node created 2015/11/24
Can you point to actual harm done by Google that people can't walk away from?
I recommend my mom a Mac every single time.

Not everyone needs freedom
Value only requires that somebody is willing to pay for it. Any other measure of value is just moral relativism.
Nothing wrong with a more orderly, predictable, benign, ideally deterministic world without variance.
Who had Salmons covered in fungus on their 2021 bingo card?
I personally don't care that these billionaires are spending their money on vacations to orbit. It's how we get to the moon and Mars and how we survive as a species. It's what's next.
If customers really want it, certainly there will be companies offering it.
I would not support anything that added a microgram to my iPhone or MacBook or give up even one tiny feature to support the tiny fraction of people who can do repairs.
The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture - a motivational system based on heritable gradients of bliss. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. It is predicted that the world's last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event.
I've found the iPad Pro to be fabulous for video editing.
This system is cool, because it is battery powered. On the other hand, decent 3D sensor can also monitor the interaction between product and customer much better.
Because the backend will require constant employment and overhead of skilled programmers, this business model makes sense
You're just scanning a bunch of pixels, and the data was given to you, so any liability or violation of use of someone's likeness is on the person who gave you the data.
I also suddenly can't not see our global economy and its gradual automation as a massive ongoing MMORPG game of Factorio. The end state then becomes as clear as the state of my final factory - we'd feed raw renewable energy into the system and automatically manufacture an abundance of all goods that people desire.
Since Hobbes was a philosopher, he could already detect in the rise of the bourgeoisie all those antitraditionalist qualities of the new class which would take more than three hundred years to develop fully. His Leviathan was not concerned with idle speculation about new political principles or the old search for reason as it governs the community of men; it was strictly a "reckoning of the consequences" that follow from the rise of a new class in society whose existence is essentially tied up with property as a dynamic, new property-producing device. The so-called accumulation of capital which gave birth to the bourgeoisie changed the very conception of property and wealth: they were no longer considered to be the results of accumulation and acquisition but their beginnings; wealth became a never-ending process of getting wealthier. The classification of the bourgeoisie as an owning class is only superficially correct, for a characteristic of this class has been that everybody could belong to it who conceived of life as a process of perpetually becoming wealthier, and considered money as something sacrosanct which under no circumstances should be a mere commodity for consumption.

Property by itself, however, is subject to use and consumption and therefore diminishes constantly. The most radical and the only secure form of possession is destruction, for only what we have destroyed is safely and forever ours. Property owners who do not consume but strive to enlarge their holdings continually find one very inconvenient limitation, the unfortunate fact that men must die. Death is the real reason why property and acquisition can never become a true political principle. A social system based essentially on property cannot possibly proceed toward anything but the final destruction of all property. The finiteness of personal life is as serious a challenge to property as the foundation of society, as the limits of the globe are a challenge to expansion as the foundation of the body politic. By transcending the limits of human life in planning for an automatic continuous growth of wealth beyond all personal needs and possibilities of consumption, individual property is made a public affair and taken out of the sphere of mere private life. Private interests which by their very nature are temporary, limited by man's natural span of life, can now escape into the sphere of public affairs and borrow from them that infinite length of time which is needed for continuous accumulation. This seems to create a society very similar to that of the ants and bees where "the Common good differeth not from the Private; and being by nature enclined to their private, they procure thereby the common benefit."

Since, however, men are neither ants nor bees, the whole thing is a delusion. Public life takes on the deceptive aspect of a total of private interests as though these interests could create a new quality through sheer addition. All the so-called liberal concepts of politics (that is, all the pre-imperialist political notions of the bourgeoisie)-such as unlimited competition regulated by a secret balance which comes mysteriously from the sum total of competing activities, the pursuit of "enlightened self-interest" as an adequate political virtue, unlimited progress inherent in the mere succession of events -have this in common: they simply add up private lives and personal behavior patterns and present the sum as laws of history, or economics, or politics. Liberal concepts, however, while they express the bourgeoisie's instinctive distrust of and its innate hostility to public affairs, are only a temporary compromise between the old standards of Western culture and the new class's faith in property as a dynamic, self-moving principle. The old standards give way to the extent that automatically growing wealth actually replaces political action.

