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A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

bitspotter Re:Automation and Unemployment (602 comments)

You know what the poor's biggest expense is, then?


Do expect automation to produce more than marginal reductions in the cost of real estate?

about 2 years ago

A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

bitspotter Re:Automation and Unemployment (602 comments)

A jobless person can't buy a cheap iphone at any price. But their relatives, who do have jobs, will buy one for all their unemployed relatives.

Problem solved!

about 2 years ago

A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

bitspotter Re:Automation and unemployment (602 comments)

Yeah, because we made a transition to a socialist economy. We called it the New Deal. Also, massive government spending and entitlement programs known as World War II and the GI Bill.

These policies not only forestalled the problem of automation, they lead to the most propsperous generation of in human history. And now that they're being steadily dismantled, goodness - here comes poverty again! It's like 1937 all over again.

The Luddites were right - their livelihoods were devastated, right on schedule, and as predicted.

It's a bit mind-boggling to hear people use the excuse that "it's never happened before", when the reason it's never happened before happens to be the policy positions they oppose.

about 2 years ago

A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

bitspotter Re:Automation and unemployment (602 comments)

Business don't chase customers - they chase dollars.

GDP isn't a measure of how many people buy things; it's a measure of how fast dollars are spent. Automation doesn't slow down demand or sales in itself. It jsut shifts the profile of the most lucrative target markest. Businesses will just adapt what they produce to suit the needs of those with the money. If those people are fewer and wealthier, then so be it. Automation itself does not threaten the economy as whole. The GDP can continue to grow while actual people fail to benefit.

So, yes - human beings do indeed get impoverished and put out to pasture.


Then again, I can't help but notice that wealthy people loan and invest more money than they spend. Wealthier people do spend more, but the ratio of spending (which fuels the GDP) to investments (which don't) decreases with greater wealth. In terms of actually //selling// goods and services to them, they might indeed be a less lucrative market segment in general, especially as the population of that segment shrinks.

about 2 years ago

Fabricating Nature and a Physical Turing Test

bitspotter Turing Test? (36 comments)

The analogy to the Turing Test doesn't make any sense.

The Turing Test was proposed as a way to tell if a human-made thing is intelligent, based on an inability to distinguish them from non-human-made things that are assumed to be intelligent, after you conceal all the factors that allow you to tell if the subjects were or weren't human-made.

The author is proposing the Turing Test is a way to tell if a human-made thing is human-made, based on an inability to distinguish them from non-human-made things that are assumed to be non-human-made, after you conceal all the factors that allow you to tell if the subjects were or weren't human-made.

You're trying to control for the same thing you're testing for.

about 2 years ago

Designing DNA Specific Bio-Weapons

bitspotter Open Sourcing... to a Select Group (227 comments)

> The authors propose open-sourcing the president's genetic information to a select group of security-cleared researchers

Um... I don't think whoever said that understands what "open source" actually means.

This is the same problem with Mark Shuttleworth's recent insistence that letting a some non-employees in on unreleased software projects somehow makes them more "open" or "transparent". The point is not whether the monks in your cathedral draw a paycheck. It's that you're still discriminating about who will and won't be participating in the project.

If it's not open to //anyone//, it's not open at all.

about 2 years ago

The Rise of Robotic Labor

bitspotter Re:Long term goals (308 comments)

Markets don't chase buyers; they chase //dollars//.

The market isn't losing dollars, it's losing human participants. So the answer to your question of who will buy the stuff the robots make is easy: whoever has the money! The market will have to adjust to fewer, richer buyers, but they already know how to do that. Mass unemployment isn't going to counterbalance itself through self-reinforcing market mechanisms. It will just exclude people, and continue operating. It doesn't need all of us.

about 3 years ago

Google Asks 'Who Cares Where Your Data Is?'

bitspotter Bad Summary - False Dichotomy (241 comments)

The main concerns about data location and sovereignty ARE privacy and security. These two viewpoints aren't opposed. Sure, worrying about the location of your data //for its own sake// is silly. The big reason people worry about where their data is is WITH WHOM it is: whether they can be trusted not to snoop it, sell it, carelessly lose it, or cave to a subpoena or DMCA takedown. That's the whole point.

more than 3 years ago

One Quarter of Germans Happy To Have Chip Implants

bitspotter What For? (170 comments)

I'm a little unclear on this concept. Why exactly would I want to have an ID chip implanted in my body for that I couldn't get from one that's in my pocket?

I suppose it would make it harder to steal, lose, or forget. But really? I haven't had any of those things happen to me in over 15 years.

And sometimes, I *want* to leave my ID at home.

more than 4 years ago

Life Imagined As One Big RPG

bitspotter We Already Do This (176 comments)

It's called MONEY.

