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Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

meta-monkey Re:Moat? Electric fence? (210 comments)

Vaulting poles are now classified as security circumvention devices and are subject to strict licensing and control.

yesterday
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Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

meta-monkey Re:Moat? Electric fence? (210 comments)

You have to be careful where you stand in DC or you'll attract the attention of security. I was at the National Holocaust Museum and I had stepped outside to take a phone call. So I'm standing on the sidewalk, talking, and a guard marches over and orders me to leave. The museum is next to a Treasury building, and loitering near a government building is strictly verboten, plebeian. Seriously. You can't stand on a public sidewalk now.

yesterday
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

meta-monkey Re:Don't sting me bro (307 comments)

The fact that frog acted outside his nature doesn't have anything to do with the fact that the scorpion acted within his.

You could say there are two morals:

1) Don't expect others to act outside of their nature.

2) Don't do risky stuff without sufficient potential reward.

yesterday
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

meta-monkey Re:Ummm ... duh? (307 comments)

To be honest, most systems of ethics allow for the use of lethal force to prevent murder. If you start from the assumption that abortion is literally murder, and murder must not be tolerated, then "stopping" the doctor is a valid conclusion. From there it gets muddy. Should use of force be solely reserved for the state? And if the state refuses to exercise its authority?

What would you do if women were taking their 1 day old babies to a doctor, who then murdered the children with their mother's consent and the government refused to stop them? Would it be unreasonable to stop these murders with violence? It's the same thing, just the anti-abortionist believes there's no difference between a fetus and a born child.

I'm not defending people who murder doctors, but their thought process is understandable.

yesterday
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

meta-monkey Re:Impossible to build purely evil robots? (307 comments)

Of course. The bomb is providing all kinds of computational and storage services to distributed clients. It's called "mushroom cloud computing."

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

meta-monkey Re:Quantum Mechanics and Determinism (307 comments)

A universal turning machine can only compute computable sequences, so no, it can't model the non-deterministic nature of the universe. However, you're making the assumption that "judgment" is not a computable sequence. What makes you think judgment is not computable? Is there sufficient evidence to conclude that consciousness and decision making ability rely on quantum effects? If you feed a human the exact same information with his brain/body/environment/history in exactly the same state, will he not make the same judgment twice? Obviously it's impossible to rewind time to get the human in exactly the state he was at the time of the first judgment, but if one could, I don't see any reason his judgment wouldn't be deterministic. And even if it's not, I would posit that the randomness introduced by the non-deterministic nature of the universe is an exceedingly, exceedingly small component of the outcome of the judgment.

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

meta-monkey Re:By the same logic (307 comments)

For some values of "decide."

Should a computer program be put in control of strategic operations, deciding when, where and what to attack? No.

Could a drone be reasonably programmed to identify combatants in a specific area and kill them without "unacceptable" collateral damage? Maybe.

Could a drone be ordered to kill a specific target on a battlefield? Absolutely.

I think it's mostly the third type the military is interested in. The commander still runs the battle and the robots are only semi-autonomous. That said, I'm opposed to war and killing of any kind for religious (and also because I'm a human) reasons, and I'm concerned with how far removed the soldiers are from the public these days. Ostensibly the body politic is in control of the decision to go to war and kill people (in practice the elites have always done what they want and then propagandized the citizenry into applauding). So back when we needed a draft to fight a war because the standing army wasn't that large, the elites needed the public on their side, because their votes might cause them to have to do the fighting. It was largely opposition to the draft that brought an end to America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

So, they switched to an all-volunteer army and just made it bigger. Now the public doesn't have to feel so bad cheering for the war machine because, well, this is what the soldiers signed up for. Even that wears thin when they realize how shitty a job the military does of caring for these volunteers.

But now? Fuck it, it's all drones all the time and the public really has no idea who they're killing and why. There's zero risk to them or their neighbors, so why care? Bomb, bomb, bomb. The one minor problem you've still got is the drone pilots sometimes come to realize what they're doing and kill themselves, so if we can just remove them from the loop, too, the elites will finally have truly carte blanche to kill anyone, anywhere, with impunity, and there will be no human pulling the trigger and asking, "should we really be doing this?"

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

meta-monkey Re:I think (307 comments)

Also, built by the lowest bidder.

2 days ago
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Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles In Dragon Age Inquisition

meta-monkey Re:What about the game itself? (213 comments)

Could be worse. You could be choosing your Atari 2600 games based on the box art.

2 days ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

meta-monkey Re:stupid bullshit (415 comments)

Yeah, everybody knows the terrorists use Pintrest.

2 days ago
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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

meta-monkey Re:Which party is scummy? (297 comments)

I guess I missed the part where Uber is a government with the power to kill and imprison.

If you are (in your opinion) unfairly criticized, why is it unacceptable to criticize the criticizer?

Time and the Wall Street Journal recently ran op-eds opposing net neutrality without disclosing that the authors were paid shills for Verizon and others. Is it wrong to point this out?

