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Long Tom

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#1061 [url]

Jun 19 17 2:45 PM

"Humanity Is Doomed" is an old trope.  Plenty of people decades ago-Michael Crichton included-talked about the idea of computers becoming more and more complex until they would outsmart us and take over the world.  Computers are far more powerful and ubiquitous these days-and that sort of hysteria is as dated as the steam locomotive.  There was talk about "virtual reality" in the 1990's-and talk about it NOW is as dead as Kurt Cobain.

​There are and were other hysterias-power lines supposedly causing cancer, portable phones doing the same, vaccines causing autism...all of which were long since proved bunk, to be replaced by another hysteria.  The idea of doomsday and the Earth getting warmer are based on computer model conjecture, not hard proof.  Maybe they should revive the Bermuda Triangle next.

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plarblman

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#1062 [url]

Jun 19 17 2:56 PM

Computers are already getting too complex for us to even understand - artificial neural networks basically build themselves and we have no true understanding of how they work. While I think megalomaniacal skynet type machines are a long way off, I do think we could face serious enough problems dealing with machines that we don't fully understand and therefore may have critical oversights in how they operate. But that's too boring for fiction.

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ohitsyou

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#1063 [url]

Jun 19 17 3:07 PM

plarblman wrote:
Computers are already getting too complex for us to even understand - artificial neural networks basically build themselves and we have no true understanding of how they work. While I think megalomaniacal skynet type machines are a long way off, I do think we could face serious enough problems dealing with machines that we don't fully understand and therefore may have critical oversights in how they operate. But that's too boring for fiction.

Yeah, I agree with that.

The problem is not that computers will take over and enslave us, the problem is more mundane like a computer glitching out and emptying your bank account. A problem, but a mundane problem that is the result of not a deliberate attack, but incompetence.

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Long Tom

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#1064 [url]

Jun 19 17 4:50 PM

ohitsyou wrote:

plarblman wrote:
Computers are already getting too complex for us to even understand - artificial neural networks basically build themselves and we have no true understanding of how they work. While I think megalomaniacal skynet type machines are a long way off, I do think we could face serious enough problems dealing with machines that we don't fully understand and therefore may have critical oversights in how they operate. But that's too boring for fiction.

Yeah, I agree with that.

The problem is not that computers will take over and enslave us, the problem is more mundane like a computer glitching out and emptying your bank account. A problem, but a mundane problem that is the result of not a deliberate attack, but incompetence.

Um, when any device is designed, incompetence is allowed for.  Cars have indicators to remind you if you left your door open, glass jars have pop-up indicators on metal lids to warn if a bottle has been insealed and opened, ladders warn you not to stand on certain steps, and so forth.  If there is a suspicious gain or loss in a bank account, somebody is likely to notice and make sure that said transaction really took place.  My VISA card company had on several occasions warned me about suspicious charges on my credit card by somebody telephoning me personally, and I checked them myself.  If there were unauthorized charges, I told them as such and got a new card number afterward.

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plarblman

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#1065 [url]

Jun 19 17 6:23 PM

Believe me, those are failsafes for technologies that we've had a lot of experience with using. I know enough about the history of design that when working with a relatively new technology (in this case self-building intelligence) there can be catastrophic failures over things the original designers ever dreamed of. For example, it's not obvious that the reason why airplanes have rounded windows is because square windows will cause the plane to disintegrate mid-air.

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#1066 [url]

Jun 19 17 11:12 PM

plarblman wrote:
Believe me, those are failsafes for technologies that we've had a lot of experience with using. I know enough about the history of design that when working with a relatively new technology (in this case self-building intelligence) there can be catastrophic failures over things the original designers ever dreamed of. For example, it's not obvious that the reason why airplanes have rounded windows is because square windows will cause the plane to disintegrate mid-air.

yup, airplane engineers learned that design rule the hard way

That's also part of why I do not fear computers taking over the world. Oh sure, big ol' glitches will suck - no doubt about that. I get delayed on my local metro trains regularly enough whenever the signaling system fucks up.

but that is the main reason why robots wont ever take over the world: they would have to conquer not just production facilities, but metal mining facilites, foundries, refineries, the rail, shipping and trucking that gets those materials moved around - there is a shitload of infrastructure and suport industry set up for robotics manufacture

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You

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#1067 [url]

Jun 20 17 3:26 AM

webkilla wrote:

plarblman wrote:
Believe me, those are failsafes for technologies that we've had a lot of experience with using. I know enough about the history of design that when working with a relatively new technology (in this case self-building intelligence) there can be catastrophic failures over things the original designers ever dreamed of. For example, it's not obvious that the reason why airplanes have rounded windows is because square windows will cause the plane to disintegrate mid-air.

yup, airplane engineers learned that design rule the hard way

That's also part of why I do not fear computers taking over the world. Oh sure, big ol' glitches will suck - no doubt about that. I get delayed on my local metro trains regularly enough whenever the signaling system fucks up.

but that is the main reason why robots wont ever take over the world: they would have to conquer not just production facilities, but metal mining facilites, foundries, refineries, the rail, shipping and trucking that gets those materials moved around - there is a shitload of infrastructure and suport industry set up for robotics manufacture

It think at this point the fear is less about robots taking over the world by force and more about our increasing dependence of technology, especially regarding communication. You know, humans getting dumber, lazy and isolated, just like they were in Wall-E.

P.D.: I learned a long time ago reality tends to make every interesting idea lame, disappointing or outright impossible.

