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Comment: Re:It's all bullshit (Score 1) 157

by meta-monkey (#48433385) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

The other parties need to put up people who aren't loonies then. In the governor's race for my state there was a libertarian on the ballot, and I thought, "Oh, I might vote for a third party candidate!" So I went to his website and read his platform, and yeah, he wants my state to issue its own currency backed by gold.

Just saying "vote third party!" misses the point that the third parties have to be worth voting for.

Comment: Re:Moat? Electric fence? (Score 1) 212

by meta-monkey (#48425631) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

You have to be careful where you stand in DC or you'll attract the attention of security. I was at the National Holocaust Museum and I had stepped outside to take a phone call. So I'm standing on the sidewalk, talking, and a guard marches over and orders me to leave. The museum is next to a Treasury building, and loitering near a government building is strictly verboten, plebeian. Seriously. You can't stand on a public sidewalk now.

Comment: Re:Don't sting me bro (Score 1) 332

The fact that frog acted outside his nature doesn't have anything to do with the fact that the scorpion acted within his.

You could say there are two morals:

1) Don't expect others to act outside of their nature.

2) Don't do risky stuff without sufficient potential reward.

Comment: Re:Ummm ... duh? (Score 1) 332

To be honest, most systems of ethics allow for the use of lethal force to prevent murder. If you start from the assumption that abortion is literally murder, and murder must not be tolerated, then "stopping" the doctor is a valid conclusion. From there it gets muddy. Should use of force be solely reserved for the state? And if the state refuses to exercise its authority?

What would you do if women were taking their 1 day old babies to a doctor, who then murdered the children with their mother's consent and the government refused to stop them? Would it be unreasonable to stop these murders with violence? It's the same thing, just the anti-abortionist believes there's no difference between a fetus and a born child.

I'm not defending people who murder doctors, but their thought process is understandable.

Comment: Re:Quantum Mechanics and Determinism (Score 1) 332

A universal turning machine can only compute computable sequences, so no, it can't model the non-deterministic nature of the universe. However, you're making the assumption that "judgment" is not a computable sequence. What makes you think judgment is not computable? Is there sufficient evidence to conclude that consciousness and decision making ability rely on quantum effects? If you feed a human the exact same information with his brain/body/environment/history in exactly the same state, will he not make the same judgment twice? Obviously it's impossible to rewind time to get the human in exactly the state he was at the time of the first judgment, but if one could, I don't see any reason his judgment wouldn't be deterministic. And even if it's not, I would posit that the randomness introduced by the non-deterministic nature of the universe is an exceedingly, exceedingly small component of the outcome of the judgment.

Comment: Re:By the same logic (Score 2) 332

For some values of "decide."

Should a computer program be put in control of strategic operations, deciding when, where and what to attack? No.

Could a drone be reasonably programmed to identify combatants in a specific area and kill them without "unacceptable" collateral damage? Maybe.

Could a drone be ordered to kill a specific target on a battlefield? Absolutely.

I think it's mostly the third type the military is interested in. The commander still runs the battle and the robots are only semi-autonomous. That said, I'm opposed to war and killing of any kind for religious (and also because I'm a human) reasons, and I'm concerned with how far removed the soldiers are from the public these days. Ostensibly the body politic is in control of the decision to go to war and kill people (in practice the elites have always done what they want and then propagandized the citizenry into applauding). So back when we needed a draft to fight a war because the standing army wasn't that large, the elites needed the public on their side, because their votes might cause them to have to do the fighting. It was largely opposition to the draft that brought an end to America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

So, they switched to an all-volunteer army and just made it bigger. Now the public doesn't have to feel so bad cheering for the war machine because, well, this is what the soldiers signed up for. Even that wears thin when they realize how shitty a job the military does of caring for these volunteers.

But now? Fuck it, it's all drones all the time and the public really has no idea who they're killing and why. There's zero risk to them or their neighbors, so why care? Bomb, bomb, bomb. The one minor problem you've still got is the drone pilots sometimes come to realize what they're doing and kill themselves, so if we can just remove them from the loop, too, the elites will finally have truly carte blanche to kill anyone, anywhere, with impunity, and there will be no human pulling the trigger and asking, "should we really be doing this?"

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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