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Comment Re:Incoming (Score 1) 258

None of this is significant in terms of being any kind of a showstopper, in my estimation as an engineer. Yes, there are lots of things to cover in such an undertaking. No, none of the ones you mention are expected to pose significant problems.

Adequate power systems (power to weight, and charge issues) and the highest level management software are the only two hurdles really still a distance away. The former looks like it's going to fall within a year or two, the latter I give ten years, max.

Comment Re:Incoming (Score 1) 258

I didn't say a word about drones, if by drones, you mean quadcopters and the like.

As for robots, your thinking is too constrained. There are lots of design options that will handle snow just fine (and every other kind of terrain) that don't involve tires. Spider legs, for instance.

Vandalism: easily vandalized robots are counter indicated, obviously. Likewise robots that don't record what's happening to them. These are trivial engineering issues in the sense that solutions are readily available. They're no significant impediment to robot deliveries.

Fraud: One obvious solution is payment before delivery. Another, for payment on-site, is the same tech, or related tech, to that which lets a soda machine know you actually fed it dollar bills, before allowing access to the cargo. This isn't even a problem requiring solution before proceeding -- otherwise there would be no delivery now, and that's obviously not the case.

The only tech that really needs to happen that we don't quite have yet is the smarts to run the robot, and we're a little short on power systems, too. But we're very, very close. Solve those, get the cost down to where it needs to be, integrate available tech, and done.

Comment Tracking (Score 2) 258

I have a statement every month that tells me what and where I've spent my money. I can also use those purchases to show where I was at at the time if need be.

Mmm-hmm. Well, if you can't keep track of your spending, I suppose that'd be a reason to want to have others do it for you. I don't have that problem, personally, so it's difficult for me to emphasize with your use case. As for needing to show where you were... who do you need to show this to? The very fact that you think you need to show it to someone is worrisome, and speaks more to the problem than any solution.

Why would you worry about your purchases being tracked?

Because the government thinks it's perfectly okay to directly violate the constitution that authorizes its existence, that's why. Because the government is trying to look at the people's persons, houses, papers and effects without warrants, that's why. Because the government will, if given a chance, interfere with personal and consensual choices it has absolutely no ethical reason to concern itself with, that's why. Because the government runs a system of unjust gulags, driven by a manifestly corrupt legal system, which one should avoid with great care, that's why.

Comment Servicability (Score 1) 258

Sooner or later we'll give homes easily serviceable plumbing under raised flooring

That's exactly how I designed the plumbing in my home. You can get at every inch of plumbing, and where it transits a wall or floor, you can unhook it and pull it right through if you need to. The only in-wall plumbing in the entire home is for the shower, and the shower was emplaced on the back face of the wall the refrigerator is pulled up to; pull the refrigerator out, and you're looking directly at an open wall face containing the shower plumbing, just stick a wrench on it and do what you need to do. All sink plumbing and toilet plumbing is direct to the basement through the floors, and presents zero access challenge for service.

I did the electricity in a similar manner; it was even easier to design, due to the physical flexibility of the wiring and its relatively lower demands on space.

Houses don't have to be designed to have difficult to access utilities. Likewise a lot of other conventional approaches can be improved, such as insulation, wall thickness, concrete grades, mutability of internal space. If you ever get a chance to put a home together, it's entirely worth your time to think about things like these before agreeing to anyone's plans.

Comment Incoming (Score 2) 258

f you use drones/robots/self-driving cars or some combination of them they will have to get a lot more advanced to get to that level.

If you use drones/robots/self-driving cars or some combination of them they will have to get just a tiny bit more advanced to get to that level.

FTFY

Look around you / do a little search engine work. We have walking robots, ramp-ascending robots, stair-climbing robots, door-opening robots, button-pushing robots, robots with internal cargo storage, robots that can navigate offices and homes. Right now.

That stuff doesn't even have to be developed at this point, it just has to be aggregated. As the financial case has now been made to do it, it's going to happen very quickly. Within ten years, max.

Comment Singularity (Score 1) 258

AGI is not going to give us an infinite supply of workers. It'll give us an even larger supply of free-willed individuals. They're not going to be any more willing to do drudge work than humans are. Probably less.

LDNLS constructs, non-intelligent but highly capable, are the incoming infinite worker force. They're already present, and getting more sophisticated by the day. Rapidly.

The singularity has been relatively soft-edged; people don't realize they're in it yet. But they are.

Comment Re:But remember, basic income is an unfair handout (Score 0) 258

unless we want the government to take all our land

The government already owns your land. You certainly don't. Stop paying the government the rent ("tax") on it and you'll find yourself out on the street with the property locked to you and being immediately offered to others. Citizen land ownership is an illusion in the USA.

If you're always in possession of enough capital such that you can always afford the rent ("tax"), you can be reasonably certain that you may be able to stay where you are. Otherwise, no. And even if you do always have the rent ("tax") available, you still can't be sure that the government won't take it for some other reason -- for instance, they took my home for a supposed dam project (Tock's Island Dam), giving them the excuse that they "needed" to. Which dam they never built, and changed into a "park."

Once you've experienced the process at work, all the illusions about citizen's owning land go away. I speak with absolute authority on this matter. You don't own the land.

