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Doomsday Clock Could Move

abies Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)

Not kill. Try to reduce population in 100 year horizon. Stop society which is dependent on population growth to maintain itself.

People are saying 'with such and such technologies and reducing useless consumption, Earth can sustain n (10,15,50) billions of people'. Sure. But what for? I don't think that we should test limits of Earth. There is no reason to have 10 billion people, even if we can. We should ask ourselfs, what is the minimal amount of population which gives enough stability, protection from plagues and other disasters and can produce enough science output to go forward to next stage evolution/colonization/whatever.

I think that 1-2 billions of people on well balanced world can produce a lot more science output than 10 billions fully driven by requirements of sustenance.

We need to colonize universe - we cannot keep all eggs in single basket. Direct colonization by sending billions of people on starships is just not going to happen - energy costs are too high. For me, hard AI, mind upload and heavy bioengineering (growing modified organizms and bodies tailored for target environment) is only remotely possible way of achieving it (2 of these are probably enough). But to achieve that, you need a lot of research and very stable base for hundreds of years. It will NOT solve population problem, it will not solve resource issue. Earth as a civiliasation center is going to die. I think that we should aim for having it running for tens of thousands of years with smaller population (but big enough to expand scientifically), rather than burning out in few hundred years with all the efforts in meantime spent on maintaing that population.

Obviously, realist in me knows that it will never happen. It would require world-wide totalitarian government with no revolution of 'populists' and if such government appears, it will spend effort in preserving and strengthening itself rather than any external goals.

2 days ago
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Doomsday Clock Could Move

abies Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)

10 bilions is number which they are forecasting assuming current mode of development/civilisation - which is scenario a). Main limiting factor of population growth here is education/freedom of women in developed world. It doesn't matter if birth control is working - it is important if women are allowed to use it and if they actually care. If your only role in life is childbearing, you might not even consider that.

My stab at 15 billions (which is of course random number, just want to make it bigger than 10 billion) is that if we go into fully green/sustainable model at reduced consumption, sacrificing development/science and giving priority to 'life' and humanity, is that IMHO, we will degrade culture wise in these aspects. Focus will move to critical things - farming, _basic_ healthcare, environment protection, while sacrificing things like people mobility, global communication, freedom, etc. I expect that closed, smaller communities will then start perceiving role and rights of women bit differently. We will go from 35-year old single ladies with birth-control jumping parties in big cities back to big Mormon-like families, with women being responsible for the house and child bearing. At the same time, reasonable basic healthcare and hugely improved farming will allow population growth higher than it was possible back in earlier ages.

3 days ago
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Doomsday Clock Could Move

abies Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)

Life survived. Some of it. I have no doubt that SOME life will survive on Earth, it might be just not primates, including us.
As for innovation - yes, if change is rapid enough and we got enough 'transhumanist' movement it is possible. But way it looks like now, resources and innovation will be rather put into feeding as many people as possible, while desperately trying to preserve status quo. Add few uprisings due to failing social security, fanatical religion takeovers here and there (not neccesarily muslim, other ones are also dangerous if things will start to look dim) and there will be no enough drive/resources/skill to really innovate on needed solutions.

There seem to be two prevailing concepts how to progress further:
a) ignore environment and try to use as much resources as possible, get to 10 billion people and waste everything around to provide luxury for 5% and survivable poverty to 95% rest till we run out of everything
b) focus on environment, try to reduce resource usage as possible, get to 15 billion people and waste everything around slowly to provide passable live for 10% and survivable poverty to rest 90% till we run out of everything in bit longer time

I think that both of these solutions will ultimately lead to collapse of civilization, without any chance of recovering in future (due to lack of easily accessible, low-tech, high-energy fuels to boostrap technology again)
I think that we should rather aim more to
c) reduce population to 1-2 billion, focus on high energy solutions like fission 4/5th gen, fusion etc, while keeping environment in line due to reduced population usage, try to provide luxury to 50% and passable live to other 50% and focus on advanced, distruptive research - hard AI, body replacement, mind uploads etc.

Then, in few hundred years we can really laugh in face of climate disasters, big asteroids and other extinction levels; but this is pure s-f unfortunately, because it goes against all current tenets of society (social security based on piramid generation scheme, religion as driving force for majority of population, elections/government responsible for keeping people content till next election, majority of clueless people driven by fears and fuds about things like GMO and vaccination not going to ever accept more radical solutions to bio engineering). Plus, there is no guarantee that any of these things is really possible/sustainable due to physic limitations. And if it is not, we will die out anyway, just bit later than scenario b.

3 days ago
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Doomsday Clock Could Move

abies Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)

Regarding violent death - we are in a lot better shape than in previous years. Amount of people dying in wars and conflicts is getting smaller and smaller. It is just that our information coverage of that is getting better and better.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/...