Oh, and for the record, I think Uber is a bunch of shitbags who think the rules don't apply to them and are vulturing off formerly middle-class people who are now running their cars into the ground driving strangers around because the economy is so shitty they need a second job to make ends meet. But there's still nothing wrong with finding out whether a vocal critic has an ulterior motive.

2 days ago
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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

meta-monkey Re:Which party is scummy? (297 comments)

One of the examples I gave of unethical behavior for a journalist was having a personal ax to grind with the owners or managers of the company. Or maybe the CEO is an Eskimo and she's racist against Eskimos (can't blame her. Blubber munching sons of bitches...). How are you going to know if you don't investigate her personal life and affiliations?

Also, I said there was nothing wrong with investigating her personal life, but it is wrong to publish inappropriate or irrelevant details uncovered.

So I'm having my cake, and eating a completely different cake.

2 days ago
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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

meta-monkey Re:Which party is scummy? (297 comments)

He said it too sharply, but I don't think there's anything wrong with looking into the life and affiliations of a critic.

If your company is being lambasted by a journalist with accusations you feel are unfair, is it not wise to investigate the investigator? Maybe uncover that she has ties to a competitor, or is being paid off by them. Perhaps she has an ax to grind against the owners or managers for personal reasons. Maybe her other work that seemed fine at first glance actually contains shoddy practices and rampant inaccuracies. It's perfectly reasonable to respond to a critic who's unethical or incompetent, and how would you know unless you investigated her?

However, salacious details of her personal life, publication of home addresses and phone numbers, etc, is beyond the pale.

2 days ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

meta-monkey Re:Huh (223 comments)

To be honest, the trajectory calculations aren't that difficult. It's fairly cut and dry math and there have been computer programs to calculate this stuff for decades. It's cool, don't get me wrong, and the margin for error is a lot smaller than trying to hit Jupiter, but it ain't exactly rocket science.

Wait...

about a week ago
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Education Chief Should Know About PLATO and the History of Online CS Education

meta-monkey Re:warning: nanny-state comment (134 comments)

It's not just nanny-state, it's corporate scheming to bring down the wages of software developers. The Masters of the Universe are upset that they have to pay programmers a middle class wage so the goal is to cram as many kids into programming classes as they can hoping to eventually flood the market. Yes, I understand that not everybody can code or think like a programmer, but there are an awful lot of people who could, but they choose to be a biologist instead. The point is to steer that kid and others like him into programming. There is not a shortage of programmers. There is a shortage of programmers who will work for $30k a year, and all these "learn to code!" bullshit programs disguised as "forward-thinking eduction...for the children" are designed to fix that.

And it's a multi-pronged attack. It's the same impetus for H1B visa program increases and the "no poaching" collusion between Jobs et al.

about a week ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

meta-monkey Re:Yeah right (305 comments)

Who else was I supposed to vote for? The libertarian in my governor's race wanted our state to issue its own currency backed by gold. I'm no fan of the republican or democratic party, but the 3rd parties need to put up somebody who isn't loony for me to vote for.

about a week ago
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Hacker Builds a Dark Net Version of the FBI Tip Form

meta-monkey Re:Antithetical (41 comments)

But if you're going to kick in the door and shoot the dog you'd better damn well have a warrant based on something a lot more substantial than an anonymous tip.

The anonymous tip just needs to mention the suspects are black.

about a week ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

meta-monkey Re:Benefits, but still misses the point... (693 comments)

You're not wrong. But the vast majority of kids, treated or untreated, don't resort to violence. It's a very, very rare thing.

If you start psychologically evaluating every kid (and medicating them just in case to CYA) you can wind up creating more problems. Maybe a kid who was just having a hard time now is told he's mentally ill and you're pushing pills down his throat. Kids (hell, adults) spend a long time trying to figure out who they are and what kind of person they are. Maybe if everybody thinks I'm this terrible monster who needs to be kept under control, maybe they're right? If your parents and teachers are all concerned you're dangerous and are afraid of you, that's got to have an impact on a kid's development. Might make a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Or, great, you took a kid who would never have done anything wrong, but now he's medicated and a zombie. Psychopharmacological drugs are serious business. These drugs significantly alter brain chemistry, and in ways we don't understand in adults, much less children. Fun fact: the biological cause of most all mental illnesses, including depression and bipolar, are not known. The drugs used to treat them are generally "found" and not developed to correct a certain biological fault.

I would be very, very concerned about mandatory school and government mental health "care" for children.

about a week ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

meta-monkey Re:New way getting out of tests (693 comments)

Yeah, but things are very different today than when we were kids. When I was in high school in the early 90s, kids would pull a fire alarm and get a couple of days' suspension. Kids brought their paintball or pellet guns to school in the trunks of their cars. I carried a pocket knife at all times. Nobody cared. Today a kid makes a drawing of a gun and gets arrested. And there's cameras everywhere. The new school they built near my house has a high fence all the way around it with a gate that locks during school hours. The kids all have RFID passes to get into their classes. The place is like a prison. It's insane. And the parents love it! Just saying, you can't get away with crap anymore, and there's no such thing as "boys will be boys" and harmless pranks. It's zero tolerance and constant surveillance.

about a week ago

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