Hobbes was the true, though never fully recognized, philosopher of the bourgeoisie because he realized that acquisition of wealth conceived as a never-ending process can be guaranteed only by the seizure of political power, for the accumulating process must sooner or later force open all existing territorial limits. He foresaw that a society which had entered the path of never-ending acquisition had to engineer a dynamic political organization capable of a corresponding never-ending process of power generation. He even, through sheer force of imagination, was able to outline the main psychological traits of the new type of man who would fit into such a society and its tyrannical body politic. He foresaw the necessary idolatry of power itself by this new human type, that he would be flattered at being called a power-thirsty animal, although actually society would force him to surrender all his natural forces, his virtues and his vices, and would make him the poor meek little fellow who has not even the right to rise against tyranny, and who, far from striving for power, submits to any existing government and does not stir even when his best friend falls an innocent victim to an incomprehensible raison d'etat.

For a Commonwealth based on the accumulated and monopolized power of all its individual members necessarily leaves each person powerless, deprived of his natural and human capacities. It leaves him degraded into a cog in the power-accumulating machine, free to console himself with sublime thoughts about the ultimate destiny of this machine, which itself is constructed in such a way that it can devour the globe simply by following its own inherent law.

The ultimate destructive purpose of this Commonwealth is at least indicated in the philosophical interpretation of human equality as an "equality of ability" to kill. Living with all other nations "in the condition of a perpetual war, and upon the confines of battle, with their frontiers armed. and canons planted against their neighbors round about," it has no other law of conduct but the "most conducing to [its] benefit" and will gradually devour weaker structures until it comes to a last war "which provideth for every man, by Victory, or Death.

By "Victory or Death," the Leviathan can indeed overcome all political limitations that go with the existence of other peoples and can envelop the whole earth in its tyranny. But when the last war has come and every man has been provided for, no ultimate peace is established on earth: the power-accumulating machine, without which continual expansion would not have been achieved, needs more material to devour in its never-ending process. If the last victorious Commonwealth cannot proceed to "annex the planets," it can only proceed to destroy itself in order to begin anew the never-ending process of power generation.
"The Origins of Totalitarianism"
Employers also find it harder. Times are tough.

In stories about CPU price wars "the more competition the better" types of comments get a ton of upvotes.

Does the same do not apply here? The lower the prices the better for consumers, no?
(that comment is "dead", so you need to be logged in and have "showdead" enabled to see it)
Keep in mind that this richest 10% contribute the majority of humanity's value-added commerce and production, cultural output, and scientific output.
Maybe the code is all duct taped from github, the workers are underpaid and overworked, but the experience is better from a consumer experience. So for me whatever is happening is sufficient
I learned web development starting with React and have been using it for everything since.
There is a strong chance that the technology to create digital beings will be available before human society is able to integrate and adjust to the current generation of AI.

So what may happen is that the way that AI really gets integrated is by actually replacing human beings who largely die off.
I find this interesting not so much because it might be wrong, but because of the passive language: "chance", "happen", "die off".

I cannot tell why the spokesmen I have cited want the developments I forecast to become true. Some of them have told me that they work on them for the morally bankrupt reason that "If we don't do it, someone else will." They fear that evil people will develop superintelligent machines and use them to oppress mankind, and that the only defense against these enemy machines will be superintelligent machines controlled by us, that is, by well-intentioned people. Others reveal that they have abdicated their autonomy by appealing to the "principle" of technological inevitability. But, finally, all I can say with assurance is that these people are not stupid. All the rest is mystery.

There was a widespread conviction that it is impossible to withstand temptation of any kind, that none of us could be trusted or even be expected to betrustworthy when the chips are down, that to be tempted and to be forced are almost the same, whereas in the words of Mary McCarthy, who first spotted this fallacy: "If somebody points a gun at you and says,'Kill your friend or I will kill you,' he is tempting you, that is all." And while a temptation where one's life is at stake may be a legal excuse for a crime, it certainly is not a moral justification.


It is fortunate and wise that no law exists for sins of omission and no human court is called up onto sit in judgment over them. But it is equally fortunate that there exists still one institution in society in which it is well-nigh impossible to evade issues of personal responsibility, where all justifications of a nonspecific, abstract nature - from the Zeitgeist down to the Oedipus complex - break down, where not systems or trends or original sin are judged, but men of flesh and blood like you and me, whose deeds are of course still human deeds but who appear before a tribunal because they have broken some law whose maintenance we regard as essential for the integrity of our common humanity. Legal and moral issues are by no means the same, but they have a certain affinity with each other because they both presuppose the power of judgment.


