Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 1) 213

by ultranova (#48670647) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Well, as they say, the tree of liberty needs to occasionally be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It appears that their tree is in need of some watering.

Neither the US nor the UK have tyrants. They have officials who were elected by popular vote. So unless you were planning immolating yourself in front of Buckingham Palace as a protest for your country's policies, the quote is not really appropriate.

Democracies reflect their citizens. You don't have to like that reflection, but if you don't, breaking the mirror only adds more disfigurements from the flying shards.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 621

by ultranova (#48670441) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

So what? We already made that choice to do so. Forcing companies to go with automation over employment doesn't make this situation any better.

We decided to not let people starve, and institutionalized that decision in the form of social security. However, setting up said social security in such a way that businesses suffer less costs from paying their employees insufficient wages than they would without social security in place - because automation is not free - creates perverse incentives. It rewards paying employees less and punishes any competitors who pay decent wages. That's a dumb and arguably evil thing to do.

Comment: Re:Why dashcams? (Score 1) 93

by ultranova (#48646433) Attached to: Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras

Dashcams stay on the cruiser which is always in a public space. There is no need to redact that video unless you have something to hide.

So, just hypothetically speaking, you would be okay with being followed and every single one of your actions recorded and publicly reported 24/7? Because with modern computer vision and ubiquitous cameras, that question is becoming less hypothetical every day. And that, in turn, is quickly turning the entire society into a giant panopticon.

Look up Finlandization. Hell can take many forms, and none are made better by being forced to smile and pretend everything's okay.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 621

by ultranova (#48644457) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Who's going to employ poor people once you destroy the businesses who employ poor people?

The question is not who employes them, the question is who pays for their living expenses. If companies don't pay a living wage, then that's you and me.

Society is not a suicide pact.

?

These people are paid so little because their labor is worth so little. Making them unemployable doesn't make their labor worth any more than it currently is.

Then it shouldn't really matter if they're employed or not, now should it? After all, if their labor is worth little, then the economy is little affected if it's removed, right?

We will see not only jobs moved to other parts of the world, but the automation as well. Call it "race to the bottom", "exporting the pollution", whatever, but it remains that a growing amount of valuable economic activity has been chased out of the developed world and it's not coming back.

What valuable economic activity would that be? Surely you aren't referring to activities so unprofitable that paying minimum wage for them is a "punishment"?

Manufacture for example. And Walmart and McDonald's do have valid business models and very useful services that depend on low wages. They can achieve that by automation or by paying people what they're worth.

You can't have it both ways. Either these people's labor is valuable, or it is not. If it is, then pay them for it. If it's not, then it doesn't matter whether they're employed or not, because they're poor either way and the economy is by definition unaffected by losing low-value labour; the only ones affected is McDonald's and Wal-Mart who'll have to shell out for automation rather than continue having their profits subsidized by having me pay their workforce. Which one is it?

Comment: Re: News at 11.. (Score 1) 716

by ultranova (#48644393) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Says the guy who doesn't know what "begging the question" means...

"Begging the question" has multiple meanings: the literal meaning, similar to "rising the question", and another: "assuming the conclusion" which originated from a particularly bad translation of a latin phrase. You, on the other hand, confused the concept of sharing with its exact opposite, "exclusive use".

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 621

by ultranova (#48643091) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

No, that's what happens when you raise the minimum wage while keeping interest rates so low that the cost of capital makes automation much cheaper than humans.

No, that's what happens when you pay your employees so little they require public assistance to survive.

Rather than pay people to do stuff, you just borrow money to install machines that do it, instead.

Those people will require food stamps either way, which I'll end up paying for. The only difference is whether you get free labour or have to shell out for machines. So tell me: why should I subsidize your business?

You and your comrades in government are effectively paying corporations to get rid of human employees, just so you can whine about it afterwards.

And the alternative you're proposing is me effectively paying the payroll of those corporations. Even if I'd be willing to do so, which I'm not, it'll become impossible when my job is replaced by automation in turn.

Comrade me all you want, it won't change the fact that the system is breaking down. All defending status quo does is make the crisis deeper and the resulting changes more drastic.

Comment: Re:Wrong way of thinking. (Score 3, Insightful) 621

by ultranova (#48642663) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

A minimally regulated market which has perfect knowledge by all participants.

Apart from "minimually regulated" being vague, it's in principle impossible to have "perfect knowledge". So claiming yours would be an awesome economic system is a bit like claiming that theocracy would be an awesome political system because it would have an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent deity at the helm. More than a bit, actually, since such ideologically pure economic systems always end up with deityfying their guiding principles, whether they be the Historical Inevitability of Communism or the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 3, Insightful) 621

by ultranova (#48642509) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Once again we have a clueless story about automation destroying jobs which ignores that the claimed effect doesn't happen.

Do you have any evidence for this assertion? Because last I looked, most of the developed world continues to struggle with unemployment.

Most of the developing world just doesn't have this problem. It's just another imaginary first world problem.

It sucks that the second and third world have problems. That doesn't mean the problems of the first world don't exist, or aren't potentially lethal.

