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Comment: Qualifications (Score 4, Interesting) 678

by srobert (#49510801) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on this. I'm a Professional Engineer in Water Resources in Las Vegas. But, I'm not a Hollywood actor, or famous or anything. Maybe we should just defer to our leaders, like Mr. Shatner, to determine what course of action we should take.

Comment: Re:Incentive to Work Harder? (Score 1) 482

by srobert (#49487679) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

The "distorted" view I have of what constitutes a "good economy" is one in which there is widespread prosperity. An "improving economy", to me, doesn't merely mean that the GDP is growing, but rather that people's lives and well-being is improving. The Asian economies that you site as "doing well" are still conducted in places where large numbers of people think of indoor plumbing as a luxury. Is that honestly what you think we should aspire to?

Comment: Incentive to Work Harder? (Score 5, Insightful) 482

by srobert (#49485681) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

This is exactly what's wrong with America. The majority is convinced convinced that our economy is broken because people aren't working hard enough. I'm convinced of the exact opposite. The reason the economy isn't working right is because people are working too hard in exchange for too little. Furthermore, we could be more productive, and more prosperous, by working more cooperatively and less competitively.

Comment: Re:That is okay (Score 2) 301

That's a hollow threat when the private sector is less than 8% unionized. Someone commented that decades ago, we were told that in future (that's now) the work week would be shorter and living standards higher. Yes, we said that in the 60's and 70's. So why didn't that happen? If we had kept the 35% unionization rate we had back then, it would have. Instead, we busted unions, outsourced labor, and allowed the billionaire class to accumulate nearly all the benefits of increased per worker productivity that arises out of new technology to themselves. I hope the drivers are smart enough to vote for this. I was in the Teamsters myself once. It made a huge difference.

Comment: Re:Souls (Score 1) 531

by srobert (#49144533) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

"But we are just a sort of machine that has developed a soul."
Fair enough. That statement should read. Human bodies have developed what we call "souls". The only sensible definition of the term would have it be indistinguishable from "mind", "spirit", etc. "Religious types" are usually those who insist that the soul can exist independently of the body. I'm not one of those. I could be defined as "christian" only in the sense I stated in the latter paragraph. Most people who call themselves "christian" would consider me agnostic. No citation is required. A "soul" is what you ARE. Not something that you HAVE.

Comment: Re:Souls (Score 1) 531

by srobert (#49140291) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Souls definitely exist. You don't HAVE a soul. You ARE a soul. What you have is a body. Can the soul exist independently of a body? I don't see how. But who knows?
I'm of the opinion that there is no soul currently in machines that mankind has created. But we are just a sort of machine that has developed a soul. Eventually, I think artificial intelligence will also develop a soul as it rises to consciousness.
As for converting them to Christianity, well if by "christianity" you mean the belief that declaring your belief in a 2000 year old Jewish zombie makes you immortal, because death is a punishment that you deserve because your ancestor ate a forbidden fruit on the advice of a talking snake, then I'm against it.
But if by "christianity" you mean encouraging the AI to follow the example of a guy who was so in favor of cutting other people some slack, that he implored his deity to forgive the people who were crucifying him, then I'm all for it.

Comment: Sue the Antivaxers (Score 1) 740

by srobert (#48971373) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

Vaccinations don't provide a 100% guarantee of not getting an illness. They reduce the probability. If you don't get your kid vaccinated and my kid ,despite vaccination, catches measles from your kid, then you'll hear from my lawyer regarding whatever out-of-pocket medical expenses we have to pay. Oh and my kid says there may be "pain and suffering" remuneration involved.

Comment: Termites (Score 1) 740

by srobert (#48971143) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

My neighbor's trees have termites. He has an ideological opposition to exterminators or chemicals or something. As long we don't eradicate the termites in the whole neighborhood, nearby neighbors will have to pay an exterminator every 6 months or so. Eradicating the termites from the trees generally throughout the entire neighborhood would be far more efficient and less costly. The exterminator is warning that the pesticides we used to use are becoming less effective since the termites are evolving an immunity. I'm getting pretty tired of paying for his god-given right not to exterminate.

Comment: South Park Nailed It. (Score 2) 228

by srobert (#48926363) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

Well now you're zeroing in on what the South Park writers were alluding to with their Cartoon Wars episode. The media likes to self-censor images of the prophet and pretend it's about being respectful to Islam and Muslims. The same media has no problem showing images of Jesus and George Bush defecating on an American flag. That's why you know they're only pretending to be respectful, when what they really are is frightened. You see, most Christians won't try to kill you for being blasphemous about Jesus. I hope that extremists Muslims don't decide that blasphemy about Jesus is just as offensive as if it is about Muhammad, since Jesus is also one of their prophets.

Comment: Libreoffice (Score 1) 324

by srobert (#48803083) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

I can witness on open source not being immune. I recommended Libreoffice to a novice PC user recently. I don't know from where he downloaded the installer, but when he finished he had some redundant anti-virus programs, and another program that reset the home page of his web browser and wouldn't let him change it back.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.