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Comment Yeah, you do... but no, we don't. (Score 1) 255

I drive on highways with 55-65 MPH speed limits, just like everyone for the last 50 years, with cars built for those speeds.

From time to time, I drive a 2016 corvette on Montana highways with 80 mph speed limits. It is fair to say that the car loafs along. It was absolutely built for these speeds, and speeds considerably higher. I often reach those higher speeds. [Um. Allegedly. Cough.] Many other models are built with similar capabilities. The highways here are well designed for those speeds. Even many of the secondary roads here are pretty good for them, though not as good.

Methinks you are thinking well inside your own box. Poorly. Which makes me raise my eyebrows at your assertion that you are a physicist. That may be unfair; many people are notably vertical in their strengths. But still, my eyebrows are raised. :)

We can also (if we are honest) observe that progress, and the potential it unleashes in many cases, is not all that closely linked with what's commercially available or common around the time of the fundamental invention. In the first decade after lasers were invented, for instance, there was no significant commercial application. When the integrated circuit was invented, it wasn't much to look at and functionally speaking, for decades, it was outright pitiful compared to ICs today. We're still dealing with developing a full understanding of how neurons do what they do. In laser parlance, in 2017 we are yet pre-laser, and anyone who tries to tell us that lasers can't do X at this point should be considered, at most, a hand-waver in the grips of a fit of profound hubris.

WRT the subject at hand - intelligence and consciousness resulting from information processing - nature has, fortunately enough, provided numerous models at various levels. So we know it can be done at least one way - neural-like systems. Sure, it's obviously not easy. Brains use very small, very complicated, and very difficult to understand computing elements.

But achieving a manufactured intelligence is also obviously highly interesting and to many, highly desirable. Assuming only that our technological progress doesn't actually halt due to some unrelated factor (war, asteroid, runaway climate, alien invasion, etc.), there are many reasons, all supporting one another very, very well, to assume that we will "get there from here." Not the least of which is there are many (sub-)reasons to presume that will be a great deal of economic leverage in such technology.

And, perhaps most relevant to you, there are no known physics related reasons to presume that we won't get there eventually. As you should know very well. If one is (or multiple are) discovered - for instance, should it be determined at some point in the future that brains use some heretofore unknown physics mechanism(s) to do what they do - then we may quite suddenly be on different grounds in terms of ultimate practicality. But there isn't even a hint of this as yet. It definitely appears to be chemistry, electricity, and topology all the way down as far as brains go. That stuff, we can do. Larger and clumsier and perhaps even slower... perhaps even only as emulation... yet we can do it. We just don't know exactly what to do. Yet.

Comment Re:Children and bathwaters (Score 1) 122

Advertisers were successfully bullshitted into believing that their brands would be tarnished by appearing next to "offensive" videos.

Yeah, what bullshit to think that an ad appearing immediately before a video might get associated with a video.

The problem is that YouTube went overboard and now considers everything "offensive" that's not basically cute kittens playing with yarn, not just extremists videos demanding the execution of everything who follows the wrong delusion.

No, the problem is not that Google considers those videos "offensive". It's that advertisers consider them "offensive" and don't want to advertise on them.

You can still post a video that isn't "family friendly", but big companies don't want to advertise on your video and Google won't make them.

Comment Re:Its become too political (Score 1, Insightful) 158

Personally I am not convinced either way because the climate data has become so political.

Being political just means the politicians on one side decided they didn't like the conclusions so it became a political controversy.

You have people who were all in and suddenly come out saying its all a ruse and data has been cooked to fit the political agenda.

I haven't seen any of that, at least not outside a very small fringe.

As for scientists as a whole being politicized, what else are they supposed to do? The scientists have been under a sustained political attack for over a decade, how can they defend themselves without becoming politicized.

That's not science when even believers begin to doubt the data. The problem is that political agendas don't follow data, they follow what they fabricate as the truth. What we need is more science and less trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

What we need is for the denialists to start sincerely looking at evidence and engaging with science instead of trying to blow up every hint of inconsistency.

Science is built around admitting the limits of your own analysis and acknowledging the possibility of being wrong. This puts scientists in an impossible bind, admit the error bounds in your conclusions and the denialists claim you're saying nothing, and AGW isn't happening at all. Downplay the error bounds and reality will occasionally exceed those bounds, and then denialsts say you were wrong and can't be trusted.

The right conclusion is to tell denialists to STFU until they grow up and start taking the task of public discourse seriously.

