the problem, and that is what the CoR is pointing out.

We already have better, present day economic/political systems than anything the Club of Rome can conceive of. Yet again, this line of argument is pointless because it's so far off actual problems of humanity as to be harmful, if we should ever listen to it.

Comment: Re:Decrease in private sector jobs? (Score 2) 249

by khallow (#49134901) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

There are huge problems in the world that desperately need solving. But most of the people who need those problems solved are too poor to pay for a solution. And most of the solutions depend on a major increase in knowledge (e.g. scientific research) which is very cumbersome to fund via a free market.

There's a huge class of huge problems that have known solutions, but neither the will or competence to implement them. It's also not a matter of wealth since developed world societies have nailed down a lot of problems despite starting at deeper levels of poverty.

it's not clear that's any better than just having the government fund the work directly.

Sure, it is. Government is absolutely shit at figuring out what is good research. One thing we need to remember here is that there used to be a huge, privately funded science powerhouse in the developed world. That got scrapped because it was easier and more profitable to siphon public funds than to do work that had actual risk to it.

In one possible future, it would be easy to find meaningful work solving the world's big problems but most jobs would be in the public sector - and taxes, on the rich at least, would be very high.

Not really. Welcome to the world of perverse incentives. Your bureaucracy goes away, if you actually solve the problem your bureaucracy was set up to solve.

In another possible future, the big problems wouldn't get solved and most people would be reduced to performing frivolous little chores for a small number of extremely powerful rich families in order to avoid starvation - but rich families would live out fabulous lives of idle luxury.

I think this is the actual future your ideas steer us towards. But fortunately, I have another solution. How about we just get out of the way of the people trying to work and the people trying to hire?

Comment: Re:Nothing important. (Score 1) 201

by khallow (#49134807) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

Since widely availability of contraception, and most notable TV, such countries don't exist anymore :D

Let's give some examples: Nigeria has a population growth rate of 2.3% (which is a doubling time of just over 30 years). India and Indonesia still have population growth rates of 1.3% (doubling time of roughly 55 years). Pakistan has a population growth rate of 1.8% (doubling time of roughly 39 years). These rates are all due to reproduction and include a bit of emigration.

For example, if we blissfully extrapolate Nigeria's current growth rate and population (127 million today) through the next three centuries, a typical Club of Rome exercise, we get almost three orders of magnitude more people, roughly 110-120 billion people. Even if these people somehow consume only a tenth of the resources of the present global population, that's about half again as much resources consumed just by Nigeria than by the entire world today.

So the main problem is still pollution, erosion, distribution, and behind that imperialism (no matter if religion based in Africa or foreign influence in Asia or south america), wrong approaches in globalization, corruption etc.

Of course not. If the population of the world were a tenth the present amount, these would not be serious problems.

The population growth in India, or any other place of the world, has nothing to do with land erosion and loss of agrarian soil or water problems in the USA.

Sure, they do. Food is an export product of the US and the high demand for food globally helps put more pressure on the US's agriculture resources. Less demand means less land put under the plow.

My view is that this is typical environmental Calvinism that ignores overpopulation, the elephant in the room.

Comment: Re:BS aside, is the K-XL a good thing or not? (Score 1) 429

by khallow (#49134735) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Getting the people of BC to agree to pipelines and oil tankers navigating some of the more treacherous waters of N. America for little benefit to them besides the most expensive gas in N. America

I got this one too. We'll just build it and regulate it to mitigate the above problems. One wonders why we should care about opinions from people who don't have anything at stake.

Comment: Re:Nothing important. (Score 1) 201

by khallow (#49131421) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

These two are nothing alike, unless you think the whole of the developed world can be judged solely by the condition of the central governments. Besides, California's debt-to-GDP ratio is only about 20% - Greece's is 175%.

Sure, there are some differences between the two. The big one is that California hasn't yet destroyed its big sectors, high tech and agriculture. I give the state ten years to do both of those in. Maybe they'll whack Hollywood while they're at it, but I think that's a bit more resistant to bad governance.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"