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Comment Re:Trump created his opponents (Score 1) 371

Yes, but in the real world polls are statistically valid indicators of public opinion, and politicians' views are strongly correlated with poll results. They are not perfectly correlated, but that's one of the reasons we have a republic, not a direct democracy. If your fundamental argument is that our democracy has failed then I suppose you have some boxes you can use. I would caution you that challenging the rules of the game after it's clear you're losing is likely to result in universal censure.

Comment The President Trump Show (Score 1) 371

You're right. The press should be all for him, because he sells papers. Now if he would stop reacting to any hint of negative press like a stung bull, they might be able to see the financial angle. However, at the rate at which Trump's attacks on the media continue to escalate, are you really surprised he's not getting better press coverage?

Trump so far has not had to worry about what the media thinks of him, and vice versa. Now he has picked a fight with the men who buy ink by the barrel, and in point of fact, he has threatened all of them. I'm sure he would make wonderful headlines -- and he has promised to sue over every one of them. I can't imagine why he's not more popular.

Comment Trump created his opponents (Score 2) 371

By definition, Trump can either have extreme opinions or he can represent the majority view, but he can't do both. Getting elected is the art of getting lots of people from the middle of the political spectrum to agree with you.

Getting nominated of course is a different matter. To get nominated you just have to get a plurality of a subset of voters, and ones predisposed to agree with you at that. News organizations were also predisposed to like Trump. He sells a lot of newspapers, and drives a lot of pageviews. However, he seems to have mistaken "getting attention" for "getting votes", and even if everything else were going his way, what drives the media out of his corner is his decision to attack them for anything resembling negative coverage. Threatening lawsuits is probably not a good move there. Saying that as President you would push for more expansive libel laws is flat-out stupid.

Trump is socially pretty extreme. That's why people know who he is. It's possible to be socially outré as a politician (Churchill comes to mind), but pretty difficult. His politics are also pretty extreme, and that puts him at a mathematical disadvantage with the electorate. However, if there is a media conspiracy against him, [1] they don't have much work to do, given the above, and [2] he should probably have gone for a strategy of appeasement rather than aggression. There is an appropriate phrase here: "Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel." Given that Trump continues to ramp-up his anti-media rhetoric, are you really surprised that the media is less inclined to support him?

Comment Re:Best attempted on Earth first! (Score 1) 215

Someone else mentioned "autonomous" mining equipment and I asked for a link, but got none so far. I suppose the existing equipment does what you say (drill if you tell it where to) but is far from autonomous and needs to be maintained by humans. Well I'm no expert but it does seem far fetched on Mars

Comment Re:Elon Muisk is an intellectual midget and a frau (Score 1) 215

So what are the technical hurdles that would need to be overcome for there to be actual mining with robots? Doing some quick googling I see that Komatsu and CAT and a few others offer fully autonomous mining solutions. Are those just bullshit and don't work as advertised?

Link to these full solutions please? On Komatsu website I only find autonomous components.

Otherwise: maintenance, sheer mass to get to Mars?

Comment Re:Best attempted on Earth first! (Score 1) 215

Hint: Replace the words "mining robot" with "mining RPV".

Realistically, we're not talking autonomous mining robot, we're talking remote controlled mining equipment. Sort of like what we use on Earth, but with a longer delay between command and response.(...)

Hint: The delay is completely impractical

Comment How (Score 4, Insightful) 525

How is this possible. There are dozens of government programs, corporate program, and not profit programs all pushing "Women in Tech". Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent encouraging women to join the tech field. In a society the is getting ever less sexist. And for all this the participation rate is going down?

Maybe these groups should reevaluate what they are doing and try to understand why women aren't interested in joining the tech workforce. It's seems crying sexism at every opportunity is not an effective strategy.

Comment UBI is a fantasy (Score 1) 899

UBI is a solution that won't work, for a problem that doesn't exist.

This story that "all the jobs are going away" is false. Just take a quick look at the Employment Rate (not the Unemployment Rate) over at the BLS and you can see that a great percentage of the population is employed today (59.8%) than at any time before November of 1978. If UBI was the answer it would have come about in the previous decades when fewer people were employed, not today. And certainly not during the 2008 bubble when this whole UBI theory started gaining traction.

But even if it were the case that jobs are going away, UBI still wouldn't be the answer. The idea that you can just give cash handouts to the whole population is silly. The GDP per capita in the US is about $50k. If you going to give everyone enough income, about $12k according the Dept. Health, that means a tax rate of 24% of GDP to pay for bare minimum of UBI. And that is on top of the 27% that the government currently taxes, which already doesn't bring in enough income to balance the budget. To balance the budget you would need to bring the tax rate up to the expenditure rate which is currently 41% of GDP and add UBI's 24% on top of that. By the time it's all said and done the government would account for almost 2/3rds of the entire economy; for a minimum UBI. If you want a UBI that allows for a little more comfort, say $20k, then the government would now account for 4/5ths of the entire economy. Who the hell is going to invest in an economy like that?

Never mind what a disaster it would be for the labour force. We know that the utility of income is marginal. A $0.50 pay raise means a lot more to someone making $10/h than it does to someone making $50/h. People today work for $10/h because that is a huge step up from nothing. But if everyone is getting a $20k/year free handout who is going to work for $10/h? $10/h is only $20k/year, that's a paltry marginal increase for having to work an extra 40hrs a week. So in order to attract workers, pay will have to rise, which means price of good and services will rise, which means the UBI will have to rise. You think big business is shipping jobs to China and India now? Just wait until the price of labour in the new UBI economy stabilizes.

UBI is a classic example of something that sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice would be an unmitigated disaster.

Comment Confirmation (Score 1) 149

What they are really saying is that learning machines are confirming politically incorrect beliefs. A lot of stereotypes are based on a kernel of truth, and given enough processing power and data that truth is coming to the forefront. When people were crunching the numbers is was easy to blame prejudice or some kind of *ism. But learning algorithms don't have that, they just learn patterns. What there researchers are doing has nothing to do with fostering equality, it's about avoiding embarrassing truths.

It reminds me of when polar explorers were shocked at the "sexual depravity "of penguins so they wrote their reports in Greek and kept the truth hidden. Sometimes society just isn't ready to handle the truth.

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