Links 11/12/13

Depression ‘speeds ageing process’ BBC. See? Given the consequences, be pissed off instead!

What’s the difference between a comedian and an economist? Irish Times (Bill Black)

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines Atlantic (furzy mouse)

Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence New Yorker

America and Israel Created a Monster Computer Virus Which Now Threatens Nuclear Reactors Worldwide George Washington

IEA warns of future oil supply crunch Financial Times

Typhoon Haiyan: the city where 10,000 died Telegraph

New Storm, Quake Menace Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan Wall Street Journal

Chinese new lending tanks Macrobusiness

Fukushima animation shows how difficult clean-up is going to be Gaius Publius, AmericBlog. While this post does give an overview of how tough the clean-up might be if fuel rods are damaged, the fact that they were underwater at the time of the earthquake would have reduced the effect and may have spared them (as in the water would absorb and diffuse the shock). Richard Smith points to two BBC reports (here and here) which are not as alarmed. Note the first BBC link also suggests the real worry is more likely the other buildings….

The Euro Tests a Continent’s Resolve for More Unity New York Times

A short story of how a country can default in a few days failed evolution (no more banksters). Key paragraph:

…as long as Greece was playing the game of Goldman Sachs, giving economic benefits inside the Greek territory, there was no problem with lending. When the new government stopped giving such benefits, probably because no one knew where would lead in the future, international banksters-speculators mobilized every mean that they had (rating agencies, media etc.), in order to show who is the boss and that there is no way for the country to avoid default, except of playing with their rules.

Iran allows inspectors to visit sites Guardian

Why Iran’s Concessions Won’t Lead to a Nuclear Agreement CounterPunch (Carol B)

Who Can You Trust? Competing Media Versions of France’s Role in the Iran Nuclear Talks Just Security

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Kerry: leaders understand NSA leaks Guardian

Scandal Alters U.S. Ties and Raises Talk of Policy Shift New York Times

NSA’s Vast Surveillance Powers Extend Far Beyond Counterterrorism, Despite Misleading Government Claims EFF

Information commissioner voices fears over scale of NSA surveillance Guardian

Obamacare Launch

In shift, GOP wants ObamaCare fix The Hill

The POLITICAL INSIDERS Discuss the Panic Inside the Democratic Party over ObamaCare Fox Part 1 and Part 2. Includes Pat Caddell, who was Carter’s pollster, so this isn’t quite as knee jerk as normal Fox programming.

Are Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance Seriously Underestimated? Joe Firestone, Corrente

About 40,000 have signed up for plans on Washington Post. And notice the definition of “signed up”

Medicaid signups an early Obamacare bright spot CBS

Mistakes were made Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

This is the real ‘rate shock’: My parents’ amazing Obamacare story Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Churches offering beer to reach people NPR (Lawrence R)

Smart Wheel By FlyKly Could Change Everything About Commuting Huffington Post. Uh, no. Lambert gave up his bike because he can’t risk breaking a wrist (I suggested a recumbent bike after seeing one zoom around Brunswick, Maine, but I gather it’s too eccentric for where he lives).

Colleges May Penalize Students Over Preference on Financial Aid Applications DailyFinance (Carol B)

Suit Charges 3 Credit Ratings Agencies With Fraud in Bear Stearns Case New York Times

Low inflation creating a QE trap Walter Kurtz

Investors must starve the hedge funds Financial Times

Wall Street’s nightmare: President Warren Politico

Target — The Emperor Has No Clothes! Counterpunch (Carol B)

Russell Brand Tells Robert Webb ‘I’m Not In Favour Of Death Camps

Left Third Parties in 2013 CounterPunch (Carol B)

The Revolutionaries in Our Midst Chris Hedges TruthDig (furzy mouse)

Antidote du jour (Mark H). I never saw such a handsome badger. More amazing photos from Finland here.


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  1. skippy

    Identifying external influences on global precipitation


    This study provides evidence that human activities are affecting precipitation over land and oceans. Anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone depletion are expected to lead to a latitudinal intensification and redistribution of global precipitation. However, detecting these mechanisms in the observational record is complicated by strong climate noise and model errors. We establish that the changes in land and ocean precipitation predicted by theory are indeed present in the observational record, that these changes are unlikely to arise purely due to natural climate variability, and that external influences, probably anthropogenic in origin, are responsible.

