Search found 3502 matches

by elasto
Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:51 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1968: "Robot Future"
Replies: 31
Views: 4536

Re: 1968: "Robot Future"

Unless the computer didn't do what the computer itself expected and you get something like this (or this ) pattern of lights. I myself got this rather amusing light pattern not so long ago: https://i.imgur.com/TSBkttg.png I guess that's the software equivalent to 'the operation was a success but th...
by elasto
Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:10 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1816
Views: 294848

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

In 2016 there were only 1.16 fatalities per 100 [million] miles. Uber and Waymo claim 2 million and 4 million miles so far respectively, so that's 1 fatality in 6 million between the two. Fair enough. However, if it's shown that this fatality would have occurred even with a human driver in control,...
by elasto
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:50 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4069
Views: 530066

Re: The Darker Side of the News

A benevolent dictatorship is the best possible system of government - with the minor flaw of tending to evolve into a non-benevolent dictatorship which is the worst. On the net, the best sites tend to have a strong ethos of public service, be non-profit and financially secure. Examples that spring t...
by elasto
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1816
Views: 294848

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

duckshirt wrote:The accidents-per-mile ratios do NOT look good for the autonomous vehicles so far

Citation? Everything I've read says the opposite, even including this accident - and it seems like this particular accident would have occurred with a human driver too.
by elasto
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future
Replies: 1816
Views: 294848

Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

The same day this happened almost 3,000 other people also died in car accidents.

“We should be concerned about automated driving,” Smith said. “We should be terrified about human driving.”
by elasto
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:45 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: My take on Godel's incompleteness theorems
Replies: 42
Views: 6682

Re: My take on Godel's incompleteness theorems

Maths is "unreasonably effective" in the sense that there's no reason the universe couldn't be unpredictable on a macro level. However, as Soupspoon and others have said, in such a universe intelligent life (and perhaps all life) would not have evolved. For example, I read that a universe ...
by elasto
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:58 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Quantum Question
Replies: 110
Views: 14024

Re: Quantum Question

tomandlu wrote:HIs SF book sounds like it might be fun.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein%27s_Bridge_(novel)

I read it many years ago and, while I don't remember the details, I did enjoy it.

As a reference point I am a big fan of Stephen Baxter for SF.
by elasto
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Will there be a large US recession in the next 5 years?
Replies: 21
Views: 4477

Re: Will there be a large US recession in the next 5 years?

Lots of things are going to happen eventually. We're going to get hit by an asteroid. Yellowstone is going to blow. Not sure there's any reason to expect them to happen in the next five years though. Not sure there's any reason for a US recession in the next five years either, especially with Trump'...
by elasto
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:26 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Will there be a large US recession in the next 5 years?
Replies: 21
Views: 4477

Re: Will there be a large US recession in the next 5 years?

1. The budget deficit is growing while at the same time the trade deficit increases US debt held in foreign countries. While this is true, how is this any different to most of the last few decades? Where does he get a timescale of five years from therefore? But, yes, most of the West is going to ha...
by elasto
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:38 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe has been sacked days before he could retire with pension rights. Mr McCabe had been with the FBI for two decades and was due to retire on Sunday, the day he turns 50 and can claim his federal government pension. It is not clear how much of his pension he mig...
by elasto
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: More efficient airplane boarding protocols
Replies: 66
Views: 7735

Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Perhaps each seat has a designated cubic volume of luggage. Brought more than that? Tough. Check it, or keep it on your lap. That's both inefficient and unsafe. Unused space from one passenger can reasonably be used by another. In general, nothing can be on people's laps during takeoff and landing ...
by elasto
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:08 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

Eh, there's always some hypocritical Republican candidate in some such situation. Doesn't mean much. Sure, enjoy the amusement of laughing at 'em, but often the seat stays red after someone else takes over, or they're a tearful apology away from round two. People usually judge friends by their inte...
by elasto
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

US President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, naming CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement. Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry". "We got along actuall...
by elasto
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ideal immigration policy
Replies: 112
Views: 12848

Re: Ideal immigration policy

Nah, immigrants generally stay. It's likely not any particular plan to be exploitative, but simply the natural result of having lived in a place for many years. Inertia results in staying. Sure, you may have fond feelings for the old country, and keep traditions alive, but immigrant cultures genera...
by elasto
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:51 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Ideal immigration policy
Replies: 112
Views: 12848

Re: Ideal immigration policy

The thing is, it's something of an urban myth that people move countries to go live on welfare. Mostly people move to find work, and mostly they eventually return back home because they miss their family and culture. So countries typically benefit from the economically productive years of an immigra...
by elasto
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4069
Views: 530066

Re: The Darker Side of the News

Soupspoon wrote:There's an easy way around that problem. IndyRef2! :P

I think Scotland leaving the UK would be a good thing from that pov. I think it would accelerate investment in Scottish renewables as a vital part of their economy. It could feasibly become their biggest export.
by elasto
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4069
Views: 530066

Re: The Darker Side of the News

As for the UK, there are enormous energy resources off the coast of Scotland in terms of wind, wave, tidal etc. Scotland currently creates 59% of its electricity from renewables and has a goal of reaching 100% by 2020. I think it wouldn't be out of the question for Scotland to be able to supply 100%...
by elasto
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:50 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4069
Views: 530066

Re: The Darker Side of the News

Obviously we can't take any military action against Russia. But Russia supplies 40% of Europe's natural gas imports, for example. How many tens of billions is that worth to Russia's coffers? Why didn't we use our (now deceased) influence in Europe to threaten to pull the plug? It's a slightly tangen...
by elasto
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:48 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: The Darker Side of the News
Replies: 4069
Views: 530066

Re: The Darker Side of the News

For days, Russia's main national TV channels were practically silent on the attempt to kill former spy Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent, but this changed in Wednesday's main evening bulletins. The comment by Kirill Kleimenov - the presenter on government-controlled Channel One's flagship Vremya ne...
by elasto
Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:29 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

Aha! Trump finally has the answer for the mass-killings! US President Donald Trump is to meet video games company representatives on Thursday to discuss violent content. The meeting comes in the wake of last month's shooting at a school in Florida in which 17 people died. Press secretary Sarah Sande...
by elasto
Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:47 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

Every side points to the other side as being criminal. But this is hypocritical if that side is equally criminal. So, it is a sensible question to ask, not for a list of {political enemy}'s criminal acts, but for a comparison between {my candidate}'s criminal acts and {political enemy}'s criminal a...
by elasto
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:42 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

That's the way it's supposed to be. It's why it's important to select well. In theory at least, none of the elected members of the government are supposed to represent the party. They are supposed to represent the people. Up until Obama's second term, I was under the misapprehension that the US pre...
by elasto
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

I just... This is the guy doing our Diplomacy?!? What do you mean? But he does it in such a loving way... "The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States," Mr Trump said at Tuesday's joint press conference with the Swedish prime minister. "They make it almost imp...
by elasto
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:32 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: My take on Godel's incompleteness theorems
Replies: 42
Views: 6682

Re: My take on Godel's incompleteness theorems

Maths is mostly a game. It merely says 'if X were true, what would also necessarily be true?'. Another mathematician might say 'if X were not true, what then would necessarily be true?'. Neither has any innate claim to superiority; It's all a giant game of 'what if?' What turns it from being merely ...
by elasto
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:43 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

US President Donald Trump has stepped up his war of words over trade tariffs, threatening to "apply a tax" on imports of cars from the European Union. The trade wrangle began on Thursday when Mr Trump vowed to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. That brought a stiff respo...
by elasto
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

There is a lot of talk about things like this, third place theory, etc. Places to go for the experience, not for the fundamentals of shopping. Unfortunately, I think the number of stores that can make that transition are limited. The amount of places one wishes to go simply to hang out and enjoy th...
by elasto
Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

@ucim Now maybe I'm just bemoaning the decline of buggy-whip shops, but I think there's something bigger here to consider. The bigger thing that I agree with you on is: what the hell is humanity going to do when automation isn't just better at the boring, crappy jobs that are, frankly, a...
by elasto
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

@ucim et. al. It is a pitfall because scale is a killer of humanity. When everything is huge and huge equates to efficient, there is no room for anybody else or anything else. When everything is smooth, there are no niches, and niches are where life lives. You're kidding, right? Whilest online b...
by elasto
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:01 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

It seems like the obvious optimal strategy for an employer is to keep nonmembers at the same benefit level, which gives everyone an incentive to leave the union to avoid fees. The employer passes up a (very) short-term opportunity to pay workers less, but they bleed the union dry over the long term...
by elasto
Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:25 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: sick realization: you have negative dollars
Replies: 161
Views: 19586

Re: sick realization: you have negative dollars

...you end up with what I presume is your present view of what government's job is - to wit: "to give me shelter, food, [and] healthcare". Is this your actual view of the job of government? Because I don't see it as government's job to give you anything. I definitely view it as the govern...
by elasto
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:41 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: sick realization: you have negative dollars
Replies: 161
Views: 19586

Re: sick realization: you have negative dollars

My solution to wealth equality is to make virtual goods as realistic as real ones. If my senses can't tell the difference between a real rocket trip to Mars and VR simulation then who the hell cares. The government's job is to give me shelter, food, healthcare and a perfect VR simulation where I am ...
by elasto
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:50 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

Let's ignore the differences in wages, products, etc. Imagine there are two identical burger joints, except for the fact that one is owned by someone in town, and the other by someone three states over. Prices are the same, wages the same, etc. The joints both have profits of $100k. In the case of ...
by elasto
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

1) the profits leave the town, enriching the HQ while draining the town every single day like a corporate vampire I'm not sure how much I agree with this. Theoretically wages are the same, as are local taxes, utilities etc. This feels like the majority of the cashflow accounted for. In both cases s...
by elasto
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:51 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

I have no problem with efficiencies of scale so long as they do not degenerate into oligopolies. In a healthy marketplace with plenty of competition the benefits go to the consumer; In dysfunctional ones they go to the shareholders. The job of government is to promote healthy competition and break u...
by elasto
Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:12 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

US billionaire Warren Buffet says his conglomerate has received a profit boost of $29bn as a result of President Donald Trump's tax reforms. Maybe he should use some of these profits for lobbying for tax reform. I'm sure he could. It's quite possible he does. I'm equally sure the trillion extra giv...
by elasto
Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are patents/IP good for innovation?
Replies: 67
Views: 8865

Re: Are patents/IP good for innovation?

They did, but in Europe Gilead negotiates with the country as a whole rather than just setting whatever price they feel like. So if France says to Gilead, "either you sell it to us for $10k or not at all", Gilead goes back and forth, and eventually hashes out an agreement that says they w...
by elasto
Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

Hmmm.

4-8 more years of tax cuts forcing cuts to services... the steady erosion of blue-collar jobs by automation and offshoring... the upcoming takeover of white-collar jobs by AI... and a country with more guns than people...

What could possibly go wrong..?
by elasto
Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6447
Views: 499321

Re: Trump presidency

US billionaire Warren Buffet says his conglomerate has received a profit boost of $29bn as a result of President Donald Trump's tax reforms. The Republican law reform, approved in December, cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Mr Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, opposed the plan...
by elasto
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:23 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are patents/IP good for innovation?
Replies: 67
Views: 8865

Re: Are patents/IP good for innovation?

Saw this and it seemed tangentially related to your grey market commentary. Basically, it's an app in Greece that lets people return their leftover medications to a pharmacy which checks them then gives them away free to the poor. It's estimated that $5Bn worth of medications are just binned in the ...
by elasto
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:49 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14779
Views: 2284770

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Reality TV star Kylie Jenner wiped $1.3bn (£1bn) off the stock market value of Snapchat after tweeting that she no longer used its messaging app. Celebrity Kim Kardashian's half-sister posted: "sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad." Snapc...

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