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Comment Re:...and displacement of workers (Score 1) 282

What good is a grand new economy if there's nothing in it that I can see myself getting paid to do?

This is the basic problem. All these futurology pieces extrapolate the supply side: what will be available, possible or substituting existing stuff. But none of them take the next step of analysing the demand side: asking who will be the customers for these advances?

Even if we end up removing all the manual manufacturing, office-based administration, transport and food production jobs, who will be able to afford trips in flying cars, or would need an AI in their pocket?

Even if we do get a UBI economy, will that basic income contain provision for computerised meds, and why would people with no prospect of a job - or more importantly: the children of people who don't / can't / will never work in their lives - ever need high quality online education (or any education at all)?

Comment Typical geek: pushing the features not benefits (Score 1) 282

This list doesn't say why any of these things would be beneficial. Take self-driving cars (just because it's at the top of the pile). The benefits are not having to own your own vehicle, being able to get pissed out of your skull and still get home, better access for disabled people, not having to take a test, less congestion, sleeping on the way to work, not having to pay for the vehicle when you're not using it, not having to worry about it being broken - just send for another one.
These are what people will buy into the technology for, not simply to say "Look at me! I've got a driverless car" which seems to be the geek's motivation.

But when it comes to other items, such as AI, the benefits of raw, naked, AI are never stated. Will it really benefit Joe Average to have a computer in his / her / its pocket that is smarter than they are?

And a final point worth considering: how many of these "exciting" technologies will be centrally controlled?

Comment Re: Bad programming idea that works (Score 1) 671

Also works when a 23 year-old "expert" from one of the big consulting firms reports to the CIO that the servers are underutillised.

My reply was "certainly, what level of utilisation would you like?" but the grin on my face gave it away. It was then followed by a laymans explanation of utilisation vs. response times. And a decision that the consultancy wasn't in the company's best interests.

Comment Laziness == efficiency (Score 2) 254

A lazy person does the least amount of work necessary to do a job. If that involves doing nothing and letting someone else do it for you then that counts, too.

That philosophy also includes working out which jobs are worth doing and which are unnecessary or futile. An active person might clean their house every day. A lazy person might only do it when visitors are due. Which one is correct?

It is also worth noting that anyone who has read the Perl Book (one of life's necessities, no matter how lazy you are) already knows this.

Comment Just wait for the future to arrive. (Score 3, Insightful) 108

as early as 2090, rates of ice loss at the site could exceed gains from new snowfall. And within a century after that, melting could begin to release waste

So in about 200 years, the people alive then will have something to worry about.

To put this into perspective, let's look back at the technology of 1816 and compare it with today's. Then we can assume at least the same level of advancement from now until 2216 (if not, then I would expect the world of that era would have bigger problems than some sewage and diesel at the North Pole) and what would seem like an issue today will be entirely manageable by then.

Comment UX nightmares. (Score 1) 234

we had well designed UX experiences

Nope, a good UX is pure fantasy. I'm still waiting for one.

They all try to put too many options together. They all still have a pile of "miscellaneous" functions that all get lumped together. They still all use the technical / marketing terms of the designers (rather than the real-world experience descriptions of actual users). Almost none have sensible default settings or logically connected changes and it's a rarity to see them structured in any sort of workflow: good or bad. They always seem to be designed "logically" (captain) rather than with the most frequently used options the least number (i.e. 1) key-click away. And the layout of the remote control needed to operate them is frankly, awful.

Comment You're wrong about coalitions (Score 1) 993

In contrast, in a coalition government, it works completely differently and every party needs to have a REAL ideology

In an orthodox election the voters have a clear idea of what each party / candidate stands for - and by extension, what policies they will carry out (provided external factors don't prevent that).

But a coalition is different. It is only formed after the campaigning and voting has finished. Nobody knows beforehand what horse-trading will take place and which policies will be accepted by the parties that form the coalition. And most importantly: nobody actually voted for a coalition, so it's mandate is questionable - at the very least.

But worst of all, it generally happens that one of the major parties from the election is excluded, in favour of one or more minor ones. That means the people who voted for the major party will be excluded from government representation, but the smaller number of voters for whatever minor party(s) that join the coalition will have a voice.

Comment It would go broke in a day (Score 1) 609


all policy shall be based on the weight of evidence

for an economic policy is a disaster. There is no "weight of evidence" as every situation that a central bank, finance ministry or stock exchange would be unique.

However, simply by knowing that the country was following a "rational" policy means it would be gamed by all the "players" who could get access. Although it's doubtful that any actual people would get a look - since the automatic traders would dominate the day. Outsmarting a system like that would make taking candy from a baby look like hard work.

Comment Re:How to weaken an entire Nation. (Score 4, Interesting) 1010

It does not financially ruin people when they are armed with legal precedent

Uh, huh. Except that hardly ever happens: In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial.

For the overwhelming majority of people who come into contact with the "justice" system, to be accused is to be guilty.

Comment Re:How to weaken an entire Nation. (Score 1) 1010

helps set a precedent for anyone accused of mishandling data classified at the highest levels.

Provided they have a chance of being in charge of the country (or know someone who is).

But for ordinary people, who would be financially ruined by the cost of a legal case and are therefore rail-roaded into a plea bargain, it's back to the usual: to be accused is to be guilty. Doncha just love an equal, impartial and fair justice system>

Comment Monopolies and restricted resources (Score 2) 135

So the plan is to use the extremely scarce water on the Moon to make hydrogen for rocket fuel. Since this is a "better" choice than making rocket fuel on Earth, which is two-thirds water?

This sounds like a very short-sighted proposition as it consumes a resource that could be put to far better use for lunar colonisation.

It also puts the nascent LEO -> "out there" transportation business at the financial mercy of whoever owns and controls the Moon-sourced fuel supply.

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