    Changes in global (ocean and land) precipitation are among the most important and least well-understood consequences of climate change. Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations are thought to affect the zonal-mean distribution of precipitation through two basic mechanisms. First, increasing temperatures will lead to an intensification of the hydrological cycle (“thermodynamic” changes). Second, changes in atmospheric circulation patterns will lead to poleward displacement of the storm tracks and subtropical dry zones and to a widening of the tropical belt (“dynamic” changes). We demonstrate that both these changes are occurring simultaneously in global precipitation, that this behavior cannot be explained by internal variability alone, and that external influences are responsible for the observed precipitation changes. Whereas existing model experiments are not of sufficient length to differentiate between natural and anthropogenic forcing terms at the 95% confidence level, we present evidence that the observed trends result from human activities.

    1. skippy

      Favorite comment:

      Dave Ewoldt TheMushyPea
      • 14 days ago

      Well, it is true that focusing exclusively on capitalism won’t help completely. The problem is the paradigm of Industrialism, and capitalism as an economic system under Industrialism has merely proven that it is more efficient at turning low-entropy resources into high-entropy wastes than socialism is.

      Consumption is part of the problem, but not the main driver by a long shot. As economists and other social scientists have been pointing out for decades, people don’t naturally desire more once basic needs have been met. For that to occur, the world’s largest 24×7 propaganda machine, known as Madison Avenue, is required.

      The real problem is that in the quest for superficial power and wealth for an elite who believe they were divinely ordained, we’ve allowed ourselves to descend into the overshoot range of planetary carrying capacity, and have given up any pretense of equality and justice.

      Which is why the environmental crisis, especially global warming, is an issue of species survival. At 6 degrees of warming, the plankton die off. There goes half the oxygen on the planet. At six degrees of warming (which those leftist organizations, the World Bank and IMF say we’re on track to hit by 2100, but more scientists are saying we’ll probably hit by around 2060) plants “de-nature”. They lose their ability to produce proteins, and there goes the other half of the planet’s oxygen.

      I don’t care how “tough” humans think they are, can you think of even a single scenario of how a world without oxygen turns out well for humans?


      1. Concerned Citizen

        What you’re talking about sounds exactly like the ‘dangers’ of so-called ‘imminent’ Artificial Intelligences from the article linked to above:

        “‘its idea of self-preservation… to include proactive attacks on future threats… without meticulous, countervailing instructions, a self-aware, self-improving, goal-seeking system will go to lengths we’d deem ridiculous to fulfill its goals,’ even, perhaps, commandeering all the world’s energy in order to maximize whatever calculation it happened to be interested in.”

        Namely the fetishistic religion of infinite economic growth and progress.

    2. DakotabornKansan

      “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Voltaire

      Imagine our future grandchildren asking us what we did. Do we want to tell them that we sat on our hands and did nothing while emissions kept rising, the ice caps melted, species disappeared, and the oceans got more acidic?

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” – Sherwood Rowland, 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for work in atmospheric chemistry

      What politician ever thinks beyond his or her next election? Such thinking is hopelessly inadequate for the big questions that involve the fabric of the world we live in.

      “Modern man no longer regards Nature as being in any sense divine and feels perfectly free to behave towards her as an overwhelming conqueror and tyrant.” — Aldous Huxley

      “Men argue. Nature acts.” – Voltaire

      Future generations will curse us.

      “We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard, and too damned cheap.” – Kurt Vonnegut

    3. XO

      It would appear that we are too stupid, as a species, to recognize the threat we cause ourselves. We are smart enough to engineer a well, but too dumb not to shit in it. Although it will be terrible, the ecological nightmare we are bringing to reality will follow its natural path to its natural conclusion. Humans have always been smart, but we’ve seldom been wise.

      On a related note: Capitalism takes its profit before all costs are accounted for — the cleanup of industrial activity is left to government. Government is broke. There will be no clean up.

    4. Zane Zodrow

      This guy is not a simple High School graduate/independent contractor with a hottie in Hawaii.
      Morgan Stanley put him in charge of US OTC derivatives after he left the NYFRB.

