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Comment Re:Err, guys? (Score 1) 644

Unless someone can come up with an argument showing how this time will be different (hint: it probably won't), then this is just a rehash of an old argument.

It should be fairly apparent that technology and computational power have advanced in such a way that the capabilities of current and future types of automation will become more extensively applicable than past types. If they weren't more applicable, then we wouldn't be having this all, as the types of automation wouldn't be changing.

We might not even need sub-minimum wage agricultural workers any more because we can rig up image sensors to robotic arms which can determine what is a weed and what is a product. We might not even need burger flippers because we can set up IR surface sensors to a device that will flip an automatically pressed, uniform burger patty at the perfect time to create a brave new world of monotonous sandwiches...and to top it off, we might not even need coders to write any of the software that all of this world runs on.

The idea that a world where widespread, digitally controlled automation should even think to hang on to some of these basic ideas of economics you reference seem to be in question. The idea of what is considered employed vs. unemployed will shift dramatically (e.g. does subsistence farming count as a job? and so forth). The variables we use to value currency will be called into question.

in economics, just like in biology, when the genetic pool gets too small for a species, the result eventually becomes extinction.

I agree with you here, though I would go a step more in the direction of the fundamental: in this case, when the pool gets too small for the convenient metaphor of monetary systems, then the value of monetary systems will disappear.

Comment Re:is this really a bad thing? (Score 5, Interesting) 211

from the USGS Earthquake Fact & Fiction page:


You can prevent large earthquakes by making lots of small ones, or by "lubricating" the fault with water.
Seismologists have observed that for every magnitude 6 earthquake there are about 10 of magnitude 5, 100 of magnitude 4, 1,000 of magnitude 3, and so forth as the events get smaller and smaller. This sounds like a lot of small earthquakes, but there are never enough small ones to eliminate the occasional large event. It would take 32 magnitude 5's, 1000 magnitude 4's, OR 32,000 magnitude 3's to equal the energy of one magnitude 6 event. So, even though we always record many more small events than large ones, there are far too few to eliminate the need for the occasional large earthquake. As for "lubricating" faults with water or some other substance, if anything, this would have the opposite effect. Injecting high- pressure fluids deep into the ground is known to be able to trigger earthquakes—to cause them to occur sooner than would have been the case without the injection. This would be a dangerous pursuit in any populated area, as one might trigger a damaging earthquake.

Comment haha money (Score 1) 663

im loving how many people ITT are concerned about the economics of these problems; as though money will somehow help us out on a planet destroyed by human greed. you can't eat money. you can't breathe it. you can't drink it. the potential (or are they actual now?) consequences of these problems are far above and beyond the context which most people seem to place them in.

Comment oh ok. (Score 2) 517

>ask yourself, what's right.

... what is right is to think about how technology has given people NEW rights that could be considered inalienable under many definitions, and that existing methods of revenue generation for media companies might have to change to accommodate these new paradigms.

Comment a worthless band aid on a systemic problem (Score 2) 248

most of the issues with honeybee susceptibility to mites, etc. comes from the desire to turn beehives into reproducible factories. much like antibiotic resistant bacteria, we are developing insecticide resistant mites. how about a return to more traditional beekeeping methods, which would result in jobs being created as more care is needed to manage the hives?

Comment Seems to me like Ms. Bell has it backwards? (Score 1) 262

The problem, says Ms. Bell, is that cultures change far slower than technologies do. And because the rate of technological innovation is increasing, so too is the rate of moral panic. is that a problem? At what point did we even begin to think that human culture should somehow be bound to incorporate novel technological application?

Of course "the rate of moral panic" is increasing along with the rate of technological innovation: such leaps and bounds do not even begin to allow a dialectic between the creators and the created object.

In the last few decades, especially, the objects that technology supplies to humanity have become less a result of an actual need, and more the result of a perceived need that has been been determined by marketing departments. To think that the process of cultural determination is a problem shows a supremely glib understanding of what makes us function as a collective whole.

Comment more folly (Score 1) 161

i love all of the sort-of-complete quasi-scientific statements that are made in support of pursuing such a venture.

the article is extremely one-sided in its presentation of the ramifications of genetic engineering: "The first generation of engineered organisms has been a huge hit with farmers and manufacturers - if not consumers." ... well, not really, now that the majority of the world's food supply is essentially patent protected and has no long-term sustainable means of production, we've sort of screwed ourselves. it's been a huge hit for "big science" and the profit motives therein, but not for any reason associated with the advancement of humanity or the state of the world. "oh well we're feeding the hungry!"...not really.

in creating synthesized genomes, we are bypassing the immeasurable and vitally infinite variables that come with the passage of time and which in turn have all had effects on the development of each stable, functioning genome of every life form on this planet. believing that the process of evolution can be recreated through computational mechanization shows a remarkably glib understanding for what actually occurs during the evolutionary process.

oh but i'm sure this will all end well, just like genetically modified foods haven't made the world dumber and/or less fertile.

best of luck, chaps, at least you'll continue to get funding.

Comment Re:Bitcoin bubble (Score 1) 476

Look at the Bitcoin price chart . This is a price-only 90 day chart. The site normally displays the price on top of the volume, which obfuscates the trend. Displayed in this form, the chart just screams "bubble".

I'm sorry, isnt this graph, until June 8, also a graph that could represent the ideal growth situation of ANY monetary economy?

Comment Re: Let's look at the big picture here. (Score 1) 144

Right, because antibiotic-resistant superbugs in raw milk obviously killed off most of humanity prior to the discovery of pasteurization....?

So here's the issue: all industry gets scaled up for the sake of profit. works great for manufacturing and mechanized processes, but the process of creating food isn't mechanical. we aren't purely mechanical beings, and we shouldn't be gaining energy from chemical food; this is a fairly clear statement and it's not difficult to see the ramifications of doing so (e.g. extremely obese indivuduals suffering from malutrition, child onset adult diabetes, etc.)

In the process of scaling up food production, we've created artificially toxic environments that demand the use of prophylactic antibiotics, a process that is known to create antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic germs.

This has nothing to do with raw milk being unsafe when consumed from a dairy that even remotely resembles the concept of a true farm. i drink raw cow's milk daily, and have done so for two years. i trust the producer, i know what they do to process the milk; the milk i drink comes from a situation that is far more hygienic than anything you would buy in the store.

TLDR: create large food operations for profit, have disease outbreaks which are entirely a result of the large size of the operation, create stringent rules that are necessary only due to problems which arise from being an industrial-sized food producer, turn food from smaller producers which may be more wholesome into a criminals. continue profiting from processes which will inherently produce dangerous corollary outcomes.

Comment masturbatory civilization (Score 1) 156

people are without jobs due to over zealous industrialists. even more are without food due to over zealous industrialists. so the solution is to turn plants into over zealous industrialists?

why not just start sustainable farms on a large scale to employ people and have them produce food that isn't the result of lab work, but rather of experiential growth and development?

i know i know, how radical.

Comment Re:The Ultimate Efficacy (Score 1) 630

Science has gotten to where it is today by producing results. The philosophy behind it is like the critic who reviews the obvious success. He only serves to indulge his audience.

...and where is science today?

Science as you are talking about it produces results to a point, and then that point is the one that needs to be crossed in order to ensure anything resembling progress, or further understanding of the natural world.

Imagine you're a newtonian spouting such drivel on the eve of the discovery of quantum mechanics. Such a manner of thinking is at least as glib as your crap metaphor.

The philosophy behind it is far more important than you are giving it credit for.

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