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Comment Re:strong point is the pilot (Score 1) 622

to shoot down drones.

it's true that over the last 30 years, the prominence of dogfights in modern warfare declined for a variety of reasons (think of the kind of wars we were engaged in) but if there were a good reason to have them (say, manned aircraft were awesome at shooting down dimwitted, agile-but-slow-to-respond drones) then the practice would rise again.

Comment Re:lag (Score 1) 622

your example assumes a zerg rush of drones can work together semi-coherently to overwhelm manned aircraft. perhaps you're right, and i don't doubt software could be designed for reasonably effective autonamous air combat.

but the argument in the OP is for replacing manned pilots with remote pilots, arguing that switch is ready now with existing tech. i stand by my assertion that hitting a stationary building on the ground is an entirely different thing than chasing, evading, or hitting another jet actively engaged in the same objective, and without this currently-non-existent (though possible) autonamous dogfight AI, the drones would lose.

Comment Re:lag (Score 1) 622

no, i'm assuming existing technology, as the article is. if we want to come up with hypotheticals based on future-tech, all bets are off, of course. the article is advocating removing pilots due to existing technology replacing them.

Comment lag (Score 3, Interesting) 622

well, in a dogfight, manned aircraft will easily trump remote-piloted aircraft, even with the maneuvability disadvantage. the reason is lag. i've read there is a 2 second delay between a remote operator's input and action by a drone. even assuming technology progresses and that lag is reduced, there are certain physical laws that can't be broken, and a delay is always going to exist. as any gamer knows, lag kills.

there is a world of difference between telling a drone to hit a fixed, stationary target versus piloting an aircraft through a dynamic set of circumstances.

so yeah, if all we ever want to do with our planes is hit-and-runs on stationary targets, then sure, we don't need manned aircraft anymore.

Comment to quote douglas adams (Score 2) 480

"It was an Ident-i-Eeze, and was a very naughty and silly thing for Harl to have lying around in his wallet, though it was perfectly understandable. There were so many different ways in which you were required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life could easily become extremely tiresome just from that factor alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an epistemologically ambiguous physical universe. Just look at cash point machines, for instance. Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant (or nearly instant --- a good six or seven seconds in tedious reality) genetic analysis, then having to answer trick questions about members of their family they didn't even remember they had, and about their recorded preferences for tablecloth colours. And that was just to get a bit of spare cash for the weekend. If you were trying to raise a loan for a jetcar, sign a missile treaty or pay an entire restaurant bill things could get really trying.

Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all- purpose machine-readable card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense."

Ford promptly knocks Harl unconscious and steals his ident-i-eeze, which he then uses to gain access to the Hitchhiker's main corporate accounts computer system.

Comment brain damage? (Score 4, Interesting) 252

obviously the scientists studying her have far better qualifications and information than i do, but i can't help but think damage to the brain due to the stroke, coma, and brain tumor she suffered at age 4 (right before she stopped developing) could be a more likely cause than her particular genetic makeup.

Comment Re:Correlation, Causation, blah blah (Score 1, Insightful) 627

all of this, yes.

furthermore, it is patently absurd to expect to find a single, simple chemical cause for the myriad complex and varied set of behaviors which fall under the umbrella of "violent crime".

it's the kind of childishly simplistic worldview that i'd expect of a libertarian, not Mother Jones.

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