      “In its almost 100-year history, the Fed had never bought one mortgage bond. Now my program was buying so many each day through active, unscripted trading that we constantly risked driving bond prices too high and crashing global confidence in key financial markets. We were working feverishly to preserve the impression that the Fed knew what it was doing.

      QE isn’t really working.

      Unless you’re Wall Street. Having racked up hundreds of billions of dollars in opaque Fed subsidies, U.S. banks have seen their collective stock price triple since March 2009. The biggest ones have only become more of a cartel: 0.2% of them now control more than 70% of the U.S. bank assets.”

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Hey, Pinky, are you thinking what I’m thinking? (I linked this same article over on Richter’s post.) Let’s take over the world! We can do it by running the printers until all the ink cartridges run dry or the wheels come off; we’ll collapse everything and then take over.

        The “Fed” (always in quotes ’cause it ain’t federal) has a counterfeit balance sheet almost five-times its historic norm, full of banksters’ mark-to-myth dreck assets. Huszar is pointing to what David Stockman call “the mother of all bubbles.”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I find listening to him a less painful way than some of the alternatives to take the temperature of the Rs.

  2. BobW

    Yee Hah – was finally able to create account on ACA website (one out of three, it is an act) – but hung at accept terms & conditions, nothing happened when clicked accept. We’ll see what happens later…turning 62 this month, so have a couple of years left to keep trying.

  3. Schtubb

    It may be old news by now, but I just wanted to voice my dissatisfaction with whatever clipboard / social sharing script NC is now running. I understand the motivation, but I dislike it – it only slows me down.

    And for the record, when I found myself fighting it this morning for the first time, I had already pasted the story link into the email and was pulling a choice bit.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m sorry you are having trouble. We have nothing new running, so I am not sure what you are talking about. I’ll pass it on. It may be the result of WordPress upgrade and we haveN NO control over that.

  4. frosty zoom

    you know,

    as a citizen of a country* with socialized medicine, the insanity of the rollout’n’over of o’blahmacare is awesome!

    it just may convince people here that the really don’t want private insurance, despite my government’s intentions of letting our system die.

    keep screwing up! please…

    *saludos a los del nsa!

    1. Mel

      Universal insurance isn’t even really insurance. It’s properly called budgeting. Some historical data will let you come up with a good estimate of costs, and then it’s a matter of finding the money to pay them. The element of risk is very small. Beyond that point, controlling costs becomes the real challenge.

      1. frosty zoom

        you know, i hope the best for everyone trying to receive good medical care.

        it’s too bad we can’t find better “money”.

  5. Jessica

    Would the wrist guards used for rollerblading protect Lambert’s wrists when cycling? I have taken some pretty wicked falls over the years and mine have always protected my wrists completely.

  6. scraping_by

    RE: Daily Kos ACA success stories

    (which is an actual category; look down at the bottom for the Google tags)

    One of the basics of crisis management PR is to substitute the story you want to talk about for the story that really is. In this case, dozens, if not hundreds, of unsupported success stories of better coverage for less money show up in the medias, especially online media.

    No one outside these stories seems to be able to reproduce these sterling results. Not in dry runs, from available information, with available means. Must be specific, hidden, and personal.

    The coverage is apparently better than before, unlike most people’s experience, which is worse. The stories of higher premiums and higher deductables aren’t explained, they just didn’t happen to these lucky people. Lucky or smart? Doesn’t say.

    Most of the instances of people getting blindsided by insurance companies or locked out of the process leave them hanging, with no end in sight. Success stories are wrapped up neatly in these last few weeks. Completely resolved, apparently, immediately. Zip!

    And all these stories follow the same problem-solution-resolution structure taught in any fiction writing class. Hmm.

    And most of them have some moral summation in the final paragraph. Something about not so bad or it’s all better. A glowing final state.

    Not saying someone’s creating anecdotal evidence to create a body of evidence that the bad story isn’t true, or isn’t important. Just saying.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘Obama should make sure Americans can retain their current plans, even if it means revamping the Affordable Care Act,’ said Bill Clinton.

      I hope he acts before the end of the year. I have to get a new, and probably more expensive, one by then.

    2. afisher

      Which would be a big deal, aka N=1, except for most of the “stories” via MSM were all about the people who were going all “hair on fire” in the opposite direction.

