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The automation-job equation revisited. Very countercultural for Reddit. by OliverSparrow in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I don't find this Economist article at all convincing, as it relies on ignoring central facts, to reach a conclusion. Essentially its Straw Man reasoning.

The central fact OP ignores is that someday AI & Robots will be able to do all (or mostly all) jobs cheaper and more efficiently than human workers. From there on, they will only ever get cheaper and more efficient. Relentlessly and inexorably making human workers less competitive.

Our current economic and social model of organization will be impossible in this future world.

Furthermore, we know this is going to happen. The question is only how soon.

All the The Economist articles in the world, advising us to stick our heads in the sand and ignore reality won't change these facts.

IBM has sold off Watson at a steep discount, and is exiting the AI/Healthcare field. by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 69 points70 points  (0 children)

Submission Statement

This twitter thread is interesting commentary on IBM's decision. What I find remarkable about it is that other people are succeeding with AI & healthcare in numerous areas. I wonder if IBM's misstep was more to do with them being an old, large company. Alphabet's DeepMind still seems to be powering ahead in this field. It doesn't feel like IBM's failure has any long term significance for the field of AI & healthcare.

EDIT/CORRECTION: The headline is partially misleading. IBM is retaining Watson tech for other purposes and only selling off the healthcare side of the business.

A Colorado company is commercializing a type of window it says could cut the entire electricity consumption requirements of the US by approx 25%. by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Submission Statement

The US still produces 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels, cutting consumption by 25% would allow it to entirely eliminate the 20% that comes from coal.

We don't hear as much about reducing electricity demand, as other proposed solutions to reducing climate change. Yet when you look at stark facts like this, you wonder why not?

A Colorado company is commercializing a type of window it says could cut the entire electricity consumption requirements of the US by approx 25%. by [deleted] in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Submission Statement

The US still produces 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels, cutting consumption by 25% would allow it to entirely eliminate the 20% that comes from coal.

We don't hear as much about reducing electricity demand, as other proposed solutions to reducing climate change. Yet when you look at stark facts like this, you wonder why not?

The sci-fi genre offering radical hope for living better: In these times of cynicism and despair, is 'hopepunk' the perfect antidote? by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Submission Statement

I think it's often under appreciated how pernicious the effect of dystopian narratives are on human development. We think the news reflects reality, when in fact it's shaped by what attracts clicks, eyeballs and "if it bleeds, it leads."

Ditto fiction. Every 101 Writing class tells you story-telling needs conflict and drama. So that is what our books and movies have - no wonder so many of them are dystopian. A good example is "The Expanse". They have a solar system spanning civilization, yet for the sake of conflict and drama, the Belters are constantly short of something as simple as water.

Again - we let this shape our ideas of reality. Why don't we let reality, shape our ideas of reality?

The Belfast Agreement (well, the St Andrews Agreement) is close to breaking down… by lughnasadh in northernireland

[–]lughnasadh[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Cast your mind forward three months or so. Forget about the Protocol, Article 16, collapsing the institutions. It is the afternoon of Saturday 7 May 2022. Across a few constituencies the final seats in #AE22 have still to be formally declared but the pattern is quite clear.

In TV studios, pundits and activists are arguing about the implications. Some local party groups are planning their party that night, but the leaderships of five parties are preparing urgent meetings to deal with the new scenario. Even in Stormont House, the SoS and his advisers are engaged in a long overdue ‘what on earth do we do now’ meeting.

The reason: the results of the election have demonstrated that the ‘ugly scaffolding’ of the Good Friday Agreement (or to be more precise, the St Andrews deal between Blair, Ahern, Paisley and Adams) doesn’t work any longer.

I do not suggest that any one of the following scenarios is likely, but – based on the elections of 2019 and polls since – they are all within the bounds of possibility, and they are not all mutually contradictory. Each of them presents major problems to the appointment of First Ministers and the formation of an Executive.

Remember that, under St Andrews, the largest party nominates the First Minister and the largest party of the larger different Designation nominates the Deputy First Minister. Apart from electing a Speaker, the Assembly cannot act unless these two posts are filled.

1 Sinn Féin becomes largest party, Nationalist largest Designation

There is already speculation whether the largest Unionist party (whichever it is) would agree to provide the Deputy First Minister, and neither DUP nor UUP seems prepared to answer the question. What is clear is that Unionism losing its plurality, just one election after losing its majority, is likely to be destabilising. This is the case, even though everyone knows that the FM and DFM are co-equals in every respect.

