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Comment Re:AI In China (Score 1) 120

A pretty basic tenet of any religion (or at least the ones that have become dominant today) is that THIS religion is the ONLY ONE TRUE religion, all else being heresy

Most religions make no such claim. The vast majority of religions are "tribal" and make no effort to proselytize to outsiders. Go to your local synagogue and tell the rabbi that you want to convert to Judaism. Most likely he will try to talk you out of it. If you go to a Hindu temple, you will likely encounter similar rejection. Buddhists will be more welcoming, but they make no claim to be the "ONE TRUE" religion, and many don't even consider Buddhism to be a religion. More of a philosophy.

In fact if A and B were in a religious war ...

There is no such thing as a "religious war". Wars are fought for power and resources. Religion is just a justification, and as a way to motivate poor fools to die for the benefit of rich leaders. The Thirty Years War was by far the worst "religious war" in Europe, yet both Catholic France and Muslim Turkey fought on the "protestant" side.

Comment Re:Why not just call it what it really is? (Score 1) 66

Apple in particular has a record for not spending much on lobbying

Microsoft also donated very little prior to 1998, when the feds initiated an anti-trust lawsuit that could have broken up the company and destroyed their monopoly pricing power. Since then, Microsoft has donated 10s of millions, and has had few legal problems despite very few behavioral changes.

It is silly to blame corps for donating when our political system provides so much value to big donors.

Comment Re:free speech isn't free (Score 4, Interesting) 66

... and going up against the combined anti-net-neutrality speech of Comcast, AT&T, Charter, Verizon, etc. weighting in at 572 million.

Indeed. It is interesting that the donations of these four tech companies was emphasized, while the donations of a hundred times as much by their adversaries was not even mentioned.

Comment Re:AI In China (Score 2) 120

Well of course if you limit yourself to only "improvements" then by definition they all lead to improvement in the standard of living.

Bullcrap. An "improvement in technology" is not DEFINED as an "improvement in living standards". They are two different things. The first generally leads to the 2nd, but that is not by "definition". The claim of the techno-pessimists is the opposite: That improving tech will lead to lower living standards for many people.

Here's an invention that did not lead to improvement in standards of living: religion.

Religion brought order and structure to tribal societies. Tribes with religion out-competed and out-survived tribes without religion.

Comment Re:AI In China (Score 4, Insightful) 120

Right. Because this proved true in the last 150 years of 10,000 years of human history it can never prove false.

Productivity improvements have been occurring for a lot longer than 150 years. Agriculture has been around for 10,000 years. Writing, paper, concrete, and steel are all technologies invented more than a thousand years ago.

Can you name any productivity improvement, ever, that did not lead to higher living standards?

Most AI-chicken-littles predicate their doom-and-gloom on the assumption that only "the rich" will have access to new technology. The same predictions were made about cars, personal computers, and even washing machines. Yet today, car ownership is widespread, and billions of people have a computer in their pocket. There is no reason to believe the future will be different. It is not just "the rich" that have Siri on their cellphones. Household robots will almost certainly be designed for the mass market, not the 1%.

Can you name any productivity enhancing technology, ever, that has been used solely by "the rich"?

Comment Re:Absolutely baffling (Score 1) 203

What happened to the US having antitrust legislation?

Have you been following the election returns for the last few decades? Do you know which party controls the presidency, the supreme court, the senate, the house, 2/3rds of the governorships, and most of the state legislatures?

Hint: It isn't the antitrust party.

Comment Re:AI In China (Score 2) 120

Either you have to keep the people happy with handouts or you need to get rid of the people...

Or maybe, just maybe, it will be exactly like what has happened with every other historical advance in productivity: the economy will expand, new jobs will be created, and living standards will improve.

China is building Skynet. America is building the F-35.

Comment Re:They're wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 125

You get a bucket full of them (say, 10 trillion), weigh it on the bathroom scale ...

10 trillion protons would weigh a few picograms. You will need about 10 quadrillion picograms to fill a bucket.

Even then, the protons would be contaminated with electrons, gluons, neutrons, etc. It will be much harder to fill a bucket with pure protons.

Comment Re:Bootcamp bubble popped... (Score 1) 99

You need geometry to do UI design.

What is taught in a geometry class that is relevant to laying out a webpage? Do you use Euclid's axioms to properly pad a text field?

algebra helps you figure out how many dollars you're making for every page you wrote and how to invest your profits wisely.

No it doesn't. That is just arithmetic.

Comment Re:Bootcamp bubble popped... (Score 3, Interesting) 99

I suspect it's most useful for people who are already able to program but who want a crash course in web development.

If you already know coding, you can learn webdev in a few days from free on-line tutorials or maybe a $20 book from Amazon.

everyone from kindergarteners to grandmas should be learning to "code"

Nearly everyone can benefit from coding. I have written many Google Sheets triggers, plugins for Quickbooks, etc. for friends and relatives. These are usually a dozen or so lines of Javascript, and maybe a few regexes. If you can code, this is trivial, but if you can't then you are stuck.

All of these people took algebra in high school. None of them have used algebra, even once, since HS. So it is silly that our schools teach algebra and not coding ... and please don't say "You need algebra to understand coding" because that is patently false. I have taught 4th graders to code, and they certainly haven't learned algebra.

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