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Comment Re:Hyperbole stew (Score 2) 323

Funny, I've always thought that "they hate us for our freedoms" was a joke, and understood as such by everyone. Are you telling me people seriously mean it when they say that? And that other people believe it? Because I always thought they hate you for destroying their countries and ruining their lives, and not so much about what you do when you are at home...

Comment Re: Sneer today, gone tomorrow (Score 1) 133

Really, I can't think of any time when I ever thought "I wish I had a 64-bit data type". Neither integer nor float, but we've had 64-bit floats for a long time anyhow. Back in the '80s, I did many times wish for a 32-bit integer data type. I just don't see much benefit to go to 64 bits other than the extra address space, or in the case of Intel, the better instruction set and CPU model.

Comment How could you possibly care? (Score 1) 431

Wow! He's tweeting with an unsecured phone!!!

I'll bet there's no way in hell he's managing to keep those tweets secret!

And this ignoring that based on the number of tweets he's making, he's not even making most of the tweets ascribed to him.

In any case, when there's some reason to suspect he's using an unsecured phone to talk to people about classified information, then it'll be time to get excited.

Note, by the by, that you're not talking to the unclassified world with your secure government phone. That one is just for talking to the OTHER secure government phones, not to your hairdresser....

Comment Re:Our machines do that sometimes, unfortunately. (Score 1) 149

I'm not saying it happened here, but many people do not understand that you have to put things in appropriate packaging for the machines to process.

This. I have seen too many things shipped in inappropriate packaging. Just a few months ago, I ordered a $400 replacement board for some equipment, and the company I ordered from took the sub-box (the one made of inferior East Asian cardboard, and meant only to be used to put the item on a shelf), slapped a label on it, and gave it to USPS. Hey, it's a box, right? Just ship it! It arrived very battered, and the mailman basically ding-dong-ditched it (I was expecting it, and by the time I got to the door, he was already back in the truck!) The only thing that saved it was its anti-static bubble-wrap packaging.

I have also received a box crammed into another box with no padding on the sides, when the original box was itself part of the value of the item. It was literally slid into another, slightly larger, box with zero clearance on five sides, then foam peanuts poured into the top nine inches or so. Naturally, the box landed hard and a bottom edge was crushed. Just putting a couple inches of foam peanuts on the bottom would have been enough to save it.

Comment Re:How is that supposed to happen? (Score 1) 346

So you draw the line "before _additional_ automation is introduced". Let's say I have a highly automated factory, and my competitor does not. If he introduces automation he gets to pay a massive tax that I don't - simply because I was earlier.

And do we count that "additional" automation from now? Or from 1980? Or from 1600? That's the line you are drawing. Where is the cutoff point?

Comment How is that supposed to happen? (Score 5, Insightful) 346

You (and others) seem to believe that "robots" are clearly defined pieces of equipment, that clearly take over someone's job. Something with at least a sinister metallic arm that you can point to and say "that thing has my job!".

Reality is that work has been steadily mechanized over a course of centuries, and that process will continu. Instead of you doing your job with a machine, it will be a slightly smarter machine doing the work - and it may or may not have an arm. Where do you draw the line, precisely? How is a law going to define what a "robot" is and what isn't? Is an assembly line one robot, or a hundred? How about the robots in your house: are you going to pay taxes on your mixer, your bread maker, your oven, your fridge, etc.? How about your car, are you going to pay taxes on that as well? Each of those devices save a lot of work, and in doing so, replace human labor. Are we going to pay taxes for all of that?

If you wish to apply tax in terms of displaced human labour, will you compare with assembly line labour of a century ago, or fully manual labour of a millennium ago? How about robots in China, how will you tax those?

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