What mattered in our early, nontheoretical education in morality was never the conduct of the true culprit of whom even then no one in his right mind could expect other than the worst. Thus we were outraged, but not morally disturbed, by the bestial behavior of the stormtroopers in the concentration camps and the torture cellars of the secret police, and it would have been strange indeed to grow morally indignant over the speeches of the Nazi big wigs inpower, whose opinions had been common knowledge for years. [..] The moral issue arose only with the phenomenon of "coordination," that is, not with fear-inspired hypocrisy, but with this very early eagerness not to miss the train of History, with this, as it were, honest overnight change of opinion that befell a great majority of public figures in all walks of life and all ramifications of culture, accompanied, as it was, by an incredible ease with which life long friendships were broken and discarded. In brief, what disturbed us was the behavior not of our enemies but of our friends, who had done nothing to bring this situation about. They were not responsible for the Nazis, they were only impressed by the Nazi success and unable to pit their own judgment against the verdict of History, as they read it. Without taking into account the almost universal breakdown, not of personal responsibility, but of personal judgment in the early stages of the Nazi regime, it is impossible to understand what actually happened.
Even the worst case projections don't propose that the average temperature will change by more than current day-to-day variability.
[..] Our children will have to adapt or become extinct. [..]

Sounds bad! I'm open to ideas on how to prevent such radical disruptions. But the author suggests that we need to end fossil fuel consumption, reconfigure our economic system, reconsider what it means to have a decent life, and eliminate our desire to consume lots of goods and services. Shouldn't we expect a comparable amount of disruption from these huge changes?
The CCP has really worked exceptionally well for the people.
When someone can point to the part of the brain that causes the feeling of "feeling" something, then we'll be that much closer to creating a machine that replicates the behavior.
You are being completely disingenuous.

I am not being disingenuous in the least.
I bet 2000 years from now Doom is belongs to canon like Iliad. It's of the timeless classical epics among the oldest extant works from the early silicon era. Doomguy is mentioned with Gilgamesh and Odysseus.
Curiously, I frequently see drivers speeding down the street here with their vehicle windows down, no masks, and acting like there's no such thing as a virus.
I wake up and the first thing I do is check my phone and I don't think that's unhealthy. Quite the contrary I believe.
I've been noticing on my walks how many Amazon delivery trucks there are, how many Amazon boxes are sitting outside in the trash piles. While people certainly aren't spending money dining out, they're still going HAM with their online shopping.

There's so much doom and gloom in the news, but when I look at the real data I'm not seeing anything that supports the apocalypse predictions.
I really don't understand why people immediately want to discredit the idea that US patient zero was not the first in US.
It looks like remote work is going to become the new normal!
I don't think it's at all likely that this author is consciously making an explosive political claim about Taiwan in a post about epidemiological cartography.
No more waiting to see whether that bunch of disaffected art students sitting around drinking absinthe and smoking strong cigarettes come up with anything good, get a bunch of computers to do it in a fraction of the time - and with far less angst.
I figure its only a matter of time before I'll be hard pressed not to make the difficult decision of giving up my arms for the eventual advantage of a prosthetic, and the seamless way he is able to control the synth brings that horizon much closer.
In 100 years we might have dedicated phonemes for emoji, making a terse language similar to Chinese. Or as smartphones become ubiquitous and children are exposed to these graphemes earlier and earlier, we might skip vocalization altogether and just beam pictograms directly to the visual cortex via AR.

exciting times!
We should also consider that as the ambient CO2 density rises we're also going to lose a lot of our cognitive function. If we're going to rely on nuclear energy to see us through we might need to rely on AI to carry on operations for us.

Or alternatively, personal CO2 scrubbers (already used as a part of diving rebreathers) become standard equipment for knowledge workers.
I think that instead of trying to reverse the situation (for instance, by convincing the largest carbon emitters like China to stop - which they won't), we should try to make use of the situation.

