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Comment: Re:We are winning! (Score 1) 90

by shutdown -p now (#47435135) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

If you Americans simply had taken out the bad apples and left, this would have been a minimal affair. Instead the Gleichgeschaltete Propaganda of the American Imperium told people that "now we have to build schools, and hospitals and and and".

If you don't build schools, the "bad apples" will be back in less than a generation. In a society that's so fucked up, people will inevitably turn to radical ideologies that blame all their troubles on external enemies.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 90

by shutdown -p now (#47435111) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't know about US, but some other countries have noticed the pattern and revived some old designs. For example, apparently, turboprop bomber/assault aircraft are nearly perfect for "anti-insurgency" type of combat missions as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan - cheap, rugged, easy to operate, can take off and land from small and poorly maintained airstrips... and still more than capable of delivering death in droves from the sky while remaining effectively untouched.

US itself has AC-130, which, I suppose, kinda fits that role as well, even if it wasn't originally designed for it.

Comment: Re:Good. Let's go. (Score 1) 155

It may well be the case, but that's precisely why it makes sense to let private companies hash it out. If it's not just magical thinking, and they succeed, then everyone benefits from the development of the technology necessary to do it. If it is, then, well, a private company goes bankrupt.

Comment: Re: Cry Me A River (Score 1) 572

by shutdown -p now (#47420819) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

How can they even whet their childhood apetite with simple code if Windows no longer includes the QBASIC exe?

It does include csc.exe and vbc.exe, however.

An extremely complex barrier to entry needs to be overcome if they want Windows native code

Why would regular people care specifically about having "Windows native code"?

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1) 401

There can be no "scientific consensus" in a society that hasn't discovered the scientific method. In those times, at best, what you had was the consensus of the "wise people".

So out of all the things you've listed, the "plum pudding" atomic model is the only one that would even qualify. But there was no consensus that it was like that. At best, it was accepted as the most reasonable model given all the evidence at the time (but, really, physicists had wildly different notions of atoms back then, and none of them were solid theories). It only took five years for more evidence to appear that proved the model was not viable.

Comment: Re:Pascal (Score 1) 411

by shutdown -p now (#47411927) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

I think Borland Pascal only became popular because the PC at the time was so extremely limited in memory and speed, so that a compiler for a simpler language made sense.

Borland Pascal wasn't really meaningfully simpler than Modula-2, though. It had modules (units) with separate compilation, and all kinds of low-level primitive, down to inline assembly. At some point (IIRC it was version 5.5? either way, still late 80s) it even became a full-fledged object-oriented language. In terms of what you could do with it, it was definitely comparable with C and C++ compilers available for DOS at the time, and separate compilation helped compile speeds - the short compile time of Pascal, and later Delphi, was truly legendary. They also had what was by far the best DOS IDE, with syntax highlighting, integrated debugger and help system etc. Granted, this was also true for Borland C++, but that was more expensive.

Yeah, on Unix, it never really got off the ground because C was the system language there. On DOS, it was a whole different world.

Comment: Re:I'll enjoy this.... (Score 1) 526

by shutdown -p now (#47410627) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

I'm not advocating the replacement of workers with robots and I do not think the GP was either.

But why not? Clearly, if a robot can do hard labor instead of a human, that should be preferable on humanitarian grounds. If it can also do it for cheaper, then, as you rightly note, it should also be preferable on economic grounds. The only argument to the contrary is that people who are pushed out of jobs by robots (and this will clearly keep encroaching, so a laborer can only "retreat" by re-qualifying etc so far) are out of their source of income. But if the sole reason why we give them jobs is to provide them with income, then it's basically just a thinly veiled form of the broken window fallacy.

We may have to reign ourselves to the fact that if robots can replace unskilled workers, some people will need to be supported by the public somehow.

That was the point that I was trying to make. Automation is inevitably going to drive down the cost of labor so much that selling it to obtain basic income will cease to be a realistic proposition for a significant part (long term, probably the vast majority) of the population. At that point we'll need to come up with some other arrangement.

Note though that the long-term proposition is not "some people supported by the public". It's the reverse - "the public" supported by a few people (those who would still have jobs - like programming the robots). In fact, it's not even clear what "support" would mean, since, if most of society is basically on free welfare, then money is not really a universal medium of exchange anymore... the few people who still work - whom would they get the money for their work for, and what would they spend it on?

Hell, get that proportion high enough, and you'd probably have people competing to get a chance to do "real work" - for free.

"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." -- Bertrand Russell