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Comment Re:A service to the community: release the text (Score 4, Informative) 43

I think it would be a great service to the Tor community to release the text of what Boing Boing sent to the FBI as a shining example of how to handle such requests. It may need to be specifically tailored to the sender, but something to go off of might be of benefit to folks running a node who don't have the funds to see legal help outside of /r/legaladvice.

From the article:

  We contacted our lawyer, the hard-fightin' cyber-lawyer Lauren Gelman, and she cooled us out. She sent the agent this note:

Special Agent XXXXXX.

        I represent Boing Boing. I just received a Grand Jury Subpoena to Boing Boing dated June 12, 2015 (see attached).

        The Subpoena requests subscriber records and user information related to an IP address. The IP address you cite is a TOR exit node hosted by Boing Boing (please see: http://tor-exit.boingboing.net...). As such, Boing Boing does not have any subscriber records, user information, or any records at all related to the use of that IP address at that time, and thus cannot produce any responsive records.

        I would be happy to discuss this further with you if you have any questions.

And that was it.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 240

it's maybe benign but also possibly extremely dangerous.

Which ultimately boils down to a fear of the unknown, and is therefore superstition.

Although it's worth mentioning, in fact, that the statement seems to be entirely true for any new technology.... and when talking about any new technology the real problem always boils down to not the technology itself, but how that technology is ultimately used.

Only if there isn't a rational basis for the fear, I've laid out plenty.

So perhaps you have no faith in mankind to use AI for the betterment of mankind? That, at least, might be a viewpoint that is substantiated by historical precedent far more than the notion that we should have anything to fear from AI, or anything else that may be invented by man, simply because it doesn't happen to have millions of years of evolution behind it.

I think weaponization of AI is a threat, though not necessarily a different threat than we typically deal with.

But there are extremely good reasons to be skeptical of our ability to safely control AI, including my other three points that you've completely ignored.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 240

If another species on the planet had evolved to a similar intelligence of man, why would you suppose that one of them would extinguish the other short of either possessing warlike tendencies?

And while I won't argue that mankind has such tendencies, why would you think that AI would have any? And if they did not, why should we fear it any more than a naturally evolved AI?

It's a bit of a side-track but man has a well established record of trying to wipe out slightly different members of it's own species, and the situation you describe has already arisen with Neanderthals and although we don't know the full details of their extinction we know they're generally not around any more.

  Regardless that suggests we have a lot to fear from AI even it's no different than human intelligence!

And why would you even think that AI would even have any so-called instinct to survive at all? It would be, as you put it, missing all of those millions of years of evolutionary pressures.

I don't necessarily think is would necessarily have a survival instinct, and I'm not sure if one would make it more or less dangerous.

And without the behavioral driving patterns of man, there is no basis to assume that an intelligent machine would behave like a man.

Suggesting we would have anything to fear from them as we might a psychopath who had similar ability is ultimately just anthropomorphizing.

There's a disconnect between your last two sentences. We have no idea how it will behave and it's a complete wildcard in possession of an extremely potent ability (intelligence), it's maybe benign but also possibly extremely dangerous.

Of course a psychopath with instant replication and extreme intelligence would also be extremely dangerous.

Comment Re:Peh (Score 0, Troll) 348

Once you do, being an asshole has no cost. I already am one. I am white, middle age, have a job, never been on welfare, never sucked another man's dick, never smoked crack, and never went to a hip-hop rave, I am not a fat ghetto hog with more children than rooms in my section 8 apartment.

I have NOTHING TO LOSE by being a asshole to some twat that comes oozing menstral thoughts onto slashdot berating me for being too white or too manly (a very preposterous thought on a NERD SITE.)

I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt before the casual homophobia, go ahead and be an asshole, there's no excuse to toss in bigotry.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 504

Well Obama did achieve health care reform

Meh, in some ways yes... but look at how it was done... with a midnight vote and tricks...

It couldn't have been done a week before or a week after...

That isn't bringing everyone together, that is divisive.

It also isn't very good health care reform, but that won't be clear and obvious to the masses until after Obama is out of office. Those of us who see it from the inside know it won't work long term.

It was also a Republican policy full of Republican amendments, it was divisive because they acted like it was.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 504

It's possible, but to be honest what are his good ideas? All I've heard is general mud-slinging and policy proposals that have been all over the map.

He has said that he'll kick out the illegals and create jobs for the legal immigrants.

Deportation are up under Obama.

As for "creating legal jobs" that's a talking point not a policy, are you sure he didn't pledge to cut taxes, raise spending, and reduce the deficit at the same time?

He does know how to create jobs, unlike everyone else running.

He knows how to run a company, completely different than macroeconomics needed to create jobs.

BTW, if you actually did kick out most of the illegals, you'd also solve the min wage issue. Right now we have lots of supply of unskilled labor and not enough demand for it, which is why wages haven't moved. Get rid of some of the labor supply and the price of it will go up, wages rise.

I thought it was supposed to be because those marginal workers weren't productive enough, and the cheap labour was essential for the economy. Because I'm sure he'd use those arguments against the minimum wage hike.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 240

Every intelligent human is going to have an operational system of instincts for dealing with other intelligent creatures simply because you can't take out that much basic functionality and still have a working mind.

So reversing that premise, why would you think that we could create a working mind that wouldn't effectively have its own "operational system of instincts for dealing with other creatures", as you put it? If it does not, then it would not be a working mind, and I would suggest that societal pressures have far more to do with a person's so-called ethical codes than evolution does.

It's not that it wouldn't have a system, it's that it would be a different system.

Think of it like genetics. We share a ton of genes with other life, 18% of our genes are shared with yeast, that means they're critical enough to our life that they've been preserved over billions of years. If you start screwing around with that 18% things probably break very very quickly so any life you're going to see on earth is likely going to have that 18% because they're a foundation on which everything else rests.

But that doesn't mean that 18% of genes is critical to life in principal. If you went to a different planet you could have a completely different set of foundational genes and a very different ecosystem.

I suspect our intelligence is the same, there's a lot of stuff in the comparable "18%" that every functional human is going to share just because it's so deep and essential. An artificial brain may not share that foundation.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 504

They are all too old, vote for me, I'm 40... old enough to have some wisdom, young enough to be willing to change.

If there's one real legitimate criticism I'd have of Obama it's that he was elected too young.

If Hillary had won and he was just running now I think he'd be a far stronger President, I think his willingness to enact change was stymied by his lack of experience in dealing with the Republican counter response.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 504

Trump is the kind of person who will follow through with an absolutely terrible idea because it's his idea and he won't let anyone deter him, he can cause real damage.

Perhaps, but what if it is a good idea?

Also, I pointed out that he wouldn't become King (despite what Obama has been trying), he has to deal with Congress and the SCOTUS.

It's possible, but to be honest what are his good ideas? All I've heard is general mud-slinging and policy proposals that have been all over the map.

Yes I have... I also have considered that a whole lot of Americans are tired of the same-old, same-old...

At some point, people get sick of it and want change... and not the "hope and change variety" which is what we got with Obama, and nothing changed.

Well Obama did achieve health care reform, but I think the lesson of Obama is the opposition can just decide en-mass to politicize everything, cooperate on nothing, and the President gets the blame.

CEO is a very different skillset than President.

So... leading a very large company of many diverse people... is very different than leading a very large nation of many diverse people?

I have to disagree, I think they are a very compatible skill set. Leadership is leadership, be it in the military, a company, or a nation...

No one can do it all themselves, you must be able to build groups of people up and get them to work together. This is true in the military, in companies, and in nations.

Right now we're a nation divided, nothing Obama says is anything but dividing in nature.

Trump may well kick out half the illegals, then put the other half to work.

I don't know what Obama you're listening to but he doesn't actually do much that's divisive. As evidence a lot of the major political complaints (easy on illegals, easy on terror, anti-Christian, etc) are demonstrably false.

