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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

dgatwood Re:Economists shconomists (631 comments)

Why multiple jobs? Because they're only getting so many hours each job, because if they'd work more they'd be elegible for benefits.

This is why we need to just have a government-provided baseline health insurance system, with the ability for folks to buy insurance to supplement it, if desired.

With that said, you could go a long way towards fixing the problem by making proportional health insurance coverage mandatory for all employees regardless of hours. Working 10 hours per week? The employer has to pay 25% of your health insurance costs, as a separate line item, above and beyond your wages. The entire notion of benefits being available only if you fall above some arbitrary threshold is just plain silly, and is practically designed for abuse.

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

dgatwood Re:Good, we're not trying to create more work (631 comments)

Lawrence: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do shit.

This describes completely what most people would do if they had the option.

The problem is, there are two magic lines. The first magic line is the point where you no longer need money to survive. Above that point, you can goof off and not do anything, and because most people are only self-motivating in groups, unless you happen to know a bunch of other people, you're unlikely to do much. Yes, you'll work on projects, and you'll make some progress on some of them, but you'll also end up goofing off a lot. The second magic line is the point where you have enough money to ensure that a dozen other people also don't have to work to survive. When you pass that point, suddenly you're able to form groups of people to work on interesting projects. Those groups tend to be self-motivating, so you start to accomplish things.

As a result, you're right that most people would do nothing, but that's mainly because so very few people have the option of not working. Once you get a critical mass—once you have enough unemployed people in a single area who aren't panicking trying to find jobs so they can eat and have a roof over their heads, things just start happening in ways that are wildly unpredictable, and often quite useful and interesting.

If you need proof of that, just look at all the cool things people create at a typical college. That's a perfect microcosm showing what a world would be like if everyone could survive without working. In college, the majority of people either don't work or do minimal work-study jobs related to their field of study to get extra spending money. Sure, some people spend their free time partying, but others create really cool things like independent films, small businesses, Facebook....

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

dgatwood Re:Good, we're not trying to create more work (631 comments)

Second people who don't actually own any property -- Renters of all kinds, the cost of property taxes on the occupied property are passed on.

Yes, and that's why taxes on businesses don't work, either. They end up getting passed on as a glorified sales tax, and the people at the bottom pay all of it, while the people who own the business don't pay any of it.

The retired -- never mind retired folks that still live at home probably consume the least in terms of local public resources they stuck paying the taxes even without the income to support it.

Most sane property tax laws have limitations on valuation that kick in when you hit 65, precisely to ensure that seniors don't lose their homes.

No property taxes are pretty much bullshit. The only fair taxes are consumption based taxes.

See, that's where you lost me. Most participation in our economy is not in the form of sales, but rather the exchange of services for work, stock and bond exchanges, etc. And yes, I see that you plan to treat stocks as sales. The problem is, taxing sales regardless of whether you make or lose money causes people to hold securities longer and decreases speculation, which results in stocks having less liquidity, and basically breaks the market.

IMO, we should instead treat capital gains as ordinary income, with a small exemption sufficient to cover saving money for retirement. Because you only take the hit when you actually gain money, such a scheme is much less likely to significantly depress the stock market. Also, by making the taxation be proportional to your gains, you have the advantage of making the people who have the most money pay the most in taxes. By contrast, your scheme will lead to exactly the same sorts of abuse that we've seen with California's prop 13—businesses buy property and hold it forever, leasing it rather than selling it, to ensure that they never pay any taxes. The people with the most money end up paying the least in taxes, and the people at the bottom end up paying the most.

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

dgatwood Re:Does the job still get done? (631 comments)

If you only need some small percentage of the actual human labor, you could simply reduce any one individuals work in order to allow for more people to share the burden. For example, if we drop the work week to 30 hours, suddenly you can employ 33% more people in order to accomplish the same amount of work. This of course assumes that there are others capable of doing that work and that's questionable to some degree.

