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Comment Re: Better be ready to be beat up when layed off w (Score 1) 531

So then you are looking at specialized equipment thinking it can replace a human at a generic job? I think you are doing a couple of things wring here: underestimating our desire to build generic robots while overestimating capacity of specialized equipment to replace people at generic jobs within newer companies that don't have the capital to acquire or build very specialized equipment. In either case I think my points still stand, if the equipment is too specialized and expensive, humans can compete if they can provide quality, if the equipment is so general purpose and ubiquitous that anybody can afford it with a few months of pay, then people would be acquiring it to rent it out to businesses or to do jobs just like the owner operator truck drivers of today.

As to taxes and regulations, obviously they are making human labour less competitive compared to capital, is this even a question? A robot will not sue the company for 'wrongful termination' or for 'sexual harassment' or anything else for that matter (regardless of the merits). Regardless of what /. says, robots will not form unions,there will be no mandate for payroll tax or minimum wage or medical insurance, etc. These are government inventions that make people uncompetitive against labour.

Comment I hope AI can make coding redundant (Score 1) 72

We should hope that AI can learn to code and do it well enough that I could converse with it in a human language, define the problem as I see it and it would immediately (it would be immediate, right) give me a number of ready solutions to pick from. The amount of new product development that could take place would be staggering, we could quickly realise any idea, I hope that the AI would be good enough at that point to do user support and maintenance for the selected solution.

You, guys, are basically looking at it all wrong. Why shouldn't we desire to have systems at our disposal that would be good enough to create software (and at some point hardware) that we could 'program' by explaining high level requirements to a machine? The machine would have to ask more questions, the testing would reveal problems, the machine could do support and maintenance. I see this as a huge net positive, not as something that would hurt us but as something that would save us from decades of sitting on ass, getting less and less active over time, going blind from the screen... And we could never achieve everything we needed anyway at the speed of a human coder.

Comment Re:Apple PAYS for your SS, Medicare, Welfare and W (Score 1) 212

No, US bonds are the definition of ponzi scam that even Madoff would be awed by. U S A cannot return the borrowed VALUE of the money, that is what the Fed and the rest of the central banks are involved in, global inflation, writing off the debt without admitting the technicality of the default. The actual USA debt is all of the federal, state, municipal, corporate and personal borrowing that exceeds 221 trillion dollars and cannot be repaid under any circumstances.

Comment Apple PAYS for your SS, Medicare, Welfare and Wars (Score 1, Interesting) 212

The actual headline should be: USA government is still able to run the ponzi scams such as SS, Medicare, all other Welfare payments as well as waging its wars thanks to Apple and others who are *STILL* purchasing and holding their bonds.

Apple is getting $6 from each individual in interest rates over *YEARS*? Think about it: over *YEARS* Apple has gained *ONLY* $6 per person while buying insane amount of US debt.

Apple is losing money in this transaction, it could have used that money much more effectively in many other ways and instead they are buying US Treasury debt.

Apple and the rest of the bond holders: what are you going to do when there is a mass exodus from the US debt? Will you be the first in line to dump it? I think you are not going to be the preferred seller.

Comment Re:So you say, Solandri.... (Score 1) 250

To the contrary, the Fed employed a large variety of new techniques.

- all of these so called 'new techniques' are the same old technique of printing money. The so called 'operation twist' (it should be called 'operation screw you' instead) was about the Fed taking upon itself to absorb the long side of the curve, buying long term bonds and selling short term bills, which means turning the US debt into short term, variable rate mortgage. Yeah, that worked so well in the housing market, why not do it for the entire government debt, right?

USA is *not* on any path to increase interest rates. That's buying into the nonsensical government propaganda hook line and sinker. USA SHOULD have normal interest rates and should have NEVER went to 1% with Greenspan and to 0 with Bernanke.

Until Bernanke, Greenspan has proven himself to be the worst idiot and after him Bernanke has proven that no amount of idiocy can be unmatched a worse idiot and then Yellen has proven that gender doesn't matter at all, idiots come in all forms, sizes and genders.

Greenspan was an absolute disaster, Bernanke was an absolute disaster, Yellen is an absolute disaster in a skirt. What's funny is that at least Greenspan admits it *now*, maybe it will take Bernanke another 10 years to admit it as well. Yellen will never admit it.

