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Comment Re:Computers don't learn (Score 2) 108

Well, come on, there's a big difference between a program where the human sifts through the data and codes in rules of some form, and a program that sifts through the data and comes up with the rules (explicitly or implicitly).

I'm a huge skeptic about the _effectiveness_ of much-vaunted AI revolution in general based on everything I've done in machine learning and everything I've read and seen; and the Watson revolution specifically because of and what my friend who helped build Watson has told me, but you've got to admit that theoretically, the potential is there.

Comment Re:The Silk Road paved with bitcoins... (Score 1) 202

This is off-topic and you're a horrible person, but community colleges are great. Not everyone needs a 4-year degree and the claim that we do is just one symptom of our completely fucked-up economy, but community colleges are good for people who don't need/can't afford a 4-year, and also people who just want to do their first 2 years very cost-effectively.

Comment Re:"It never happens". (Score 1) 295

I'm fine with the idea of working less, but we should make sure that we're not moving into centrally-planned "you take the job I tell you to take or else you starve" territory. I like UBI because I feel it's the thing that gives people freedom to choose whether they want a job in order to afford more than UBI allows, choose what to do with their time, etc.

Comment Re:"It never happens". (Score 2) 295

In addition to lowering hours, we need to lower wages at the top and raise wages at the bottom.

Look, I'll happily give up on UBI if we instead

1) guarantee full employment
2) divide up the work so nobody is working more than is pleasant
3) acknowledge that raising children is work and merits an income so people who want to can stay home and do it
4) reduce income inequality enormously. I'm sick of the argument that only the owner of the hotel is necessary to running the hotel and should therefore be paid thousands of times what the cleaners make. Hotel room cleaners should be paid enough to live comfortably and have plenty of leisure time.

UBI sounds a lot simpler, and I advocate for more than just the bare necessities to be part of that. People should be able to take part in the gains of society over time with increasing comfort and security.

Comment Re:It's a bug, not a feature. UBI will not fix it. (Score 3, Insightful) 295

What UBI assumes is that:

1) All members of society should share in productivity gains.
2) Working for someone else isn't the only way of being productive.
3) Money isn't the only --- or the best --- way of attaining status or self-worth.
4) Most humans have a desire to be productive in some way, and that desire can best be fulfilled in a self-directed manner.
5) There's plenty of fulfilling work available, even if that's just participating in vibrant relationships and communities and taking care of our homes and our hobbies; we don't have to make work as if we were in 2nd grade and the teacher needed a break so he or she gives us those busy-work assignments most of us hated.

Comment Re:"It never happens". (Score 2) 295

You're working with a population of people who are either stressed out from work, stressed out from not working, being told that they are worthless and lazy if they don't have a job, being told they will become worthless and lazy if they lose their job.... there's no control group. we're just speculating. Sure, maybe I'm wrong, but maybe you're wrong. Either way, I'd like to find out and then deal with that.

Comment Re:"It never happens". (Score 1) 295

I agree that long-term, most people won't find these kinds of pursuits satisfying. There will be a transition period as people who are used to getting their self-worth from their jobs and income will need to figure out new ways of feeling good about their days. Long-term, I believe most people would spend more time nurturing their relationships and their communities, taking care of their homes, and pursuing education and hobbies that they find satisfying.

Comment Re:"It never happens". (Score 2) 295

"...for a lot of people that incentive comes from avoiding abject poverty..."

If the fear weren't "abject poverty" but instead "needs to figure out how to feel good about spending their time" because the former were out of the question, the motivation would shift to the latter and that would be better.

Comment Re:"It never happens". (Score 1) 295

Also, can't we finally accept that people having to work less could be a feature of more technology, not a bug?

In my opinion, automating away a lot of work and instituting a universal basic income sounds amazing. I'd love to see people freely choosing to spend their time pursuing hobbies, raising their children, pursuing a job out of passion rather than need, getting education, playing games, taking walks in park, reading, watching television, or any of the billion other things that humans can do when we're not chasing paychecks.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 397

"An analogy would be you finding a gold coin on your coffee table. If you have no idea where it came from or how it got there you cannot assume that one would appear on other coffee tables in other homes across the world."

There's a terrible analogy. There's no reason to believe anything other than natural processes gave rise to life. Sure, it could be that conditions aren't often right, but it the possibility that they would be right exactly 1 time in a huge universe that we know very little about has got to be vanishingly small.

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