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Incorporating Swarm Intelligence Into Computer AI

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-show-this-to-the-left-4-dead-guys dept.

Software 64

An anonymous reader writes "From optimizing truck delivery routes to inspiring nerve-cell-based cognition models, ant intelligence has arrived. From the Economist: 'In 1992 Dr. Dorigo and his group began developing Ant Colony Optimisation (ACO), an algorithm that looks for solutions to a problem by simulating a group of ants wandering over an area and laying down pheromones. ACO proved good at solving travelling-salesman-type problems. Since then it has grown into a whole family of algorithms, which have been applied to many practical questions. ... Ant-like algorithms have also been applied to the problem of routing information through communication networks. Dr. Dorigo and Gianni Di Caro, another researcher at IDSIA, have developed AntNet, a routing protocol in which packets of information hop from node to node, leaving a trace that signals the "quality" of their trip as they do so. Other packets sniff the trails thus created and choose accordingly. In computer simulations and tests on small-scale networks, AntNet has been shown to outperform existing routing protocols."

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meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246284)

does it scale?

/.'rs disagree. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246290)

The Government can do it better [slashdot.org] .

Re:/.'rs disagree. (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#33249924)

Well, here's my take on it.

I made a visualization of ant pixel bots wandering around a map and laying down virtual pheromone trails as an art project. The results are pretty psychedelic :)

Java applet written in Processing [processing.org] years ago:

http://object404.com/lab/bloodlines [object404.com]

Interestingly, I was able to reproduce the conditions that made ants wander in weird circular loop swarms in Brazil :D

Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246312)

Some ants got into my kitchen the other day walked around in a circle and eventually died (the ones I didnt manage to kill) hours later

sounds like a excellent plan

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246444)

You left a bad smell to confuse the ants?

Anthill Inside..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246340)

Terry Pratchett got there first.

Anything you can do, HEX can do better!

Re:Anthill Inside..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33254112)

In a couple years he won't be able to remember doing that, what a fucking tragedy...

*gasp* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246352)

!! -Imagine a beowulf cluster of thos--*gunshot*

Hill Climbing (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246354)

It just sounds like the classic hill climbing algorithm [wikipedia.org] to me.

Re:Hill Climbing (5, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246412)

It just sounds like the classic hill climbing algorithm to me.

That's because it's very similar -- with a massive stochastic component. It might be effective at routing, but I image leaving "pheromone traces" over network routes to indicate quality (latency, bandwidth, whatever) is something that will make sure security researchers have jobs for a long, long time.

Re:Hill Climbing (2, Insightful)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 4 years ago | (#33248854)

but I image leaving "pheromone traces" over network routes to indicate quality (latency, bandwidth, whatever) is something that will make sure security researchers have jobs for a long, long time.

Why? I don't see why you'd need uniquely identifiable information left behind in the "pheromone". Hopefully a decent spec would also be sensitive to privacy concerns and would simply have an "off" bit as well.

Re:Hill Climbing (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#33268836)

Hopefully a decent spec would also be sensitive to privacy concerns and would simply have an "off" bit as well.

I wasn't talking about privacy, but rather security in terms of the routing algorithm being gamed for malicious reasons.

Re:Hill Climbing (1)

dikarus (1878498) | more than 4 years ago | (#33249826)

it's not really a stochastic hill-climbing algorithm. aco is based on repeated solution sampling, where each solution is constructed (by an 'ant') by stochastically selecting solution components one-at-a-time (e.g., in a tsp, by adding cities to the partial solution until a feasible Hamiltonian tour is constructed). The outcome of each constructed solution is then used to update/learn pheromone variables, that in turn bias/direct the stochastic decision policy that is applied to select each individual solution component while the solution is being constructed. The main idea is to implement, through repeated solution construction, a process of collective learning of the pheromone variables, that are the local parameters of the stochastic solution construction policy. An hill-climb approach would start from a full feasible solution (e.g., a complete TSP tour) and then it would iteratively modify this solution in the direction of the best local improvement (according to a defined local neighborhood) until no improvement looks possible anymore. No learning from previous solutions happen here. No solution construction is involved here. The two approaches are in fact totally different but somehow complementary: it's normal practice to combine aco with some local search: after N (N>= 1) iterations of the ant solution construction phase, the pheromone values are used to identify a candidate solution (or multiple candidate solutions), that are taken as starting points for the local search. The local search is then executed, and the final reached point(s) (the local minimum) is(are) then used to update the pheromone values used by the ant search. The process is then iterated. A good overview of how this works can be found in the ACO definition paper from Dorigo and Di Caro (1999), frankly speaking I think it's quite easy to read: Dorigo M., Di Caro G.A., "The Ant Colony Optimization Meta-Heuristic", in Corne D., Dorigo M., Glover F., "New Ideas in Optimization", McGraw-Hill, 1999. http://www.idsia.ch/~gianni/Papers/OptBook.ps.gz [idsia.ch] A more 'massive' discussions of these topics can be found in my thesis: http://www.idsia.ch/~gianni/Papers/thesis.pdf [idsia.ch] http://www.idsia.ch/~gianni/my_thesis.html [idsia.ch]

Re:Hill Climbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33251058)

just as in the real world were ants have to find food sources, the virtual world is changing continually.

ant algorithms have the benefit that they can work "live" on changing data.

(don't know anything about their results in static situations, but it's not too bad i think.)

Re:Hill Climbing (1)

TheName_Seattle (981053) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246768)

I prefer "particle swarm optimization [wikipedia.org] " a la here [amzn.to] .

Re:Hill Climbing (1)

ph43thon (619990) | more than 4 years ago | (#33247630)

I concur! The concept of particle swarm optimizations is so simple.. (and me being fairly dumb, me like so much).

One particular approach I like is where you have randomly defined neighborhoods for your particles. And as the simulation progresses.. members of the neighborhood that do well get more random connections to other algorithms while ones that do worse lose connections.

Then, the particles just move towards (with some random perturbations) whatever member of the neighborhood is doing "better" (however you wish to define that) at any given time.

So... your particles swarm over your search space.. and form into these different neighborhood clumps around potential solutions.. and also discover new solutions while moving towards an old one.

For me, its more intuitive than some of the other genetic algorithm approaches where you have algorithms dying off and creating offspring. Instead they're like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, "Fly, my pretties! Fly! Bring me my solution!"

RE: (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246372)

That would be the routing table from hell

IDSIA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246374)

I split in their general direction.

Who/what the fuck are they, Mr. Summary Writer?

Re:IDSIA (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33254032)

I split in their general direction.

Who/what the fuck are they, Mr. Summary Writer?

http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=IDSIA [lmgtfy.com]

The Ant Networking Protocol was a huge success (4, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246376)

Until it passed by a group of people having a picnic.

OMG Zerg Rush!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246884)

Uhuh, would you really want "Swarm A.I." to control your fleet of trucks? Imagine if you're the clerk at a warehouse just cooling your heels the whole day. You look at the clock and it is 4:55 pm when suddenly 10 delivery trucks Zerg rushed into the parking lot.

Re:The Ant Networking Protocol was a huge success (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33248544)

or until someone breaks out the Magnifying Lens Protocol.

Re:The Ant Networking Protocol was a huge success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33251124)

which was a party for the ants!

Swarm UDP? (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246380)

Swarm logic would be wonderful as a routing protocol, though would prevent protocols like UDP from ever getting packets through in any sort of decent order. though the system would be wonderful for many protocols, anything with ordered sequential data streams would see little to no benefit.

Re:Swarm UDP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246510)

No, you're wrong about the UDP -- streaming Memento would actually make sense if done this way!

(AC due to modding earlier)

Re:Swarm UDP? (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246608)

The swarm could be at the connection level -- swarms of connections finding the best routes over time, but within any given established connection, packets still travel single-file (like sand people, to hide their numbers.)

Re:Swarm UDP? (4, Funny)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246676)

Those blast marks on that router are too precise for sand people

Re:Swarm UDP? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246698)

so, much like existing auto-generating routing protocols?

Re:Swarm UDP? (3, Insightful)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33247338)

I'm not sure I understand your post.

Swarm logic would [...] prevent protocols like UDP from ever getting packets through in any sort of decent order

UDP packet order is already unreliable. You have to build in your own sequencing and error-correction logic at the application level (if you need it).

anything with ordered sequential data streams would see little to no benefit

Again, UDP does not fit this description. Are you sure you're not confusing TCP and UDP?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_Datagram_Protocol#Comparison_of_UDP_and_TCP [wikipedia.org]

Re:Swarm UDP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33251098)

Well, there is reliable and _reliable_ RTP traffic really does depend on UDP traffic arriving in order and anything more than 1% or so arriving out of order would ruin voip. In the real world, much more than 99% of udp packets arrive in the correct order.

Re:Swarm UDP? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33268336)

No, RTP requires that sufficient data arrive in time to reconstruct the original sound, not in sequence. RTP has sequence control built into the protocol. The packets can come in in any sequence they want, but any packets that don't make it in time to be integrated into the sound are discarded because it's too late.

Let's say I send you an RTP VoIP stream that encoded to 10 packets, numbered 0 through 9, which I sent as 0123456789. Variable latency and entropy set in, and when your decoder receives them it gets them in the following order: 10436759 | 28 (the vertical line indicates the instant your decoder needed the packets, in other words packets 2 and 8 arrived after you had to reconstruct the sound).

RTP would allow you to reconstruct the sound as 01_34567_9, where the underscores represent gaps in the signal. 2 and 8, when they arrive, are thrown out, because the sound that they were needed for has already been reconstructed and played back.

If we agreed on a high-quality underlying protocol, you probably will never notice those gaps. If we both have a decent connection with little latency (or if latency isn't terribly variable) you probably won't have too many of them.

But actual sequence of packets is utterly irrelevant, provided enough (ideally all) of the packets arrive before the sound is to be reconstructed.

Re:Swarm UDP? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#33251464)

UDP packet order is already unreliable. You have to build in your own sequencing and error-correction logic at the application level (if you need it).

For both UDP and TCP, most actual uses require packet order to be almost-maintained. TCP gets basically useless if there is more than a little bit of packet reordering, and VoIP with packet reordering is no fun at all.

appropriate behavioural definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246482)

Behavioural/colonial/pheromonal definitions are the key to performance in this type of approaches.

Fine-tuning these definitions can be quite a manual task.
Yes, the rest is done by "ants" but still you have to do the real job in the beginning.

e.g. Without "turn at cross-roads with degree of 45" definition, it doesn't work well for even food gathering.

Nothing new here... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246620)

Dorigo et al. made their groundbreaking paper in 1996 (based on observations by Deneubourg in 89), and then nothing. Nothing new on the theoretical part, no new application. Even routing using ACO like algorithm has been published as early as 1994. The newest extension based on these algorithms is an interactive distributed image retrieval system by Picard et al. back in about 2006 (as far as I know). So nothing new nor groundbreaking here.

Absolutely (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33253170)

Can I join in with your sentiment, and just say, WTF?

It's like Slashdot has just discovered early 1990s AI research and confused it with modern news. ACO has been around for so long now that it's a standard tool in the toolbox of the developer who has a basic grounding in AI along with genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimisation. As the AC says, it's already been used in routing protocols.

Why is Slashdot reporting this? What is the story meant to be here exactly? Even TFA just seems to be a very very brief history of this technique following a mention of it.

Still, if anyone finds it interesting then may I suggest you also look at the above mentioned techniques too- genetic algorithms, particle swarm optimisation, neural networks and so forth? None of this is new by a long shot, but it's all part of the larger field of AI, and specifically they all focus on the core principle of achieving order through emergence and self-organisation. In fact, if you really want to delve into it then learning all about emergence and emergent processes is in itself worthwhile.

I should note that ants are one of many species that exhibit this kind of behaviour- bee colonies work in much the same way for example in producing hives and such.

But again, I know Slashdot is slow when it comes to posting news, but being about 15 years give or take a few late- that's a new record even for Slashdot right?

hrm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33246690)

And with that, the seeds to build SkyNet are sown. :P

And this is different from OSPF how? (2, Informative)

wagadog (545179) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246694)

How is "AntNet, a routing protocol in which packets of information hop from node to node, leaving a trace that signals the "quality" of their trip as they do so..." any different from bog standard hop count updates on existing routers, and routing on the basis of the shortest path?

I think the authors are playing semantic games here, not doing research.

Re:And this is different from OSPF how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33247058)

Well, the shortest hop isn't necessarily the fastest way to travel.

Re:And this is different from OSPF how? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33247320)

OSPF weights each hop according to speed. The exceptions to its results are rare, but definable, and other routing protocols are used where they're expected.

Re:And this is different from OSPF how? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33247644)

Well, for one, ants don't do OSPF...

It's been many years since I read up on this, but here goes: Like pheromone, the traces decay, or "evaporate", over time. Yet the next packet deposits new pheromone. Do this a number of times over a number of paths through a number of nodes, and statistically the shortest path will accumulate the most pheromone, and hence the shortest path will "emerge" from the rest.

OSPF and hop counts are deterministic. This method is a lot more stochastic, and hence could be easier to scale it better to larger networks and problems like the TSP.

Another advantage is that each node stores simpler information (the pheromone level for neighbor-destination pairs) instead of the whole network topology. Further, if a node goes down, the next best path is also readily known (better reaction to failures was one of their selling points). Also, it's possible (but probably not advisable) to start sending data packets without any kind of initial routing setup, and let the ACO thing figure out the best path over time. A lot of these points are very useful for, say, ad hoc networks, even if they may not make much sense for the Internet.

It's been around for a while. Read up on it, it's pretty interesting... maybe starting with TFA.

Re:And this is different from OSPF how? (1)

dikarus (1878498) | more than 4 years ago | (#33249900)

you should read the original papers before saying that the authors play semantic games ;-)
http://www.idsia.ch/~gianni/antnet.html [idsia.ch]

the differences are many, here are some important ones. Full paths are explicitly sampled by control packets (the 'ants') (wich is quite different from locally observing link costs and then flooding them). Sampling full paths also involves some
core issues that do not find any counterpart in ospf: how often ants are generated (i.e., when, how often, do I need to refresh my local routing information?), which destinations should be sampled? (some destinations are more important than others...), what kind of stochastic decision policy should be implemented in the hop by hop decisions? (how to balance exploration vs. exploitation). The routing tables adaptively constructed through ant sampling do not identify one single shortest path, but rather a bundle of paths that can be used to automatically implement stochastic multi-path routing (and have therefore automatic load balancing). Last but not least, OSPF is based on the knowledge of the full topology of the network (at the level the router is), that implies keeping flooding of up-to-date link information throughout the network. On the other hand, AntNet's routing table are just based on the knowledge of the local topology, that is, of the connected neighbors. This also makes the algorithm quite robust for possible ant losses (or 'errors' in the estimate of the quality of the sampled paths).

Re:And this is different from OSPF how? (2, Interesting)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#33251482)

It's very different. OSPF requires everyone to know the layout of the complete network. For mesh networks, OSPF is useless, it never converges. Attempts to amend OSPF to work for mesh networks have so far failed.

AntNet works quite badly, but it does get most of the traffic to its destination most of the time. That is a lot better than anyone else does.

Not to be redundant but... (1)

loosewing (708839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246764)

" I welcome our insect swarm AI overlords"

May be quite appropriate here

Interesting Paper (3, Informative)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246842)

I just covered Ant-based load balancing on communications networks in a distributed systems class. Here's the paper we read. It's an easy read, and quite interesting.

http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/96/HPL-96-76.pdf [hp.com]

Re:Interesting Paper (3, Informative)

dikarus (1878498) | more than 4 years ago | (#33249844)

that was one of the original papers on the topic, I suggest also to read the (a bit later) AntNet papers I wrote with Dorigo. I have a web page on the topic (nothing much, but there are some good references there):

http://www.idsia.ch/~gianni/antnet.html [idsia.ch]

Re:Interesting Paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33249898)

wow! my next paper is going to start with a conclusion and end with the abstract too!

So, basically an adaptive traceroute? (2, Insightful)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33246920)

Kinda sounds like an adaptive traceroute. Perhaps traceroute was antlike before it became in vogue :)

Obligatory... (4, Funny)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33247066)

How do you incorporate Swarm intelligence into computer AI? Simple - SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS!

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33247218)

Beat me to it you bastard. :P

Yer kidding, right? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33247286)

You mean to say that this thing is measured as outperforming non-statistical recursive routing methods?

"good at solving" - define "good" here, and how does it compare to a directed algorithm

"good at thinking up solutions" - wait, this is different. now they're not solving, they're thinking-up solutions. instead of being dumb actors with rule-based behaviors and reacting to external stimuli, they're now using their own internal models to plan how they will route themselves. (no, it isn't, i'm being sarcastic, the author just used a bad metaphor that inadvertently inverted the whole premise of the experiment.)

"working on something that can act as well as think" - oops. and the bad metaphor does a double gainer with a full twist. they weren't thinking, they were acting and solutions fell out of their actions. so you need something that can think as well as act, not just act and hand you its results which you misinterpret as thinking. and you need a better way to say you need something physical instead of just a simulation.

"there are those who think that, far from being an illusion of intelligence, what Dr Dorigo and his fellows have stumbled across may be a good analogue of the process that underlies the real thing." - it's the "there are those that" part that allows you to suggest any fantastical nonsense in the space between it and the period. And then you run off to construct the fantasy:

"the way bees select nesting sites is strikingly like what happens in the brain...explore an area...return to the nest and perform a waggle dance...Substitute nerve cells for bees...electric activity for waggle dances...good description of what happens when a stimulus produces a response..." - i think my brain just asploded. there's a chance that you can stretch this metaphor until it covers training of a neuron, but it's the same chance you have of stretching your rubber underpants until it encompasses your cubicle. but the feedback-induced avalanche in bees is nothing at all like the one-way dendritic stimulus producing a cascade-avalanche response in the soma of a neuron.

"Those who speak of intellectual buzz, then, might be using a metaphor which is more apt" - you have bees in your bonnet, mr. anonymous roman TFA author. that's the most apt metaphor anywhere near your essay.

Re:Yer kidding, right? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33248132)

- i think my brain just asploded.

That's because you were acting and not thinking.

Slightly more seriously, the above post acts as a nice illustration of the fact you can go on ranting about your own private brand of Cartesian dualism all you like, just so long as you're always allowed to shut down anyone talking to you by redefining terms every now and then.

In this case, it's done by trying to enforce a specific, private, and egocentric definition of "think". It's one of those irregular verbs: I think, you may or may not think, that non-anthropomorphic entity acts.

Personally I don't see that there can be any basis for subscribing to that kind of dualism (or any kind of dualism ever), unless you're religious of course. But don't let that stop you from having another rant -- after giving us yet another private definition of "think", of course.

Re:Yer kidding, right? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33252680)

Your hypocrisy is noted and dismissed as ludicrous flaming.

My criticism of their use of the word "think" is appropriate. I bet you think that evolving an instinct is "learning" and colony collapse is "forgetting".

Re:Yer kidding, right? (2, Interesting)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 4 years ago | (#33248886)

Summary: the article is full of weasel words and is very non-technical. If that's not your cup of tea, read the paper linked above.

Re:Yer kidding, right? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33252692)

Some of the weasely bits were in quotes. I'll wait for the movie.

Console message (3, Funny)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 4 years ago | (#33247454)

>format /dev/fd0

>ANT: We must save the queen!
>ANT: Which one of us is the queen?
>ANT: I'm the queen!
>ANT: No, I'm the queen!
(smashing of glass sound)
>ANT: Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!

AntNet Neutrality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33247638)

"In computer simulations and tests on small-scale networks, AntNet has been shown to outperform existing routing protocols."

But how about when AntNet isn't forwarding packets (workers and soldiers) to sugar.com, honey.com, catBarf.com, or enemyAntNest.com?

pandora88004 (1)

pandora88004 (1878232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33248268)

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RE: Obama Acknowledges the !st Ammendment ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33248680)

LoL!

The President Barak Hussain Obama has acknowledged the existance of the 1st Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

This is a Watershed Event!

Previously, His Highest Majisty of the Relm of Niggerdom, Barak Hussain Obama, had earilery declared that He, had GOD given wirghts to the killing or kiddnaping of any human being on Planet Earth as HE should determine, from the pituclar twichings of his pinis.

Let us pray the 308 slug will hit the mark!

I knew that since 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33249018)

I wrote a program two years ago that used ACO to solve the TSP. That crap was the fastest thing in the west.

Re:I knew that since 2008 (1)

Tinctorius (1529849) | more than 4 years ago | (#33250578)

In other news: ACO is ancient. !news.

Loss of control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33249102)

That may sound moderately well and good on the surface to most people, it spells a nightmare for the network architects and engineers. How do you troubleshoot traffic flow problems? I don't think I'll ever hear a network engineer try to track down a problem by asking "well did you follow the pheromone packet trail?!" What it boils down to are the people who build a network want nice, predictable traffic flows; whether OSPF/EIGRP/BGP dynamically picks them or not, there's still a layer of predictability once the initial traffic paths are determined.

Economist Article (2, Insightful)

mark99 (459508) | more than 4 years ago | (#33249678)

Why are we reposting an economist article? I would think SlashDot could come up with an article that goes somewhat deeper than this.

Re:Economist Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33254492)

LOL, you are joking right? The Economist has intelligent coverage of a wide spectrum of political, sociological, economic, (etc) issues. Slashdot has a weekly rotation of more or less identikit opportunities for people to trot out their indentikit "HURR DURR, BSOD, M$ Windoze sux", "Apple is for hipsters", "Information wants to be free", "RIAA sux" cliches. Half the time the stories aren't even true, let alone "deep".
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