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Comment Re:good luck with that! (Score 1) 30

I can understand replacing simple tasks, but complicated ones?

The complicated tasks are going away. It is already the practice to replace whole modules when a component fails. That's the kind of job that a robot can handle. Onboard diagnostics tell you which major component is having a problem, the component is yanked and sent home for repairs and a new one is slapped in. Sooner or later we'll give homes easily serviceable plumbing under raised flooring so that the robots can get to it. The list goes on, a world designed to have robots in it will look different from this by necessity.

Comment Tax reform (Score 1) 361

I 100% expect the Republicans (congress in general, really, but the Republicans are presently driving the bus) to do exactly the same thing to tax law that the Republicans attempted to do to the healthcare law. Which is to say, rewrite it to further benefit the wealthy and further disadvantage the poor and middle class.

What congress thinks is broken about tax law and what the poor and middle class thinks is broken about tax law are two entirely different things.

It's not that congress can't figure it out. It's that what they want has absolutely nothing to do with benefitting the voters who elected them. They serve those who write them checks, hand out lucrative speaking engagements, "think tank" positions, lobbyist jobs, property and stock tips/deals, etc. They care very little for our votes. They know full well that when disapproval of congress is high (86% in a recent election), re-election rates remain high (94% in that same election.) So until disapproval numbers for a bill hit really dangerous looking extremes (83% for the ACHA, basically everyone that doesn't drool all their waking hours), they pretty much do whatever they want, and what that is, as always, is fluff the wealthy.

The key to stopping them is exactly what happened with the ACHA: The media and the Internet need to repeatedly and in a way that cannot be ignored, put the information about what the the proposed revisions to tax law is trying to do to most everyone out under bright lights. If that can be done, it'll kill their tax agenda, which is absolutely guaranteed to be harmful to most of us. Just like the ACHA.

The problem with actual reasonable tax reform is that you're asking the foxes to voluntarily reduce their access to the henhouse. No matter what they say about it, they are thinking "LOL, as if." That's not just the GOP, either; the Democrats trade on tax leverage too.

A truly fair and simple federal taxation system is literally no more than a few pages of clear and simple law away. The same is true for any state or town. Likewise decent healthcare mechanisms. But we can't get there from here. The monied interests don't want that; and that means we're not going to get it. What we are most likely to get, if we're not vigilant, is something a good bit worse. Just like the ACHA.

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 361

When I do my taxes, I take advantage of every available loophole and write-off

Really? I doubt that. I mean sure, with write offs. That's what they are for, and that's their intent. Loopholes are all the unintended bits. So unless you've created an offshore corporation in a tax haven which gets paid when you render services, the chances are you're not remotely using every available loophole.

Comment Re:You are the one with the fantasy (Score 1) 361

In te real world, there are Democrats (increasingly irrelevant),

The Democrats got very substantially more votes than the Republicans in the recent elections. I'm not sure how winning by a fluke of the electoral system makes your opponent "irrelevant".

Oh I know how. You are incapable of discussing politics. You put yourself forward as a conservative, but you're not. You're simply a republican cheerleader.

That aside, the Republicans won, but by a negative margin. Voter turnout wasn't all that high. A *lot* of people have cover under the ACA. Thing is the Republicans much the Democrats really do like being voted into office. It's from their point of view a complete no-go to piss off 5-10% of the electorate when their margin is within those bounds too.

So basically, any forward motion now on anything is a compromise between Republicans and Trump supporters.

That seems unlikely to happen then for a while. With Obama in power the republicans adopted the attitude of never giving an inch, never compromising on anything. That way they got exactly what they wanted which was to stop whatever Obama doing. The trouble is that tactic doesn't work when you're in power and you want to have things rather than merely block things. The republicans are going to have to learn to actually compromise again before they can get anything of substance done.

Comment ACHA "craft" (Score 1) 361

the lawmakers are being very well-compensated to read legislation. It's like their one fucking job, you know?

Yes, I know, that's the point I was making. I'm sorry if that was unclear.

If Trump and the GOP couldn't unravel the 3500 page health care law

The GOP unraveled it just fine (Trump doesn't even read his executive orders... the very idea that he had anything to do with the ACHA other than as an idiot mouthpiece is mildly hilarious.) The GOP rewrote it to do what they wanted it to do, which was adhere to the usual ethically bankrupt Republican agenda of disadvantaging the poor and further enriching the rich.

It's just that the poor, huge numbers of whom benefit from the ACA, actually got wind of the GOP's intent, and unfortunately for the Republicans, their base consists of considerable numbers of the poor.

It wasn't that they couldn't unravel it. It's that they got caught unraveling it.

The reason why is simply this: If you never give a baby a lollipop, it will just sit there and gurgle. But if you give a baby a lollipop and then attempt to take it away and it catches you at it, it will scream bloody murder until you give it back. That's exactly what happened here. The ACA handed out the lollipop that was healthcare to people who had never had it. The ACHA attempted to take it away. The people caught them at it. Everything from then on was entirely predictable.

Comment Re:False equivalency (Score 1) 361

I think you need to go back and look at what actually happened. Obama tried to get those prisoners into the US where they could be interned in a rights-compliant way, given proper hearings and trials, lawyers, due process. He didn't try (and shouldn't have tried) to "close Gitmo" by just releasing everyone, nor did he ever say he wanted to. His attempts to get this done were stymied by others. So from my POV, while yes, that's a failure of Obama's attempt to close Gitmo, it most certainly doesn't lay the blame for the failure at his door.