      I don’t have a dog in this fight, but it is amusing that a positive story is kicked to the curb and hair on fire is fanned. just sayin

      1. scraping_by

        I don’t know if people who go public they’re worse off with ACA are hysterical or going pubic is hysteria, if you’re off message. The metaphor is inexact.

        But in any case, there’s no natural process for public information to result in well-crafted vignettes contradicting that information. It’s not like action-reaction in physics lab.

    3. Dromaius

      These shining stories rarely talk about whether the individual(s) are able to see the same doctors they saw before.

      And often, if you tunnel down, down, down, you find out that the people could NOT see their doctors. Some end up finding another plan that does cover their doctors, but you don’t hear what other facilities they gave up to get those doctors.

      Doctor access will be the story next year.

      1. dearieme

        I was struck by the sheer stupidity of the Daily Kos story. Does the writer not realise that if the only people who sign up are the elderly and late middle-aged with a heap of pre-existing health problems, then the system is doomed? Or does she think that the money fairy will come to the rescue?

    4. lambert strether

      I liked the click bait headline, even if it was a little understated, at least for Kos:

      This is the real ‘rate shock’: 7 Reasons For My parents’ amazing Obamacare story

      Or whatever number of reasons, I suppose.

  7. fresno dan

    Smart Wheel By FlyKly Could Change Everything About Commuting
    Uh, no is right! Even an old codger like me can bike for miles and miles in Sacramento. But WAY before electric motors, dedicated bike routes are what are going to get people who are not 20-25 year old macho Lance Armstrongs biking. I got hit by a car on a bright sunny Sunday morning (9:30am) – I signaled, turned right and was even to the right of the bike lane (I was as far from the car lane as possible – so I don’t know if the guy didn’t know how to turn left, decided to park on top of me, or was cell phoning).
    Remarkably I was uninjured and the bike shop fixed my wheel for a mere 20$.
    Hills are not keeping the vast majority of people from commuting. On the roads you drive to work – would you ride a bike on that road?

    1. coboarts

      Riding a bicycle on public roadways is a ridiculous proposition. I got clipped once by a nice lady turning right who just couldn’t miss the rear corner of my bike rack, crossing the intersection. I went straight up, then down, it was my best three point roll ever. Putting your life in the hands of stressed out fools driving killing machines is a bad idea.

    2. optimader

      I think your pretty correct fresno, you have to be sensible about the roads you ride on, I am fortunate in that I have a pretty good matrix of frmr RR right of way bike trials.

      I do have a bajillion cumulative miles of road riding though, and my three recommendations to ANYONE that rides on roads are
      1. a helmet mirror, I wouldn’t get on a bike w/o one.

      2. A small led handlebar light that has a strobe mode and a red clip on led light that you clip on the a bike bag under your seat. Turn them on WHENEVER you ride, even on bright sunny days. Batteries are cheap.

      An obnoxious as possible strobing light will catch the eye of the diverted attention driver. Sheeple are conditioned to understand that a flashing red light is means bad juju.

      3. And for chistsake WEAR A BRIGHT SHIRT/JACKET! Stand out in contrast w/ the road or risk becoming a part of it.

      1. fresno dan

        That’s good advice. I was wearing a bright green fluorescent t shirt, but not enough I guess.
        My bike has a flash mode for the headlight, but a strobe would be much better. But I did start to use my lights in the daytime after the incident, and as you suggest, anyone who rides a bike should use lights to make themselves as visible as possible.

        What I have done is just stop being on the street – I simply don’t trust that the average motorist “sees” people on bikes. I now use alleys, which in Sacramento means you can go the direction parallel to the lettered streets. I still am nervous going across on the numbered streets, but if not a busy street I can handle it. In alleys, people back up slowly, and you can see their back up lights (unlike pulling away from a parking space). Its narrow, and then can’t see down the alley, so it makes them go slow backing up. Yes, I find alleys much more serene than being out in a bike lane. Also, I have very interesting conversations with the people who collect recyclables…

        Out on the street people don’t signal and turn, signal but don’t turn, cars pull out unexpectedly, car doors open unexpectedly. I have also learned that it is not necessary to ride right up to my destination. If I can ride 20 blocks, and than walk the last 3 or 4 in the dense city traffic area, well, that is still better than walking 24 blocks…

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Daily Kos ACA Success Stories

    The author says:

    “Their new plan covers my mom’s pulmonary specialist, all of her screenings (x-rays, CTs, etc), requires only a $1,500 deductible and $4,500 max out of pocket cost and the insurance company kicks in 100 percent after the deductible is met.”

