Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:They only show gorgeous women (Score 2) 124

Please ignore the correlation between "looks" and genetic indicators of reproductive health

That would be a nice argument if there was some universal agreement on what is attractive. In some cultures, thin is attractive. In others, fat. Some places like women who stretch their necks out. Others like their feet bound to the point that they can hardly walk. In Meiji era Japan, it was seen as attractive for women to paint their teeth black. Do you find that hot? There is no single standard of beauty. You cannot just declare yours to be universally applicable.

The majority of "beauty" traits have nothing to do with genetic indicators of reproductive health. That said, there are some. For example, for both sexes, "clear skin" is usually desirable, as that is an indicator of immune system fitness. And of course standard secondary sex characteristics, including having typical voice ranges appropriate to their sex, muscle mass in men, in women breasts and wide hips, etc. But the majority of the specific details that make up the "look" of an attractive man or woman versus other men and women in their society are simply cultural.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 431

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) 431

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) 431

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) 207

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) 207

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) 207

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:That can't be right (Score 1) 501

Try extending your graph back to 2000 - it tells a story opposite to the one you're thinking of.

By the way, most of those manufacturing jobs are never coming back. A lot of them have simply been priced completely out of the US market. Many of them don't even exist anymore, having been taken over by automation.

As for where US job growth has been: the US is increasingly a service economy. Also energy has been growing a lot. Correspondingly, construction too. Healthcare... retail... business & professional services..leisure and hospitality... all strong growth fields.

Comment Re:That can't be right (Score 1) 501

The Democrats controlled the House in the 80s, so spending budgets came from them.

Right. It's the Democrats who are really into extreme tax cuts for the wealthy! Why didn't I notice this before? I also apparently missed the part where the president signs bills that he doesn't support.

The "Reagan tax cuts" that passed were very close to what Reagan was seeking in each case.

According to this graph

"According to this deliberately deceptive graph..."

Anything that shows financial issues a long period of time, without including inflation, while trying to argue that "the last person in the list did the most of X", is being partisan at best, intentionally misleading at worst. In reality, even inflation alone isn't enough; the best figure you can use is debt as a fraction of GDP. But I digress.

As a second issue, you make it misleading when you focus on debt and not the deficit. Because the deficit makes much clearer what sort of situations the next person inherits, as well as the immediate impact of financial shocks and passed bills.

The reality is, when Obama took office, there was a massive deficit left behind by Bush. During Obama's administration it reduced every year.

Comment Re:That can't be right (Score 5, Insightful) 501

Talking about debt isn't helping your case any. Here's the deficit (change in debt) from year to year: Link

Why is that Republicans keep blowing the budget? Well, let's look at the case of Bush. Wow, whodathunkit, massive tax breaks to top income earners skyrockets debt, news at 11! And yes, having the government hawk itself into debt is great for the short term strength of the stock market.

Re, debt outlook under Trump: absolutely not if he enacts his "Bush Tax Cuts+++ proposal.

Slashdot Top Deals

Five is a sufficiently close approximation to infinity. -- Robert Firth "One, two, five." -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail