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Comment Re:where does all this money come from? (Score 3, Interesting) 501

i'd be mad as hell if i lived in one of these places and was subsidizing experiements to give people money without them contributing in any way

The liberal in me wants to react very strongly to this, but I did spend four years as a student in an English city called Salford. That place was infested with vast numbers of people who lived out their lives on the dole, many of them with no family tradition of work going back a few generations. They were generally troublemakers who got their kicks from attacking students (physically and verbally) on a regular basis. Crime levels were very high. One good thing is that there wasn't much gun crime since guns are so rare and hard to get in England, but instances of burglary, auto theft, shoplifting and anti-social behavior was just off the charts.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of these experiments, but I'm not optimistic about them.

Comment Unemployment (Score 5, Insightful) 501

Automation has been going on since the industrial revolution, yet new jobs seem to keep on being created. My current job didn't really exist twenty years ago.

People keep predicting the obsolescence of humans but unemployment these days in most rich world economies is not that high. That said, it would be good if we had better ways of measuring employment beyond the binary employed/unemployed states. If someone's not claiming unemployment benefit and working then it's assumed that they're doing okay, but they might be working three minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. That should be as worrying to policy-makers as someone not working at all. Then we might be in a better position to see if we're at the point where we need a universal basic income.

Comment Facebook (Score 1) 388

Version 1 - "Cool"
Version 2 - "WTF? Why are you doing this? I loved version 1! I'm going to Orkut!"
Version 3 - "WTF? Why are you doing this? I loved version 2! I'm going to MySpace!"
Version 4 - "WTF? Why are you doing this? I loved version 3! I'm going to Ebo!" (or whatever that black & white social network was called)
Etc..

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 262

Take the effect of the media into account. They thrive on drama. They're the experts at slanting coverage to make a civil discourse seem as vicious and dramatic as they can make it. Even skeptics have a hard time figuring out what to believe. I have come to realize the media has reported the Right's philosophy in ways that make it appear more extreme and ugly than it really is. Sadly, that hasn't been hard to do, as there seems to be no shortage of lunatics and total hypocrites among the Right. One could easily get the impression that the entire Right has gone off the rails to crazy town. The Right has not helped matters, and as far as I can tell, really has spoiled somewhat. This denial of fact, science, and climate change, what's with that? That so does not fit the Eisenhower Republican model. They respected science as a means to win wars, if for no other reason. Bipartisan respect of science was what got America to the moon. But now? You hear an echo of that respect in calls to put a man on Mars. But mostly, the Right looks to have abandoned fact for propaganda. The Right and the media seem to be stuck in a negative feedback loop.

Possibly a new low for media cynicism was all the free coverage they gave Trump when he was a candidate, because his outrageousness was good for ratings. Just read what Les Moonves had to say about it. The impression I have is that a great many who voted for Trump did so out of desperation to find someone, anyone, who didn't seem to be a creature of the status quo, an establishment politician, totally owned by entrenched corporate interests. They didn't vote for the crazy nonsense Trump says. They voted to upend the system that is unfairly diverting most of our wealth to the 1%, or more like the 0.01%.

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 273

A lorry is a large vehicle which attaches a 40-foot shipping container to produce an 18-wheeled vehicle-plus-trailer with over 12,000kg of gross vehicle weight. They typically drop off a trailer at a loading dock and take a new, empty or pre-loaded one (generally a pre-loaded one if the place has incoming and outgoing shipping; empty at termination points, loaded at distribution centers).

Huh? 44 tonnes is the maximum weight in the UK. 12 tonnes is nothing.

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