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Comment Re:Probably Trump (Score 1) 180

Tell me, why do you want to encourage the election participation of people who are too irresponsible to come up with $35* every five years? Is it because your platform sells well with people who can't think past tomorrow?

I'm a conservative, so encouraging poor people to vote actually hurts my party goals.

The problem is that I'm also a staunch defender of rights, and I feel that everyone should be allowed to vote as a right, and not some based on some arbitrary cutoff of responsibility.

[...] but go ahead and keep making the case that it's absolutely vital that people too stupid to get an ID every 5 years should be encouraged to vote.

To quote Malcom Reynolds: "who will speak for these people?"

They can speak for themselves. I stated above I'm fine funding programs that pay for the expenses associated with getting ID's.
If you're against voter ID you're pro-fraud. End of story. You can make any excuse you like (and toss in some claims about being conservative, too).
I see no reason to believe anyone who is making the same arguments as the administration, what with it's star liars Gruber, Rhodes, and the chosen successor Clinton.

Comment Re:Probably Trump (Score 0) 180

Getting an ID costs money in the US, so requiring an ID puts more strain on the poor than the working class.

The annual fee for a drivers license is around $35, a state-issued ID is around $30, and a passport costs $100.

When you're poor, that $35 could pay for 7 meals frugally made.

Social security cards are given out and replaced at no charge, but aren't generally accepted as an ID because they lack pictures.

Tell me, why do you want to encourage the election participation of people who are too irresponsible to come up with $35* every five years? Is it because your platform sells well with people who can't think past tomorrow?

I'm kidding, of course. We all know you're actually interested in promoting electoral fraud, and covering for that fraud with any available argument. Some studies have shown that minority voter participation actually goes up with ID laws- maybe they have more faith that their vote means something- but go ahead and keep making the case that it's absolutely vital that people too stupid to get an ID every 5 years should be encouraged to vote.

*I'd actually be fine funding programs to help people obtain proper ID in order to negate this line of thinking.

Comment Some of Tyson's thoughts.... (Score 1) 609

...should have died in the pot-fueled dorm room bullsh*t session they were formed in. This is one of them.
Like the article says, scientists are people too, and they may have finely honed their knowledge in their area of expertise, but beyond that, they know as much- or as little- as anyone else.
It's also absurd to think that the selection of topics of study, or the lead 'scientists' in charge of an area of policy, won't be driven by considerations outside of strict evidence. They'll fabricate it to obtain the pre-determined outcome- because that's what they do today in highly charged fields of study.

Comment Re:I don't believe the claim (Score 1) 265

The problem is that as cars get better and better at doing this - it's going to become almost impossible NOT to fall asleep (or at least zone-out to the point of total inattentiveness to the road). If we can't make these systems sufficiently foolproof to allow people to do that - then we're going to cause accidents that wouldn't have happened had the car not had those safety features. The trick here is to build only those safety features that save more lives than they cost. As a society, we're going to have to accept that "Driver-fell-asleep and car-AI-hit-truck" accidents will increase - but "Reckless driver ends up in the wrong lane" accidents will decrease - and that the net result is an overall improvement in road safety.

The problem with that is that as a society, we're TERRIBLE at statistics. People are frightened of flying in planes - even though they are vastly more likely to be killed in a 30 minute drive to the airport than on the 8 hour flight they take when they get there. People will go to any lengths to prevent terrorists from killing a dozen people per year - but refuse to drive at the speed limit, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths per year. People switch to LED lightbulbs in their homes in an effort to stave off global warming - not understanding that removing 10% of the beef from their diet would have a much bigger effect.

Given that mindset - I suspect that as the number of prominent AI-induced car wrecks (inevitably) increases - public outrage will take over without anyone understanding that human-induced car wrecks are going down more steeply.

Tesla are trying to buck that trend with this press release - which is probably a wise and necessary "big picture" thing to do - but statistically, what they're saying is clearly bunkum.

Comment Re:Never go to be work "as is" (Score 1) 265

Perhaps not embedding stuff in roads - or beside the roads - that's horribly expensive and it requires governments all around the world to invest heavily and to have common standards. In remote areas, getting power to those sensors and computers could get difficult. There are problems when they all get covered in 3 inches of water or a foot of snow.

More likely is to design a distributed system where cars can talk to each other - an "Internet of Cars" if you like.

If the car in front of you can tell you exactly where it is, it's speed and direction from GPS and it's short-term intentions - then your detection of its gets a whole lot easier. If a big-rig truck can tell you about an incipient problem that it's detected but you can't see because it's in the way - then you have more information than a human driver has - and that's a good thing.

Think about the "Kid crossing in front of a parked schoolbus" problem. The schoolbusses sensors can see the kid standing in front of it - moving across the road. The car in the adjacent lane can't see the kid - and radar doesn't help. But if the bus can transmit "Human being at location X,Y,Z, currently moving at dX,dY,dZ" to anyone within 50 feet of it - then that's a massive win.

A distributed network of cars would greatly improve other things too - such as how to decide when to cross an intersection - or when it is safe to change lanes. Don't you just wish you could tell drivers in the adjacent lane that you need to pull off at the next junction and to please form a suitable gap for you to merge into? All you have right now is one blinky red light - and pulling that from an image in a camera is painful.

Comment Re: FUD ....the problem with radar (Score 1) 265

The problem with adding radar is that when 100 cars around you are also using radar. Distinguishing your reflected radar pings from those of another car nearby - or an oncoming car starts to get exceedingly difficult. We know it's possible because an entire swarm of bats can echo-locate together - but that doesn't make it an easy task. Worse still, to do it right requires careful attention to the frequencies and waveshape of the RF chirp you use...that's fine if one company designs all of the autonomous car radar transmitters - but not so good if every car manufacturer develops their own system in secrecy as seems to be happening right now.

