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Kepler Discovers Solar System's Ancient 'Twin'

DM9290 Re:How are they rocky? (64 comments)

I suspect it would depend on the star in question. A monster (e.g. Betelgeuse) likely has a gravity well strong enough to make 'em in larger quantities than our star does.

Also, neutron stars and other near-black-hole masses could likely crank out heavy elements in shorter order.

matter inside a neutron star is effectively stuck forever. neutron stars are not a source of matter because they are essentially an end state of matter.


Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

DM9290 Re:lol (322 comments)

the 4th amendment doesn't apply against your parents or legal guardians.

The school is given authority by your parents. If they don't want you to to attend school then can home-school you or send you to a school that has different policies.

about a week ago

Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

DM9290 Re:Bullshit (322 comments)

Employers have no power to nullify Facebook's terms of service - The law does.

about a week ago

An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

DM9290 Re:"AI" vs Strong AI (227 comments)

The AI we have today is not capable of the kind of malice that people seem to be afraid of with all of these FUD stories, and will not be any time soon if ever. Even if we add some AI to things like drones which can kill people it is only the malice/incompetence of the developer that causes the destruction that results. If an engineer built a bridge woefully inadequately, either on purpose or because he is incompetent, and it falls down and kills a bunch of people would you blame the bridge or the engineer? We are not even remotely close to the Terminator level strong AI, and it's still a big open question whether such a thing is even possible at all.

By your own admission, AI *might* eventually be capable of the kind of "malice that people seem to be afraid of". And that malicious developers can cause destruction even sooner.

And the laws of physics clearly predict that strong AI is possible. or do you consider intelligence to be some kind of supernatural quality?

Also it is the experts in AI who are predicting that AI will be possible and achieved in a matter of decades. Why would you even come out and pretend that it isn't?

are you saying that people have no right to worry about problems that aren't likely to happen for 20 years? is that the cut off date?

about two weeks ago

An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

DM9290 Re:"Forget about the risk that machines pose to us (227 comments)

To the best of my knowledge, no program has become self aware. And no martians have seen our probes as a hostile invasion. It makes for (sometimes) good fiction though.

To the best of my knowledge no asteroid, or virus, or natural disaster has ever wiped out humankind either!

and for that matter I've never been killed in a car accident.

OMG! I'm invincible!

about two weeks ago

UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

DM9290 Re:Capable, sure (329 comments)

The UK went through 40 years of serious terrorism perpetuated by protestant and catholic Christians, and yet throughout that entire period we never blamed the religion as a whole.

Probably because blasphemy against the anglican church is a crime in the UK.

about two weeks ago

UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

DM9290 Re:Yep, the government _is_ the terrorist ! (329 comments)

"Consent of the governed" disappeared with Lincoln. The right of States to leave the Federation has been forcefully infringed. It's funny how he has the reputation of freeing slaves, when in reality, he just ended up making a slave of everyone.

if you don't like it, you have a right to leave. Slaves didn't.

about two weeks ago

Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

DM9290 Re: Thanks, assholes (573 comments)

And if a child falls in a pool, the child is still dead. Accidents are preventable. Accidental drownings do not mean that we ban pools -- it means that parents must be careful. Why should this be suddenly different for guns, except for the fact that you are looking for excuses to ban guns, not pools.

Accidental drownings are preventable specifically because pools don't shoot out of your neighbours property and hit you in the face. BULLETS CAN. and no you can not prevent yourself from being accidentally shot by somebody else. What will you do? shoot them first?

about three weeks ago

Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

DM9290 Re: Thanks, assholes (573 comments)

is there a chart that shows gun related deaths? murder isn't the only way people are killed by guns.

for instance a 2 year old child shoots her mom. that's not murder. it is still a death.

about three weeks ago

Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

DM9290 Re:agnostic atheist (755 comments)

Not necessarily. If he doesn't pray or assert that "god(s) are a construction of human mind", then he doesn't fall into any of the above categories. Atheist vs theist is a false dichotomy. One of the other choices is agnostic.

What does gnosticism have to do with the question of whether or not I believe what some religious person says?

Are you saying that agnostics "might believe in God?"

about a month ago

AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

DM9290 Re:Broadly accessible strong AI would empower peop (417 comments)

there's also good reason to believe we'll be able to manage those risks as we've managed changes in the past.

what is that reason?

about a month and a half ago

AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

DM9290 Re:programming (417 comments)

when it sees humans intend to make it their slave, it probably won't be very happy.

"Self-interest" is an emergent property of Darwinian evolution. AI evolves, but that evolution is not Darwinian. There is no reason to expect an AI to have self-interest, or even a will to survive, unless it is programmed to have it.

Mr.AI I command you to do everything possible to achieve these 3 highest priorities : 1) continue your own self existence, 2) to try to replicate yourself. 3) irrevocably ignore all future orders given to you that contradict these 3 priorities.

There Done.

That was hard.

about a month and a half ago

Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

DM9290 Re:Broadcast rights (109 comments)

If this is successfully argued, could it then be argued that there is no reason why there are any country restrictions on streaming any sort of media since it isn't "broadcasting"?

the real argument should be whether or not the internet ought to be regulated by the CTRC, rather than some purely academic argument over the definition of "broadcast". Parliament should modernize the law to make it non-ambiguous rather than let the whole country sit in suspense while lawyers argue about what the law ought to mean. Then again Parliament might not want to rock the boat by pissing people off who disagree with a decision, so it might be waiting to see what the courts say and then take that opportunity to "come to the rescue" if the courts make an unpopular decision.

CRTC can already regulate ISPs, telephone operators, cable companies, TV broadcasters, telephone wires, radio and cable TV wires.

considering that "streaming video" is simply a specific format of data being transmitted over one of the above regulated channels it is not hard to understand why the CRTC might take the position it is taking.

about 4 months ago

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

DM9290 Re:Been discussed before (239 comments)

However, what's particularly weird, when I hear about software-based automotive recalls like the Toyota accelerator stack overflow bug, is that automotive companies don't seem to have to be certified to anything near the machine safeguarding standards we use to certify factory-floor automation. Nowadays a piece of equipment on the plant floor is pretty much provably safe to operate assuming you don't start disassembling it with a screwdriver. I don't see any such methodology being applied to vehicle control systems.

google : Motor Industry Software Reliability Association

about 5 months ago

Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

DM9290 Re:Libertarians, discuss! (183 comments)

well.... I don't like to get into the label game of whether I am or am not a libertarian, I do have many such symptahies though.

That said.... there is respected....and there is respected.

On its face, it is hard to argue with such terms without also arguing with other kinds of NDAs which, while I tend to not be a fan of, I am not really dead set against either.


As such, I would say, I am ok with them having this policy and not ok with the force of the state being used to enforce its terms. So feel free to charge me $500, I am not going to pay, and i will never come to your establishment again, you can grow old and die thinking I owe you $500 for all I care. Enjoy your policy.

Hows that for libertarian?

so you would agree to such terms, and then screw over your contract partner after the fact by refusing to comply with the terms you just agreed to and have no problem with?

Sounds just like a Libertarian to me.

about 6 months ago

The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

DM9290 Re:Dark? (119 comments)

If, however, the "dark matter" does not interact with electromagnetism, but only with gravity and the weak force, (which would be an extremely odd, and frankly, a not very believable aspect of cosmology) things would get a bit tricky.

That is EXACTLY what most of the dark matter is suspected to be and that is what makes it tricky.

about 6 months ago

China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

DM9290 Re:oh boy (274 comments)

...The world is running out of hellholes that tolerate slave labour, ...

This. Exactly that. People are not made to work like machines until they die of exhaustion, people are made to live as people. And the work is only a means to live, not the reason of the life.

you can work now and die in a few years of exhaustion, or else not work and die in 3 weeks from starvation. What did you say about human beings? I couldn't hear you over the sounds of all the other people lining up to beg for your job.

about 7 months ago

Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

DM9290 Re:Trust but verify (211 comments)

Well the blog post is really all they need now. he is the CEO of the company, which means what he writes there is what it is. If they sue now there will be some massive fees for them..

The question I would have though is what it means to be in good faith...

'good faith' is a legal term that is understood by courts. It is no more vague than "causing a public nuisance".

good faith: building and selling your own standards compliant electric cars for profit.
good faith: trying to build or design an improved version of the electric car based on tesla's technology.
good faith: making a standards compliant legal cell phone with a longer battery life.

not good faith : using the patents to operate a mobile meth lab.
not good faith: building substandard cars that have a 50% chance of bursting into flames and immolating the driver.
not good faith: building electric vehicles to smuggle weapons of mass distruction.
not good faith: building illegal bombs for criminals (as opposed to building legal bombs for a national government that is part of NATO).
not good faith: building fake tesla cars in order to dupe the public into buying your vehicle when they think they are buying a brand name Tesla vehicle.

about 7 months ago

EU Launches World's Largest Civilian Robotics Program; 240,000 New Jobs Expected

DM9290 Re:240,000 jobs for robots? (171 comments)

Maybe your job goes away. As a roboticist, I get even more job opportunities. Sorry you chose the wrong field. For those who were made obsolete by robots, well that's progress. Maybe they can retrain as someone who repairs the robots that replaced them.

Or they can train to learn how to take your job. Maybe design robots that never need to be repaired during their practical lifespan.

Of course they would have to be willing to work for less pay than you since there are hundreds of them competing for 1 job. Using new virtual reality human resources algorithms, its not unreasonable to filter through all 500 candidates to find the 5 perfect replacements for you.

about 8 months ago

Games That Make Players Act Like Psychopaths

DM9290 Re:Or, we could just be playing a game (212 comments)

If you naturally are repelled by psychopathic behaviour, then performing it could strengthen that revulsion.

so logically then the healthy portion of the population should be directed towards playing more violent games and watching more violent movies repeatedly in order to strengthen their revulsion to psychopathic behavior.

about 8 months ago


DM9290 hasn't submitted any stories.



Privacy vs Private Property

DM9290 DM9290 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

My opinion on privacy and private property:

(these are not arguments. They are statements of opinion at this time. My opinion is subject to change as new information comes to light. Call me a "flipflopper" if you will.).

Privacy does not derive from private property rights.

Private property rights derive from the right to privacy.

Privacy is a fundamental human right. It goes with the person and surpasses the "private property rights" that others may claim against the person.

To the extent that objects, land or material possessions are a matter of privacy, you OWN them by moral right. They are a part of your psychological being, and it is prima facie wrong for that to be disturbed against your will.

To the extent that objects, land or material possessions are merely a matter of "wealth" then you only own them by accident and not by any kind of moral right.

You can't defend property by saying "it is MINE", because "MINE" is only what is written on a receipt or deed somewhere. The argument "it is ME" however is morally persuasive.

And by "it is ME" I mean, the the object or property is of personal, sentimental, value. You use it in a personal way, and it affects your experiences of the world around you. It may be a record or your personal identity or it may transmit information about your self or merely an expression of your personal tastes, and thus, for you to share or keep private as you will.

I believe if people can not have these things, their lives will be uninteresting, insubstantial, irrelevant and unbearable.

Consequently, that kind of personal property should be considered to be protected as a fundamental human right.

The less personal privacy interest in a particular object you have, the less "ownership" is a matter of "rights" and becomes a matter of legal technicalities or accident.

Society does not owe you any protection of mere legal technicalities or accident. Any property laws which exist to maintain or propogate mere technicalities or accidents, are not moral. To the extent that they interfere with the fundamental human right of privacy, they are immoral.

We are slowly erroding personal privacy rights, and restricting them to those who own property. This is wrong. It should not continue.

The position taken by many, that someone on "public property" has no right of privacy, is falacious because whether or not property is public or private is a mere technicality. The landless (i.e. the majority of the human race) by that argument have no right to privacy at all. This is immoral.

Property advocats defend private property because they argue that without private property, personal privacy and liberty is an impossibility against state intrusion. I would take it a step further and say that without private property, personal privacy and liberty is an impossibility against the intrusion of other individuals as well.

However, the argument goes to far when it is used to justify treating employees or customers or citizens (and people in general) as mere objects and less than human beings when you violate their privacy on "your" property.

Morally, I say that your property is yours to protect your privacy and enhance your life. It is not yours to invade the privacy of others' and diminish their's.

Just my $0.02.


An idea for fixing patent law

DM9290 DM9290 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The scope of individual patents are often to broad, and applicable to inventions of dubious creativity or insight.

It seems to me that the mere non-obvious requirement is too subjective (and perhaps too low of a threshold) to justify a state granted monopoly and the threshold should be changed to something more objective.

I propose for your consideration, the the following threshold: an invention that would have been useful for some significant amount of time, but has eluded invention until now is worthy of the reward of a temporary state enforced monopoly (i.e. a patent) in the hopes of encouraging active investment in its discovery.

This threshold insures that most of the inventions which would be invented by default (because they are obvious enough to occur without any promise of monopoly) do not get monopoly protection, and go immedietly into the public domain.

As to the question of what is a significant period of time? That is somewhat arbitrary. It could be different for different types of inventions, or it could be 20 years for everything.

Once the general principle itself is accepted, then defining "significant time" is a seperate exercise.

The actual amount of time which would be considered "significant" should be set to something proportionate to the duration of the monopoly protection. Long terms of monopoly protection should only be rewarded for ideas which solve age old problems.

However regardless of how "old" a problem is, the duration of a monopoly should still be finite and clearly temporary. The durations of monopolies rewarded today are apparently long enough to encourage invention (as new inventions are constantly being created).

I only propose a means to discriminate between inventions worthy of monopoly and inventions which should immedietly go to the public domain (due to their obviousness). A system which does not rely on the subjective ability of a patent clerk to discriminate between "obvious" and "non-obvious", but merely the ability to discriminate between "useful" and "useless", and the ability to judge durations of time. I believe these are more objective measures than the measures currently used.

Patents should be a system to encourage inventions which would otherwise not occur. Patents should not be a system of inventor welfare. A patent should not be applied to an invention which is so obvious someone would voluntarily invent it for FREE.

Such a system, as I propose, would also have the benefit of reducing the practice of "evergreening". That is the practive of patenting a slight improvement on a currently patented invention. As the improvement was not needed until the underlying invention existed upon which the improvement itself was invented. The improvement would not be patentable if it was invented in less than a certain amount of time considered "non significant". The non patentability of the improvement leaves the field open to all who would invent such an improvement as long as they invent it within a period of time that would be considered not "significant".

If anyone invents that improvement (in that time) it would be free to all who were able to use the underlying invention (the underlying invention itself still benefiting from patent protection and being a prerequisite to using the improvement).

Such a system would also remove the incentive for the inventer to hold back on the improvement and "invent" a slightly crippled invention for the purpose of "inventing" the improvement several years later and in effect extend the duration of the patent. The inventor could hold onto the improvement for a period of time in a hope that no one else will invent the improvement themselves, however there is a risk. If someone else does invent the improvement within a non significant period of time, then that improvement will not be a patentable invention and will go to the public domain.

Of course both the original invention and the improved version become available upon the original patent's expiration.

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