Comment Re:I think you're mistaken about gold (Score 1) 250

Deflation seems like it helps people who have already accumulated wealth. Inflation seems like it helps people who have not accumulated wealth.

- completely wrong. Deflation favours savings and puts people on the right track to accumulate wealth and to use it productively while inflation favours spending *instead* of production, it gets the borrowers off the hook, because they don't have to give back what they actually borrowed, it hurts savers, encourages borrowing for spending and because it is done with the hand of the government (through the Treasury and the Fed and other banks working together) it moves new money to the preferred and connected people, while causing rising prices for everybody else.

Inflation favours the politically connected and hurts the rest.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 250

Deflation is worse than inflation.

- nonsense, that's an unqualified statement. Deflation is not worse than inflation, it is only inconvenient for the debtors and of-course USA government is the biggest debtor out there, but in general USA federal, state, municipal governments are all debtors, also USA corporations and individual are debtors. Of-course now that USA is this unproductive and cannot feed itself without 500Billion/year trade deficit deflation is worse for USA that inflation because Americans want to write off the value of the debt without paying for it.

Deflation increases the value of your savings, thus discouraging you from working

- and yet in the 19th century, on the gold (not standard, just on the gold), USA economy was actually growing and became the most productive economy, turning USA into a net exporter nation from being an importer and an afterthought to the European countries.

Currencies are stable when the money supply expands at about the same rate as the productivity of the country's citizens

- nice try, Orwell, currencies are stable when their value does not fall over time.

This completely Orwellian nonsense redefinition of stability as of something that is losing value at a constant rate is complete garbage that the mainstream and government propaganda has pushed over the last half a century to produce completely economically illiterate population (such as I am observing here now).

The other reason why Orwell would be proud of you today is that you actually bought into the 'increasing productivity of citizens' from your nonsensical government. USA productivity is so ridiculously low that it cannot feed itself without a yearly injection of over 500 Billion USD, which has been more or less the trade deficit for at least 20 years now.

The whole reason we abandoned the gold standard is that it's really stupid to base your economy's health on the gamble that the amount of gold miners dug out of the ground each year would match the rate of growth of your country's GDP.

- Ha ha ha ha, you abandoned the gold standard because your expenses have grown so far beyond your ability to produce that you had to *default* on the dollar and completely get away from the principle of sound money so that you could print your debts away, not for any other reason whatsoever.

As to the amount of gold, it's absolutely irrelevant, the year to year global production increases the total amount of accessible gold by about 1.5%. If USA actually wanted a *STABLE* inflation rate, it could *EASILY* stick to the global gold mining rate.

As to the number of recessions per year, all of them were due to government manipulation of the money supply, introduction/going of off of fiat (talking about the 19th century), introduction of the Federal reserve in 1913 and allowing the Fed to monetize Treasury debt in 1917, printing crazy amounts of money to buy bad UK debt from France in the late 1920s, which caused the bubble that blew up and that recession was turned into depression by Hoover's and FDR's policies of more monetary expansion and other intervention policies.

1971 default simply removed the remaining pretence to any form of stable money and allowed the government to increase inflation to the levels that businesses found it no longer acceptable to try and work within that system and moved production out of the country (and of-course the government growth became unstoppable with the unlimited printing powers, so taxes, laws, regulations became unstoppable as well, normal businesses could not compete with government connected and sponsored ones).

As to Bitcoin, it acts purely as money and has 0 intrinsic value (it has no value beyond being money), so it cannot replace real money that has value whether it is used as money or not. However this does not mean that Bitcoin cannot be used as a very interesting speculative instrument.

Comment Re:Net worth is over $86 trillion!!! (Score 2) 250

Except that the actual USA debt is over 221 Trillion (counting federal, State, municipal, corporate and personal). You are completely underestimating the actual debt, that's first, secondly you are greatly overestimating the earning potential (revenue that can be collected). You are also completely underestimating the inflation level and employment, basically the numbers you are playing with are nonsensical. Of-course the value of USA as a land mass, all of the untapped resources, companies that can still be bought out, things of that nature certainly are valuable, yet what exactly are you proposing to do at this point? USA already mortgaged all of that out, a person can be evicted from his house, will USA population be evicted from the Continent?