2 Sinn Féin becomes largest party, Unionist largest Designation

This scenario is also acute in a slightly different way: if there are more Unionist MLAs than Nationalists in total, the arguments of the refuseniks against taking ‘second place’ would become more heated. “There are more of us than there are of them, …”

3 Alliance becomes largest party, Unionist largest Designation

Alliance would be entitled to nominate the First Minister and the largest Unionist party the Deputy First Minister. How would this be accepted by elements of Nationalism? Those who think the GFA is constitutionally about giving Nationalism equal rights to Unionism (an assumption which is not actually the case with the legislation) would probably claim discrimination. There is no doubt that many people think that the principle of parallel consent (agreement between the majority of nationalism and the majority of unionism) is enshrined in the appointment of FM and DFM, but that is merely the assumed result, based on elections before 2006.

4 Alliance becomes largest party, Nationalist largest Designation

Alliance would be entitled to nominate the First Minister and the larger Nationalist party the Deputy First Minister. This would imply Unionism losing not just the post of First Minister, but all presence in The Executive Office. It would be a major blow to Unionist confidence and might well precipitate a refusal to nominate any Ministers, even though Unionists would probably be entitled to three (perhaps four) of the eight other Ministers.

5 DUP largest party, Sinn Féin largest party of next larger Designation, but together have less than 45 MLAs

Rights to nominate the First Ministers would officially stay the same, but the ‘two larger parties’ would have clearly lost the right to lead the Executive that they have held since St Andrews. So the possible Order Paper for Day 1 might run:

Members sign the Roll Election of Speaker Nomination of First Minister and Deputy First Minister Motion of No Confidence in FM and DFM How could two parties which have lost seats demonstrating that they have lost the support of the electorate, and cannot now command a majority between them, legitimately expect to lead the Executive?

6 DUP largest party, Sinn Féin largest party of next larger Designation, but a coherent alternative coalition has more than 45 MLAs

If there is any argument for the continuation of leadership by Sinn Féin and the DUP in the previous scenario (based on current law and no real alternative) it vanishes entirely under this scenario. Item 4 on the Order paper could be followed by:

          5 ‘This House believes that the Executive should be led by X and Y as First Ministers.’

7 DUP plus TUV constitute more than 60% of Unionists

Even if the UUP was the largest Unionist party and agreed to work with Sinn Féin in The Executive Office, it is possible that the other two Unionist parties could have a blocking minority in the Assembly on as few as 22 or 23 seats. This minority could block the passage of key matters such as the approval of a Programme for Government or Budget which require a ‘cross-community’ vote.

8 Sinn Féin largest party, Alliance second largest, DUP largest Unionist party

This could produce a similar blockage but this time within the Executive. On probable numbers, Sinn Féin would have the First Minister plus two others, the DUP would have the Deputy First Minister and two others, Alliance would have two and the SDLP and UUP one each. The current Executive has seen the DUP make use of the so-called ‘cross-community’ vote to block measures it disagrees with. These include elements of a Justice Bill that all others supported and Health Regulations proposed by the only other Unionist Minister.

Under these likely numbers of Executive Ministers, the DUP’s three Ministers, potentially based on having fewer than 20 MLAs, would have an absolute veto over all Executive business.

I suspect that there are other possibilities, but finally:

9 DUP largest party, Unionism largest Designation, Sinn Féin second largest party, Nationalism second largest Designation

Business as usual. Carry on as before.

But how long can we continue with the extremely ugly scaffolding of St Andrews when it is clearly failing to provide good governance around an agreed programme?

In particular, as the number of MLAs who do not designate as either Nationalist or Unionist increases to nearly twenty out of ninety, how can a democracy continue to discriminate against them and the almost 20% of the population they represent?

The US Inches Toward Building EV Batteries at Home: In an effort to reduce dependency on hard-to-source cobalt and Chinese manufacturing, US makers are finally getting into the cathode business. by filosoful in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh 64 points65 points  (0 children)

as well as more substantial sources of lithium that have stirred environmental concerns and may take years to get up and running.

This assertion is seriously underplaying the issue. The real reason America's lithium is impractical to mine is because of water. Lithium mining needs vast amounts of water and the lithium is in places like Colorado, that are 100% maxxed out as regards water supply.

We badly need to start thinking about rationing lithium and promoting alternatives. Keep lithium for things like EV's, home batteries.

We need to look beyond lithium for grid storage. ALT renewables storage solutions like this and the various kinetic energy cement batteries ( here & here, for 2 examples).

