Concessions on Ukraine in return for Snowden? I mean get real - US play hard ball on Ukraine and Russia for more than a year now. They played hard ball on Snowden too. Current US government does not see anything wrong with both policies so why would anybody think that changing one being paid by changing another is at all what US government want?
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Lets face it - the drive to optimize and automate things cannot be stopped and its natural consequence is that most jobs will be optimized out of existence making it the first time in history possible to live off of the rent. This does not have to happen today but some day in the future the automation may come to a stable point.
The question is then who possess it all. The other is what will happen with out-optimized people. I think great SF works show it all - intelligent ones in societies that share and redistribute may have a life of art and science leaving the lower classes to indulging in chemical and technological stimulants.
Possibly you can also have a situation where you just leave the majority to itself. If they have no means and cannot acquire any (no jobs) this will lead to violence.
The other interesting point is this. Automation and optimization is nice but it has a weak spot - it is optimized for a given set of parameters and given ranges. If something major happens the qualities of humans that have not been put into automated infrastructure may be needed to survive changed environment. At the end it is as it always was - something big happens (Toba blows up or 1% goes for soylent green solution etc) and the survivors have earth for themselves.
Judging on the way they handled Turing for his 'crimes' I suppose letting them know all about everybody's lives is just OK. After all only criminals and terrorists should fear.
Oh wait they apologized afterward so all is well then....
US were sick when he took office. I am not sure they recovered all that much unless of course you take that the status of US finances is perfect.
This is a bit OT but still. I saw a documentary about him not long time ago where they said that although he was a right wing anticommunist radical there were only 3 'marines sending events' at his watch - the smallest number since WWII. No wonder nobody likes US and US embassies have to look like fortresses. But hey this was apparently not his fault!
But it us OK because his empire although very evil is just crumbling and unimportant.
The road of progress is long, boring and difficult.