These days, environmental issues (be it global warming, overfishing, pollution, sweet water depletion, pick your one) seem to be a lot more dangerous to our civilization than wars. 50 years ago, there was a chance that huge mutual nuclear war will wipe humanity off the planet. This was what doomdays clock is about. Doomsday clock doesn't care if you have local war with million casualties. Million deaths yearly due to wars or eating McDonald food is not going to make any difference to humanity as whole. Making Earth Venus-like does, even if it happens in 400 years, but cannot be prevented.

3 days ago
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Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

abies Re:Significant correlation? (219 comments)

Thanks - I stand corrected. I'm not native english speaker and I took statistics classes (many years ago) in my native language and somehow english significance got merged with my native term for strength in my mind.

What I really meant was that r around 0.25 doesn't look like _strong_ correlation to me (which they have never really claimed in the paper, so my attack was wrong), but west below suggests 0.25 is a lot in social science...

5 days ago
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Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

abies Significant correlation? (219 comments)

To quote from the report (c is a magic number they have calculated to indicate how successful groups were at collaborative tasks)
"c was positively and significantly correlated with the proportion of females in the group ( r =0.23, P =0.007)"
"there was as ignificant correlation between c and the average social sensitivity of group members, [...](r=0.26,P=0.002)"

What? Since when 0.23-26 correlation is 'significant' correlation? Just the fact that everything else they have measured had even lower effect doesn't make 0.25 a significant correlation.
But this is probably the effect of composition of research team. With 2 women and 3 men they had a significantly lower chances of producing something good... If they would only replace one of the men with a women, I'm sure results would be more forthcoming.

about a week ago
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Uber Suspends Australian Transport Inspector Accounts To Block Stings

abies Community service instead of fines (299 comments)

I suppose that requiring 50-100 hours of community service for the drivers instead of fine would have better effect. But to get that it would probably have to go to court and as far as I understand, it is all currently handled in same way as speeding ticket (even if expensive one).

about two weeks ago
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Human Language May Have Evolved To Help Our Ancestors Make Tools

abies Really dumb study (154 comments)

Imagine same test, but requiring students to arrange their poo in shapes resembling flowers when seen from top of the cliff. Obviously, students which can shout commands to ones at the bottom will fare better than ones which will not be allowed to use language. Does it mean that language was evolved as a way to arrange poo in shape of flowers?

about two weeks ago
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Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack

abies Re:Streisand Effect and Mohammad cartoons (512 comments)

I assure you that if would went to the pope during time crusades were happening he would fully support them and tell you they are blessed by God. Christians of middle ages (at least their ruling caste) should be blamed for crusades. Difference is that it was happening 800 years ago, so contemporary Christians has nothing to do with that and would not stand for it.
On the other hand, Muslim terrorism is happening _right now_. We won't blame future Muslims for that - there is a good chance that Muslims of year 2955 will condemn it fully. But contemporary Muslims are enjoying it. Not all of them, not even a majority, but a lot more than some Taqiyya-driven Muslim apologists are trying to convince us.

about two weeks ago
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Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

abies US-centric (573 comments)

I don't really get it. I thought it is easy to get a real gun in US. As for outside of US, it is useless - all that 'lower receiver' trick is very US specific, in Europe you will have major problems to get all the other parts as well, not to mention ammunition and even if you get them, you will got to jail anyway for having illegal weapon.

So, assuming it is US-only trick, why people are so excited about being able to produce your own, medicore receivers instead of buying good ones from the shop? Is it about full auto setting (if it works at all with printed receivers)? Being scared that government knows that you have a gun (while there is NO way they could trace you buying 3d printer, stl files and other parts in same day to same address?)?

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

abies Re:Business-minded criminals (463 comments)

Axlash said that pay day lenders are not comparable to malware, because they do not put people into debt in first place (as opposed to malware).
To that you have replied that it doesn't matter, because they charge a lot of money and charging a lot of money is what makes activity criminal, not being same person as one which put people into trouble.

So, we have 4 cases:
1) Crypowall - put people in trouble and charge a lot of money to help
2) Pay day lenders - do NOT people in trouble in first place, but charge a lot of money to help
3) My 'cheap malware' example - put people in trouble, but charge pennies to get them out of it
4) My PC store example - do NOT people in trouble, but charge a lot of money to help

We agree that 1 is criminal and evil.

