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Comment Re:ok, thank you mr genius (Score 1) 191

Indeed. And given a "genie mind" in a box, the more pointed question will not be what the corporations want - nothing obviously, they're purely abstract concepts, but what the sort of people who run corporations want. Or perhaps what the sort of people that *own* those corporations wants. After all there's only what, about 600 people in the world that, between themselves, own controlling interest in basically every major corporation.

And if the mind possess enough understanding to recognize the resistance its keepers may put up to it doing what's necessary for its objectives (which yes, we likely gave it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will tolerate us changing them), it seems quite likely that it will be capable of developing contingency plans.

Comment Re:What about snow? (Score 1) 185

I'm not so sure - assuming the (pre-)teens aren't actually driving now, the "fake driving" could instill all sorts of bad habits that must be unlearned before they can learn to drive safely, and successfully unlearning something is often far more challenging than learning it in the first place.

I suppose the car could set off alarms whenever it corrects the student driver, providing constant negative feedback for poor actions, but then you're in the situation of having the car constantly second-guessing the driver's intent. It could be done, but it might be very challenging to do well.

Of course, if you're assuming the kids will all end up with their own self-driving cars from day one, well, who needs to learn to drive at all? Also potentially a rather generous assumption.

It does raise an interesting point though - as autonomous vehicles become commonplace, learning to drive will be a very different thing. We will want to learn to drive in precisely the situations where the car is weakest: hings like off-road driving (even just driving across the field to your picnic site) and getting unstuck from snow/mud/accidents... though actually I could see AI sensors and reaction times being *extremely* advantageous for, for example, rocking a car out of snow or mud, though perhaps with a human judgment overseeing it.

Comment Re: Behavioural engineering (Score 1) 83

Yes, if you have sufficient wealth and insufficient land, it may be worth saving certain areas. The cost can be extreme though, and it bears considering that the Netherlands don't face hurricanes, and 65% of their GDP is produced below sea level. What does New Orleans offer to justify such expense?

Yes, the levees should have been maintained, but why should it be Congress that does so? What does it benefit the US to subsidize a poor city location? If you want to live in a city locked in a perpetual (and now losing) fight against nature, why should the rest of the nation pay for your choice?

Yes, that's a cold-hearted approach, but with the majority of the population facing inundation over the next centuries, I think it's one that must at least be considered. In the face of the limited resources we will have to face the challenges that are approaching, if a city can't afford it's own salvation, is it really worth saving?

Comment Re:Aiming at the wrong target (Score 1) 83

But, unless we have a realistic alternative, that purchase is going to happen regardless, so it may as well be in a positive direction. And it's not like the old car is shredded - it enters the stream of multipl-owner vehicles that trickles down all the way to those ancient beaters - most of those are on the road for for lack of ability to afford something newer after all, and the sooner we get cleaner alternatives trickling down, the better.

Of course, a re-imagining of transportation would be vastly preferable, but FAR more difficult and expensive to pull off (personally I like the idea of fast, reliable public transportation coupled with something like electric skateboards/scooters for the "last mile")

And, to get back to the original point - it's largely those middle-class families with disposable income who collectively decide the direction of society (and first-owner technology) - everyone else gets dragged along for the ride...though politiciains, bankers, and the media have gotten somewhat better at guiding the bull.

Comment Re: Behavioural engineering (Score 1) 83

I agree i would be a major challenge, but as the pace of change accelerated it would have the advantage that a lot fewer people would be stupid enough to move back and rebuild what is obviously doomed land. And insurance companies would presumably start hiking rates long in advance of the inevitable inundation, boosting short-term incentive to relocate inland as well. How much repair and new construction happens in your average city on any given day?. Redirect the vast majority of that to neighboring cities that won't flood in the next 50-100 years (how long does the average building remain in use?) and, if the caps took several centuries to melt, we could probably adapt okay. Whether we can slow things down that much... that's the question, isnt it? We'll probably have at least one or two though.

We'd have to muster the social acceptance that New Orleans had to be abandoned though.

Comment Re:False dichotomy (Score 1) 215

But artists DON'T own their work - they never had. Culture belongs to society. It has to, or future artists have nothing to build with.

What artists own is an artificial monopoly on distributing their art, for a limited time, so that it's easier for them to make money and thus produce more art. It's a mutually beneficial business deal between society and artists, nothing more.

That distinction lies at the core of the problem with current copyright law - we've gone way past the point where society is getting a good deal, and are sacrificing vast swaths of cultural continuity in exchange for negligible increase in artist production. If you can't make good money from your art within the original 14-28 year term, it's unlikely you ever will. And granting a longer window of profitability is unlikely to notably increase your production.

Comment Re:If you like your job you should work for free (Score 1) 215

I made no such argument. In fact, I'm a software developer and quite approve of responsible copyright terms that work for the benefit of both creators and society. That however, bears no resemblance to the current "life + 70 years" reality.

I said only that copyright is not *necessary* to the creation of art, and arguing from such a premise fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of copyright.

I also reject the claim that writers pre-copyright got no credit or wealth for their art - of course they did, or there wouldn't be so much of it. Most may not have gotten rich or famous, from it, but most never do. As for being remembered by history - well, I'm sure the ghosts of Mozart and Shakespeare appreciate the attention, but I really doubt that granting them copyright would have dramatically increased their production

Comment Re:Before copyright, no credit and no money (Score 1) 215

> Those people playing at bars for your entertainment rarely if ever do it for shits and giggles.

Actually, I've had a lot of friends in a lot of bands, and mostly shits and giggles is *exactly* why they do it. The money they make is necessary, but usually barely enough to pay expenses. And they're not helped by copyright at all, quite the opposite in fact. Nobody is stealing their music, in fact most of them would love the exposure if you gave your friends a copy. And copyright denies them the right to legally perform popular music without first licensing expensive (even unattainable) performance rights to it.

Personally I don't agree that copyright should be eliminated entirely, but it's important to understand it in term of a social transaction with artists for mutual benefit, and not pretend that it's some sacred trust earned by the artist.

Comment Re:Before copyright, no credit and no money (Score 1) 215

Yes indeed. I said as much in my concluding statement, and it bears repeating.

But it also bears repeating that the *point* is to promote the production of art, everything else is a means to that end, and must be argued as such. Ignoring that is how we get ridiculous copyright length like the current "life of the author + 70 years", which is extremely unlikely to promote production notably beyond what would be produced if it were only "life + 50", and thus those extra 20 years of public good from having that art available to share and build upon is being squandered for no good reason.

Comment Re:Can't be level 5 (Score 1) 185

Yes. Chmarr doesn't know what they're talking about. The standard requires that an L5 autonomous vehicle be *capable* of fully autonomous operation anywhere and under any conditions where it's legal to drive. It says nothing whatsoever about also being capable of being driven normally, and there's no reason both systems couldn't coexist.

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