Either way even Obama does offend he does it as a side effect, Trump offends on purpose, that's not a healthy characteristic for a leader.

As for the CEO, they've got a lot more unilateral power, they aren't fighting factions in the company the same way a President would be. I think that's a lot of Trump's flaw, he's used to saying "I'm the boss, so do it my way" and when that doesn't work he basically throws a tantrum. But a President can't run government that way, a Trump presidency would just be a stream of tantrums.

And back to Trump, have you considered the possibility that his behaviour is just some early manifestation of senile dementia?

It is a fair point... No, it isn't insulting, it is a real concern. Of course, it would also be real for Hillary and Biden as well.


Possibly, but neither are acting erratic (at least no more than when they were younger). Trump is, I think there's a substantial probability that within 5 years he'll be in steep cognitive decline.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 3, Insightful) 504

The prospect of having him in power scares me more than Sarah Palin.

Now THAT scares me... that you'd rather have her than him.

She is an idiot who doesn't know anything about anything, at least Trump knows about business.

Yes, he is a walking ego trip, perhaps a blowhard and a PITA...

At the end of the day I'd expect a Palin Whitehouse to be a bit of chaos quickly taken over by bureaucrats as she realizes that being President is a) confusing, and b) a lot of hard work. It would be incompetent and shoddily run but the kind of damage people can work around.

Trump is the kind of person who will follow through with an absolutely terrible idea because it's his idea and he won't let anyone deter him, he can cause real damage.

Have you stopped to consider that some of his comments of the past few months are actually quite carefully considered? He would not be getting anything close to the media attention without them, he is leading the republican polls, so clearly he is doing something right.

Have you stopped to consider he's only polling so high because he has huge name recognition and he's essentially a sideshow. The Republican primaries have been a gong-show since 2012 and I'm doubtful that most of the people indicating him would be actually do so if they thought he had a chance of winning.

Why does everyone want to hire a lawyer or professional lifetime politician to be President, instead of a CEO?

Another example, Steve Jobs was a PITA to work for, he'd yell, scream, tell you were you a moron, yet he clearly knew something.

Some of the nicest people in the world would make for crappy leaders.

CEO is a very different skillset than President. I don't have any objection to CEOs as Presidents in general though I think Trump would be terrible. Jobs too, I don't think he'd have been bad, but the things that made him special as a CEO wouldn't translate to being a President.

And back to Trump, have you considered the possibility that his behaviour is just some early manifestation of senile dementia? I don't want to focus on it because it sounds very insulting, but at the same time his behaviour and seeming obliviousness is downright bizarre. He wouldn't be the first politician past retirement age to start acting erratically and be diagnosed with dementia a few years later, if you're considering him for President I think it's a possibility you have to take seriously.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 3, Informative) 504

The only person who has a remote chance of caring about us is Trump.

Wait, wait, don't bring out the pitch forks... yea, I know he is a walking ego trip, yes he is a arrogant SOB.. I am well aware of that... but he also has nothing to gain by screwing us at this point. .

That doesn't mean he cares about you, it just means he's responding to different incentives.

He is now old, very wealthy, and has nothing else to do but take the country in a new direction.
    He also isn't owned by lobbyists or 30 years of political connections the way Bush and Clinton are.

If Bush or Clinton are elected, exactly nothing will change. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten.

The fact he has different baggage doesn't he has no baggage. If anything I'd say he's more likely to have some massive skeletons stuffed in the closet of an unsavoury operator.

As for a new direction 'new' doesn't necessary mean better, I don't see how a guy batting to the looniest of the fringes is going to be a change for the better.

At least Trump will kick over the table and say, "new direction".

Will it turn out well? Hard to say, we won't really know without trying, but at some point we either try something new, or accept the current situation forever.

Just read this twitter exchange. It's not a policy position or anything like that but I think it's illustrative.

First, who in their right mind gets in an insult fight with a professional comedy writer?

Second, once they're in that fight who throws out insults like a 5 year old and acts like they're kicking ass?