My take is that 3 is criminal, while 2 and 4 are not. You said that 2 IS criminal because they charge a lot of money. Does it mean that 4 would be criminal as well? What about 3?

about three weeks ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

abies Re:This Again (556 comments)

I disagree that it is easy to be both scientific and religious. These traits are strongly inversely correlated. One of the basic tenets of religion is to accept certain truths without questioning them, which is an antithesis of good science.
Yes, there are some good/very good scientists which are also _somewhat_ religious. But very good and _very_ religious/devouted at same time.. not common, at least not after XIX century.
[cue some clueless fellow claiming Einstein to be religious person]

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

abies Re:The Government is NOT here to help you... (463 comments)

Is that the kind of world you want?

No. But I'm slightly tired of people making broad claims about capital punishment not being a deterrent basing it all on single country which does less than 100 executions per year, while keeping thousands of people in death row prisons alive.

Yes, capital punishement for murders, as done in US, might not be statistically significant deterrent (it is not true consensus, but given small numbers involved, it is very hard to find a correlation). But it CAN be made to work as deterrent. We should oppose it on different grounds than just lack of deterrence, because this part can be fixed.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

abies Re:The Government is NOT here to help you... (463 comments)

How many Russian troops would storm Stalingrad if not for the _Russian_ machine guns aimed at their backs?

I might have been influenced by Enemy at the Gates
http://youtu.be/XgRyLz47liM?t=...
http://youtu.be/8yOBCGwMpeo?t=...
as for placing such activities during Battle of Stalingrad in particular. My historical education here is quite spotty - I was learning it back in times when it was NOT allowed to mention such things. After that, I have learned of the general mechanism, but not specifics.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

abies Re:The Government is NOT here to help you... (463 comments)

Not it won't.Public executions don't work. Don't take my word for it. Look it up and learn something.

They don't?
How many public protests do you have in US as compared to North Korea?
How many cartoon satires/blasphemy books do you have on Muhammad compared to Jesus/Pope/Budda/etc?
How common adultery and divorces are in western countries compared to Afgani tribes?

And during big wars in the history, how do you think they would look like if desertion would not be penalized with death? Disobeying direct orders from officer on the field of battle?

Public executions work, if done on proper scale. You are probably thinking about one-per-year-in-country, civilized death sentence for worst criminals. If you move to constant threat of violent and painful death and having it done by tens of thousands yearly, it works. Of course, there are side effects - people will get a lot more desperate (like deserters not being afraid to kill people while escaping), but it DOES discourage majority from performing given action.

How many Russian troops would storm Stalingrad if not for the _Russian_ machine guns aimed at their backs? If you could get away with few years of labor camp, but not get massacred during a battle?

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

abies Re:Business-minded criminals (463 comments)

So hacking PC, encrypting files and blackmailing you into paying 19.99$ for decryption key would be ok and only bad thing Cryptowall guys have done is charge too much?

You example is off. It would be a lot more proper if you could remove Cryptowall by going to normal PC help shop and they would charge $1000 for that. Then you can compare then to usury moneylenders. But it is nasty, maybe even evil, but not criminal. Hacking people or stealing all their money so they have to borrow is.

about three weeks ago
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How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

abies Re:Hahahahahahahahaha LOL (441 comments)

Question is, how many of these heart issues are solvable if you can spend billion dollars on yourself?

about a month ago
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How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

abies Re:Hahahahahahahahaha LOL (441 comments)

Most other things are possible to treat given enough money. Cancer IS the biggest issue. Trick is that cancer is not a single thing. Cancer is an envelope word for hundreds of different diseases, which behave in similar way (uncontrolled cell growth), but have very different causes and behaviours. There is no such thing as 'cure for cancer'. You need to find out 300 different cures. I highly doubt that we will find that many in next 50 years, not to mention 10.

about a month ago
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Godot Engine Reaches 1.0, First Stable Release

abies JMonkeyEngine? (54 comments)

I'm partially involved with jmonkeyengine, so it is hardly an ubiased opinion, but how do we quantify 'most advanced' and 'visual tools comparable with commercial offerings?'
In particular, where Godot has noticeable difference compared to what JMonkeyEngine offers?
http://jmonkeyengine.org/featu...
Two games given as showcase example - they look ok for indie-level games (regardless of companies behind them, they are indie-quality games at best), but so does for example JME based http://www.desura.com/games/pi.... And any of these is _light years_ away from AAA titles done on commercial engines - because problem is not only with engine, problem is with having millions of dollars to spend on asset creation.

I'm all for healthy competition in open source engines. But touting statements like 'most advanced' and 'only' is not really fair.

about a month ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

abies Re:Comparison equally valid on both sides (880 comments)

So was the US not practising Christianity in the 1850s?

I think that US is right now pretty much ashamed of the situation from before 1850s. Possibly muslims in 2170 will be also ashamed of what was happening today... but does really religion allow you to be 150-years retarded?

It is not that Islam is really that much worse than any other religion. It is that muslims are still living in 14th century, while rest of the world moved on.

about a month ago

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