Comment Re: Better be ready to be beat up when layed off w (Score 1) 531

If a factory will be able to purchase a humanoid android capable of learning and doing various types of jobs and the price for this robot would be competitive against a few months of salary of a single employee, then we are talking about a society so automated and advanced that even individuals who are not running a factory at a time would be able to purchase similar robots. If an individual is capable of purchasing a robot, an individual would be able to rent that robot at a much lower rate to a factory.

My point is that all of these predictions on how automation will affect individual humans who are all of a sudden unemployable are based on an idea that basically general purpose robots are so affordable that they are almost always preferable to human labour.

If that's the case then individuals will be able to own the robots and the wages of a robot would be much lower than wages of a human, again making it more economical for factories to rent robots from people, who would then not search for their own employment but would act as brokers (agents) to sell labour of their robots.

This is similar to truck owner operators of today, except in this case the robot owner operator would not even have to drive the robot.

OTOH if the robot is less than capable, then the owner operator could remotely control the robot for some parts of the work.

Again and again, people talking about these issues are really not paying attention to the reasons as to why automation today is more economical than hiring people, I am trying to get them to notice that in reality it is the taxes, rules, regulations and inflation (money printing) as well as interest rate manipulation, all done by governments that make labour more expensive than capital investment and it does not have to be that way at all.

Comment Not wind vs nuclear - wind AND nuclear (Score 1) 172

My BS meter just twitched.

You need to take it into the shop to have it fixed. It's clearly malfunctioning.

Wind, at about 2% of the total energy market is tiny.

Even 2% of US generating capacity (not the actual number) is an enormous amount of power and the amount of wind power generating capacity is growing fast. Wind accounted for about 4.4% of US energy production in 2014. Some countries generate double digit percentages of their electricity from wind with Denmark topping the list at 39%! The US accounts for a (disproportionate) 18% of world energy consumption despite being just 5% of the population. If other countries (particularly India and China) follow our lead that is not sustainable without huge increases in the use of renewable energy.

This hostility from the government towards nuclear power is one big reason why I have trouble believing in the global warming hysteria.

The hostility towards nuclear power does not come from the government. It comes from citizens who are nervous about nuclear power and the consequences of what can happen when things go wrong. (see Chernobyl and Fukishima) There also is the as yet unsolved problem of nuclear waste disposal. Granted some (not all) of their concerns are more perception than reality but perception is what drives policy regardless of whether it is true. It also comes from financiers who look at a LONG track record of cost overruns and cost uncertainty in building nuclear plants.

This hostility towards nuclear power on costs is also something that bothers me. The reason it costs so much is because we've forgotten how to build them.

No we haven't. Nuclear power plants are being built routinely and have advanced significantly. Just not in the USA. I'm an accountant. The reason nuclear power plants cost so much is twofold. 1) They are very complicated and have to be engineered to very high standards with careful attention to safety culture to avoid disasters. This level of engineering and safety is very expensive and prone to cost overruns. Nuclear plants are (comparatively) cheap to operate but very expensive to build. Worse, there is considerable cost uncertainty surrounding their construction. When this happens financing costs for construction rise considerably. Private financing is very difficult to come by as a result. Public financing is substantially more expensive and harder to get. 2) Nuclear power plants are considered so risky by insurance and financing companies that they cannot be built without government guarantees. The risk profile is one where the odds of a disaster are (generally) low but the consequences are very high and challenging to quantify. That makes insuring and indemnifying them very expensive.

I'm not impressed with wind power. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is a much better solution.

You can waste your time being "not impressed" with wind power but it's an important and fast growing and affordable and clean source of energy. It's not going to solve all our energy needs. No one form of energy (not even nuclear) is going to do that. Stop thinking in terms of either/or and start thinking in terms of balanced portfolio. Nuclear fission will be an important part of the energy portfolio for the foreseeable future and it has almost none of the climate change issues we get from fossil fuels. The goal is to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to a level lower than what the Earth's ecosystem can handle. This number isn't zero but it's far lower than where we are now. To do this with existing technology will require some combination of wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, and hydro. Battery and energy storage technology will matter greatly. I think distributed power (solar panels on roofs) are going to matter a lot as well.

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