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Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 4, Informative) 198

I live in Florida. Yesterday I had to call the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. All I had to do was wait for the option to press '1' for spanish to expire and I was connected immediately to a real person who answered my slightly complicated question easily, clearly and quickly.

I also own a business (and have owned two) in Florida, and every time I've had to deal with the Florida Department of Revenue (sometimes I got busy and forgot to pay my sales taxes) they have been friendly and helpful.

I wish, wish Cox Cable had the kind of friendly and expedient service Florida's government entities do.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 1) 121

by meta-monkey (#47483149) Attached to: New York State Proposes Sweeping Bitcoin Regulations

That's fine. It will never happen, but it would be amazing if you could pay your income taxes with bitcoin. That's how the banks getcha. You have to use their dollars to pay your taxes, and you can't get around that, which means you always have to deal with the bankers, and they always get their taste. If you could remove them from the equation, that would free mankind.

What would actually happen, though, is you'd still have to pay taxes on bitcoins you received as income, just with the value converted to dollars. Still, nice to dream...

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 261

Yes, yes, we all know, they established an aristocracy and rights were only really for first-class citizens like themselves and not women, the poor and blacks. However, the government has since been modified to include supposedly everyone in the first-class citizen pool.

The founders had a remarkably good set of rules deciding what the government could and could not do to first-class citizens, and that's what we respect them for.

Comment: Ethics (Score 1) 69

by meta-monkey (#47476753) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

I'm presupposing it's eventually possible to create a machine that thinks like a man. Is conscious, is self-aware. I doubt we'd get it right first try. Before we got Mr. Data we'd probably get insane intelligences, trapped inside boxes, suffering, and completely at the whim of the man holding the plug.

What are your thoughts on the ethics of doing so, particularly given the iterative steps we'd have to take to get there?

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 1) 533

by meta-monkey (#47470171) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Exactly. I think libertarians do not understand evil. They think there is no such thing as evil, just ignorance, and that people are rational, and can be reasoned with. Many can be. But there is such a thing as evil. There are evil, evil people in this world whose capacity for destruction, manipulation and exploitation is held at bay only by the collective power of government by the people. If libertarians want to see what their fantasy wonderland looks like, it was called the gilded age. And hint, libertarians, in a world of masters and slaves, there are few masters, many slaves, and you will likely be one of them.

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 2) 533

by meta-monkey (#47470123) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

You seem to think that without government authority, power will not be exerted against you, and not against those least able to fend for themselves. This is not the case. Those who have wealth and power will always seek to gain more at the expense of anyone else, and through whatever means they have available. This extends to backroom deals, monopoly power, insider trading, unsafe working conditions and violence. Private police forces and strike breakers.

Government, restrained by a separation of powers with checks and balances over each other, should serve as the check against the power of the wealthy over those who have no wealth and therefore no individual power.

Unfortunately currently the power of government has been bought by the wealthy. What's needed is a restructuring to reduce the influence of money in politics. But the answer is not to remove the power of government. That power vacuum will simply be filled by the power of the wealthy, and the poor and middle class will have no defense against their rapaciousness.

This is the perpetual blind spot that libertarians just don't seem to understand. Without government restraining wealthy sociopaths, they will kill or enslave you, through "legitimate" means or otherwise. You have this fantasy that either you will be in charge or that everybody will just get along, but they won't, because there are evil people in this world who are only restrained by the collective action of government by the people.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?