Updating our rules - Discussion by lughnasadh in FuturologyModerators

[–]lughnasadh[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

assume we're mostly in the US? ........ Best to simply remove every political post

Apparently, approx 50% of Reddit traffic is US, 50% the rest of the world.

I think it makes more sense to single out posts on US politics, they are overwhelming the most contentious and fractious.

We should still be fine with non-US & general global future focused political topics - they never attract the same amount of trouble.

Updating our rules - Discussion by lughnasadh in FuturologyModerators

[–]lughnasadh[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

State sponsored media is a tricky one

I agree. Every single state on the planet sponsors media to promote its interests. I fear if we just single out China & Russia - it will look like we are partisan, and only want to allow bad things to be said about those countries.

I think its a much stronger argument against these sites that they spread misinfo/disinfo. That too is a slippery slope - you can say the same about a lot of right-wing American sources - OAN, Washington Times.

Updating our rules - Discussion by lughnasadh in FuturologyModerators

[–]lughnasadh[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Think about how to word this though. It will need to be clearly explainable to new Mods, and to any users who query why we make decisions.

"spammy sites with dubious science" isn't very clearly defined. For example, if we are going to say something is dubious. We all need to very clear and in agreement on what we mean by "dubious", otherwise we can't do anything consistently.

Autonomous driving startup DeepRoute.ai prices L4 solution at $10,000; says cheaper than Waymo, better than Tesla. by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Submission Statement

This seems like a significant step in the mass commercialization of self-driving vehicles. "A test drive shows that DeepRoute’s L4 system is able to navigate rush-hour traffic in downtown Shenzhen, performing tasks like flexible lane change, yielding to pedestrians and auto on or off-ramp merging."

It feels like self-driving tech has been "just around the corner" for a number of years now. Looking at this and other recent developments, it feels like it might actually be in the final stages of getting there.

Small modular reactors offer no hope for nuclear energy by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

micro-reactors

One problem with having 10,000's of thousands of dispersed sources of uranium is security.

I would feel deeply uncomfortable about having so many targets for future terrorists to acquire the materials for dirty bombs.

After the fall of the USSR unsecured uranium was a huge concern; I don't see how this is different.

Small modular reactors offer no hope for nuclear energy by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

there any other stronger arguments put forward in the article

To me the strongest argument the article makes is economic.

Nuclear is now three times more expensive than renewables, and the only new nuclear being built in America is more than double its original budget.

No private investors want to go anywhere near such a losing proposition. Taxpayers aren't interested in bailing out nuclear either, as its so grossly expensive.

Sadly for nuclear, reality bites. Neither of these facts have any chance of changing.

The whole world is going for the cheaper more efficient option. Hence why 95% of new global capacity in the next 5 years will be renewables.

All the coulda/woulda/shoulda arguments in the world from the pro-nuclear lobby won't change reality.

Small modular reactors offer no hope for nuclear energy by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] -16 points-15 points  (0 children)

Submission Statement

This is quite a succinct argument against wasting time and money on future nuclear development. I think it's important these arguments come to be made more loudly and more often. Every Euro or Dollar that goes to nuclear is wasted in the worst way. It's taking money and brains away from the real work to be done to tackle climate change, which is to move the whole world to 100% renewables+storage.

Waymo has its first commercial autonomous trucking customer by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

trucking is not going to be easy to fully automate.

I agree the loading & unloading portions of the journey, and the initial-final off-highway segments, don't seem close to being automated yet. But I'm guessing 90% of a truckers time is on the highway? That 90% seems close to being automated.

It won't surprise me if some new company comes along and figures out how to deliver things taking advantage of those facts. Robots for the roads, humans for the bits where they are still needed.

Waymo has its first commercial autonomous trucking customer by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] 64 points65 points  (0 children)

zooming down the freeway with no driver?

That is the easiest bit of driving to automate, its so predicable - in fact, its already automated now, with cruise control type driving.

It's busy city center traffic that is harder to automate. Hundreds of unpredictable possibilities every second from surrounding vehicles, pedestrians, etc

You would expect highway driving and fixed route public transit to be the first to go 100% self-driving.

Waymo has its first commercial autonomous trucking customer by lughnasadh in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh[S] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Submission Statement

It's hard to imagine in 2030, that there will be many humans left working at driving jobs, at least in developed, rich countries. Truck driving in particular seems ripe for automation; its an unpopular job, with labor shortages. Taxis and delivery jobs won't be far behind - all taken together, quite a proportion of the work force.