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Comment Re:No Human Element? (Score 1) 81

I thought Poker was a game of understanding your opponents not only based on past actions with cards but also by looking at facial expressions, body language and determining whether or not they have a good hand. Along with that, a big part is developing subtle gestures to throw your opponents off.

Without this information, isn't this win somewhat random or "lucky" and not really indicative of how the AI can play against other humans?

Nope. The game is pure statistics based on the known cards, which computers are very good at. Collecting a database on your opponent's habits is also far more useful than looking at their face could ever be. After all, their body language is only an inevitably misleading stay stream of data, controlled entirely by your opponent, whose entire purpose is to throw you off. You're much better off completely ignoring that distraction.

Also, what better "poker face" is there than an emotionless calculating machine that you know will always make the mathematically optimal choice? That has to be unnerving to play against.

Comment Re:Scary stuff (Score 3, Informative) 279

propose a solution that doesn't bounce us into the dark ages please.

Nuclear energy. It's clean, it's safe, and it would be cheap if it weren't for paranoid over-regulation. Yes, some safety regulation is needed, but the nuclear industry has far more than it needs, which only restricts its much needed development.

Comment Re:maturity required of voters (Score 2) 261

Now, here's the big fat gotcha to what you had to say that will really bake your noodle: People like you, who think things like you presented here, always believe that they are going to be one of the 'chosen ones' allowed the privilege -- and you'd be completely and totally wrong in that regard.

Hate to break this to you, but I'm one of the people who believes that the uneducated masses should not have this much voting power, and that I don't think that I should be one of the people with the vote either. You see, the vote should belong only to the people that have the time and rational capacity to devote to massive in-depth study of politics, economics, law, and society. Most people who are either full time students or are working at least one full time job simply don't have time for that, because they're too busy being otherwise productive members of society. I fully admit that I am one of those people lacking the time required to dedicate to proper study of the subjects required to be able to cast what I would evaluate as a sufficiently educated vote.

Furthermore, I strongly believe that one of the biggest problems that America faces is that our form of democracy actively encourages anti-intellectualism by making everyone's votes equal, which makes a lot of people think "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." We don't let people who haven't studied cars vote on how to build or fix our cars. We don't let people who haven't studied medicine vote on how to heal us when we're sick and wounded. We must be either overly self-important idiots, just insane, or simply uneducated and/or unthinking, if we permit people who haven't studied the things that go into running a country vote on running a country.

Comment Re:Exo-Farming (Score 1) 222

Plus we have a lot to learn before we start exo-farming. It's not clear how reliably we can grow crops on Mars even in a well controlled greenhouse

Which is exactly why we should go there. Were not going to find out or learn anything without going to Mars to test these things.

Mars has enough gravity that most plants should grow just fine,

Perhaps but currently that is an unproven assertion. Frankly the gravity is likely to be among the least of the challenges to growing food on Mars. When you have a small self contained garden you run the risk of any number of problems hugely disrupting the entire crop. ... I'm not saying it's impossible but it probably will be quite a challenge.

Yet more reasons to go there and start growing as many things as possible, so that we can test absolutely everything.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 3, Informative) 756

In any first-past-the-post election system, you will end up with a two-party system. Very occasionally, a third party will displace one of the majors, but then end up as the despised mainstream party.

Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Philippines, and several other countries with persistent multi-election multiple party systems would beg to disagree.

Comment Re:Why do I get a bad felling about this?.... (Score 1) 254

They know that rocket science is hard and involves many years of setbacks from expected schedules. While Musk is very good at producing rockets, he's not so great at realistic timeframes. Recall that he stated that the first Falcon Heavy launch would happen sometime in 2013. Repeated delays now have the first launch being expected in 2018. Musk announces timeframes for if everything goes perfectly, which is a very low probability possibility when dealing with rockets.

Yes, Musk will get us to Mars eventually, it just won't be quite as soon as he first announced.

Comment Re:like what? (Score 1) 537

Good for them. ROI is good for the investor. You must know that here is no obligation (moral or otherwise) to fix other people's problems, or to develop technology that fixes other people's problems.

Sure there is an obligation, at least if you admit one has an obligation to better oneself. Measured altruism is self-interest. If a someone can develop a technology that fixes other people's problems, those people will not only pay for that technology, benefiting all parties involved, but they will also have more of some resource now freed up by that technology to devote to developing some sort of other beneficial technology themselves. Overall standard of living increases as a result, including one's own standard of living.

If one has an obligation to improve oneself, or one's standings, one necessarily also has an obligation to help others so as to enable them to better help oneself(or some other person who then could help oneself).

Comment Re:First SpaceX Missions To Mars: 'Dangerous and P (Score 2) 412

Ultimately, the answer is simply this: Everything else is just a justification, true ones of course, but never the primary reason.

Some people get it, some people don't. I happen to be one of the people who do, and that's okay. It sounds like you happen to be one of the people who don't, and that's okay too.

Comment Re:"Probably"? (Score 2) 412

Those considering this need to completely rethink propulsion and come up with a plan for getting people not only there, but home.... safely and expediently, in time scales measured in hours or a few days at most... not weeks, and certainly not months. Otherwise, any rocket we send them up in may as well be their tomb.

Why? Why do you think that colonists want to return to place they left? And why do you think that Earth is necessarily a better tomb for every single person than Mars would be?

Comment Re:I would ... (Score 2) 412

If any part of Musk's plan involves indenturement, or stakeholder value increase, and does not come out upfront say that the one and only purpose is colonization, for the sake of colonization, it needs to be treated with revulsion and derision.

The former is how you secure slaves in space based manufacturing.

Why would anyone want space slaves for manufacturing when they could use industrial equipment and manufacturing robots that are far cheaper than having to supply expensive food/water/air/medical/misc to maintain slaves? There just isn't any advantage to slavery anymore, and especially not when you get into space.

Comment Re:root problem (Score 4, Interesting) 136

Yes it is the major issue. Which always brings to mind my favorite proposed solution: Mine neodymium from asteroids, use it to construct a massive rare earth magnet ring around Mars, and watch as Mars' solid metal core once again becomes magnetized and creates a planetary magnetic field. Sure, it would be a truly massive project, but it would be easier by orders of magnitude as compared to trying to restart the magnetic field by liquefying the mantle and outer core of Mars. Plus, we wouldn't have to worry restarting Olympus Mons.

Comment Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 3, Interesting) 150

While I agree with the conclusion, I do beleive you arrived at it a bit incorrectly. It's that mosquitoes don't fill any useful ecological niche. Their sole purpose in the environment is to make things suffer, and they don't have any positive contributions which even come close to evening that out. This is a rare thing that should enable us to slaughter them in massive quantities to the point of extinction without any noticeable effect on the environment except that more people will be willing to go on nature walks.

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