Too much carbon being released? Free carbon! How can we use it to make something else / convert it to something else? Too much acid in the ocean? How can we extract it and use it for something? Rising temps? How can we make use of this to grow crops that need warmer environments, or use it for better solar generation, or use thermal power generation in these areas. Our best hope it to adapt to the new norm rather than fight a losing battle. I know it's fatalistic, but I think we will last longer as a species if we adopt this approach instead.
the one insightful reply is of course downvoted:
And though a propaganda machine has power... like all things it creates and equal an opposite power that eventually destroys it. The question for individuals is only: where am I in the cycle, how long will this cycle last, and what is my role to play?
No fully automated slaughterbots. There has to be a man in the loop that at least clicks a mouse every time the robot kills an enemy combatant.
Sorry, but that's the way it is. Internet is the future of human interaction. [..] You might not like it but that's reality and there's no comming back because internet is the best way of interacting with people thanks to its speed, memory and safety (when compared to any other form of interaction with exactly same people).
The size and striking appearance give a sense of safety, nobility, and a feeling that the structure's purpose exists beyond what people think of it.
Brutalism when done thoughtfully and well is beautiful, uplifting, and provides a sense of calm and space.
Unfortunately, I think pervasive surveillance is inevitable. Perhaps when video and audio evidence becomes completely unreliable due to deepfakes type shenanigans it will actually be a positive because it will make all the surveillance data worthless? Maybe they are the the answer to each other’s problems?
there's nothing more disgusting than non-determinism
Actually... they did just roll out a program that lets people take a minute break every 45 minutes or so, without it affecting their metrics. So that's something.
Wealth inequality needs to be considered in the context of overall prosperity and despite the fearmongering you see online, most Americans are doing well. Even our poor have modern conveniences, access to emergency healthcare, generally safe food and infrastructure - eating the evil rich and redistributing their wealth is unlikely to solve any of the major issues in the country, as we're already throwing tons of money at schooling and healthcare and the like.
Come on, none of us are really "human" anymore since the advent of cell phones.
I'm holding judgment until further evidence that this is not another accusation equivalent to Iraq's WMD or Syria's chemical weapons in this trade war with China.
That isn't the insect apocalyse. The insect apocalyse is in a decade or so when insects overcome what it is we are producing to beat them down.
The view of tech companies as dangerous, and privacy-threatening,(while there are certainly issues) is presented in an inflated matter by the hyperbole loving main stream press, who feels their role as gatekeepers of ideas and news is threatened.
Perhaps more constructively consider that AGI is simply the next iteration of 'humanity', yea sure the old versions are redundant anarchisms and apart from some living reserve specimens functionally extinct, but nobody cares as you can sim one up at almost no cost.
Is John Carmack 14 years old? What makes you think your ideas are more "serious" than his?
Google and other large companies have made some significant AI advances in the last decade & I think it's in all of our interests to see if these advances can lead to improvements in health care.

Yes, it's scary how much data these companies have collected about us, but there are other things in the world which are even more scary, like heart attacks and cancer.
I've even known people who used sleep masks and ear plugs when going to bed.
Everyone is being efficiently exploited by one another through mutually beneficial transactions.
Being a billionaire means something.
Automation is the only job that's safe from automation ;)
Authoritarian and antidemocratic government is just as legitimate as any other
Companies growing so that they can be worth more when their investors sell them is the whole point of businesses in general. It's the reason we all go to work every day.
Better to keep the decision space clean. I would rather my trash be digital than cognitive.
Is nuclear waste even still a problem? We have been storing nuclear waste for more than 60 years in ‘temporary facilities ’ while we’re looking for permanent solutions. As far as I know, nothing happened in that time.
Yeah, the fact that any appearance of US military assets requires Pentagon to approve the script means that Hollwood is unable to record a movie depicting modern US millitary in any critical or non-heroic manner.
China has mechanisms to change laws but they have to be routed through the proper channels.
There is no "liberal censorship", unless you can point me to an instance where a bunch of liberals imprisoned someone for offending them.
China appears to have chosen safety over freedom. The outcome is horrendous for minorities (Uighur etc), but for the majority?
Soon enough of the "vast majority" will probably try to ban "HTTPS for everything" because of the "implications" (read as: additional CO2 footprint or something like that)
The world outside HN is quite different
Isn't myopia beneficial? When eye gets adapted to screens, books maybe it's bettter? I can see every single pixel on screens and it's very useful in daily life.
I think it is not too difficult to refrain from being involved in politics or sensitive issues
As for the values of the CCP, consider them like the Constitution in the US or the values of the "founding fathers". People don't get to change those either in any direct democratic way (but through a slow, ideological and legal process).

Besides, 1 party vs 2 parties alternating seems hardly much of a difference...
Intentionally or not, I believe not talking about politics is politics, because not talking about something strengthens whatever the status quo - good or bad - at that time is.

That's extremist talk.
Having been here for about four years, I can't agree to your statement about a "small minority" acting as "censors". Rather, the community as a whole seems to be very much in agreement as to what constitutes valid topics for discussion, and what types of behaviour are considered unwanted.
Imagine if humans weren't born with biological mouths, instead synthetic mouths were invented and sold by a company, allowing people to speak. We wouldn't accept the company installing a blacklist of words or phrases to stop people from saying them.

