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Comment Re:Self-sustaining civilization on Mars (Score 1) 457

How about we first master having a self-sustaining civilization on Earth?

There is no such thing as a self-sustaining civilization, there are only civilizations that haven't failed yet.

If a civilization is not killed by a failure of resources it will be killed by a failure of economics, or a failure of politics, or a failure of sociology, or in some rare cases it will literally be killed by another civilization, or in some even rarer cases by the (relative) world ending.

But like biological organisms, civilizations can reproduce. They can reproduce parthenogenetically (Australia,) or by combining traits with other civilizations (UK, USA,) or by mitosis (Byzantine Empire,) or by seeds left behind after being burned to the ground (Holy Roman Empire,) or by combinations of the above, or other means that don't quite match up with normal biological processes. (And no, those analogies are not perfect.)

Which is not to say that we should not strive to improve things here on Earth. But I seriously doubt we will ever reach a point where any civilization will be perfectly self-sustaining, much less that everyone would agree on when such a point has been reached. (If nothing else the eventual death of the sun poses a serious challenge to any supposedly self-sustaining civilization, and the heat death of the universe an even bigger one.)

If we wait for this mythical perfect self-sustaining state before attempting to "reproduce" it will only reduce the odds that there will be "children" civilizations when the current ones inevitably die.

Comment That's not how it works (Score 3, Insightful) 637

"This backlash is nonsense," said James Green, co-founder of VR developer Carbon Games. "I absolutely support him doing whatever he wants politically if it's legal. To take any other position is against American values."

I think you meant to say you absolutely support other people doing what they want politically if it's legal, such as disagreeing with Luckey, or boycotting his product, or raising money for Clinton in response. Because taking any other position would be against American values _and_ hypocritical, right?

And yes, he's perfectly within his rights to say what he said, and i'm within my rights to point out the contradiction, and other people are within their rights to respond to me with disagreements, and etc. Saying that one person gets to have their say and everyone else needs to shut up about it after that is not how political discourse works.

Comment So long... (Score 4, Insightful) 208

So they booted him off because he was costing them a ton of money and wasn't paying anything. (I guess they were providing him service as a charity?)

But does that mean that they'll kick their paying customers off as well if the costs of defending them against attacks exceed the revenue they're getting from that specific customer? If so that would mean you could put Akamai out of business just by targeting one customer at a time, moving on to a new one as each one was evicted from the service.

Comment and AI (Score 1) 161

I believe the real solution would be to invest the billions in AI. Which is also a problem that already has a lot of people working on it, but as you say, less so than the amount already being poured into medical research.

Just figure out how to create AI and raise it in such a manner that it views humans as somewhat dumb but amusing pets. Then stand back and let it cross reference all the existing medical knowledge and figure out how to save us. And it could probably solve a lot of other non-medical problems at the same time.

(The downside is that it may also decide to spay or neuter most/all of us to keep the population in check, but if i get a significantly longer and healthier lifespan in a wealthier and more peaceful world i think i can deal.)

Comment Re:Stick a fork in.... (Score 2) 612

Trump may be slime, but at the moment I don't think there is any sort of definitive proof he's broken the law

...you mean aside from having to pay a fine to the IRS for breaking the law in what was probably an attempt to bribe an attorney general?

https://www.washingtonpost.com...

And oh look, while trying to find details of that i found a whole list of other illegal things he's done/proposed doing:

http://www.pajiba.com/politics...

If there were it almost certainly would have come out by now and be front page headlines for every news organization in the US

These things do float to the top of the headlines every so often, but generally they're quickly forgotten about. I'm not sure why that is exactly. Because Trump's supporters don't care when he does something illegal or immoral? Because he does so many of them that nobody can stay focused on just one long enough for it to become a real issue? I have no idea.

Comment It wouldn't help me, but... (Score 1) 233

I spend my commute time listening to audiobooks. In fact my commute has become my primary method of consuming novels and i rarely find time to read printed or ebooks outside of that. So even if i wanted to spend my commute doing something else while an AI drove i'd end up having to reschedule some other non-driving time to make up for the "reading" i wasn't getting done during the same period.

That said though, i don't think the same really applies to people who haven't already found some productive use for their commute time. The article seems vague and hand-wavey at best (as well as full of grammatical errors.) Just because 30-50% claim now they'd be too worried to do something else while the AI drove doesn't mean they'd feel the same way after owning or using such a car for several days or weeks. People are often far more willing to adapt to things than they would predict. And even if that number were valid the other 50-70% would still be getting more free time, so the generalized statement would still be false.

Comment Re:Lifting candidates (Score 2) 248

I think both of you are over-attributing this to "voting for them because they're X" when it's more "voting for them because they're not Y".

I don't particularly like Clinton. I don't think she's a crook or a serial murderer or any of the other crazy conspiracy theories, I just think she's a bit more conservative than i'd really like. But there's no way i'm going to help throw the election to Trump by voting for anyone other than the person who is most likely to defeat Trump.

Until we get rid of the first past the post voting system voting either R or D says a lot more about who you _don't_ want to be president. (And voting for a third party says either that you (possibly mistakenly) believe your vote has 0% chance of making a difference or you really don't care who gets elected.)

Comment Re:Foretold (Score 1) 145

And how long does your estate/corporation retain rights to your own voice and appearance after death? Does copyright law apply? Trademark law? If the rights expire after the lifetime of the actor plus 70 years will we reach a point sometime around, i dunno, 2086 or so when there are no employment opportunities for new actors because all the "great" actors are already in the public domain?

Comment Re:Use the Tmobile Music Unlimited prepaid plan (Score 1) 75

I'm on the T-Mobile pay-as-you-go plan. $30 a month ($30 period, no extra taxes) for "unlimited" data (throttled after 5GB per month), unlimited texts, and 100 minutes per month.

In the three years i've been using the plan i've gone over the 100 minutes once when i was on a business trip. Ended up spending about $30 extra that month (i believe the extra rate is 10 cents/minute.)

I may have gone over the 5GB data limit a couple times near the end of the month, but either it was a short enough period or the throttling wasn't severe enough such that i really didn't notice it.

Comment "Firestar" (Score 1) 130

As long as we're sharing related SF, see also Michael F Flynn's novel "Firestar" and its three sequels. It's basically a series about a Space X-like company that wrapped up the year Space X was actually founded, and has the reuse of fuel tanks as habitats as a side note.

And in response to all the people saying that the cost of either modifying the tanks to server dual purposes or performing additional construction in space makes it infeasible you're probably right. If we were talking about a one time deal. However if we ever get to the point where we have enough people in space that we need to start doing construction work anyways the economics will seriously change, so it's not unreasonable to start looking into it now. And if nothing else just the materials alone might be well worth the small cost to boost the tanks a little higher, even if they end up just getting disassembled for parts and raw materials.

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