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Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 174

The smart ones already had great driving records. It is the stupid ones you are protecting with this technology.

Being smart doesn't protect you from stupid people's actions -- you can be a perfect driver and still get rear-ended by someone who never saw you slow down because they were texting.

This technology protects stupid people and the smart people who have to share the roads with them.

Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 174

For a small fraction of what is spent on personal vehicle ownership, we could have pretty amazing public transportation that would satisfy the needs of nearly every city & suburb dweller. And that would naturally lead to fewer serious accidents.

Also for a small fraction of what is spent on fast food, people could buy and cook healthy vegetarian meals for themselves, that would satisfy the nutritional needs of nearly every citizen. And that would naturally lead to fewer cases of heart disease and obesity.

Unfortunately, what people want is not always the same as what would theoretically work the best. In this case, most people want private cars, and they have made that preference clear through both their spending and their voting patterns. Barring the advent of some kind of benign dictatorship, a transition to all-public-transit won't happen anytime soon.

Comment Re:Intelligent design (Score 0) 157

These researchers may be trying to apply the wrong methods to a device that is almost certainly the product of a higher power.

That may well be the case, but if so, it's also quite clear that the higher power used evolution and natural selection as his development tool.

If human brains had just been magic'd into existence by divine fiat, there would be no reason for them to look like a specialized version of the brains of earlier hominids (which in turn look like specialized versions of the brains of earlier mammals, and so on for as far back as you care to look).

Comment New senses? (Score 2) 132

Elliot Freeman, a cognitive neuroscientist at City University and the study's lead author, said: "A lot of us go around having senses that we do not even recognise."

It seems to me more like a short circuit between regions of the brain than a different sense. I wouldn't like to hear things that aren't there just because I'm seeing things. It's well known that there are substantial interactions between different regions of the brain, which is why for example we turn down the stereo while trying to find an address.

Comment Re:Some places are impossible. (Score 1) 53

Sounds like an awesome idea.

In the presence of a working public transportation system that actually met the needs of inhabitants, it might be. But we have that in maybe one or two cities in the USA, and actually, if you took the cars away the systems couldn't handle the load. Toll roads are harmful to business and individuals alike. We make use of the road network free to enable commerce and free travel.

I am an outspoken proponent of PRT and of ordinary rail for longer distances, but barring their existence, I'm extremely opposed to placing more restrictions on people's ability to travel. What year is it? Let's figure out how to let people travel efficiently.

Comment Re:Just what we need (Score 1) 117

For every (likely made up) story you have about how your father's uncle's brother's first cousin's roommate had a union job and it was full of lazy people

I had a student job with a community college while I went there only about a decade ago, while I uh, pivoted. And what I saw in the IT department was tragic. The primary system upon which the school depended was a HP-SUX quad Alpha, because that's what their software runs on. Then they replaced it with some ridiculously expensive many-way itanic box because that's what the vendor told them to do. On the old system, I got paid to implement ssh tunneling (with putty, naturally) to stop them from sending SSNs and other private student information across internet links in cleartext, because the sysadmin they were paying to do this stuff couldn't figure it out. Then I got paid to figure out how to implement ipsec on the new machine because the guy whose job that is couldn't manage that either. I was hoping to slide into that job but that guy bought a second Harley, and he had to stick around to pay for it. Or more to the point, so that the students and taxpayer could pay for it. He certainly didn't earn the money. My boss was quite competent, that was nice. My two coworkers were also competent, but lazy. I wound up doing job after job that they were supposed to do, because they didn't bother. One of them had severe short-timer's syndrome for the entire two-year span we were both there, with a countdown clock to retirement. He was a pro at stretching jobs out and making them take forever. He probably should have had a 75% pay cut.

Meanwhile, administrators have a different union from educators. This results in administrators and their favored assistants being paid dramatically more than the educators... you know, education? The point of the whole place?

I don't know if unions are as toxic in other industries as they are in education, but they're definitely a massive part of the problem with education today.

Comment Re:Progressive (Score 1) 788

You should watch the Netflix series about the 80s. For every awesome thing reagan did, he did a dozen bad ones and they point every one of them out.

I am left of left around this sideshow but look, that doesn't invalidate his point any more than his citations invalidate yours. Can't we just agree that Obama was a shit president, and that Reagan was also a shit president, and move on?

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 788

The fact is that there are some people here who sit some distance along the autism spectrum, probably more than a few people with Asperger's, who are neurologically wired to view the world in very narrow and rigid ways. They need to define gender in the simplest form possible, it's just the way their brains work.

They don't have to have any condition to feel that way except stupidity, which makes simple things seem complex, and which also leads to oversimplication of complex things.

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