Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:This is why we can't have nice things (Score 1) 223

Actually, there's considerable evidence that early humans routinely engaged in mass slaughter - start a stampede, guide it toward the top of a cliff, and harvest the meat and other useful parts from the bottom. Far easier than trying to kill animals much larger and faster than you directly.

The downside is that you end up killing a LOT more animals than you can use, but the problems with that aren't going to be noticeable in any one person's lifetime - at least not until the species is almost extinct. And even if people eventually noticed the problem, and their own culpability, cultural inertia is likely to have kept things going anyway. Just as it did when the Easter Islanders cut down the last of the trees their society depended on, or when modern humans keep dumping CO2 into the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate.

Comment Re: Political implications for "Native Americans" (Score 1) 223

The fact that the genetic markers of earlier migrations seem to have vanished entirely is actually an argument *against* genocide. In any violent conflict there's almost always quite a lot of women claimed as prizes by the conquerors, and their genetics enter the new culture that way.

To complete absence of the earlier markers suggests either intentional genocide, which is very rare and unlikely to have swept across the entirety of two continents - a process that would almost certainly have taken many centuries, or more likely that the earlier immigrants had already died out before the new ones arrived.

Comment UBI and birth control (Score 1) 513

And so if you're offering a UBI, it would be rather foolish not to offer free birth control as well, don't you think? Heck, I could even see an argument in favor of getting some long-term form installed being a mandatory precondition before you can start collecting an adult UBI - no accidental reproduction by young people just starting out, and they can get it reversed later if and when they decide they want to have kids.

And if you want active disincentives to reproduction, only give a UBI to adults - sufficient to support children as well, but the expense will come out of your luxury and investment income.

Comment Reproductive disincentives (Score 1) 513

I'm not so sure. Practically everybody likes sex, but raising children has a much narrower appeal and comes with much greater long-term opportunity costs. And we're getting increasingly good at making sure the second only happens on purpose.

Also, one possible solution if you want to provide a further reproductive disincentive in the face of a UBI - only provide a UBI to adults. The cost of raising a child to adulthood then comes out of what would have otherwise gone to luxuries and investments.

Comment Re:Robots are good (Score 1) 287

A 94% top tax rate was once acceptable in the US, only about 70 years ago. Of course pretty much nobody paid it because the idea was not to have it paid, but to encourage large corporations to avoid showing huge profits by instead immediately reinvesting them in further development.

Comment Re:Robots are good (Score 2) 287

Unfortunately, it's looking like they may be able to replace many/most jobs within a handful of, and that's not "a long time" in political terms. Especially not when we're talking about requiring major changes in a centuries-old social legend ("doing for yourself") embedded in most aspects of our social system.

Comment Re:More "trust me" science (Score 1) 280

The Real Lies website has damaged the credibility of government funded Big Science. Most people wish they could grade their own papers in college the same way. Imagine everyone graduates summa cum laude despite despite years of financial dissolution and academic cheating.

No idea what you are talking about, sorry.

Farmers Almanac does a better job on prediction. It's based on solar activity.

Does this mean you'll take the bet?

Comment Re:More science (Score 1) 280

That comment has nothing to do with alarmism. Alarmisim is saying:

1. That climate models can't meaningfully predict future climate (that is, the impacts of climate change could be far worse then the models predict)


2. That acting to mitigate climate change will have a devastating effect on the world economy (much higher than the 2-3% predicted by economists) or that it's too late and we might as well do nothing (that is, lay down and die).

Comment Re: "Destroyed" is such a harsh term... (Score 1) 88

In my experience "bricked" refers fairly exclusively to a non-recoverable state - at least through "normal" means. E.g. you've borked the firmware badly enough that you can no longer install the updates that would repair it. Hence things like "unbrickable" motherboards that have a second back-up BIOS in case something goes wrong when updating the primary one.

Granted, often times there's internal diagnostic pins that can be accessed by sufficiently knowledgeable individuals with the right equipment in order to get things working again - but it's not something your average firmware-updating geek is going to be prepared for.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer