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What robots are doing is not replacing lawyers per-se, but making lawyers more productive (just like accountants, programmers, and a host of other white collar professions). It used to be (and still is to some extent) that in large lawsuits, you would need armies of lawyers just reviewing documents produced by the other side to see if they were relevant to the case. 90% of them would just be emails asking to go grab coffee, 9% would be tangentially related to the case, and 1% would actual be important to the case. The people who did this work were either junior associates or temporary "doc review" attorneys, who generally graduated from bottom of the barrel law schools and couldn't find more interesting work. Now, algorithms can sort out most of those irrelevant documents, leaving human attorneys to sort through only the tangentially relevant documents from the very relevant documents.
But while this allows fewer lawyers to handle more cases, it doesn't remove the fundamental need for lawyers. The only way a robot will handle substantive legal work, no matter how good the AI, will be if a robot has the same psychological impact on humans as another human. Would you rather a robot deliver the closing arguments in your murder trial or a human? Even if the words were the same, I imagine most people are far more likely to emotionally connect with a human. Even if we were to accept robot lawyers, the profession really boils down to politics and the weighing of the rights of different parties. If we ever get to the point we are comfortable with robots doing that, we will be at the point where ALL human professions are obsolete.
I voted indifference (really initial fascination, followed by indifference).
The most likely scenario for the discovery of intelligent life would be a program like SETI picking up a signal from a civilization hundreds of thousands or millions of light years away. Were there something closer, it's likely we would have picked up on it by now. There would be no way to actually communicate with the civilization, which would likely be long gone anyways by the time their signal reached us. Scientists would spend careers attempting to discern the meaning of the signals, but it's unlikely much useful information would be gleaned. After all, most broadcasts from earth amount to "I Love Lucy" reruns, and there's no reason to think the aliens would be any different.
Re: "Huge subsidies"
I am a tax attorney for a large independent oil producer. The amount to which the oil industry is subsidized (at least in the tax code) is often greatly exaggerated. The biggest tax provision that gets scored as a subsidy is expensing for intangible drilling costs. However, this provision really attempts to capture the economics of what is happening when an oil company drills a well. When you make a large capital investment, such as buying a machine, you get deductions spread out over a period of years. When you make small purchases, such as office supplies, or pay employees you get an immediate business expense deduction. The intangible drilling cost deduction essentially says that certain costs related to well drilling, such as geological surveys are more like buying office supplies than long-lived machinery. There are lots of other oil specific provisions that could be looked at either as a subsidy or simply as a provision intended to properly tax the unique aspects of an industry. Oil is not alone in this. Life insurance companies, for example, have their own special tax regime to themselves due to the unique aspects of the life insurance industry.
I'm not sure what you mean by "immunity from disclosing". The backing ingredients in frack fluid are well known. However, the exact mixture may be protected for intellectual property reasons, as getting it right for a given formation can have a big impact in how successful the well is. Nothing to do with environmental concerns.
As for breaking the rock. It's true that is what fracking does, but it does so well below the water table, with several layers of rock between it at the water table. The potential for water contamination comes from a leaky wellhead casing as it passes through the water table. But that can happen regardless of whether the well is fracked.