Instead the problem is the punishing of employers. When you mandate high minimum wages and plush benefits, regulations which drive up the cost of an employee while simultaneously making them hard to fire, and the creation of a variety of liabilities (eg, being exposed to large liabilities due to unsanctioned actions of your employees), you create an environment where it is better for employees to move the work to a better location and/or automate it.

Lowering or removing the minimum wage means that the poor will either starve or receive food stamps. Both jackbooted security forces and food assistance require money. And that, in turn, means the only difference between keeping - or preferably rising - the minimum wage or lowering it is that in the latter case my taxes ultimately go to subsidize McDonald's and Wal-Mart's profits and oppress people.

We will see not only jobs moved to other parts of the world, but the automation as well. Call it "race to the bottom", "exporting the pollution", whatever, but it remains that a growing amount of valuable economic activity has been chased out of the developed world and it's not coming back.

What valuable economic activity would that be? Surely you aren't referring to activities so unprofitable that paying minimum wage for them is a "punishment"?

Comment: Re:News at 11.. (Score 2) 716

by ultranova (#48641333) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Copyright infringement is theft because it denies a copyright owner the ability to sell the product for which they have the copyright and thus they lose money. If I sell a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag that looks like a real one to Madame A, I am depriving Louis Vuitton the right to sell a real bag to Madame A.

And since setting up a competing brand does the exact same thing, it follows that competition is theft. Why do you hate freedom so much, comrade?

Comment: Re:News at 11.. (Score 1) 716

by ultranova (#48641251) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Words mean things, and I wish people would use them correctly.

Maybe you should become the change you want to see?

Sharing: Willingly giving a portion of your possessions to another, denying you use or benefit thereof.

"Sharing is the joint use of a resource or space."

Copyright infringement is not sharing. If I share my cake with you, I have given up a portion of my delicious cake I can no longer eat. If I share a ride with you, I've given up my personal space and privacy. But if you copy my file, I haven't given up anything. We both have full use of the file.

"In a broader sense, it can also include free granting of use rights to goods that can be treated as nonrival goods, such as information."

This begs the question: do you simply not have a good grasp on the English language, or do you have some bizarre political motivation?

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 338

As I asked another poster: is a company's retail store a profit center? Are the locks on the front door part of that profit center?

Can you make the share price go up for long enough to cash your bonuses by separating those locks from the merchandise they're protecting on the balance sheet and cutting costs?

Like one book on artificial intelligence once said: if you measure the effectiveness of a robotic vacuum by how much dirt it vacuums per time, the AI will do it in the most efficient way possible: dump its internal garbage storage, suck it up, and dump it again, ad infinitum.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 338

Of course, there's always keep your personal shit off the company servers!!!

So now blaming the victims of state-sponsored terrorists gets +5 Insightful. Really?

Bad things happen to people who don't deserve them. That can be scary, because it implies bad things can happen to anyone, including you. But blaming the victims only makes the situation worse, both by causing further suffering for them and also by helping the offenders excuse their actions.

And keep what you do write in company documents at a professional tone.

We have a name for the kind of organization that tries to remove the human element from the equation as thoroughly as possible: bureaucracy.

The price of impersonal professionalism is always performing according to lowest common denominator. If you want efficiency, you have to let members of the organization keep each other updated on relevant facts, which in practice means gossip. Also, human need for social interaction is just as real as the need for food. If you disallow such things at workplace, you'll end up with hungry workers who're just counting seconds before they can leave.

That would sure have mitigated a whole lot of personal pain by these supposedly blameless Sony employees.

Yes, and participants of Boston marathon and employees working at WTC could had stayed home. Mass gatherings are obvious terrorist targets and WTC had been bombed once already. Do you really want to go that way?

Comment: Re:Copenhagen interpretation != less complicated (Score 3, Insightful) 195

by ultranova (#48637585) Attached to: Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

The simplest explanation of why it's wrong is that it's Deterministic. i.e. it's part of the "Clockwork universe" and if that's true, then you do not have free will and we should all just throw in the towel now...

While we're at it, the Second Law of Thermodynamics must be wrong because I'd like a perpetual motion machine and conservation of momentum must get temporarily suspended when someone's about to be run over by a truck.

Also, determinism doesn't conflict with free will. Determinism is a concept in physics and free will is a concept in law and philosophy. If you try to contrast them, you'll end up equating free will with randomness: you didn't write your message based on your beliefs which you've formed based on your character and experience (since that would be deterministic), but rather it's the equivalent of "cat /dev/random | strings".

Determinism = fail

No, but even if it was, it in no way would disprove it.

Comment: Re:Pegatron vs Foxconn (Score 1) 195

by ultranova (#48632009) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

There is one HUGE difference between these factories and a labor camp: In a labor camp, you can't say "I quit" and walk out.

Sure you can. You'll be shot if you do, but that doesn't make you any deader than starving to death after walking out of these factories would.

Rule people through direct violence, and you'll look like a villain. Rule people through only letting them eat if they do what you want, and you'll look like a good capitalist.

"One day I woke up and discovered that I was in love with tripe." -- Tom Anderson

Working...