    This makes no sense. “The INSURANCE COMPANY ‘kicks in’ 100% after the deductible is met???”

    What, then, is this co-insurance all about? 60/40, 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10. I don’t see any 100/0 plans there. If insurance pays NOTHING until the deductible is met, and will pay 100% afterwards, what is the point of quoting coinsurance percentages, which supposedly “kick in” when and if the insurance company starts paying for treatment?

    Another small detail: It is my understanding that limits on out-of-pocket expenditures are one of the promises of Obamacare that won’t take effect in 2014.

  9. from Mexico

    @ “Russell Brand Tells Robert Webb ‘I’m Not In Favour Of Death Camps‘”

    Brand says his political and social beliefs derive from his religious faith. This seems to fly in the face of what the Jacobin article reports. In the United States, the article shows, those who profess to be the most religious are those who vote most consistently for the scorched earth, screw-everybody-but-me policies of the Republican Party.

    So what became of progressive religion in the United States? There was a time when a lot of religious folks were progressive, either economically or culturally, if not both. As the Jacobin article explains, all the Great Socety programs of the 60s had the overwhelming support of the Southern Democrats, who although might have been culturally conservative were nevertheless economically liberal. These were the folks who were cut out of the same cloth as Father Coughlin. And then there were the culturally progressive religionists, those who spearheaded the abolitionist movement as well as the Civil Rights movement. Where have all these folks disappeared to?

    In PBS’s outstanding documentary, God in America: Inside the tumultuous 400-year history of the intersection of religion and public life in America is the recounting of how the right-wing, conservative evangelist Billy Graham was a media creation of William Randolf Hearst:

    So the greed-is-good theology is now not only the dominant theology in mainstream economics, but mainstream Christianity as well. Besides the university social sciences departments, the lords of capital have done a good job of vitating the churches. So Americans have a choice. They can choose the greed-is-good theology in its secular, mainstream economics variety. Or they can choose the greed-is-good theology in its Christian variety.

    In both cases, what we find are the preferences of the lords of capital stated as if they were scientifically or religously validated value judgments.

    1. from Mexico

      I highly recommend Brand’s interview.

      One of the subtexts Brand always falls back on mirrors what anoter article from one of yesterday’s “Links” said:

      After two centuries laboring under a [United States] Constitution crafted by principled opponents of democracy, who saw as one of their central goals the suppression of any chance that concerted majorities might ever use the state for positive ends, how can anyone be surprised that this country is hospitable to anti-government extremists?

      For anyone desiring greater popular sovereignty, the system is not designed to deliver that, and never was.

    2. Jim S

      To both agree and disagree with you, here’s John Piper on “Why I abominate the prosperity gospel” (Youtube), which I believe I may have seen posted in comments here when it first appeared. I found that it clarified my thoughts on the movement very well. I haven’t seen as much of the prosperity gospel lately, which is good. Piper as you may know is more recently known for a tweet in the wake of the big Oklahoma tornados.

      Pope Francis also seems to embrace humility, so perhaps Protestants will take some inspiration from him as well. As one astute commenter on Reddit notes, however, it remains to be seen whether he is capable and willing to deal with the Catholic Church’s systemic problems.

    3. craazyman

      it occurred to me today on the bus how they could bring that chart from the shadow banking post into the movie.

      The chart could be kept, by Governor Squid, in a locked safe in his office so nobody would know just how the system worked.

      Then, when Captain Sparrow finally gets his hands on the chart, guided there by the voodoo queen, through a raucous series of adventures, that’s when the liberation can begin.

      Amanda Wright-Principal’s brother can organize regulation, once he’s freed from the stockade, and the tentacles of governor Squid, which keeps the people in bondage, will be chopped off one by one. it will be seen that Governor Squid’s soul is possessed by the vile deep sea creature that brings down ships, and when the voodoo queen and Captain Sparrow undo the curse and he finds himself sane and whole, Gov. Squid will have no memory of what he did while possessed. That will be painful for him and it needs to be handled delicately by the Director, who probably shouldn’t be German because they’re too much into furtive sturm and drang.

