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Comment: Re:So what about the War of the Worlds Thesis (Score 1) 57

by tinkerton (#49390069) Attached to: Invaders Demand Flu Shots

At face value your example is stupid because it's a single case , but indeed there is a very valid argument that if one species can be infected by a virus while the other is completely immune , it means that viruses are very much adapted to us as well and that makes it likely that a newcomer is immune rather than vulnerable.

Comment: So what about the War of the Worlds Thesis (Score 1) 57

by tinkerton (#49388301) Attached to: Invaders Demand Flu Shots

That aliens would be vulnerable to our viruses and diseases?
Maybe our viruses wouldn't be able to interact with them at all. Which way does it go?
The way we have most experience with, a population exposed to and being decimated by a disease from elsewere ?
What about the alternative, a disease not being able to lock on to a population that is too alien? Is that possible?

Comment: Re:How is this new? (Score 1) 172

Sensible comment. There's a marketing story about how a toothpaste increased their sales by 15% just by increasing the size of the opening of the tube. Since then, they've all done that. And with they I don't mean toothpaste brands. Think about it the next time you squirt some detergent in the sink

Comment: Summary (Score 1) 112

by tinkerton (#49325871) Attached to: Bring On the Boring Robots

But as small as the stakes might appear, highly specialized bots like this one, which can only do one thing (in this case, bring up to 10 pounds of stuff from the lobby to someone's door) are a better glimpse of our future than any talk of hyper-competent humanoids or similarly versatile machines.

Rule 34 has no minimal requirements for robot capabilities.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by tinkerton (#49292491) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

I agree. The moment everyone has a car with the autopilot option there will be pressure to enforce autopilot in some conditions. But that would be a later evolution. First everyone switches voluntarily to the option, then afterwards the use of the option becomes less voluntary.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 4, Insightful) 451

by tinkerton (#49290097) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

It's easy to see that self driving cars will come if you look at it as a feature. Take a normal car with a self driving button that you can switch on and off at your own judgement. You don't have to use it, but slowly you start to detect situations where the self driving button comes in really handy, such as traffic jams. And then some slow city traffic. And as confidence grows you switch it on on a long highway journey.
So you end up with all the cars having the option but some never use it, others sometime, some as much as possible.

Comment: Re:Maybe in a different country (Score 1) 498

by tinkerton (#49223701) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

Yeah right. Now put it differently, suppose a number indicates your desiring to die at any given moment. The number fluctuates all the time. Then you can distinguish between a function with a few dangerous peaks and one with a dangerous level for the baseline. Making access harder for those who are just having a difficult period is bound to have results.
What you then get is a tradeoff. To what extent are you willing to restrict someone's freedom by just making some things harder, to build in delays here and there, just to get them past the dangerous period. I think compromises can be made there. The two groups i don't like here at both sides of the spectrum, those who never interfere and those who want to decide for you what's best for you and don't even realize they're compromizing other values.

Comment: Re:But We Didn't (Score 1) 341

by tinkerton (#49152855) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

Yeah, using nuclear bombs as an example of restraint isn't very enlightened. We made bombs for one purpose, and when that purpose went away we instantly found another use for them as soon as we had the first bombs ready, and then proceeded by furiously making as many of them as possible. The main reason we haven't blown up the planet a few times is luck.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!