For jobs where humans are cogs in a machine, that works. For jobs that require interaction and higher-order brain skills, the communication burden is likely to increase with the square of the number of people involved, so you rapidly hit a point of diminishing returns, where your choices are either A. come up with unnecessary work to keep everyone occupied, or B. pay people to not work. Certainly choice A is simpler, but choice B has the potential to create a new renaissance of artistic work that is currently stymied by lack of free time, so there's something to be said about that approach—making work something you do to be able to afford nice things without scrimping and saving, rather than something you do to stay alive.

We might also greatly increase the number of educators.

If we assume that everyone is good at teaching, that would be a great idea. Classes work a lot better with smaller class sizes. IMO, you really can't usefully learn anything in a class of 200 people. You might as well tell the students, "Read the book and we'll take a quiz on it" or hand them a DVD to watch for all the good those classes do. They're basically a complete waste of educators' time that could better be spent actually working with the students. Unfortunately, the state isn't willing to pay the cost of hiring enough teachers to actually teach them correctly, with sane class sizes, and to fix that, we'd actually have to fund our public universities, which is something that the general public seems to like doing even less than funding social programs, for some bizarre reason.

In short, it's a great idea, but I'm going to grow two more arms and become the king of soldering before that happens.

yesterday
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

dgatwood Re: But but but (315 comments)

Truth is no one wants to solve the water problem.

This. If there weren't a drought, they'd have to come up with some other means of artificially forcing ascetic behavior on everyone. That's what environmentalists do these days—keep the public's attention on them by taking things away from everyone. See also light bulbs, plastic bags, electricity conservation, etc., most of which don't actually have the results they're hoping for.

For example, any power conservation (including bulb bans) results first and foremost in a reduction of the most expensive power—baseline nuclear and/or spending towards future renewable power—not the cheapest, dirtiest power. If anything, the best way to get cleaner power is to use a lot more power to force them to build more clean power plants, then cut back usage to earlier levels and demand that they shut down coal plants through legislation. Cutting consumption first provides little to no benefit.

yesterday
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Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

dgatwood Re:Depends... (162 comments)

The term "end-to-end crypto" says nothing about who else might have the crypto key. Just blindly assuming that no one in the middle has it, it is a real shortcoming.

If anyone else has the key, then the system is pretty much useless. Cell networks already use encryption between your handset and the towers (which gets stronger periodically as folks crack the existing protocols), and the wires are only tappable by the government, realistically, which means Verizon's end-to-end encryption offers you exactly zero advantage over the encryption that you would otherwise be using without paying for it.

yesterday
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Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

dgatwood Re:If you point the camera on a politician.. (431 comments)

If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.
—Cardinal Richelieu (allegedly)

2 days ago
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The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax

dgatwood Re:Joke? They're real! (100 comments)

I think the problem is just misconceptualized. Think of read-only memory, like say DVDs. They're not *100* read-only. Data is written to them once in an irreversible manner before their operational life begins using an alternative write mechanism, and then during their design life they're read-only. If you apply the same paradigm to write-only memory, it's perfectly reasonable for, say, a datalogger: data is written during the operation of the device, then when the device has completed its task, the memory is retrieved and read in an irreversible manner.

We call that core memory.

2 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

dgatwood Re:Don't worry guys... (872 comments)

The First Ecumenical Council was not about uniting the RCC. It was about reducing divisions between the Apostolic Sees—Rome (the RCC), Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Except for the Roman Catholic Church, the others on that list are Orthodox churches, which are autocephalous, and thus have their own popes that are separate and distinct from the Catholic pope. More to the point, although they were part of the Roman Empire at the time, they were not part of the Roman Catholic Church, and to the best of my knowledge, with the exception of one branch of the Church of Alexandria that joined the RCC in 1442 (a thousand years after Constantine), none of those other churches have joined with the RCC in the nearly two thousand years since.

More to the point, out of the two or three hundred bishops at that council, as I understand it, only about five were from the Latin rite (Roman Catholic) Church. That council had a far more significant impact on the Orthodox churches than the RCC. Its main achievement was disavowing the teachings of Arius (from the Alexandria Church, not the RCC).

