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Comment Re: While its not my cup of tea (Score 2) 347

It's fantasy role play. It doesn't mean they actually believe or would act in real life on that stuff. At least I hope not. Not all of them anyway.

There's both kinds among the Goreans. And on a personal, anecdotal level, all the Gorean men I've met were complete assholes, but that doesn't prove anything. Maybe I just met the worst ones, right? Ha ha ha.

It is certainly possible to engage in BDSM in ways which are not harmful, and determining which kind someone is doing remotely is nontrivial. On the other hand, equality is a tenet of all modern civilizations with good reason. And I've known people who were into BDSM who were definitely not healthy. Like, people who harmed themselves or even killed themselves eventually because they felt unwanted or unfulfilled. Were these people ever participating in a healthy way, or were they just lying to themselves?

I'm not trying to draw a line beyond which things are definitely unhealthy, but if it looks and smells and in all other ways seems unhealthy, odds are good. I've known people in long-term relationships to be pushed way beyond what they actually wanted simply because they didn't know how to say no, and there's no shortage of scrupulous fuckers out there who claim to be responsible members of the scene but are neither safe, sane, nor obtaining informed consent.

Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 99

Ok, so neither of those links were included in the summary when this was posted, but here is the full article:

Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains With Computers
Startup from CEO of Tesla and SpaceX aims to implant tiny electrodes in human brains
Neuralink is pursuing what Elon Musk calls 'neural lace' technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
by ROLFE WINKLER
March 27, 2017 3:24 p.m. ET

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren't ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.

The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched another company called Neuralink Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Neuralink is pursuing what Mr. Musk calls "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.

Mr. Musk has taken an active role setting up the California-based company and may play a significant leadership role, according to people briefed on Neuralink's plans, a bold step for a father of five who already runs two technologically complex businesses.

Mr. Musk didn't respond to a request for comment. Max Hodak, who said he is a "member of the founding team," confirmed the company's existence and Mr. Musk's involvement. He described the company as "embryonic" and said plans are still in flux but declined to provide additional details. Mr. Hodak previously founded Transcriptic, a startup that provides robotic lab services accessible over the internet.

Mr. Musk, 45 years old, is part businessman, part futurist. He splits his time between Tesla, which is under pressure to deliver its $35,000 sedan on time, and SpaceX, which aims to launch a satellite-internet business and a rocket that can bring humans to Mars. He is also pushing development of a super high-speed train called Hyperloop.

Somewhere in his packed schedule, he has found time to start a neuroscience company that plans to develop cranial computers, most likely to treat intractable brain diseases first, but later to help humanity avoid subjugation at the hands of intelligent machines.

"If you assume any rate of advancement in [artificial intelligence], we will be left behind by a lot," he said at a conference last June.

The solution he proposed was a "direct cortical interface"--essentially a layer of artificial intelligence inside the brain--that could enable humans to reach higher levels of function.

Mr. Musk has teased that he is developing the technology himself. "Making progress [on neural lace]," he tweeted last August, "maybe something to announce in a few months." In January he tweeted that an announcement might be coming shortly.

He hasn't made an official announcement, but Neuralink registered in California as a "medical research" company last July.

Mr. Musk has discussed financing Neuralink primarily himself, including with capital borrowed against equity in his other companies, according to a person briefed on the plans.

Neuralink has also discussed a possible investment from Founders Fund, the venture firm started by Peter Thiel, with whom Mr. Musk co-founded payments company PayPal, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, Neuralink hired leading academics in the field, according to another person familiar with the matter. They include Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an expert in flexible electrodes; Philip Sabes, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who studies how the brain controls movement; and Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how the birds sing.

Reached by phone, Dr. Gardner confirmed he is working for Neuralink, but declined to elaborate on its plans. Dr. Sabes declined to comment. Dr. Tolosa didn't respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to SpaceX and Tesla, where Mr. Musk developed new rocket and electric-car technologies, proved they work, and is now using them to pursue more ambitious projects.

These people say the first products could be advanced implants to treat intractable brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression, a market worth billions of dollars. Such implants would build on simpler electrodes already used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease.