If radar is to be a part of the answer - there need to be standards. Ditto for lidar and acoustic techniques.

If it's possible to make this work safely using only a couple of cameras (which is the way humans drive cars) - then I think that's a more robust solution for the longer term when there are many, many more cars on the road with these kinds of features.

Comment Statistics gone wild. (Score 1) 265

So far, it seems that there are reports of one death and one rollover incident - which could easily have become a death if circumstances had been different in ways that were not related to what decisions the car made.

Two incidents isn't a valid statistical sample from which to extrapolate to half a million deaths...perhaps just one person got lucky one day - if they'd died then Tesla would only be able to claim that their system is no worse than people driving without assistance. Perhaps the one person who died was exceedingly unlucky and Tesla would save very nearly everyone who used their software.

The fine details of what happened in those two wrecks (and more importantly in the unknown number of very-very-nearly wrecks) is what matters here and that won't be known until Tesla's have been driven under these conditions for ten times as long as they have to date.

What we know from the Tesla data right now is that their system isn't a total disaster (we haven't seen 100 deaths) - but predicting half a million lives saved isn't good statistics. The correct conclusion from what we know is: "We don't know yet".

Comment Re:median vs average (Score 2) 622

Um, no. Unless your car is a complete shitbox to start with, or you drive ~100 miles per day every day, keeping it for 10-15 years will not cost you more than replacing it every six years. Depreciation is an accounting trick that only really works in aggregate. If your car is still running in six years time, keep it. You will save the cost of a new car. The fact that yours is worth zero on paper means absolutely nothing if it still works the way it's supposed to.

Bought a '98 Camry about 10 years ago for 8 grand. It's got 253,000 miles on it now. Off the top of my head, I've done the following non-routine maintenance to it:
Exhaust replacement, front to back: $575
Idle air control valve: $800 (Dealer because I didn't have a good cheap mechanic at the time.)
New suspension and steering parts & alignment: $800
Oil leak from oil pump: $500 (estimated mechanic cost, I did it for much less)
New air intake hose: $40

Let's round that up to $3000 in case I've forgotten a few things.

I have a car that is quiet, drives well, doesn't leak, and is reasonably comfortable. It gets 27 mpg and still has sufficient power. The money I've put in it to keep it in good working order for 10 years doesn't add up to 10 months of car payments.

Would I like a newer ride? Sure, and I may get one eventually. The fact is that I can keep this car comfortable and running for cheap money. The occasional $800 hit saves me a few thousand a year.

Comment What if cars can talk to each other? (Score 1) 364

The problems get very difficult when the cars' choice of actions are determined by the interests of the car manufacturer (and possibly with the insurance company - if those are still different entities) rather than by the occupants.

For example, it seems likely that when there are a reasonable percentage of autonomous vehicles out there, they will be able to communicate with each other - that's a handy thing for negotiating who goes first at intersections and for crash-avoidance.

So now there are a whole raft of other moral dilemmas at levels far below "How many people die?":

* Should the car that knows that its owner is late for work go first at intersections?
* Can you pay more for a car that gets preferential treatment at intersections?
* On a freeway, can cars choose to slow down to save gas or speed up to get there faster? How does this work when cars are "drafting" to save gas? In a "road-train", who gets to decide the speed of the train?
* Are cars allowed to lie to other cars?

Then there are issues about low level accidents - where no humans are harmed:

* In the event of a choice between a fender-bender with car A and car B - can your car figure out which one will cost the least to repair? Will this result in more crashes with cheaper cars?
* Will insurance companies insist on cars choosing outcomes that minimize their liability?

And when humans are harmed:

* From an insurance perspective - it can be cheaper to have the occupant of a vehicle die than having lifetime health issues caused by the accident. If volkeswagen will fake emissions figures and indirectly cause a bunch of people to die as a result - who's to say that some car company/insurer won't bias the AI's parameters to save them money?

It's naive to assume that accidents will cease altogether when AI drivers take control - cars are complicated machines - and parts break unexpectedly all the time. If your brake line suddenly ruptures, then the AI's expected stopping distance is shot to hell - and someone can still die. The AI will need to make life and death decisions as well as broken-rib-versus-crushed-ankle and my-insurance-pays-versus-his-insurance-pays choices. Only now we add safety-reputation-of-my-manufacturer versus safety-reputation-of-competitor decisions too.

This is going to get difficult! Lawyer up!

Comment Re:Sources of Support (Score 1) 742

The idea of "Western Civilization" is just another chauvinism - another mythology by which you are crudely manipulated as a tool of those same forces you imagine to be in "betrayal".

No man in earth understands ANYTHING, until he has insightful awareness that EVERYTHING he knows is WRONG.

Then his eyes may see clearly. He has no solution, but surely understands the nature of things.

You come across as a propagandist who bought a low UID and is trying hard to sound sage. That would make you an employee of the destructive elites that GP was talking about.

On the off-chance you're spouting vague Eastern-sounding philosophy in all seriousness, you would never give up many of the fruits of western civilization, even if you're slumming it somewhere to try to build your 'cred.' Perhaps you ought to consider western civ might be worth preserving.

Beyond that, the "No one really knows anything" philosophy has been very well developed by a couple of defenders of western civilization- Hayek and Sowell. Trade-offs still have to be weighed and decisions made. You seem like you'd rather shrug your shoulders and go rake a zen sand box garden, opening the door for the destructive elites GP spoke of.

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