Further, even if you were correct, the first Roman Catholic Pope was still the pope of the Roman Catholic Church hundreds of years before Constantine was even born, which means it clearly was, in fact, founded long before Constantine. Certainly, Constantine strengthened the Roman Catholic Church—particularly by recognizing it as a legal religion—but he most certainly did not found it, and any suggestion to the contrary is utterly absurd.

To put it another way, saying that Constantine founded the RCC is roughly like saying that FDR, by uniting the country with other nations against a common enemy, founded the United States of America.

2 days ago
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

dgatwood Re:Don't worry guys... (872 comments)

Are you referring to Catholicism, which was founded by Constantine?

Constantine did not found the RCC. He just changed Roman law so that it would be legal. The RCC predates Constantine, and was solidly entrenched in Roman society by the time Constantine made it a legal religion. Constantine's change in Roman law wasn't proactive; it was reactive.

3 days ago
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California's Hydrogen Highway Adds Another Station

dgatwood Re:I suppose this is a good thing... (87 comments)

im surprised theres so much hate for H2. its true that most hydrogen today is from NG. but you realize that if you run your EV in many parts of the east coast you're basically running on coal? that's much worse.

Of course, I think most EVs are sold on the west coast, so that's probably a moot point. Besides, with EVs, you at least have the option of using clean energy (and even the ability to provide that energy yourself). With hydrogen, a truly green option doesn't even exist unless you use a grossly inefficient means of producing hydrogen, such as electrolysis of water, which is just horribly impractical.

also, aside from the $90k tesla, all EVs have horrible performance and range.

That's the fault of the shortsighted engineers who chose to put hitting a price point ahead of usability. It isn't inherent to EVs, just EVs made by people who either don't understand the market or are deliberately trying to kill that market out of fears over high reliability of EVs leading to fewer car sales in the long term—it's hard to say which.

All H2 vehicles are full purpose cars, like gasoline cars.

As long as you're within driving range of one of ten stations. By contrast, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of four thousand EV charging stations in California, and in a pinch, any electrical outlet can do the job, albeit more slowly. For that matter, a U-Haul trailer with a generator on it can probably keep you going indefinitely. :-D

4 days ago
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California's Hydrogen Highway Adds Another Station

dgatwood Re:I suppose this is a good thing... (87 comments)

"Whee! We're releasing the CO2 somewhere else instead of from your tailpipe, so now our car is green!"

What a load of crap.

IMO, the only subsidies and tax breaks should be for true electric vehicles, because they are the only ones that can realistically be powered from non-CO2-emitting power sources. Everything else is just a workaround—a step in the wrong direction, purely in the name of expediency, solely because doing it right is expensive and challenging, and fuel cells are (relatively) cheap and easy.

4 days ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

dgatwood Re:Magic Pill - Self Discipline (153 comments)

Err... pregnant. Safari's spell checker didn't flag that. Weird.

about a week ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

dgatwood Re:Magic Pill - Self Discipline (153 comments)

What are your feelings on birth control? Similar?

The difference is that there are people who can eat what they want and stay thin. Leavings things to evolution is often the safer bet.

There are people who can have sex all they want and never get pregant, too, but evolution doesn't select for them, at least in subsequent generations. :-)

about a week ago
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Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

dgatwood Re:Over to you, SCOTUS (378 comments)

Too bad there isn't a rule that says you lose your citizenship if you sponsor a bill that is declared unconstitutional. Wiping your @$$ with the highest law in the nation should come with a very high price. If it does not, then there's no real incentive to not keep whittling away at it until it becomes a worthless piece of paper... just as our Congress is doing.

about a week ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

dgatwood Re:From Jack Brennan's response (768 comments)

The problem is often embedded in the processes and many times the new people fall into the same errors.

Well that's certainly a possibility, but if you do that enough times, you'll eventually get a new group of people with enough clue to look for the flaws in the processes, rather than continuing to do things the way they've always done things. The critical part is to replace more than just the top couple of layers of management. The farther down you go, the more likely you are to result in changes to the actual day-to-day processes. You probably don't have to change the bottom-tier of management, but you do have to make it clear to the second tier that they should be regularly asking the bottom tier for updates on changes to their processes, and if nothing is happening, give them the authority to change the bottom tier selectively.

