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Comment Re:TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 207

If the majority would vote to abolish or diminsh protection of "intellectual property", there would be less money to produce profits and content.

Maybe we'll see less content, maybe we'll see less lobbying and laws being bought by the content industry, or less absurd amounts of money going into the pockets of a few.

I think humanity will find new ways of producing content for entertainment, it is not a law of nature that only monopolies and obscene amounts of profit can generate content that people want to watch.

Lets try and see what happens. Noone will die of hunger if there would be less entertainment available.

There is no reaons to be afraid of less profits for the content industry.

Comment Impossible (Score 1) 387

How would you calculate the "amount of automation" that would be the basis of taxation?!?

I think Bill Gates sees the problem with automation: 90-99% of us will be without work.
What he doesn't see: this will mean that the economic system as we've known it for about 200 years now, will cease to exist.

The current elites and rich want to cling to the status quo, obviously, and come up with weird ideas that are wishful thinking IMHO.

I think the company, whose economic function is to organize work at a larger scale, might have to change fundamentally.
A single person + an army of software/robots could replace entire 10000+ companies one day.

Comment Re:The point (Score 1) 532

There is no real difference.
Prohibition of Cannabis started with taxes, that became "prohibitively" high.
Do we really still believe in prohibition to "regulate" drugs?

The idea of "sin taxes" is wrong IMHO: It creates the wrong impression, what is not very very expensive cannot be too unhealthy.
However, most things, even drugs, are pretty harmless if taken in moderate amounts and if the user has some discipline.

Once the general wealth of the population rises, sin taxes stop working, and the pupulation, wrongly motivated by money alone, won't be able to control itself.
Instead, we should educate children and keep it out of their hands until they are adult. After that, we have to accept that people make their own decisions.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 409

Automation can free humanity from having to work for basic needs such as food, clothing and housing.

The question, however, is how the benefits of automation will be distributed.
If the "owners" don't want to share, we'll have a dystopian future.
They can produce so cheap, but noone will buy what they produce.
The "1%" could make life miserable for the rest of us, use a robotized force to keep us under the thumb and bathe in luxury and wellbeing themselves.
Sooner or later infighting will come and the 1% will also destroy themselves (helped by the robots used for crowd control).

If we as humans can find a mechanism to share the benefits, we could have a good future.
We'll have to do with current ideologies and economic systems, and invent something new.

Comment Re:Experts Say? (Score 1) 272

In this atmosphere of fake news, being overshadowed by short-term commercial interests (click-bait and the like), it is well possible that this opens potential to outside manipulation. And of those, Russia is a likely candidate, w.r.t. motivation and capability.

Before, it was mainly government propaganda, yes there has been some of that, more or less, since the beginning of television and radio.

Comment Re:Nice previously researched spin in the "article (Score 2) 413

True if the intensity is too much. The same can be said from industrial air pollution, traffic, the neighbours cooking food that I don't like etc. etc.

Yes cigarette smoke in a car is too strong, but smoke from the neighbours? The smoke won't hurt you, yet you can smell it. There are many smells in the world, and many tastes.

If it is bad or not depends on the health of the population at large, the cost for society in terms of health, money and quality of life.

In that sense, I would asume that substituting marijana for tobacco, would be an improvement.

Just like with cigarettes, forcing others to smoke passively should not be allowed.

Comment Intellectual property is the only hope left (Score 4, Insightful) 126

for the USA: manufacturing is done elsewhere, so it tries to monopolize the worlds intelectual property and tries to turn it into something protected and ever more valuable, extending copyrights indefinately and bullying any country that doesn't play ball.

We can only hope for and wait for the total downfall and collapse of the US economy, before this madnes ends.

Comment In 1991, our secretary changed the tapes (Score 1) 460

As part of "cost savings" back in 1991, managers decided that the secretary would be able to rotate the backup tapes, instead of IT staff.
After 6 months of hacking and developing, we had a crash of 2 disks simultaneously.
It turned out, all backups, offsite, offline, had all been made on cleaning tapes. Error messages had been ignored.

There is nothing new here. People and managers keep taking shortcuts and hope for the best.

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