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Comment Re: The FUTURE! (Score 1) 311

When the gasoline powered carriage replaced horses the only thing they were meant to replace was horses.

I disagree with this premise because it ignores too many things.

Self-powered cars had two primary effects: they reduced the huge amount of effluvia that horses generated, and enabled a single person to cover more miles with more cargo in less time.

By moving to self-powered cars, you need fewer

  • * horse handlers, such as veterinarians, stable hands, leather workers, etc
  • * waste haulers to clean up after the horses -- during the horse-and-buggy era city streets were awash in horse-generated efluvia, and they posed a significant environmental problem
  • * drivers, as a single driver (your "augmented person") can cover more distance with more cargo, in less time, than a team of horses can.

The primary reason to move away from horses was expense, and the thing that makes horses expensive is paying for people. The move was entirely driven by a reduction in work force. The fact that a single person was augmented is what makes it cost-effective; the same principle applies now because a single person can operate an entire factory floor -- it's no different than before, a single person's abilities have been augmented by technology.

Comment Re:The author of this software needs education. (Score 1) 80

Subjective? No, not really.

The basic ethical principle is to not interfere with another's well-being. The definition of well-being may appear changeable but it should be the subject's definition and standard of well-being, not your own.

From the single principle, which we may restate as "treat others the way they want to be treated," we can derive prohibitions against murder and assault; lying, and from that cheating; theft, and from that malicious vandalism (depriving property from another, even if you don't benefit from it); and so on.

The relationship goes both ways. The subject may not turn it around and complain that your existence interferes with their well-being, since ending your existence would interfere with your well-being.

These derivations from the core principle are not subjective, and in fact are quite logical and can be reproduced by anyone regardless of culture.

Contrast that with morality, which is very subjective. Moral codes are defined by your culture, and will vary from time to time and place to place, and even from sect to sect within the greater culture.

Moral codes may be based on ethical principles but are not necessarily so, and not every moral edict is derived from an ethical principle or derivation. Your culture may have conditioned you to think that certain practices ethical but, when turned around and viewed from a subject's point of view clearly are not. The aforementioned issue of slavery is like that: the slave-owners may have decided that slavery is conducted with the slave's best interest at heart, but ask the slave how s/he feels about it and you'll get a very different answer.

Comment Re:The author of this software needs education. (Score 1) 80

Different people have different ethics, you shouldn't push yours on other people.

You're confusing ethics, which are based on principles and are not relative, with morality, which is relative and malleable.

Look at it this way: slavery has never been and never will be ethical but it is, at some times in some places, moral.

Comment Re:This is a great idea (Score 1) 97

And there's no reason I couldn't own a fleet of automated trucks and use this software as well. The truck owner is still making the money. The only difference is that the owner used to be the driver, and now they're not.

Independent owners? I believe you're very much mistaken. I believe that the manufacturers themselves will probably own the fleet and lease it out to shipping companies.

Prior to automated shipping, it's too much hassle to deal with humans. Paychecks, HR, unions, etc., it's all very messy and time-consuming. No manufacturer in the world wants to deal with that any more than they need to, not when you can sell a product and offload that hassle. (and don't forget maintenance contracts and spare parts!) Automation means that there is only the equipment to worry about, and the economics will change because they can sell a service with predictable maintenance costs built into the contract. Sell the trucks? Sell their livelihood to competitors? You've got to be kidding me.

I have 0 interest in being a truck driver. But if I could own a truck and make money as it drove itself all around? I might very much be interested in that.

You may not be interested in being a truck driver and that's cool, but I'm pretty sure you won't ever get to be a truck owner either.

Comment Re:Everyone's demanding higher pay (Score 1) 306

Depends on the job. If it's something anyone with a pulse can do, then there's no real skill or reason for great pay.

There is a reason: basic respect for the person doing the job. Asking someone to work two full-time jobs just to be able to split the rent on a single apartment and still need food stamps is dehumanizing.

It would be different if low wages weren't used to create additional profit at the top, but the average McDonalds worker could get twice the pay per hour, yet still the corporation and various franchise owners would only see a dip in profits. This is the important part: their bottom lines would still be profitable, only slightly less so.

Comment Re:Ok, we've added. Now let's subtract. (Score 1) 156

My first thought about this was, by helping people move about and live longer PG is actually contributing to environmental disaster.

  • By moving around more, but not replacing other transportation needs like walking to work, people are expending more calories -- which consumes additional global resources pointlessly
  • By living longer, people consume even more resources with the extra years lived; by helping first-world people live longer, you increase the consumed resources by some greater-than-one multiplier compared to a thriftier third-world person.

Overall, this isn't good news.

Comment Re: Damn Fine Marketing (Score 1) 88

Not really. The NRA is just a gun manufacturing lobby; that's why they won't stand up for 3D printed guns.

But that counts. There's an entire industry, with money and motivation behind it, fighting for the second amendment.

Who fights for the other amendments? Nobody, which is why the definitions for things like "freedom of speech" (first), "fair and speedy trial" (sixth), and "excessive bail ... fines ... cruel and unsual punishment" (eighth) are so loose and squishy.

Comment Re: Damn Fine Marketing (Score 2) 88

People need to stop thinking in terms of groups and group rights and concentrate on what is right for individuals. That's the real problem. TPTB have spent the last 60 years dividing people into subgroups and ethnicities and pitting them against each other to create the emotional tension to create partisan followers fueled by hate and resentment for their fellow Americans.

60 years? Is that all? In America?

What about legal Jim Crow racism, which officially ended almost 50 years ago but persisted for over a century before that? Discrimination against the Japanese in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, or against Chinese, Irish, and Italians (none of whom were considered "white" at the time) during the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century? Native Americans since the 1600s?

I'm not saying your message is wrong, but you need to check your history. This has been going on a lot longer than you think, and the sources "stirring up" discrimination are probably different than you believe. A lot of it is inborn and doesn't require stirring because, face it, humans are naturally assholes to each other.

Comment Re:Sapphire crystal lens cover (Score 1) 111

Is this a non-story or did I miss something?

I think you missed something: looking for sapphire on the underside is a way to tell if it's sapphire throughout, or just a veneer on the top. By having less (or no) sapphire on the underside, it would appear it's more like a coating applied over glass, not pure sapphire.

I can't say for certain whether its a non-story; that's up to the millions of customers that purchased phones with the coating, and whether they feel cheated or not.

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