Trump was obviously once competent enough at one thing to make billions, but at this point, in this context, it's pretty clear that he's spent so long surrounded with yes-men that he's completely out of touch with reality. The prospect of having him in power scares me more than Sarah Palin.

Comment Re:That's Crazy Expensive (Score 1) 378

Ensure isn't really designed for long-term, one-food use like Soylent.

So if you have a long term medical condition that prevents you from eating anything non-liquid what do they give you and why wouldn't they want to make it suitable for long-term one-food use?

My guess is it's because it's really hard and they don't know how to do that. If Soylent thinks they've done it they're probably just shooting at a lot easier target.

They may have other advantages over Ensure such as taste or market image, but I'm really dubious it's a medically superior drink.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 240

It's not the weapons that are the problem, it is the people who abuse them.

There is no basis to presume that artificial intelligence is likely to pose a greater threat to mankind than natural intelligence already is without either subscribing to the notion that some mystical force or agency that is allegedly the product of millions of years of natural evolution being the only thing that prevents human beings from acting unethically when we there isn't an iota of evidence to suggest that such a thing even has any kind of objective existence in the first place, or else simply allowing one's imagination to overrule their common sense.

Well for one thing in my original post I listed 4 factors that made AI dangerous in a way human intellect isn't. You've only argued one of those 4, and even if I were to completely concede the point the other 3 still makes AI uniquely dangerous.

Second the "mystical force or agency" you're referring to is evolution. When we have good ethical instincts that's a product of evolution, when we have bad ethical instincts (ie psychopaths) that's also a product of evolution. That's because those instincts are just a method for operating with other intelligent creatures, there's huge adaptive pressure to get that right so it's built into our minds at a very low level.

Every intelligent human is going to have an operational system of instincts for dealing with other intelligent creatures simply because you can't take out that much basic functionality and still have a working mind.

But an AI won't have that same foundation, it is going to be extremely difficult to predict how it will think or to constrain it to have certain instincts.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 240

I'm saying that we should have no more to fear from a machine that lacks ethical constraints than we should a human being who lacks said constraints...

Except the machine may be exponentially smarter and able to replicate with extreme speed.

AI is ultimately intelligence that happens to be artificial instead of natural, and is no more worrisome about the fact that it doesn't have millions of years of evolution behind it as prosthetic limbs, no matter how advanced or sophisticated they are likely to become, are problematic for amputees.

That's a poor metaphor since prosthetic limbs fulfil a relatively simple task with simple constraints.

A much better metaphor might be artificial vs natural weapons. Natural weapons include fists, feet, and teeth. Artificial include knifes, guns, bombs, and nukes. It's clear that artificial weapons change things significantly.

As I said, we will always have much more to fear from the human beings that control such advanced technology than the technology itself.

They're a risk too but humans are much better understood as an intelligent entity.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 240

Natural intelligence has ethical constraints developed by millions of years of evolution

This notion is routinely spouted by people who express fears about AI, but it irrationally elevates the concept of so-called "ethical constraints" to being some mystical property of natural intelligence that is apparently somehow actually separate from it, and somehow unlikely to exist in artificial intelligence when there isn't any reason to think that it should be, or that it is likely to be.

We will have much more to fear from humans who might use AI to further their own agendas than we would from AI itself.

Huh? I'm having a little trouble parsing. You seem to be claiming that what we consider ethics are both integrally linked to our intelligence and that they are going to exist in artificial intelligence? (It actually looks like you say they're unlikely to exist in AI, but I think that would hurt your point).

"Ethics" as we define them, but more broadly every action we take that isn't completely rational, is likely a product of evolution and culture, hardwired into what we consider our intelligence. There's no reason to think AI would naturally have these characteristics, nor that we could easily replicate them if we wished.

We simply don't understand how a highly intelligent AI would think, for instance is desire or want a fundamental characteristic of intelligence or just intelligence as its evolved? What if we make a mind that doesn't have a comparable characteristic, what does it do?

The only person who always got his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.