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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Prune Re:Deliberate (630 comments)

Renewables kill more people per amount of energy generated than nuclear: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/... You'd have to be a misanthrope to invest in that over nuclear.

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Prune Re:Deliberate (630 comments)

BS. All human nuclear activity and accidents have in the end not raised background radiation levels appreciably above what it naturally is.

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Prune Nuclear: least deaths per terrawatt-hour generated (630 comments)

For all the talk of the dangers of nuclear, it has still caused less deaths per amount of energy generated than any other method that has been used to practically generate electricity: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/... If you're not ignorant of these facts, then the only remaining reasons to oppose nuclear are either political (Naomi Klein-style anti-capitalist), or you're simply a misanthrope.

The whole issue of waste has been beaten to death. Reprocessing and breeder reactors leave only a little waste that can't be used for energy, and waste transmutation is a proven concept that further reduces any dangerous waste. With these processes, the actual nuclear waste left over is a tiny amount, and glassification trivially takes care of that.

2 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Prune Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (446 comments)

I don't disagree that the body provided inputs can be simulated, but that is non-trivial because the brain-body system forms a very complicated set of feedback loops. My point is not that human-like AI is unachievable, but that most here are underestimating what, and how long, it will take. Regarding your question as to the minimum feedback needed, Damasio goes to some extent to address this; really, look up his latest book in the library (it helps that he's a great writer and it's easy to read). As for making intelligence that is non-human like so you can avoid having to deal with the embodied cognition issue, I discuss this in my post here: http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

3 days ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Prune Re:Let's do the math (305 comments)

I think it's silly to suppose there will be humans left 500 years from now, let at the 1K bottom rung of your ladder.

3 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Prune Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (446 comments)

Indeed. It should be required reading for AI researchers as well, and I say this as someone with a graduate degree in comp.sci. and more than a passing professional interest in AI.

3 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Prune Re:Don't need amoebae to fly (446 comments)

What could be more dangerous than building AI that's smarter than us but cannot relate to us because its intelligence is drastically different from ours? There's no fool-proof way to actually implement "software" constraints in a general super-human intelligence AI (Asimov's robotics laws are about the most unrealistic thing I've ever read in sci fi), and the safety factor falls even further over generations as you get the AI to design an even smarter AI. Physical constraints? Do you think that when an ultra-intelligent AIs are available, businesses won't connect them to as many control systems as possible to profit from improved efficiencies and replaced labor? And what is more inefficient than some sort of "air gap"?

The best bet is to implement AI that can understand us, and since human cognition is completely intertwined with feelings/emotions at a basic neurological level (see somatic markers, etc.) this requires making human-like AI that can feel the way we feel, so that it can have consciousness that is sufficiently similar to ours. This is a very hard problem and requires simulating a human-like brain _and_ also the body that goes with it (see embodied cognition on wiki). If we build powerful AIs that don't love us, then humanity will be doomed.

4 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Prune Re:Nematode brain in machine (446 comments)

300 synapses? Humans have at least 100 trillion.

4 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Prune Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (446 comments)

But our bodies are one of the most essential determinants of the nature of human consciousness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

This is far more than a philosophical thesis; it's backed up by neuroscience. I highly suggest you read Damasio, who's one of the top neuroscientists in the world. A good overview can be found in his book Self Comes to Mind, the price of it being justified by the selection of paper references in the endnotes alone.

4 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Prune Re:Armchair cognitive scientist (446 comments)

Your simulation is of purely academic interest if it relies the usual gross oversimplification of the activity of a real neuron. It's only two years ago that we've even attempted a simulation of 100 trillion synapses (comparable to a human brain), in a joint IBM and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory project. That simulation ran on what was in 2012 the top supercomputer in the world, yet the simulation still ran over 1500 times slower than real-time, and, worse, was still using quite simplified neuron models! Having a brain-equivalent information processor that fits in the space of a skull and runs on the brain's approximately 20 W? It won't happen in your life time if you're old enough to be posting on this site.

4 days ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

Prune It applies to humans as well (333 comments)

By the Bekenstein bound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bekenstein_bound), human brains can contain only a finite number of distinguishable quantum states. This means that the brain's information processing has the same limits as a nondeterministic linear bounded automaton, which is more restricted than a Turing machine. We can't think anything more than a sufficiently sophisticated computational construction can. The same limits ultimately apply to us that the authors ascribe to their killer robot targets.

about a week ago
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City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

Prune Re:Don't go the way of Vancouver (169 comments)

Drivers are giving up. Almost every other major North American city has freeways running through or near the city core. Those are part of the infrastructure that invites city centres to become focal points of business, commerce, and finance. Vancouver's residential core cements the city's status as a place where wealth made elsewhere is spent; none is actually generated here. I can only pray that the feds force through the pipeline so that the port can expand, and offset some of this failure. Even much of the high tech industry ran off to Quebec and Ontario, despite high hipster quotient.

about two weeks ago
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City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

Prune Re:Don't go the way of Vancouver (169 comments)

And when he gets discouraged by how our buses are never on time, or how the Skytrain (Vancouver's light rail) has its tracks under maintenance far too often during active hours, maybe he can instead make use of recently-reelected-Mayor-Moonbeam's pet project bicycle lanes — I mean, he'd be meaningfully increasing bike ridership statistics and maybe I'll feel a teensy bit better about the traffic disruption the bike lanes have caused downtown and in other communities in a city that is becoming ever more _not_ a commerce, technology, or industrial centre, but a residential playground for the wealthiest in the international real estate market.

about two weeks ago
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City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

Prune Mod parent down (169 comments)

Not simply because his post is wrong (that is not considered grounds for moderation by itself), but because it's willful ignorance and grossly insulting to readers. His post is, in essence,

"The article contains this trivially verifiable statement of fact, but I _feel_ it doesn't sound right to me, so I'm compelled to rant about it on Slashdot, while at the same time being far too lazy to spend ten seconds to check it with a search engine — but then again, I just don't respect the audience enough to care if I post total nonsense; all that matters is that I get to express my feelings, and who the hell are Slashdot readers to tell me my feelings are wrong anyway?!"

about two weeks ago
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Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Prune Mod parent down for trolling (328 comments)

Hit a nerve, did he? And with an ID three times lower than yours, I'd say that the chance Sycraft-fu is a troll after all his time on Slashdot, rather than actually speaking his mind, is next to nil (even though I often disagree with many of his views, something the moderating rules rightly specify you can't use as a basis of moderation). As for you, I've been reading your posts for some time, and can say that you calling someone else a troll is the height of hypocrisy. The painful truth is that you want him downmoderated because you disagree with his views, and — given the impassioned language of your post — your disagreement is pretty personal. If you get butthurt so easily, perhaps you should go to another discussion forum.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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First commercial carbon capture project is failing

Prune Prune writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Prune (557140) writes "A Saskatchewan report that the world's first commercial carbon capture project is failing could be grave news for those involved in efforts to blunt humanity's contribution to climate change.
It's a story with global implications, potentially bad ones, for the energy sector: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/greenpage/environment/carbon-injected-underground-now-leaking-saskatchewan-farmers-study-says-113276449.html"

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