"Business is a good game. You keep score with money." --Nolan Bushnell

more than 4 years ago

Anti-Technology Themes in James Cameron's Avatar

bitspotter Cognitive Dissonance? Are you Kidding? (870 comments)

"This movie is anti-technology, because humans would never exploit foreign resources without the right tools for the job."

Did it ever occur to the poster that a creative, intelligent director who worked with the story's subject matter for years in production didn't encounter this "ironic" concept, and reject it out of hand as missing the point? It took me about 5 seconds.

"Technology" doesn't "force" us to strip-mine, deforest, privatize, pollute or pillage natural resources. Asserting so is an attempt to avoid responsibility for the uses we put our innovations to.

Let's try: "It is a poor workman that blames his tools."

more than 4 years ago

Are You a Blue-Collar Or White-Collar Developer?

bitspotter Why? (836 comments)

For the same reason investment bankers wreck the entire economy by taking unwarranted risks with massive amounts of money, and still get government bailouts and multi-milion bonuses and call it "retaining talent".

Pay does not correlate with skill, talent, or value.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Blocks Pirates From Security Essentials Software

bitspotter Logic Fail (291 comments)

'I can't see any justification for making Microsoft give away Security Essentials [to counterfeit Windows users]'

Kind of like you can't see any justification for making Microsoft give a away... say... Windows?

And yet, pirates continue to manage getting copies of it.

Before you explore arguments about why to do or not do something, maybe you better work on the HOW first.

more than 4 years ago

Imagination In Games

bitspotter Irony (94 comments)

> //These idiosyncratic few do seem like Alan Moore's 'exporters,' giving us something genuinely new to investigate and explore.//

Questioning pop media analogies by using a pop media analogy. Brilliant!

more than 4 years ago

Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution

bitspotter Re:is it actually a phone? (621 comments)

Did you happen to catch the GSM SIM card slot in the photos?

about 5 years ago

Is Typing Ruining Your Ability To Spell?

bitspotter The Opposite (494 comments)

Between inline spellcheckers and T9 input on my phone, I actually find my spelling improving.

An inline spell checker will tell you every time, patiently you've spelled a word wrong (as long as you don't have one that auto-corrects you), so the repetition teaches effectively. With T9, it's actually easier at times to spell out the whole word instead of trying to hack it to spell out the short hand phrases that used to be most efficient.

about 5 years ago

Netscape Founder Backs New Browser

bitspotter Re:May I say (243 comments)

To say nothing of the fact that Netscape is the direct ancestor of Mozilla Firefox. Some defeat; it's like open licensing makes the browser undead.

If you measure "defeat" as a business game, where the losers are liquidated or go bankrupt, sure. But business isn't a measure of success users often concern themselves with.

more than 5 years ago

"Terminator Vision" Is Here For the iPhone

bitspotter Re:Supplementary Brain? (245 comments)

Drop a guy in the wilderness, and prohibit him from making of tools.

Real smart.

The question is, how cheap ubiquitous are what tools? Sure, you might lose your phone - but teaching kids to weave cloth is not exactly an efficient use of their time.

more than 5 years ago

Don't Copy That Floppy! Gets a Sequel

bitspotter Alternate version (523 comments)

> ...forced to tattoo shirtless adult inmates who eventually turn him on...

Wait, did that just say...?

> ...forced to tattoo shirtless adult inmates who eventually turn on him...

oh. ok. right.

more than 5 years ago

Staying In Shape vs. a Busy IT Job Schedule?

bitspotter Easy (865 comments)


If you spend so much time working that you literally can't afford to stay healthy, then YOUR WORK IS BAD FOR YOU. Don't start fooling yourself just because everybody is forced to work that much. Cut your hours.

more than 5 years ago


bitspotter hasn't submitted any stories.



Government Means Monarchy?

bitspotter bitspotter writes  |  more than 6 years ago

So what is it with this crown icon Slashdot uses for the "Government" category? Where do I complain or take exception to this? Haven't Slashdot's editors noticed that monarchy is, if not globally deprecated, clearly on it's way out?

My suspicion is that some form of classic tech geek libertarianism is at work here. Libertarians are always trying to demonize government by separating it from the people whom government is of, by, and for these days, in any even loosely representative form. Libertarians tell us that government is the problem, trying to avoid the rather sensitive issue that WE are the government, or at least, are trying to be.

Putting a crown on it does the trick of disconnecting it from accountability, de-personalizing it into something out of our control. It discourages participation. This is the effect libertarians of most stripes want it to have, insisting that democracy should be nothing more than a fad on the way to some individualistic libertopia that looks suspiciously less egalitarian, and thus more like the authoritarian feudalism we left for democracy to begin with. You won't find many libertarians admitting this, however; those who do tend not to be libertarians of any large degree of faith.

But aside from the rhetorical political subtext, the simpler problem is that it's an anachronism. Monarchies dominated in centuries past - but we don't live there anymore.

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