But we already have that in European countries.
Democracy needs provable facts to work
China [..] where you would just voice your discontent and let the 'technocratic' 'leadership' figure out a solution.
With advertising, we can enjoy many services free of charge.
Markets are the worst way to determine any value [..] Nevertheless we haven't yet found a better way of estimating the value of things.
When meritocrats and technocrats fail to seize power, extinction ensues.
I really love how the class names of the various warships are, lets say, less than subtle. Something of a self referential reminder that in war, one must accept that you're always the villain of someone's story, and war is never pretty.
there is only room for 1% of the people, in the top 1%
My kids are obsessed. Literally everything they say to me starts with "Daddy, on minecraft, ...." It's all they talk about, including with each other. They even act it out in playtime. Although as someone who has never played I basically understand nothing they are telling me.

It seems pretty creative tho, and they seem to be learning a lot from it, so not too bothered.
humans are [..] large groups of people
We see Tiananmen Square pop up all the time not because of its major historical significance, but because of the attempts by certain governments to censor it.
Pay-per-hour would lead to shorter, more thoughtful games, rather than long grindy ones.
Instead of roasting big companies (because... privacy?) we should work together. This picture does more harm, because it view companies purely as enemies.
Are you shaming HN users for trying to monetize something?
OK, if 13 year old girls do soft porn videos, totally on their own, I'd call that empowerment. I don't get the distinction from 13 year old guys doing videos about whatever they're into.
if we don't pass our best genes down to our children we are hurting future generations. I suspect the fact that we've turned so against eugenics goes hand in hand with the fact that we've also destroyed the environment, the financial well-being, and even the mental health of the next generation (especially here in America)
You are part of the vocal, online minority that doesn't look at Mint and cringe because it looks so amateur and dated.
China is a democracy.
Terraforming Mars, or maybe just create a habitable satellite is easier than saving the earth.
What these reports often seem to ignore is that there is still biodiversity within our cities--sometimes a lot of it.
We do all sorts of ugly things to animals in the name of science. :/ But we learn all sorts of interesting and useful things from it, so... it's one of those trolley problem things.
I would encourage countries like China or Russia to develop cheap mass drone swarm systems that can deny access to airspace to any adversary. A country could sell this sort of service for hundreds of billions of dollars to another country like an insurance policy. Entire wars could be made impossible. It would be great progress for the world.
A comment on "What 61,000 hidden structures reveal about Maya civilization":
The Maya still exist today. What people often refer to as Maya is their classic period.

In recent times, the Maya were massacred by a US-backed dictatorship:

And that's one of the reasons people flee the area.

Here is the, uhhh, "response" to that:
The Mayan highlands in Guatemala are actually a great place to visit — I spent a month or so there a few years ago. The people are super nice and it’s just beautiful.

Which in turn prompted these, uhhh, "replies":
There are about 30 languages in Guatemala which is about the size of New Jersey. 10% of the population speak Spanish. Everyone knows the Spanish words for numbers, that is needed to transact business. Cakchiquel verbs can have 4 suffixes whick makes it one of the most difficult languages to learn. Some kids don't learn to conjugate well until they are 14 or 15.
I have been a couple times and agree as well as it makes for a great vacation destination. For Starwars fans you can actually climb the temple IV in Tikal which was the original Yavin 4 filming location.
Having been there too, I strongly endorse your opinion. Did you make it to Tikal and check out the pyramids? Climbing Pyramid 4 and staring over the canopy at endless jungle was one of the better experiences of my life.

But also this one from the poster of the original comment mentioning the genocide..
Nice deflection.

While you are there, visit the Maya mass graves try to learn about the US role in making that happen.
..but of course, that's just rude. You can't put people on the spot like that, just for sweeping genocide under the rug. That's snarky and abrasive and mean, it's super bad discussion culture, so that's the one comment that needs to gets penalized.
Mistakes are going to happen and the world has changed. The battlefield is everywhere now. It's not good, but from a high level the US leading the world led to fewer combat deaths.
Games are designed to keep you interested and engaged-- that's just what a game is. Children's games have included gambling since toys have existed (dreidel, jacks, marbles, to name a few). Children learn about the real world through play, and gambling is a part of that. Risks give benefits or consequences that are often unpredictable. I don't see the explicit benefit of excluding these gambles from children's games.
Besides, all games are designed to be addictive. That’s what games are. They provide a fast feedback loop of small successes
If YC becomes popular in in China, people might visit and find very sane liberal thinking and many shocking truths about their country.
On the death of my physical body, my assets will be transferred to a trust fund with 90% going as a bounty to whoever can bring me back to "life", preferably not in flesh and bones (only 50% if I get put in a human body)