Comment They're still people (Score 2) 387

The expectation is that the salaried position is a 40 hr/wk position.

If you treat your employees only as a measurable commodity, entering into no acknowledgment of their worth, individuality, and personal potential, while attempting to mine every second of their time like a greedy, annoying crow, or worse, if you attempt to sit on those things and repress who they are, then your employees will not be loyal. This is inevitable.

When the first even nominally better opportunity (which might not even be better on grounds of pay, since everything else at your place sucks so bad) and they'll be gone. Because you made them hate you.

Which you deserved.

Sane employment is pleasant, goal seeking and reward-rich. For everyone. Not based on counting drops of sweat and screaming when the count is short. Balance liberty against compassion in tension as you encourage your employees to chase your goals and their goals. Otherwise you run the risk of just turning out to be considered another reviled prick.

I've run several very successful businesses. I'm not guessing here. Happy people do better work. Period.

Comment Re:Electronic stalking (Score 3, Interesting) 99

Is electronic stalking illegal?

If it's persistent and outrageous enough it can be harassment. But this stalking was done by Fox News while she was suing them, and the accounts were used to disseminate private information obtained through illegal hacking. If it can be proven I suspect a Judge will find something very illegal was going on.

Comment What *could* happen? (Score 1, Interesting) 200

Yep. Hey, you know what's great? Talking to people. Sex. Building models. Organizing one's rock/stamp/severedhead collections. Writing code. Playing with the cat/dog/cockatrice. Martial arts. Photography. Reading. Taking courses. Exercising. Working out a sane budget. Listening to music. Playing music. Sewing. Legos. Fooling with hardware. Home improvements. Giving the domicile a good once-over at the ultra-picky level, just for the fun of it. Putting the yard in tip-top order. Walking the canine or the cat. Visiting Rome, Paris or Venice (while pretending to be Canadian, of course.) Or just going to see a friend. You know, in person, not with that phone-tumor. Taking a walk, preferably somewhere you haven't been or really love. Etc. Lots and lots of etc.

Television... I just can't bring myself to call that "great." The couch, it really does make for potato generation.

Comment Que? (Score 1) 35

you maintain that anyone from any other country in the world has a right to live in the U.S., but U.S. citizens have no right to live in any other country?

No. However, I maintain that Trump's wall is one of his stupidest ideas.

That's English for "Trump's wall is one of his stupidest ideas", BTW.

Which is not to say that most of his other ideas aren't stupid, because they really, really are. But the wall is special. Like Trump. Short-bus special. Profoundly without merit while at the same time comprising a financial boondoggle of titanic proportions, at the very same time when the country's actual useful infrastructure (not in any way to be confused with border "walls") needs money and effort.

So without regard to political party

Oh, yes. Completely without regard to political party. Just in regard to Trump and any bewildered sycophant who thinks building that wall is anything but a complete waste of time, effort and money.

Also, I like vegetables. So I'm rather appreciative of the workers who pick them. No matter where they come from. I like tacos, too. I would not be in the least bit offended by a taco truck on every corner. Especially if they offered a nice selection of vegetables, but, you know, either way, really.

U.S. citizens have no right to live in any other country

Hmmm. That's a very... interesting... postulate. Let me guess: you live in one of the states that has legalized pot, and you just got back from a test run of every heavy-hitting variety offered, is that it? Did you know that at some taco stands, I've been able to buy Fritos? FRITOS! Lovely, crispy corn chips! And Soda! MMMMMM! Don't Bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to Juan.

Comment It is true (Score 2) 478

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 730

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 2) 119

Yes, but its first use would not be to move factory-built houses, but pieces of windmills.

A major limitation and expense on wind farms is the need to transport oversize blades to the sites, which requires some serious road building, considering that many of the best sites are in rugged terrain, and maneuvering a truck with a 36m payload means you need to build a route without any sharp turns. If the airship can also function as a sky crane, then erecting the windmill's mast and attaching the blades is a lot less expensive, too. Very likely the only roads that a wind farm would need would be the kind of dirt roads that would service the power lines.

Other low hanging fruit would include moving lightweight but bulky produce like lettuce from farm to market, a lower cost alternative to helicopter logging, installation and servicing of cell towers in remote sites, and use in regional emergencies such as floods (Katrina) or earthquakes.

We are 20 years overdue for a new airship industry. We had the technology to produce commercially viable airships before the turn of the century. It is long past time to see these air whales overhead.

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