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Comment Streaming vs. P2P (Score 1) 123

When I was an undergrad, the university was more worried about wasting the capacity of overseas links than what you used it for. It makes more sense to share stuff within the academic network than for each user to stream their own copy of the same thing. A lot of students realized this a long time ago, but today we care more about being legit than conserving resources.

Comment Re:Physical interfaces (Score 2) 37

I have a Bluetooth keyboard that I can use w/ any of my phones or tablets

I also got one back in the day, but I now wonder why. A separate keyboard ruins the whole idea of a phone that's always with you as a single, small package. It's also hard to use unless you're sitting down. Nokia got it right with the N900 and its slide keyboard, which BTW is considerably smaller and more "pocketable" than today's thin but wide slabs.

Comment Re:Neutrino wind (Score 1) 164

Ah, I remember the particle wind idea from my undergrad days. A more recent favourite of mine is structure formation, which doesn't propose any new physics. As matter is clumped into galaxies etc., we observe matter being pulled into these centres of attraction, so the rarefied spaces in between appear to be stretching.

Comment Re:Work is more than a money producer. (Score 1) 426

Work gives one a sense of pride in accomplishment and soaks up our time. It is a social activity that matures us through forced interaction with many other different people. It gives a sense of belonging and inclusion. It stabilizes us.

If you're lucky enough to have all this from work, then good for you. Hopefully, you'll also have some energy left to do other fun things in your spare time, with all the extra money from work.

In practice, many people are working soul-crushing jobs only to (1) stay alive, and possibly (2) fund the thing that really gives them the aforementioned great things, for example art or team sports. In fact, a lot of people are already getting paid for things like basic scientific research, which does not generate any immediate economic value, but we value it as a society anyway. The same goes for art, for a few lucky ones at least. With UBI, I predict a flood of new science and art, as people of such tendencies no longer have to waste their talent on McJobs.

Comment Re:Ever the optimist is our Elon (Score 1) 426

90% of the work we're doing now (and probably closer to 100% of slashdotters' work) doesn't *need* to be done, but we do it anyway.

That's because the alternative is to just give them the things they need to live, which bothers a lot of people who like to take the position that the only moral way to survive is to work.

This. Politicians talk about full employment as if that were an economic necessity, whereas it's really just a moral choice. You can think of today's economy as a more efficient engine that survives on much less fuel than it used to. But to a lot of people, the moral thing is to burn out all the fuel.

In practice, there's also the inertia in our system being set up as it is. I could easily live on 10..20 hours of work a week (one time I was teaching 16 h/week for half a year, and it was awesome), but the offers are generally all or nothing. It's partly explained by fixed per-employee costs, but fundamentally it's a moral/cultural issue that is hard to change.

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We were so poor we couldn't afford a watchdog. If we heard a noise at night, we'd bark ourselves. -- Crazy Jimmy