Comment Tax reform (Score 1) 512

I 100% expect the Republicans (congress in general, really, but the Republicans are presently driving the bus) to do exactly the same thing to tax law that the Republicans attempted to do to the healthcare law. Which is to say, rewrite it to further benefit the wealthy and further disadvantage the poor and middle class.

What congress thinks is broken about tax law and what the poor and middle class thinks is broken about tax law are two entirely different things.

It's not that congress can't figure it out. It's that what they want has absolutely nothing to do with benefitting the voters who elected them. They serve those who write them checks, hand out lucrative speaking engagements, "think tank" positions, lobbyist jobs, property and stock tips/deals, etc. They care very little for our votes. They know full well that when disapproval of congress is high (86% in a recent election), re-election rates remain high (94% in that same election.) So until disapproval numbers for a bill hit really dangerous looking extremes (83% for the ACHA, basically everyone that doesn't drool all their waking hours), they pretty much do whatever they want, and what that is, as always, is fluff the wealthy.

The key to stopping them is exactly what happened with the ACHA: The media and the Internet need to repeatedly and in a way that cannot be ignored, put the information about what the the proposed revisions to tax law is trying to do to most everyone out under bright lights. If that can be done, it'll kill their tax agenda, which is absolutely guaranteed to be harmful to most of us. Just like the ACHA.

The problem with actual reasonable tax reform is that you're asking the foxes to voluntarily reduce their access to the henhouse. No matter what they say about it, they are thinking "LOL, as if." That's not just the GOP, either; the Democrats trade on tax leverage too.

A truly fair and simple federal taxation system is literally no more than a few pages of clear and simple law away. The same is true for any state or town. Likewise decent healthcare mechanisms. But we can't get there from here. The monied interests don't want that; and that means we're not going to get it. What we are most likely to get, if we're not vigilant, is something a good bit worse. Just like the ACHA.

Comment ACHA "craft" (Score 1) 512

the lawmakers are being very well-compensated to read legislation. It's like their one fucking job, you know?

Yes, I know, that's the point I was making. I'm sorry if that was unclear.

If Trump and the GOP couldn't unravel the 3500 page health care law

The GOP unraveled it just fine (Trump doesn't even read his executive orders... the very idea that he had anything to do with the ACHA other than as an idiot mouthpiece is mildly hilarious.) The GOP rewrote it to do what they wanted it to do, which was adhere to the usual ethically bankrupt Republican agenda of disadvantaging the poor and further enriching the rich.

It's just that the poor, huge numbers of whom benefit from the ACA, actually got wind of the GOP's intent, and unfortunately for the Republicans, their base consists of considerable numbers of the poor.

It wasn't that they couldn't unravel it. It's that they got caught unraveling it.

The reason why is simply this: If you never give a baby a lollipop, it will just sit there and gurgle. But if you give a baby a lollipop and then attempt to take it away and it catches you at it, it will scream bloody murder until you give it back. That's exactly what happened here. The ACA handed out the lollipop that was healthcare to people who had never had it. The ACHA attempted to take it away. The people caught them at it. Everything from then on was entirely predictable.

Comment Re:False equivalency (Score 2) 512

I think you need to go back and look at what actually happened. Obama tried to get those prisoners into the US where they could be interned in a rights-compliant way, given proper hearings and trials, lawyers, due process. He didn't try (and shouldn't have tried) to "close Gitmo" by just releasing everyone, nor did he ever say he wanted to. His attempts to get this done were stymied by others. So from my POV, while yes, that's a failure of Obama's attempt to close Gitmo, it most certainly doesn't lay the blame for the failure at his door.

Look, I am not a blind fan of Obama. Lots of things I disagreed with him on. Some of it is just attitudes he promoted as a leader, such as his various constitutionally blind gun-control ideas, some of it is things he actually did like signing the (un)PATRIOT(ic) act. But closing Gitmo... that turned into a political nightmare, but it was a nightmare he was on the correct side of.

Comment False equivalency (Score 1) 512

I believe an important distinction is that Gitmo was not closed after 8 years of promises and the President leaving office without it getting done.

Obama was actually trying to close Gitmo, because it's a travesty against liberty and justice. This was a constitutionally sound, well thought out, and highly principled stance.

Trump was not actually trying to give us good healthcare, because either he has no idea what he's doing, or he is specifically trying to benefit monied interests rather than actually see that good healthcare is made broadly available to the citizens. This is the stance of (take your pick) an idiot or an evil person.

Yes, both were stymied by congress. But:

Obama's Gitmo effort is fairly described as "good intent, stymied by congress, AKA failure."

Trump's ACHA is effort fairly described as "bad intent, stymied by congress, AKA failure."

People claiming doomsday for President Trump are foolish.

Based on the ACHA failure, certainly. It was just terrible legislation that made him look like an idiot. Being an idiot isn't cause for impeachment. Otherwise we'd have been rid of Bush II early on. :/

However, based on Trump's continuing spewage of falsehoods, his campaign's complicity with Russian manipulation of the election, based on his utilizing the presidency to take financial advantage... I wouldn't be too sure that us saying "President Pence", and fairly soon, is all that unlikely.

Trump is obviously incompetent at the job. Between that, and his continual coloring outside the ethical and legal lines, and that of the campaign that resulted in his election, his future as president is by no means certain to extend a full four years.

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