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Comment Re:Failure of imagination (Score 1) 370

That was a good post, spoken like a true scientist: The story of the horses.

And its valid. We are all horses in our ability to do certain tasks, and as those tasks get taken over by machines who do more for less than horses, you don't need horses any more. The issue isn't just those machines getting better at specifics, like plow pulling, the issue is they got better at general tasks, any work you needed done was better done with an engine. Those horses didn't move on to get better jobs, they were replaced. This can happen with people.

Comment Re:Kill yourself (Score 1) 1042

But what if we're jacked in for a good reason? It could be, you free yourself from the simulation, and you become aware of your decaying future body in painful stasis, waiting for your new vessel to be grown for your consciousness to be downloaded into it. That's when you realize how much you were enjoying your conscious escape / history lesson into the pivotal time of the early 21st century, living comparatively pain free.

Comment Re:Two days after a blockchain editing was announc (Score 1) 62

The comment above about Elliot Anderson and E-Corp references the show 'Mr Robot', a hacker TV series where an Evil Corporation has its hands in hacker activities, to create crisis it can exploit. It rolls out a cryptocurrency called E-coin, leveraging the trust in bitcoin and recent hacker attacks against it to make it a popular safehaven currency. This principle works because the brain is implicitly Bayesian: it makes decisions off probabilities based on prior experiences. Those priors are adjusted after new experiences. Since Bitcoin built trust in the tech, people will trust new blockchain tech after bitcoin, even if its not as good. Not saying that's what these banks are doing, but if it is, that's how it works.

Comment Re:Self-inflicted vulnerabilities (Score 1) 138

Do you really think its fair to blame US intelligence services for the backdoors? What you have to remember is they are authorized to basically do whatever they want. If they want a secure login to your phone, they can get it. If someone in the private sector developing software for phones makes that same secure login and then logs in to spy on customers, he can be found and convicted just on the basis that he had the password to get into his own backdoor. However If he "screws up" and makes a vulnerability "by mistake" anyone can exploit, who can tie it to him if "some hacker" happens to exploit that vulnerability to get in to spy on customers? It makes sense most of the backdoors are coming from this kind of corruption in the private sector, not the government.

Comment Re: How about (Score 1) 369

That's exactly right. The issue is computer skills are the new math literacy. You need to integrate a function for some science? Do it in wolfram alpha, put it in a script you can use, and move on, and you can skip calc 2. But my Dad taught his whole life, and saw scores going down as computers came in to replace problems near the end. There's no substitute for rigorous thinking, once learned in math classes, the same rigor needs to be trained in CS, or the students just become dumb. There's no pain free path to mental or physical fitness.

Comment Re:Advertisers, worry about security? Get real (Score 4, Insightful) 259

Now web browsers need to work on improving security even more to avoid cross-site content and block suspicious sources even better. This is not only the ordinary cookies or injected ads that are to be considered but also "super-cookies" and cookies/caching of plugin data. Virtualization by default may also be useful - so that each program runs in its own sandbox.

A lot of the stuff isn't even hacking, its abuse of permissions. The other day I had a third party tracker request permissions to turn on my mic, and my understanding is if I said yes, the permission would remain across all sites with their tracker on Chrome. So they could listen to me across the Internet. Similar are browser extensions which request the power to read and change data on all pages.These need to come with clear privacy policies, and some kind of audit process to make sure it works.

The main thing to me is advertising has stopped being advertising: connecting people with products and services they might want - and started being about something else. Since when was "Mad Men" about a wiretap that listens to people in their homes?

Comment Re:Old Programmers Vs Young Programmers (Score 2) 242

You forgot one, the one that's really at play with a lot of the lionization of not just young programmers, but a culture of childish hipster naivety that is actively celebrated by many large modern corporations:

If you want an unethical product that exploits users more than helping them, without the programmers really knowing what they're doing, hire a (naive) young programmer.
If you want an ethical product that helps users, created by a wiser person that see how it fits into society, hire an old programmer (or a wise young programmer).

The culture that used to be called "spyware" has now infiltrated many of the highest IT companies, and become mainstream culture. The broader picture of how software effects society, and what you're really doing collecting all that info on people to sell out the backdoor, is something that comes with some cynicism and wisdom as to how the world actually works. Not knowing what you're really doing when you're being unethical takes youthful naivety, which is why its in such high demand.

Comment Re:of course. (Score 1) 291

Dude, your problem is that your looking at it as a profession for everyone. The reality is, the world already has been transformed for decades by logic machines that everyone uses, calculators. Basic coding for most will be the same sort of thing, a more powerful calculator they use from time to time, mostly calling functions written by professional devs to get something done, just as they call functions they don't understand on calculators to figure things out.

Comment Trained dependency is the danger. (Score 5, Interesting) 169

Learning computer programs to solve math problems (for instance) can be empowering for the kids, unless they end up dependent on those proprietary programs. I think the best solution for that threat, along with some of the other issues raised in the OP is a tool set which gets kids developing software, even at really simple levels, early in their educational careers. That may sound crazy, but the world is changing, and many of the educational ideas we take for granted today sounded crazy in their times as well.

Comment Its one of them 'Nash Equilibrium' thingies. (Score 2) 760

The influence of the US is bound to the strength of its economy, the strength of its economy is bound (currently) to its use of fossil fuels. So if the US acts preemptively, it loses its power to influence others to do the same, it drives up costs for itself while driving down fossil fuel costs for others, so their economy and thus influence increases. Yet, if (in the terms of A Beautiful Mind) "If everybody goes for the blond, nobody gets laid", which is to say if consumption can't be curbed, everybody is doomed.

But the problem, when you said: "tells EVERY NATION that they must partake" You have to ask "who does that?" The bottom line is the US doesn't have an enforcement capability in China, Russia or the rest. They are sovereign nations. In fact there is no world power which can make FORCE every country to do things, especially when their is so much benefit in them defecting.

So the politics actually look incredibly grim. The best hope here is something that can fundamentally alter the equation above, so that there is positive rewards for nations going green. That something would necessarily come from the best and brightest of science and business. An example would be an efficient fossil fuel combustion process that turns an engine while sequestering carbon into a valuable industrial product like carbon fiber... Something like that is more profitable to use than not use, making the transition natural.

I guess my point is, I think its a really good time for techies to start thinking way outside the box on this problem...

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My idea of roughing it turning the air conditioner too low.