      Hopefully Mr. Brand will agree to play Captain Sparrow. He doesn’t even need a costume or makeup, hardly. I’m serious.

    4. Jerome Armstrong

      Brand is from the UK. The spirituality he is referring to is derived from his yogic practic (iirc its a form of kundalini) and what he’s gathered meditating.

  10. fresno dan

    America and Israel Created a Monster Computer Virus Which Now Threatens Nuclear Reactors Worldwide George Washington

    years ago, I remember reading the Atlantic article about the “conflicker” virus

    And I thought for a moment that maybe the US government was behind it. Nah…the US government is virtuous and wouldn’t be so stupid to unleash a virus that once released could have unimaginable unintended consequences…cause these guys are playing 10 dimensional chess and considering every contingency…

    Now I course, I sit in my pajamas, aluminum wrap lining my room, and a special 2 karat imitation ersatz gold paint foil lined helmet on to protect me from the gamma rays being sent by the black helicopter drones…
    Because All of the conspiracies that the government are monitoring you are true

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The government is virtuous…

      It’s the Moral Dunning Kruger effect – we all think we are more moral than we really are (Big Government is OK because ‘We The Virtuous’ are in charge of it. It’s further mixed with a fantasy – the bad guys will never get hold of that sort of awesome power).

      So, we believe scientific and technological knowledge will only be used by virtuous human beings.

      We believe computer programmers will save us, even when they write viral ware.

      And we, without any conflict of interest and without much evidence, claim we are Homo Sapiens Sapiens…actually, this last one is Intellectual Dunning Kruger (and Mr. Dunning and/or Mr. Kruger would be committing a Dunning Kruger thinking he is a Homo Sapiens Sapiens) – and it’s a whole species thing that we are afflicted with this effect.

    2. ambrit

      Yea, verrily, I would love to see a unredacted list of DARPA projects. Just the list of names would tell us so much about what’s considered possible.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    I believe the longevity – low calorie diet connection has been mentioned here before.

    So, when depression leads to overeating – that’s doubly speeding ageing.

    1. Jessica

      The low-calorie diet – longevity connection has been called into question. It turns out that in the original experiment, the control group was fed such awful food that it was killing them.
      If your diet consists of Twinkies and Oreos, a low-calorie diet definitely will keep you going longer.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, it’s been repeatedly proven in small lab animals like mice.

        The more costly studies on monkeys are mixed (monkeys live a lot longer).

        IIRC, in one the underfed monkeys were healthier and lived longer but the other monkeys were allowed to eat unlimited amounts, and that included sugars.

        In the other study, one group was underfed and the other was fed a reasonable amount and there wasn’t a big disparity. But I think that study may have been a bit sus because one of the underfed monkey died young for reasons that didn’t appear to be related to the underfeeding…..and all these monkey studies still have really small # of monkeys (you normally need 100 in the test and control group in human studies for them to be considered even remotely valid from a statistical standpoint, and they clearly didn’t have that many monkeys, so an anomalous death could really mess up interpreting results).

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Comedians and economists.

    I don’t know much about comedians. But a good clown makes people laugh at the clown him/herself. A good economist makes the 0.01% laugh at you.

    1. ambrit

      Dear MLTPB;
      I dunno about that. Grillo seems to be doing a good job of making people laugh at the elites in and of Italy.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The threat of artificial intelligence.

    I say we also watch out for the threat of superficial intelligence.

    1. optimader

      AI has its place.. referring to a previous thread, next time you’re in an oversize cigar-tube w/wings on final approach through the fog at night, one should quietly consider if they would feel safer w/ no autopilot. An autopilot is no substitute for a well trained competent pilot when needed, and visa versa.

      Pilots that crash planes are an issue of human factors and how the industry (including regulatory authorities)values training, not the merits of AI .

      Now does you washer-dryer combo need a WiFi connection? Perhaps this is when the application of AI segues to the region of human idiocy.

      Does the gradeschool/highschool student need a laptop with Word and XL as a substitute for learning the principles of grammar, spelling composition and basic math? Of course not, the judgment of the adults in charge is the issue not the technology that is being inappropriately exploited.