I would argue a better model would be to split them up into several different agencies with more narrowly focused missions.

The problem is, that's what we had before, and then 9/11 happened, and everyone knee-jerked and said, "Why didn't you stop this?" and the answer was because things were so compartmentalized that the different agencies didn't talk to each other.

No, what's needed is to A. show them right from wrong, and B. establish clear oversight. Ideally, the second step would be to have parts of each spy agency working against one another, trying to dig up dirt on the others, to keep them from becoming complacent and bending the law when they see fit.

about a week ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

dgatwood Re:War Crimes Trials (768 comments)

It makes me sick that the lowest level guards who were following orders were the ones who were drummed out of the service etc.

They should have been drummed out. Following an illegal order is illegal. As a member of the military, you're sworn to follow lawful orders. You're required by law to reject unlawful orders. And they should have known that torture is illegal.

The people who ordered this deserve to be tried for war crimes.

Everyone, from the top person who knew about this down to the bottom person who carried it out, should be tried for war crimes.

about a week ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

dgatwood Re:The sheer stupidity bothers me... (768 comments)

Even if, for whatever reason, your lie detector actually worked sometimes people think they know some 'facts' when they have been only fed with false information.

Yeah, but you can't reveal something you don't know, so in that scenario, it would be physically impossible to get better intel through torture. So that's still not a valid argument for torture.

about a week ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

dgatwood Re:Enlightening... (768 comments)

The middle step is always "?" (or "???" or "????"). And even though the last step might not be "profit", you can bet somebody did.

about a week ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

dgatwood Re:From Jack Brennan's response (768 comments)

Fire every single person from the second level of management up to the top and replace them with competent, sane people. When the new crew arrives, assign them their first task: assembling evidence to prosecute the old crew. The line-level employees who know where the bodies are buried should be able to do this quite well, and the act of publicly ordering them to prosecute their former bosses should make it very clear that such abuses will never be tolerated again in the future.

Oh, and waterboard Bush and Cheney. I think the Supreme Court could be persuaded to look the other way and not declare it cruel and unusual until afterwards. :-)

about a week ago

Submissions

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Richard Stallman to Start Fashion Line

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  about a year and a half ago

dgatwood (11270) writes ""Walking down the halls of MIT, I’d often see my colleagues dressed rather shabbily, and it was then that I decided to do something about it," said Richard Stallman, 60, of Cambridge, MA. So Stallman, a leader in the Free Software community with decades of software design experience, is ready to turn that experience towards a new target: clothing. He is expected to showcase his new line at FOSSCON 2012."
Link to Original Source
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Feds announce bailout of Kit Kat Club

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dgatwood (11270) writes "Federal regulators announced today that they have decided to provide a $69 billion bailout to the financially strapped Kit Kat Club. On further questioning, regulators said that dancer Jugs Aplenty was "an American icon who is simply too big to fail" and described the chain of night clubs as "the last bastion of freedom in a sea of scandals and coverups".

The manager of one club spoke with a Slashdot indy reporter under the condition that he remain anonymous. "Things have been kind of tight for us lately. My customers keep telling me that it is hard for them to find the cash to visit nude bars with the economy in the doldrums. This bailout will ensure that Kit Kat Clubs across the nation can continue to provide quality entertainment and live dance shows that help weary investors beat the economic downturn." He went on to say that he could not think of any business more deserving, saying, "I've got a bone to pick with politicians who wasted all those billions of dollars on banks. What good have banks done for our country lately?"

As always, we will keep you abreast of the latest developments as more information becomes available."

Link to Original Source
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NIST Announces Reverse Leap Day

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dgatwood (11270) writes "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced a correction as a result of small errors in leap second calculations arising out of the gradual slowing of the expansion of the universe. At precisely 1:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Saving Time, the date will skip forward by 24 hours to Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008. Director James Turner described this as the first "reverse leap day" in recorded history. He added that he expected a similar correction each year for at least the next seven years.