Last Edited By: You Jun 20 17 3:31 AM. Edited 2 times.

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Long Tom

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#1068 [url]

Jun 20 17 11:11 AM

That idea was brought up even by Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth century, as well as in stories such as Brave New World, and numerous others from that era.

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Beardfist

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#1069 [url]

Jun 20 17 11:50 AM

Yes, in popular literature. The utopia period saw the marvels that industrialization unlocked; the dystopian period saw the social decay that came bundled with it and fretted at what a boundless spread of comfort, control, and corruption would eventually lead to - but those popular ideas are reflections of wider societal angst. Cyberpunk as a genre is blowing up lately in a way novel and unique from its looser incarnations in the 70s and 80s - with a decidedly more political twist. We've shifted away from worrying about the technology itself - which is a roundabout way of fearing evolution, that our species might wake up one day and no longer be the dominant species on the planet - and worrying about the applications of the technology in human hands. How would the weak let themselves be corroded by it? How would the strong use it to establish a system of control that exists in a form that has never before been possible? With so many elements of old dystopia and modern cyberpunk already confirmed by the behavior of world governments, democratic and despotic alike, it's little wonder that more and more of it is cropping up.

Of course, most people are fucking retarded, and that this stuff is popping up more frequently doesn't mean these ideas will be done justice. 1984 started selling tremendously in the lead-up to and election of Trump, because a bunch of fucking shitty news outlets were going on about how he was 'orwellian.' They then proceeded to not read the actual book and miss its entire goddamn point - that trump isn't the scary one, the nameless government entities controlling a culture that celebrates emptiness and idiocy is - and prattle on about orwellian, orwellian, orwellian, so orwellian. It became a fucking meme that none of them had clearly read. So it's little wonder that you see people ~claiming~ to be interested in material that exposes this, yet they're still as oblivious to its nature and continue to play into it even as references are made daily to those themes an ideas.

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plarblman

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#1070 [url]

Jun 20 17 12:00 PM

Related: too many people think that Fahrenheit 451 is about government censorship when it's really a lot closer to safe spaces and voluntarily shutting out scary ideas. The firemen are basically just a cleanup crew; the average person has become so afraid of being challenged that all the genuine academics have to live in self-imposed exile.

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Beardfist

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#1071 [url]

Jun 20 17 12:06 PM

bradbury is a goofy sci-fi dad who happened to accidentally pen a classic. he's several times gone on long tirades about how 451 was actually just about how people weren't reading in favor of tv or radio, and reading books is important. It fits into that model of worrying about self-censorship so well though, and literally anyone reading the book and treating it as literature would take it that way - but when you read through some of Bradbury's earlier shorts, you can kinda see how he's sortof... sortof the kind of guy who would write something deep like that without realizing it, then get all butthurt that people had taken it in a way he didn't originally envision.

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Shan

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#1072 [url]

Jun 20 17 12:52 PM

Well, I don't blame Bradbury about the times people told him he was wrong about what his own book was about. Now that would have been annoying.

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You

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#1073 [url]

Jun 20 17 1:50 PM

Shan wrote:
Well, I don't blame Bradbury about the times people told him he was wrong about what his own book was about. Now that would have been annoying.

Did they say he was wrong about which was the point he wanted to deliver in the book or he was wrong about the point itself?

Last Edited By: You Jun 20 17 1:55 PM. Edited 2 times.

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fliptw

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#1074 [url]

Jun 20 17 5:59 PM

the book in question, Fahrenheit 451... was, as Bradbury wrote it, about televisions destroying peoples interest in books. He envision a future society that burned books, because TV was so much better in every aspect.
But Nazi's also burned books, so everyone said it was a book about censorship. People were actively arguing with him about the meaning of his own work. He also never used a computer in his life.

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Long Tom

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#1076 [url]

Jun 20 17 7:25 PM

fliptw wrote:
the book in question, Fahrenheit 451... was, as Bradbury wrote it, about televisions destroying peoples interest in books. He envision a future society that burned books, because TV was so much better in every aspect.
But Nazi's also burned books, so everyone said it was a book about censorship. People were actively arguing with him about the meaning of his own work. He also never used a computer in his life.

I read Fahrenheit 451 not long ago, and the book burning was in fact the method of protecting people from ideas which might make them uncomfortable.  The society was such that bad things like wars existed, but they were very far away and the people at the home front did not have to worry about them because the government kept everyone safe.  (This would prove to eventually be false.)

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#1077 [url]

ya - though like 1984, it just goes to show how you need a totalitarian and authoritarian regime to enforce that kind of safe-space maintenance


now, in slightly more interesting news: the family of that now dead brain-damaged american prisoner from North Korea - they have apparently refused to let the guy get autopsied. Gotta wonder how much "shut up and go away" money they have been offered to make this story fade away

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#1080 [url]

Long Tom wrote:
The real question being why this person even went to North Korea to begin with.

tourism basically

thrill-seeking

mind you, a shitload of SJWs celebrated the guy's capture and sentence - calling it a victory against white male privilegde and shit.

...of course, today when called on it their editors claim they didn't even know about it: http://nordic.businessinsider.com/salon-removes-article-calling-otto-warmbier-americas-idiot-fratboy-2017-6?r=US&IR=T

here's a lookback at all the shitheads that celebrated his capture: https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/06/otto-warmbier-liberals/ - I particularly love the HuffPo article linked titled: “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege is Not Universal.”

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