      Ultimately everyone, and adult in charge in the case of children, have to make their own case for what they feel are appropriate skills and elements of self-reliance vs what they want to surrender to technical dependence.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right that we can’t separate technology from the person using it.

        What we get often with science is so one-sided that we should more objectively call it propaganda or ad hominem against Luddites.

        There is room for slow food and slow living.

        1. optimader

          Don’t confuse science w/ idiots that misapply it.

          You don’t have a case of the ass for mathematics because it’s abused by the finance industry?

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Churches offer beer to reach people.


    Only higher learning institutions, like universities, with fraternities can do that!

    1. craazyboy

      Monasteries have been at it a long time.

      “The rich history of Trappist brewing begins with Orval, the oldest of the brewing monasteries, founded in the 11th century by Cistercian monks.”

      I’ve got a perfected recipe for making Chimay Blue in my kitchen – and the local brew shop carries authentic Chimay yeast. Far cheaper than paying the $5 per 11.5oz bottle that Chimay charges. Now that’s civilization!

        1. craazyboy

          I’ve had that. Good stuff – right up there with Chimay Blue and the other “authentic” Trappist dark Belgians.

          My homemade comes right close in taste at about $2 per 12oz bottle. But it is a lot of work and you have to wait 4 months before drinking it. Trader Joes would be faster.

          1. optimader

            Yes, brewing is a noble hobby. I missed an opportunity last sunday when some friends were doing so. Practical chemical engineering. Eating/drinking well are not necessarily expensive if you have some inclination to do so.

            1. ambrit

              Plus the patience to do it right. I see too many young people trying to come to grips with the ill effects of short termism and floundering about like Bandersnatchii in aspic.
              A case in point, the mobile phone game “Candy Crush.” It has a feature that makes you wait out an extended time period when you use up all your available ‘lives.’ (I don’t even carry a cell phone; this is from direct observation and conversation with fellow workers in the ‘Break Room.’ How anyone can call it a break room when it has a loud and incessantly blaring store communications speaker in the ceiling is beyond me.) The amount of griping and moaning over the waiting period is cautionary at best. No one wants to have to wait for anything! Customers are just as bad. I have been reviled and subjected to all sorts of invective when I have explained to importuning customers that they will have to wait for my attentions until I have finished helping someone who was prior to them.

    2. bob

      Pols in the US used to do this on election day. The one day a year where you could get *something* from your rep.

      Now, they take the beer money for many and buy kristal for the few.

    3. Tim Mason

      The Little Vagabond
      Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
      But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
      Besides I can tell where I am use’d well,
      Such usage in heaven will never do well.

      But if at the Church they would give us some Ale.
      And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale;
      We’d sing and we’d pray, all the live-long day;
      Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray,

      Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing.
      And we’d be as happy as birds in the spring:
      And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
      Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch.

      And God like a father rejoicing to see,
      His children as pleasant and happy as he:
      Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel
      But kiss him & give him both drink and apparel.

      1. AbyNormal

        been too long from that read Tim…Thank You.

        WINE, n. Fermented grape-juice known to the Women’s Christian Union as “liquor,” sometimes as “rum.” Wine, madam, is God’s next best gift to man. Devil’s Dic.

  15. financial matters

    Wall Street’s nightmare: President Warren Politico

    I would take issue with Russell Brand and vote for this candidate..

  16. BondsOfSteel

    RE: Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence

    Humans will have more than just artificial intelligence to worry about by the middle of next century. We’ll hit peek population the 2-3C mark of runawy warming by this century.

    Mankind won’t live forever… but our children might. Without biological constraints, space travel is so much easier. With AI, you have to kinda wonder about the Fermi paradox.

  17. JTFaraday

    re: Antidote du jour “I never saw such a handsome badger.”

    Oh, that’s what it is. I was convinced the 11/10 antidote was another skunk!

  18. Dana

    Thanks for a really insensitive and flip comment on the depression story. “Cancer? Given the consequences, choose heart disease instead!”

  19. Hugh

    “What’s the difference between a comedian and an economist?”

    A comedian uses funny material. An economist uses funny numbers. A comedian tells jokes. An economist is the joke. Neither asks too many questions if the model is good looking enough.

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