Americans are advised to immediately adjust their clocks and calendars forward to April 2nd. Director Turner warned, however, that not all countries in the world have agreed to this change yet. "Americans who regularly interact with people in other countries should expect some minor confusion until this all sorts itself out," Turner said, adding that "We considered simply dropping February 29th, but decided that would be too confusing."

For more information, see the NIST Coordinated Universal Time page at http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/faqs/time.htm."

Journals

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Chronicles of GoDaddy: How not to run an ISP

dgatwood dgatwood writes  |  more than 5 years ago

This is a review of the GoDaddy.com ISP. For a brief period of time, I used them for both my SSL certificate provider and my hosting provider. That lasted about a week. This review chronicles my experience with GoDaddy so that others can avoid the same fate.

It's hard to know where to begin when criticizing my experience with GoDaddy. It all started with a GoDaddy SSL certificate that was expiring in mid-August. Things started going wrong when GoDaddy sent me the expiration notice in mid-June. I immediately went to their website to renew. When I got there, I got a message that said I couldn't renew it for three days. I wrote them to complain and their reply basically said, "Yes, you can't renew before a certain date." Three days later, on the day it said I should be able to renew it, it still said I couldn't renew it.

A couple of weeks later, I went back to renew. I submitted a renewal for 9 years and paid for it (almost $270). I thought it was odd that they still hadn't sent out the cert, but I figured it would happen on the billing date for the account.

In the meantime, I decided to try to speed up my website by moving large graphics to shared hosting. Since I had a GoDaddy account already, I added hosting to it. Thankfully, I only paid for two months. While uploading content to the server, I started having weird problems almost immediately, finding that the server would just suddenly block my IP (including pings) for several minutes at a time. I theorized that they were limiting the number of reconnects per minute, so I spread the load out across several IPs and finished my uploading. I did all this over the holiday weekend to minimize impact.

Well, once I had the content on the server, I switched my home server to point to the images on that server. The next night, I tried to view a page full of thumbnail images and it stalled for a very long time. The problem went away after a couple of minutes, so I ignored it. When it happened again the next night, I started becoming concerned. When it happened on the fourth night, I started running a script that requested a tiny 15K image once a minute so that I could characterize the problem.

I contacted GoDaddy at this point, and they blamed my connection. I then reproduced the problem from work (where they have multiple OC-3 connections). I contacted them again. They continued to just say "We can't reproduce this" and actually had the nerve to suggest that I call them when I have the problem. How do you call somebody about a problem that only lasts 2-3 minutes from the start of the hang to the end? That's like telling somebody, "When you see a shooting star, text me so I can look up." Yikes!

Then, it got better. GoDaddy contacted me and said that they couldn't issue my SSL certificate because they now issue them for a maximum of 5 years---this in spite of the fact that their website was perfectly willing to sell me a 9-year certificate. So they started the process of issuing a refund.

A few hours later, they denied the refund. At this point, I wrote them back, chewed them out massively, listing in detail the litany of problems I had experienced with their service, carbon copied the president of GoDaddy, and basically threatened legal action if they didn't fix this mess. They restarted processing of the refund, but continued to refuse to honor the terms of our contract.

Their servers are still performing inadequately, so I plan to drop their service entirely as soon as I figure out where to migrate the files. And my SSL cert no longer comes from GoDaddy. I didn't even wait for my existing cert to expire; I don't want GoDaddy to get the free advertising. It also helps that my new SSL cert provider is free as in beer. I figure it's worth the hassle of renewing the cert annually to save $30 a year.

The bottom line is that I was going to spend about $114/year in hosting and SSL with GoDaddy, but because of their completely inept customer support, I'm now going to spend exactly $0 with them, and I will be spending a fair amount of time over the next few weeks posting detailed, harsh, negative reviews of their hosting service on every site I can find, from FaceBook to Web Hosting Geeks....

If I did my job as well as their customer service reps did their jobs, I would have lost my job after the first day. How, precisely, do these clowns stay in business? And how have they not had their credit card merchant account revoked?

David

P.S. Does anyone know of a web hosting provider that allows SSH, is reasonably reliable, and doesn't claim the rights to produce derivative works based on anything you upload?

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