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Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 373

Perhaps the right cure, but not for the reasons you state. If your goal is to penalize American companies who use robots versus human labor, then you're simply going to make those companies less competitive globally, and they will lose to Chinese, Japanese and German firms that are much more highly automated. Instead, you tax all companies that do business in the United States and use the money to provide a basic income or safety net so they can ride out the transition, knowing full well that many may not be able to adapt to the new economy. Much like the great industrial revolution: the home craftsmen and farmers who lost their jobs, their children were able to adapt to the new economy, but they were not. Best thing you can do is make sure they're taken care of.

Comment We Traded It for "Free" Content (Score 4, Informative) 147

We traded our privacy and personal information for "free" content. In the early days of the web, we wanted Social Media, but we didn't want to pay a subscription for it. We said we were okay with advertising, even targeted advertising, to pay for their services. We wanted a web of free content and told them to figure out how to make money on it. So they grasped at the one thing they could find, our identities as consumers, and it was so lucrative, it re-shaped the way the web operates.

Comment Nothing of Substance Offered (Score 2) 135

vOn Google Hangouts chats or iMessage you can exchange quotes, links, stories, media," he said. "That's a delightful, engaging media experience..."

Or a great way to create a media echo chamber. You know, kind of like my aunt Facebook.

The next phase of media is going to come out of the idea of authentic, chill conversation about things that matter.

Maybe its just me, but the only time I've ever had "authentic, chill conversation" on hot button items are when you have personal links to an individual to know that they are human even if you disagree with them on politics. Even then, that backstop might not be sufficient. There is no alternate vision laid out here for how the Internet can be great again. Instead, this sounds like just empty hope that the current situation is merely a temporary byproduct of a weird political time and that everything will just magically go back to normal.


NASA Scientists Propose New Definition of Planets, and Pluto Could Soon Be Back ( 213

Rei writes: After several years of publicly complaining about the "bullshit" decision at the IAU redefining what comprises a planet, New Horizons program head Alan Stern and fellow planetary geologists have put forth a new definition which they seek to make official, basing planethood on hydrostatic equilibrium. Under this definition, in addition to Ceres, Pluto and other Kuiper Belt objects, large moons like Titan and Europa, as well as our own moon, would also become planets; "planet" would be a physical term, while "moon" would be an orbital term, and hence one can have a planetary moon, as well as planets that orbit other stars or no star at all (both prohibited under the current definition). The paper points out that planetary geologists already refer to such bodies as planets, citing examples such as a paper about Titan: "A planet-wide detached haze layer occurs between 300-350 km above the surface; the visible limb of the planet, where the vertical haze optical depth is 0.1, is about 220 km above the surface."

Comment Seen Similar Pattern in Fall and Rise of Korea (Score 1) 516

I think this article is quite good because it points out both the difficulty in addressing income inequality as well as reminding people that the 1950s - 1970s was a historical anomaly for the Western world created by unusual circumstances.

What I read also reminded me of what I've seen and heard about Korea during the 1940s and 1950s. Prior to the 20th century, Korea had a highly entrenched class system made up of landed aristocracy. That system was literally dismantled and blown up by the combination exploitation under Japanese occupation, the civil war, and Communist takeover in the north. When you got to the 1950s, you had an unusually flat society in South Korea with many former landed elites scraping by after their wealth was destroyed. Yet as the country rebuilt, wealth became reconcentrated in the hands of a new group of industrialists who were able to ride the economic growth. Now, its heavily re-entrenched in Korea, albeit with new elites.

You saw a similar sort of flattening and re-stratification among Korean immigrants to the United States as well. During the post-war wave, people from both traditional educated gentry and the poorest of the poor fled the country and lived together in an initially relatively narrow wealth band. Yet as people rose to success, whether through business savvy or education, the immigrant community has begun to diverge again between new money business elites and white collar professionals on one end and poor small business owners and laborers on the other. While you still see some mobility between the two, its clear that the children of the former have a lot of advantages over the children of the latter, and I believe in another generation or two, you'll see that stratification harden.

Comment Just Use Non-State Actors (Score 1) 148

Would this make any serious impact though? Vast majority of cyber attacks aren't the life-and-death ones like bringing down the power grid. They are the more gray areas, espionage and theft, that nation-states may not be as quick to sign up for. If anything, many nations, including Western ones, view economic espionage as a civic duty in a global economic zero sum game. Why would they sign up for that? In addition, you nation-states already tend to use "non-state" actors to give them plausible deniability. Oh those hackers who hit your grid - just some vagrant teenagers.

Comment More Incentives for Bandwidth Caps, Net Neutrality (Score 2) 148

Sadly, for those of us in the United States at least, this will just give additional motivation for domestic ISP's to start capping monthly data at home. Also, with net neutrality on the ropes, they can try and extract their "cut" by forcing streaming services to pay up so that they can bypass data caps and bandwidth limitations.

Comment Joy vs. Happiness (Score 1) 280

researchers found that the parents weren't nearly as happy as they claimed they were. Their kids caused them all kinds of stress and unhappiness.

Perhaps its a distinction between joy and happiness? Joy being the macro positive feelings associated with being a part of something bigger (i.e. raising a child, building a legacy through them, satisfaction of ego, that weird love thing) versus happiness which is focused on the general condition of the person day to day (sleep deprivation, resource sacrifice, emotional and psychological strain, etc.).

Comment Religion Replaced by Ideology (Score 1) 157

While I agree with you that any strong ideology or just general identity is fundamentally weaponizable, I disagree that we are somehow moving away from it. People have simply replaced religion with ideology, nationalism and other equally powerful forces. It's not as clear perhaps, but it's still very much alive and well. Western liberal democracy and human rights for example: in my opinion, it is not some universal view but an ideology that is accepted and driven by large numbers of people around the world. Yet that ideology has been used, like any other group think, to rally people to arms, sometimes justly (battling fascists), sometimes through questionable means (battling Marxists with brutality in the third world for "the greater good"), sometimes through questionable sincerity (US interventionism in the post Cold War era from Kosovo to Iraq). All these things done under the banner of the Western Liberal Order that is now being challenged by Islamists, the Chinese, the Russians and others.

If you want to take a less extreme example, you can just look at domestic politics in the United States: passionate people who believe they are engaged in a life or death struggle to "protect the nation" from the "others (the Donald, the religious, the gays, SJW, facists, communists, etc.)" to stop a perceived evil (massacre of the unborn! trampling of civil liberties! oppression of people of color!) with some believing that more and more extreme tactics are needed.

It's hardwired into who we are as humans, and it doesn't take much at all to nudge people into action.

Comment Just as anti-Trump "Half Truths" Ramp Up (Score 1) 470

The irony of all may just be that the anti-Trump "half truth" system is ramping up as speculation runs rampant on what Donald Trump will do as President. Trump has said a lot of crazy things, so it works because then you can start adding other things to take it a step further and make it sound even more extreme. A classic example of what I saw recently was one that Trump was going to start making Muslims wear yellow stars in public (a la Hitler and the Jews). The sourcing is false on that, it's "merely" going to be registering them and maybe given them ID cards, but why not just give it that extra nudge to give a cleaner Hitler comparison?

Comment Why not Fight? Cowardly and Selfish (Score 2) 1368

If you care about the country so much and you believe it fell into the wrong hands, then why not fight to take back the Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020? That makes more sense than selfishly plotting secession which is guaranteed to break the back of the progressive movement you claim to love by withdrawing one of its core financial and political bedrocks from the system.

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