Look, I am not a blind fan of Obama. Lots of things I disagreed with him on. Some of it is just attitudes he promoted as a leader, such as his various constitutionally blind gun-control ideas, some of it is things he actually did like signing the (un)PATRIOT(ic) act. But closing Gitmo... that turned into a political nightmare, but it was a nightmare he was on the correct side of.

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 361

With a income of at least 100M that we know of, and possible billions elsewhere, I believe we can clearly say he knows what he is doing.

I possibly have billions elsewhere. I don't, but I possibly could. That means fuck-all. However, we know for sure that Trump is in a shitload of debt — No really, an entire shitload.

So no, no it is not clear that Trump knows what he is doing, and it cannot seem that way unless you willfully ignore the concept of debt.

Comment Re:Parity? Really? (Score 1) 361

If Trump and the GOP couldn't unravel the 3500 page health care law, how are they going to pull off reforming the tax code, which ran like twenty-three volumes (without addendums) back in the 1990s?

Presumably you just throw it away and start over with something simpler. Hopefully you have some numbers which tell you how much tax revenue will be collected if you do that; at least the math should be simpler if you simplify the crap out of the tax code.

That's not counting the judicial precedents which are now law. Hell, there's like several hundred pages of law that just governs the taxation issues related to owning racehorses

There's no reasonable way to fix that stuff except case by case, because you can't throw out all the laws as easily as you can throw out the tax code.

Comment Re:Foul, oversimplification (Score 1) 361

Sigh. Where do the prisoners go? Not USA, because of Congress. To another Gitmo? Hardly an answer. Go free? That gets way complicated.

Nobody forced him to make the claim that he was going to close Gitmo. If he wasn't prepared to set any prisoners free that couldn't be charged with a real crime and incarcerated elsewhere, then he shouldn't have said that he was going to close the place. Just as soon as you can show that someone put a gun to his head and forced him to claim he was going to do it, you can use that argument.

Comment Re:False equivalency (Score 1) 361

I'm with you on Trump and Healthcare, but not Obama and Gitmo. The president has pardon powers. He could have wielded them to close Gitmo if he was serious. Everyone wants to talk about how Obama is a constitutional scholar, and how he was qualified to be president because he knew things about things. When he claimed he wanted to close Gitmo, he surely therefore already knew that the people we keep there are not only people we want to torture without the world watching, but also people who we don't know what to do with.

Did Obama make a good-faith attempt to close Gitmo? Let me tell you what I think that looks like. I think it looks like giving a one year deadline (or similar) to charge everyone in Gitmo with a real crime and then transfer them to a real facility with real oversight where we don't really just want to torture them, with the threat being that he will simply pardon those people at the end on the basis that we are a nation which allegedly operates by the rule of law, and then actually following through. It would be political suicide, no doubt, but he's the one who made the claim that he was going to close Gitmo.

Trump is an incompetent dickbag who is not even trying to do a good job. None of this is a defense of Trump. But I don't think you can construct a reasonable defense of Obama, either. At least, not on this issue, and certainly not on that basis.

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 174

When someone cuts you off, most humans won't say "oh well" and hit them, they will still try to avoid an accident.

When the AI becomes capable of making those decisions, then they will start trying to make them. It's not there. Right now the system is not capable of making the decision of whether it should make evasive action, or whether that would be morally inferior to simply permitting the accident to happen. As such, the systems basically take two approaches. One is to be as risk-averse as you will let the system be. You can dial in following distance and speed, those are your responsibility. The other is to adopt the attitude that it is better to mitigate the collision that you can understand than to risk getting into what might be a worse collision by taking evasive action.

As a driver, you are responsible for understanding that your evasive action might endanger others — it might in fact be an illegal move. The automated driving system isn't going to make one of those. It's going to log the precise moment (with a highly-accurate GPS-corrected timestamp) at which the other vehicle's driver (or software) broke the law by entering its lane and nailing the brakes, or whatever it is that the other vehicle did that caused the collision. It will be able to precisely quantify why the other vehicle's action was an illegal maneuver. And then it's going to do what it can to minimize the damage caused by the accident, without itself breaking the law.

Most drivers seem only dimly aware at best of what is happening around them. Many of them are aware of basically nothing but what's happening right in front of them, and the conversation going on in their vehicle. Plenty of them are on mind-altering substances, whether prescription or not. It is best when the average human doesn't attempt evasive action in traffic. Sometimes you know that there's no one around you, and then you can take evasive action somewhat freely. Sooner or later, the automated cars will be able to identify some situations where they have free motion.

On the other hand, a lot of these situations are going to be mitigated by V2V and data sharing. Every vehicle is going to be reporting everything of interest that it sees, all day every day, to a system that will share this information with every automaker's (or supplier's) routing system. If a dog runs out into the street in front of your car, it's going to let the system know that there's a dog running in front of cars in your area, and other cars are going to slow down as they approach the same location, reducing the risk of a collision. If a ball bounces out into the street in front of your car, it's going to let the system know, and it's going to [effectively] let the car behind you know that it should slow down in case a child runs out after it. If some vehicle is operating erratically and cutting people off, then other vehicles will see it coming, recognize it, and give it a wide berth. Even if it doesn't have a transponder onboard, it will happen via license plate recognition; if it doesn't have plates, then the system will not only identify it as the vehicle of a certain shape and color that doesn't have plates, but the information will also percolate downwards to law enforcement, who will have the opportunity to give them a pass and determine whether they've got a temporary operating permit... or they've just stolen a car. Some of this data will even be available to human drivers; they will be persuaded to install telemetry in their vehicle by offering them a product which puts V2V data on a HUD in exchange. Others will do it for a break on their insurance. Eventually it will become mandatory for use of public roadways.

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