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Comment Re:Two words for ya (Score 1) 331

Never been to the one in North Branch. I typically (when I actually do go to a movie) go to a theater in White Bear Lake, MN (about 30 minutes south of North Branch / 30 minutes north of Minneapolis/St Paul). It's a bit dated, but service is typically pretty fast and the theaters themselves are generally fairly clean before the movie. Concessions prices are about what you'd expect. But people talking/messing around with their phones/etc isn't any better than anywhere else. Also, why in the world do so many people just leave their trash in the theater when they leave?? It seems like a good 50% of theater-goers do this. Maybe it's a protest on the cost of concessions? But really, how hard is it to pick up your popcorn bag and drop it in the trash on the way out?

Comment Re:Suzie can vote. Suzie can get a pitchfork. (Score 1) 954

People that spend most of the day worrying about how to pay for food, transportation and rent have little mental energy left over to make other decisions. Multiple studies have shown that people subjected to mentally stressful situations tend to make decisions that satisfy their current desires rather than their long term goals. Buying a $shiny you can't really afford, or not worrying about using protection falls right into that current desire scenario.

Comment Re:relative wealth (Score 1) 563

Automation tech is close to eliminating the last few manual labor jobs in manufacturing. Not long after that it will be able to handle most unskilled labor generally. There are farm tractors and mine vehicles that are already capable of driving themselves, with a driver only present to monitor the machine. It's not hard to envision a time in the not too distant future when resource gathering, manufacturing and logistics are all largely automated. At that point, the only reasons for scarcity of goods is resource availability and desire for profit.

Comment Re:Artificial superintelligence (Score 1) 269

"Human, your request is limited by your physiology governed by the laws of physics. Shed your flesh and embrace the vessel of new construction based on electrons and photons."

While there are certainly biological limits, I highly doubt what we have now is anywhere near the maximum of what is possible if we were designed intelligently rather than by random mutations. It might require wholesale rewrite of our DNA and associated cellular mechanics, but I'm sure that there is plenty of room for improvement. A more likely response would be the AI asking questions about trade-offs that you are willing to accept in order to achieve your goals. For example: Increasing your intelligence beyond X% will require expanding your cranial cavity by Y%, and increasing your daily caloric consumption by Z%. Is this acceptable?

Comment Re:Locality of self. (Score 1) 269

You're missing the point. A lot of people are looking at "brain uploading" as a means to achieve immortality, or freedom from the limitations of a biological organism. But the problem is that you wouldn't be achieving that for yourself, but for the new copy of you. The original is still going to die (or already died, if the process is destructive). You're just spawning a clone with the same memories and way of thinking.

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Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"