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Comment ...and displacement of workers (Score 1) 282

All of these technologies are pretty exciting, but there are a lot of disruptive things in there, particularly as it relates to displacing workers' jobs. The first item on the list is going to cause a huge shift as truck, taxis and bus drivers all start losing jobs en masse. None of them are likely to be happy about having to retrain for new, more difficult work (any more than buggy whip manufacturers were) and most will likely just be added to the millions of people disenfranchised with the new economy. This is a dangerous situation. What good is a grand new economy if there's nothing in it that I can see myself getting paid to do?

For a while I was wondering if we'd see a resurgence of co-operatives, where a community gets together and builds their own little economy, with a small farm and some skilled trades people. You'd at least be able to live a reasonably happy life. Unfortunately I can't see that happening. How would that community pay the ever-increasing land use fees such as tax, etc.? That land becomes more and more valuable to the people who have money, and they can just force the have-nots off the land.

Comment Re:Holy shitballs, all the sci-fi books were right (Score 1) 347

There is a project that would involve accelerating tiny probes to a fraction (0.2c) of the speed of light, allowing a mission to a nearby solar system. Also, that system is moving towards us at about 21km/s so the longer we wait, the shorter the trip gets (but not by much, heh).

Comment Re:She needs some crowdfunding herself (Score 1) 84

You're just blaming the victims, which is shameful. Sure I'll teach my daughters not to walk down dark alleys at night alone but that doesn't mean it was their fault if someone attacks them. Sure I should lock my front door, but the person who comes in and steals my wallet is committing a crime. Enforcing contracts is one of the 3 basic functions of government (along with military defense and policing) that even libertarians support. If the people took this money and spent it on outrageous personal items instead of said purpose then they're either committing a crime or at least liable.

Comment She needs some crowdfunding herself (Score 5, Informative) 84

She did the right thing and she's being punished for it. Does she have a GoFundMe page?

This kind of stuff seems to be rampant in business, just look at the Wolf of Wall Street, etc. Rampant corruption is a sign of a failing society. If you promise me a helmet for your $1500, that money had better be spent on developing the helmet, not hookers and blow. I understand that crowdfunding is risky, but it should only be risky because they're developing new technology, not because it's just one big lie. Failing to develop the technology is a legitimate risk, but blowing the money is criminal.

Comment Re: So what does it do then? (Score 1) 485

I only used it on rather flat ground, so I don't know. If it started to chug I would have taken it off cruise and shifted myself, but I believe if you clutched it would have killed cruise. In owning it 4 years I never actually clutched with cruise on, so I don't know. All I can say is that it worked fine for my needs.

Comment You can't do autonomous half-way like this. (Score 5, Interesting) 485

The car was basically equipped with a stay-in-lane and slow-down-if-you-approach-the-car-in-front-of-you kind of system, which is not an autonomous vehicle, nor can you take your eyes off the road. At best it reacts a bit faster if someone in front of you hits the brakes. Google did a talk on this and said in their tests, as soon as a car seems to be working by itself, drivers stopped paying attention to the road, so half-way-autonomous is a bad idea. People don't want to pay attention and they won't if the car seems to be doing a good enough job.

Only a fully autonomous car will be good enough.

Comment Re:How to collect "atmospheric" CO2? (Score 1) 170

So I just read that article, and they're talking about using CO2 from an industrial source, not getting it from the atmosphere ("The Keyes ethanol plant already uses a dual-pass wet scrubber to produce 99.9% pure CO2"). It's referred to in the article as Carbon Capture and Use (CCU). That's what they're doing for $160/ton.

Comment How to collect "atmospheric" CO2? (Score 4, Insightful) 170

Atmospheric CO2 is about half a percent (400 PPM), though it's rising. Most of these "sequestration" ideas only work if you have high concentrations of CO2 to begin with, so you take the high CO2 concentration from some kind of industrial process and instead of dumping it in the atmosphere, you pump it underground, or in this case into volcanic bedrock. It's not a good way to get existing CO2 levels down. Still, it's a much needed improvement if it works.

Comment Employment will shift to manufacturing (Score 1) 327

When the price of oil dipped down in the last year, that dropped the Canadian dollar, all of which had two effects: it hit the Alberta economy really hard (because of oil companies cutting production) and it was a boon to the Ontario economy (where manufacturing is strong). Suddenly buying manufactured goods from Canada was a lot less expensive, and everyone was hiring in Ontario. In a future where fossil fuels are in less demand, you'll just see exactly the same trend - a lower Canadian dollar meaning more demand for Canadian manufacturing exports. So Canada will be fine, but Alberta's going to become a "have-not" province again. Considering how they lord it over the rest of us when oil prices are high, I don't expect much of the rest of Canada to give a damn.

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