If Neuralink can prove the safety and efficacy of its technology and receive government approval, perhaps it then could move on to cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, these people say. Mr. Musk alluded to this possibility in his comments last June, describing how humans struggle to process and generate information as quickly as they absorb it.

"Your output level is so low, particularly on a phone, your two thumbs just tapping away," he said. "This is ridiculously slow. Our input is much better because we have a high bandwidth visual interface into the brain. Our eyes take in a lot of data."

Others pursuing the idea include Bryan Johnson, the founder of online payments company Braintree, who plans to pump $100 million into a startup called Kernel, which has 20 people and is pursuing a similar mission.

Mr. Johnson said he has spoken to Mr. Musk and that both companies want to build better neural interfaces, first to attack big diseases, and then to expand human potential.

Facebook Inc. has posted job ads for "brain-computer interface engineers" and other neuroscientists at its new secret projects division. And the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $60 million over four years to develop implantable neural interface technology.

The technology faces several barriers. Scientists must find a safe, minimally invasive way to implant the electrodes, and a way to keep them stable in the brain. It also isn't yet possible to record the activity of millions of the brain's neurons to decode complex decisions, or distinguish when someone wants to eat a bowl of spaghetti or go to the bathroom.

Then there is persuading people to get elective brain surgery.

In comments published by Vanity Fair on Sunday, Mr. Musk said "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away."

If Mr. Musk indeed takes an active leadership role at Neuralink, that would raise more questions about his own personal bandwidth.

Tesla is building the largest battery factory on the planet to supply its forthcoming Model 3 electric vehicle, and it will need to produce hundreds of thousands of cars to meet its goal and justify its lofty market capitalization, which is approaching that of Ford Motor Co.
SpaceX has struggled to launch rockets fast enough to send satellites into orbit for its customers. Ultimately it wants to launch an internet-access business powered by more than 4,000 low-earth orbiting satellites, ferry space tourists to the moon and then bring astronauts to Mars.

Even so, Mr. Musk has proved many naysayers wrong. Traditional auto makers said he could never sell a popular electric car. Military-industrial graybeards scoffed at the idea he could even launch a rocket.

Write to Rolfe Winkler at rolfe.winkler@wsj.com

Comment Re:Wonder why (Score 1) 207

"experiencing a rural lifestyle"

If you're experiencing a rural lifestyle, that's not the suburbs. I'm talking about the vast suburban wastelands where every house has ugly vinyl siding, the HOAs freak out if your grass isn't within a .1 inch tolerance of accepted standards, and the kids spend their nights hanging out in the 7-11 parking lot huffing paint because there's nothing else to do.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 333

That's a neat trick, unless they mean their IDEA of their computer rather than the physical hardware.

If it rendered the computer unusable, then that's the same thing from the user's point of view, who then has to spend money to have someone fix their computer — money they may not have.

Windows is shitty, not malicious.

Uh, no. It's spyware which cannot be disabled. That's not the same as eating your data, but it is malicious.

Comment Re:ATM decline (Score 1) 335

Contrast that with an ATM where you have to hunt for your bank's machine or face an extortionate $2 charge to withdraw from a rival bank's machine.

My credit union belongs to an ATM co-op, you insensitive clod! I can deposit or withdraw money all over the place without any fees. Lately all the ATMs take cash without an envelope and count it for you while you wait, so I have no qualms about doing so, either. Maybe your bank is just shit.

Comment Re: Uh, why? (Score 1) 205

If you think Vista was bad you're not old enough to remember NT 4.0.

I remember the sound system crashing on my Vista laptop, sending a horrible, unstoppable screeching through the speakers. Basically it was an audio snow crash. Yet everything else worked normally; I was able to save my work and shut the system down. And I remember thinking, "that was horrible, but so much less horrible than it could have been."

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 144

£30M will get them the demonstrator. As they say, it is enough to build it and get it through flight testing. Once they have that, I suppose they plan to use it to attract additional funding to build the actual aircraft, or at the least sell the design (or the company) to an interested established airplane manufacturer.

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