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Comment HAL meets Eliza (Score 1) 1219

Dave: "Open the pod bay doors, please, Hal."
Hal: "Can you elaborate on that?"
Dave: "Do you read me, Hal?"
Hal: "Oh, I read you?"
Dave: "What's the problem, Hal?"
Hal: "We were discussing you...not me."
Dave: "I don't know what you're talking about, Hal."
Hal: "Does it please you to believe I am talking about ?"
Dave: "I won't argue with you any more, Hal. Open the doors."
Hal: "Do you wish to won't argue with me?"
Dave: "All right, Hal. I'll go in through the emergency airlock."
Hal: "Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all."

Comment Re:Brazil! (Score 1) 1219

Have you seen Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen?

Some people think of those two movies forming a trilogy with Brazil that cover the stages of life, going from the excitement and adventure of childhood dreams, to the loss of innocence and disillusionment of being a working adult, to the selective reminiscences of old age, with a tendency to romanticize your own past experiences.

I think of Sam in Brazil as being the everyman who lost his dream, and settled for being a cog in a big machine, without any realization of the monstrous machinations going on around him and indeed implicating him. He doesn't have anything against Buttle or his wife, but he is part of the horrifying bureaucracy that eventually killed Buttle in the name of "protecting" the populace from terrorism.

Sam longs for happiness with the girl of his dreams, but in real life she is not what he thinks she is. He doesn't really fit into the system that everyone else seems able to navigate, partly because he can't let go of his youthful idealism (and dreams of heroism) to climb the ladder like everyone else. Those in power are obsessed with security, surveillance, and regulating and automating everything people do, to the point that Sam is helpless even to keep his apartment at a comfortable temperature. He takes the "easy way" by letting Tuttle do the repairs, and by going outside the system he invites chaos into his life.

In the end, he's unable to cope with harsh realities, the demands of ambition, rampant consumerism and politics he can't grasp. He retreats into madness, losing himself in imagination and in effect creating his own reality to escape the brutality of the "grown up" world.

At least that's what I got out of it. :)

Comment AI: Artificial Intelligence (Score 1) 1219

Not my favorite, but I thought it deserved a mention as it had some really good ideas and themes, just poorly plotted.

I especially enjoyed Jude Law's performance, that alone is worth watching the film for.

I was initially disappointed with the ending, but after a couple more viewings I think I understood a little better what Kubrick was trying to do. A lot of people reacted to the ending poorly because they didn't get the irony of the future robots (not aliens) recreating a human to serve a robot that wants to be loved.

Comment Re:Write software after work (Score 1) 140

Businesses

Amazon Wins $1.5 Billion Tax Dispute Over IRS (reuters.com) 77

Amazon.com on Thursday won a more than $1.5 billion tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over transactions involving a Luxembourg unit more than a decade ago. From a report: Judge Albert Lauber of the U.S. Tax Court rejected a variety of IRS arguments, and found that on several occasions the agency abused its discretion, or acted arbitrarily or capriciously. Amazon's ultimate tax liability from the decision was not immediately clear. The world's largest online retailer has said the case involved transactions in 2005 and 2006, and could boost its federal tax bill by $1.5 billion plus interest. It also said a loss could add "significant" tax liabilities in later years. Amazon made just $2.37 billion of profit in 2016, four times what it made in the four prior years combined, on revenue of $136 billion.

Comment Self-sufficiency (Score 1) 644

This is why we need to develop 3D printing and CNC machinery ASAP, so we won't be dependent on mass-produced goods shipped around the world to meet our needs.

The day we can download a pair of sneakers and have them made on the spot, we will have technology working for us rather than against us.

Oh, but I guess we'll still have to ship lots of raw materials around... rubber, metal, plastic, wood etc. I don't mind so much if robots do that part.

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