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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 441

Welfare 1.0 had (and still has) some really serious problems that made it incredibly difficult to escape from - As a gross oversimplification, every $1 you earn means you lose $2 in benefits - an extremely demotivating situation that rewards resignation and deceit (You only lose the benefits if you admit you earned the money)

Something like a universal basic income though doesn't carry those problems - you get $X amount of benefits no matter what, and every dollar you earn goes straight into your pocket. Early tests have shown that it may actually encourage people to work harder/more effectively, with virtually all work reduction being directly attributable to taking longer to look for more rewarding employment and/or pursuing further education.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 441

Probably because that level of AI sophistication is going to be considerably more challenging to achieve than the level required to replace most human labor. Janitors and lab technicians will be replaced long before the likes of Einstein. We may get there eventually, but even if it only takes a few extra decades it will be far too late to do much good.

Comment Re:Too much to express here, but (Score 1) 441

True. We could just eliminate the excess 90+% of the population instead.

Only problem is that, once you do that, you only need 10% as many robots to do the work, and 10% as many technicians to maintain them, making roughly 90% of the remaining population once again superfluous.

Automation has been sold as "labor saving devices" pretty much since day one, but in practice it's mostly been used as labor-amplifying devices instead, so that everyone still does just as much work, but is much more productive. Unfortunately that breaks down once the automation reaches a level of sophistication that exceeds that of most humans. When 90% of the work done in a business can be automated, and only the most talented humans have anything to offer, then you have a major social and economic problem on your hands - and that situation is approaching rapidly.

Theoretically we could all move to service-sector jobs where "the human touch" is appreciated - but how many people will honestly want to pay 5x as much to be served by a slow, imperfect human, when a robot could do the same job perfectly in a fraction of the time? It's not unlike the situation that allows Walmart and the like to sell mountains of shoddy merchandise - at the time of purchase, price is an incredibly powerful motivator. And it's worse, because in almost every case, aside from the ephemeral "human touch", the robot service will be objectively superior.

Comment Re:This MUST be fake news (Score 1) 215

That might work if you could rely on the damage being restricted to the USB ports, but really that's the best-case scenario. For starters, the same chip that handles integrated USB ports usually controls a large number of other data buses as well - SATA, PCI, etc. Even if the damage doesn't spread to the drives, expansion cards, etc, you'd probably need to replace the motherboard before you could use them again.

Comment Re:What the HE double hocky sticks (Score 1) 215

Not really - any idiot can wire a USB plug onto the end of a power cord and get much the same result. In fact, feeding wall power to pretty much anything not designed for it is likely to do moderate to severe damage. The only use case for this is to do it more discretely, and/r trick someone else into doing it. I.e. it's little more than a particularly expensive and malicious "gag gift" for total assholes.

Comment Re:So much for public charging locations (Score 1) 215

Mostly they do, though they may just be connected to resistors to indicate that they can provide more than the default 0.1A defined by the USB standard (the standard allows for up to 0.5A, but *only* if your device has successfully negotiated for it with the host controller)

Comment Re:You're old (Score 3, Insightful) 182

You're conflating survival of the species with the indefinite survival of the individual.Slightly different issues.

We (and everything else on the planet) are the result of a billion-plus years of unbroken successes of the first one. Nobody has ever managed the second.

You tell me which is more reasonable to be concerned with.

Comment Re:What (Score 5, Insightful) 182

Honestly, at that age your remaining days are numbered, and it's not a big number. So your only real options lie on the spectrum between:

1) Live as safely as possible, taking no risks, including indulging in any pleasures that might increase those risks (that would be most of them), and try to put off dying as long as possible at any cost.

2) Do anything you want, knowing that your time is running out, and that even if it kills you didn't really have much left to lose anyway.

Personally I have a lot more respect for those who lean towards the latter. The former seems to me to have little to do with living, and much to do with fearing the inevitable.

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Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian