How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War
Here is a story with an unexpected twist:
BTW, I miss Sheckley so much....I yet have to discover another master of the short Sci-Fi story that measures to him.
Of course he did wrote one that is in line with the "what could possibly go wrong" meme:
Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?
Free market basic principle of supply and demand applied to humans --> result is human life and labor are the cheapest commodity on the planet. Period. After this realization the system is exposed as inhuman, therefore unable to ensure the survival of the species.
Some will say that life is expensive. It costs a lot of money because we artificially increased the price by imposing penalties to those who waste human life [like being killed on the job because the company cut corners on safety]. I repeat: artificially!!! The system then tries everything [by basically buying the authorities] to avoid this imposed restrictions to the free market.
Why do we have to play whack a mole with all the rich and powerful rather than just scrape the system and replace it with something that actually works while ensuring long term survival and progress?
Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?
One of the first statements [to the MT] I did as a chairman of the workers council of my company was:
You ask for socialism and cooperation on the work-floor and capitalism on the top floor. So, maintaining good and humane relationships between the employees makes more productive work force, generating wealth which is then distributed in a capitalist fashion [ratio benefits and rewards MT:work floor = 70:1].
In other words: privatize the profit, socialize the loss. That's what every corporation does....what hypocrites...
I'm most interested in robots that will...
So why would the fembot not have exciting reaction? I though we are talking AI here with all that implies. Btw, what do you think about the portrayal of the robot-gigolo in A.I. -- I think Jude Law played that part. It did not seem to bother the ladies that he was "programmed" rather than exhibiting "real feelings". BTW, what is a "real feeling" and what separates it from programing? From what I see we are all programmed [by biology, society ect..] so what's the big deal? What I am trying to say is that if the programing is good no-one will care that it is "not real" . you will quickly forget even that it is programmed so you can savoir the pleasure. Defense mechanism of some sorts...for another interesting take on the matter see Asimov's robot story "Satisfaction guaranteed" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_Guaranteed_%28short_story%29]
European Parliament Considers Sharing Passenger Information By Default
Not really. I asked for one when I had to go to the US [in 2005] - never needed it before. Most online retailers for instance would have an agreement with the banks so you can pay with you debit card [the Dutch system for instance is called iDEAL] rather than credit. Of course Amazon is not like that --> in fact 95% of my usage of the thing is because of amazon.....
I still have to meet an European who does not think that paying your restaurant bill with credit card is idiotic...
25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell
10th Nov 1989 was surreal experience for me. I had prepared a birthday party for my friends but did not tell them [was supposed to be a nice surprise]. So in the evening I browsed the district and picked them up from the usual places where we congregated. While going to my place we all noticed that the streets have grown very silent....it was a rainy, coldish evening but still....where was everyone?
Once we entered my place the mystery was reveled - my father emerged from the living room with some tears in his eyes and ordered everyone in front of the TV. The wall was down....they were just announcing it on the central news...
Well that was a nice birthday party I can tell you:))
A quarter of a century later, having lived and work in the West for more than a decade now I can say a few things:
1. Those "communists" back home were not communists at all. They were just a bunch of power hungry criminals who hid behind a label....nobody ever implemented the basics of the Marxists ideology...no-one. "The means of production belong to the people producing the wealth" - I never saw this happening.
2. The few idealists that sincerely worked to implement the communist ideals were shunned away by careerist and criminals - many of them ended up in Gulags. Btw, this is not unique behavior for communists - do you think that [for example] if Christ walked today in the Vatican and asked them why are they breaking fundamental ideas of Christianity, like for instance being filthy rich, he will be met with open arms? I think we will crucify him again...
3. The version of the communist ideology that was presented to me in school was something that I subscribed for with both hands. Forget for a moment that no-one was actually trying to bring this future around - what they told us was very close to the Start Trek future. All basic necessities of life will be for free and accessible to all members of said society + a few extras brought up by civilization. The list went --> basic necessities are air, water, food, shelter, warmth [energy] and clothing. The extras were child-care, education and medicine.
4. Once the system collapsed and the new way started coming in, the greatest disappointment in my life began to occur. Namely - in short order I realized that the western system that we all thought "had figure it all out" turned out to be wasteful, inhuman construct that only pretends to work for humanity. Just like the "communists" then...I realize that the free market system does not serve humans and it is in fact the most wasteful system ever created. I realize that the western countries are using very well developed science to control and manipulate the citizenry. And we all know that it works...I realized that people here are no better human beings than us back home. In fact those of us that managed to remain humanists in poor, corrupted, police state - we are REAL humanists. In the west many people appear humanists only because the times are [relatively] good. But when the hard times come the veneer of civilization is quickly gone. Just look at the rise of extremism in Europe - one financial crisis [created by your inhuman market system, western people] and suddenly all kinds of nasty societal developments occur - xenophobia, intolerance, ultra-greed...
5. The whole communism-capitalism thing is pure 1984 stuff [we are always at war with Eastasia]. Do you see what happens today - a new cold war is coming. Or a hot one even...I wonder why that is? Is it because the people in the east really hate westerners [and vice-verse]? Are we, the common folk the reasons for this? Because according to politicians - yes, we want war. After all the politicians do our bidding, is that not so? Or could it be that on both sides we have criminals who are filling their pockets while hiding behind [or highjacking] ideological labels? Could it be that the problems of humanity have nothing to do with political labels? I think so....
In conclusion - let's celebrate the fall of East European criminal regimes and the fact that significant portion of the population of Europe was finally able to communicate with, travel and see the rest. I do not lament the unification of Europe - I think it is great that we can all see each other and talk to each other.
Now the only little problem remains - to understand that:
- communism never failed since no-one tried it
- capitalism in its current form is deadly for humanity
- solving global issues has nothing to do with political labels. we should check reality instead
- we stand almost no chance of realizing all the above as a group, since all the powers to be, everywhere in the world are working over-time to keep us divided over non-existing lines in the hope that we will not turn our backs to the current system
Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart
Miss Tick sniffed. “You could say this advice is priceless,” she said. “Are you listening?”
“Yes,” said Tiffany.
“Good. Nowif you trust in yourself”
“and believe in your dreams”
“and follow your star” Miss Tick went on.
“you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Good-bye.”
Terry Prattchet - "The wee free man" [disk-world book #30]
The Other Side of Diversity In Tech
Work is not social club?!?
Do you realize that before pension you spend more of your active life [barring sleep] with your colleagues than with your family and friends? How many people understand this simple fact?
So, yes you might say - let's keep work free of any social interactions but hey, we are human beings. The more cordial the atmosphere in a team the more productive it is....how are we gonna get such pleasant environment - by being social, by having social interactions. There is no other way...
So you see, work is a social club by default. It is a requirement...anecdotal - in my company a few teams are led by people who have your mindset [on this issue]. Needles to say those are not happy teams....
Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required
No chance. The cancer is so much out of control that killing it will kill the host.
Consider the magnitude of the task:
You have civilizational system which is leading humanity to a very bad place. If you try to tear the system down many [most?] will not survive. AT the same time within the system you have the following groups of people [in light of the discussion topic, not that there are generally 4 types of people you understand].
One - the greatest benefactors from the system - these people will spend any amount of energy and resource to keep the system going and convince everyone in the false dichotomy "our way or the highway". Those people control almost every leverage in society - media, politics, religion, business, armies, police, WMD, everything....
Two - the [common] people who swallowed the bait [how was the saying - hook, line and sinker?] of the system and will defend it with their lives. That is brilliant - pitching one group of slaves against the other. I have heard from such people that even reforming the banking system is "going back to the caves"?!?! They truly believe we [humanity] are doing it right and the only thing needed is....you know... to push a bit harder and it would work [definition of insanity - keep doing again and again that which obviously does not work].
Three - people who feel things are wrong but do not know the reasons or what exactly is wrong due to ignorance or lack of true data [or both]. It ain't easy to find your way in the endless propaganda and lies about the state of humanity and the true nature of our socioeconomic system. Not easy at all!!
Four - people who more or less have figured it out - a tiny minority, whose voices are drowned in the noise of the propaganda and the orthodoxy of the people from category 2.
We need to reform the system and change some of its most basic assumptions and goals, yet to achieve the good will for that we need people to understand that the system is damaging us. How will they understand [see above]. And again to repeat - catastrophic collapse is not an [sensible] option - too many will die.
I don't want someone to tell me the exact way to change the system. That will happen by itself if the people stop supporting and believing in the system. Just tell me how to show the truth to the majority of the people and increase the number of people in category 3 and 4.
Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?
This was enlightening...
Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans
And how is this different than any other "developed" nation? Sure, the US has taken "everything is for sale" to an absurd level [politics and religion are also for sale there, let alone mere science] but the plague is spreading everywhere else too...
There is nothing to be done about it. All the advices to scientists to do this or that in order to improve the image and raise awareness are stupid, because we are not fighting people's ignorance here. No, we are fighting propaganda supported by immensely powerful entities. If we want to beat them we [the scientists] must become like them [an organization with concrete goals, agendas, propaganda tools ect.] and then....we will loose because the organization itself will become corrupt and turn against us. Scientists cannot/should not go down that road....
Expedition 42 ISS Crew Embraces Douglas Adams
No, it's Apple. When it comes to marketing they are the king....and the first against the wall when the revolution comes :)
California Blue Whales Rebound From Whaling
Then why are they [the humpbacks] not bouncing back? The PR departments of today [especially outside tech] are not exactly small!
Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA
virtually any other country? Read on...
During the Second World War, unlike some other allies of Nazi Germany and most German-occupied countries, apart from Denmark and Finland, Bulgaria managed to save its entire 48,000-strong Jewish population from deportation to concentration camps, with Dimitar Peshev, leaders of the Bulgarian Church, Tsar Boris, and ordinary citizens all playing a crucial role in preventing such deportations. The story of the Bulgarian Jews during the War has been told in "Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews" by Michael Bar-Zohar, an Israeli historian, politician and former Knesset member who was born in Bulgaria.
UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life
I always viewed it this way: IF there is a significant number of intelligent life forms out there, then more likely than not we are "common", i.e. likely to be "in the middle of the distribution". Therefore I am a [skeptical] carbon jingoist. Also, it seems that intelligence requires certain level of complexity of the physical carrier and not many chemical elements can give rise to vast numbers of complex compounds - the mighty carbon beats them all. Due to historical reasons in my language we call the carbon "vaeglerod" which means "giving birth to coal". I always thought it should be called "zivorod" , i.e. "giving birth to life"...
Favorite "Go!" Phrase?
Wipe them out! All of them...
[OK, I know this is from the prequels that never got made, sorry!]
NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists"
Is that you, mister Buttel/Tuttle?
Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries
Explain to me why spying on, say, Angela Merkel or the entire Copenhagen or G20 summits is related to US national security and maybe I'll see your point.
Because when your only aim is "winning", whatever the fuck that means, there are no friends; everyone is a potential enemy. When you have decided to maintain global dominance, everyone is an enemy, including you own citizens.
Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy
One of the most dangerous conditions known to medicine - prolonged lack of proper sleep increases the risks of developing depression and psychosis apart from the other detrimental effects [which are many].
Sleep deprivation is a method of torture that leads eventually to insanity.
But don't worry, fellow Americans - your insanity is spreading fast around the world. Our brave leaders, here in Europe, work around the clock [with apparent lack of sleep - see symptoms above] to implement every detrimental [to humans and society] system and method disguised as "increased efficiency" and "cutting costs".
And here too, the new generation is brainwashed to accept all this as normal. "Work harder and we will make it" - yhea, right. Work harder under artificial, manipulative and downright abusive financial system which can delete your life [together with your hard work] in a second? Work harder when the rules of the game are not what they are professed to be? Work harder so that 0.1% of the wealth you actually produced trickles down to your ever shrinking middle class budget? Work harder and we will increase your children tuition fees by 100%. Work harder and will keep on increasing the costs of living [energy, housing, food, water, education, health care] with a rate that outpaces the increase in your income by factor of 2 or more?
I don't mind working and I do like to do many things. I love to feel appreciated and I love the thought that I am contributing in my own way to my life and the whole of humanity. But I do not accept to be a hamster in wheel who has to run ever faster [shortening my life in the process] in order to stand still [or go backwards as it happens in the last decade].
People, we have to stop this insanity and the first step is to realize that we are manipulated into "camps" so that we keep on fighting each other. Reading the discussions about such topics I notice that at least half of the population has bought into the scam and will defend the system with their lives. I do not see any way how this can be changed. I have spent years trying to convince a handful of people to look a bit further than the next meal without substantial success. And I am bloody good when it comes to talking and convincing people.
Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California
Why is your comment not at +5 Insightful is beyond understanding....
Signed: an ex-teacher with huge passion for the job and very similar experiences as yours