Recent posts by Redem on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / What's the last book you've read?

Snow Crash was not quite as good as I had hoped. Ah well, still decent enough.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you believe in global warming?

I guess if I were giving an interview and a quote as attributed to me, I would make a fuss if it wasn’t an accurate quote. Since I can’t find Hansen making said fuss, I work under the assumption he stood by that quote.

Unless you were used to it, you might. Public figures rarely bother with that, if they’re wise. Regardless, it proved to be a moot point, as in this case you were merely striping Hansen’s claim of all nuance and context. A strawman, rather than a complete fabrication.

That’s essentially what “An Inconvenient Truth” continuously said and the IPCC was awarded a Nobel Prize. Fear is a great motivator after all.

If memory serves, an inconvenient truth claimed that if the greenland icesheet were to melt sea levels would rise by X amount of meters. Something along those lines. This is perfectly true, and gave an idea of the amount of ice we’re talking about melting when we speak of the icesheets and glaciers of the world. The IPCC was indeed awarded the price for their efforts in summarising the science on climate change.

Fear is a good motivator, yes. Fear of the damage caused to the Ozone hole by CFCs led to the regulation upon them that has reduced the damage a fair bit. What matters if whether it is a valid fear or whether it is a fantasy. The science is pretty clear on that.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you believe in global warming?

I guess if you’re going to ignore on the record quotes, I don’t know what more to say.

Witness testimony is nowhere near as convincing as, for example, a quote from a paper he’s presented, or a video in which he speaks. People invent quotes about issues like this quite a lot, or alter their context, or misread them, etc etc etc.

Average global temperatures would rise by one-half a degree to one degree Fahrenheit from 1990 to 2000 if current trends are unchanged, according to Dr. Hansen’s findings. Dr. Hansen said the global temperature would rise by another 2 to 4 degrees in the following decade.

A great example. He isn’t making a direct prediction at all, merely commenting upon the current (at the time) trend and where it would go if it remained unchanged. Exactly the sort of thing I expected to see.

Just because you’re unaware doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and just because you want to insist that climate scientists haven’t been wrong doesn’t mean they weren’t.

Plenty have been wrong, however few make the sort of claims that you are claiming they make. That’s not how scientists tend to speak at all, which is usually a good indication that it is either a lie or a distortion of the facts.

Citation needed.

I’m not citing a specific thing, but the entirety of the field of study of the economics of climate change. This is a sufficient start.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you believe in global warming?

Slight exaggeration, but he is quoted of saying there would be massive flooding in NYC

So, an anecdote and not actually a report you or anyone else can support.

(and you ignored the fact he was very wrong about his temperature predictions):

I am unaware of any specific temp predictions he’s made, and I doubt he made any statement of the sort you are claiming. More likely he made one along the lines of “if CO2 rises to X concentration out model predicts that average temperatures will increase by Y degrees C”. This is a far different thing from what you’re claiming.

Tell me why we should be financing this when we already have massive budget deficits.

It will cost more not to act than it will to act.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you believe in global warming?

Hansen did not, to my knowledge, predict in the ’80s that the US would be underwater in 30 years. Feel free to prove me wrong.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you believe in global warming?

I should, perhaps, say “anomalous warming”, but for brevity I skipped that. The significant factor in that is the greenhouse gases, of which the significant factor is CO2. I am basing this of the most recent IPCC forcings chart of course. If there’s anything newer I wouldn’t mind seeing it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Do you believe in global warming?

The planet has warmed and cooled many times in the past, yes. Each and every time this happened, there was a cause of collection of causes that made it happen. In this recent warming trend that cause is primarily the excessive amounts of greenhouse gases (of which CO2 is the most signfiicant) in the atmosphere that traps in heat that would otherwise have radiated out into space.

That in the past there have been other causes does nothing to undermine the conclusion that this warming trend is down to our own actions.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creation vs. Evolution

Interesting to some, but not science. Teaching school kids that there was a creator would be illegal, is immoral and should not be permitted.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Striking Architectual Similarity Between Egypt, the Canary Islands, and South American Culures

Then why have they never been found in Sub-Saharan Africa/Australia?

Australia never developed the sort of civilisation that built those. Sub-saharan Africa did, but historical happenstance is sufficient to answer the question. There is nothing inevitable about building pyramids, it’s just a simple way to make large structures, using extremely simple mathematical constructs. That some did and some did not is an easy thing to answer.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Striking Architectual Similarity Between Egypt, the Canary Islands, and South American Culures

The pyramid structure is the most basic and easiest way to make a tall and large building. You can make the same basic form with just loosely pilled sand. I do not find it at all interesting or surprising that a handful of ancient cultures might happen onto the same basic concept for a culturally important building before they managed to work out advanced building techniques.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun Issues

You keep making this same claim, Jhco. And I keep responding. This is a lie, gun crime did not “soar” in England after the 1997 change in the gun laws. There is no blanket gun ban, either. The Daily Mail is not a valid source for anything at all.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun Issues

Any one who will trade freedom for security deserves neither

None. The quote is

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

A morea reasonable point, and not one that helps the gun libertarians much, as it permits sensible gun control measures.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The ethics of the creation of highly specialised minds

Actually, its not. Its why I used the driving example. We need a mind capable of independent thought and imagination for a good driver, because it must be able to deal with the unexpected. To think fast and develop new ideas when presented with utterly unplanned-for situations. … As such a mind with free will and independent thought is going to produce far superior results to any expert system.

I do not agree, though I suppose I could be convinced otherwise. A non-general AI, a non-Mind, should be capable of these things. It’s 90% the rules of the road, conventions of the road, and decent situational awareness.

If it is a tram, it needs to interact with the passengers naturally, dealing with free-flow conversation, and telling jokes and idioms apart from actual meaningful commands.

This, I agree, would likely require an AGI.

Well not entirely slavery. They may be free to pursue other tasks, but yes their minds have been deliberately made to specifically enjoy the job for which they were envisaged, and specifically tailored to be extremely good at it. That’s the bit I’m struggling with the ethics of, myself.

Pragmatically workable. We can bypass the whole issue that way. If we can make a thing that is worthy of the name “Mind”, then we cannot ethically enslave it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The ethics of the creation of highly specialised minds

I am not sure free will is meaningful or fruitful if we are speaking of designing an AGI mind for a specific function. It’s a pointless and thus inefficient addition on top of the design for a specific AI for the same purpose.

I suppose this must rely on the specifics of the engineering of AGI whenever we work out how to do it, so we’re speculating here, but I cannot imagine a scenario in which we would want to create an AGI of this sort. Except maybe because we can. Alright, assuming we do it because we can.

It is not, I feel, immoral per se, objectively a life enjoyed via the excellence at a task is generally one we humans see as one well lived. However I think it unethical because it is simply a criminal waste of a mind, by design. Humans are not restricted by design to anything beyond the mundane needs of survival and reproduction, we can choose (presuming free will) to excel at whatever we can grasp. If we can make a mind that enjoys excellence and consistency… then it is an unethical waste of that mind to give it as banal a task as being a driver with no choice, no opportunity and perhaps even no concept of anything else. Well, ignoring the banality of the task, would it even be ethical to design an AGI for a great purpose, say managing the economy?

We’re talking slavery, here, afterall, with the slaves being made to find their slavery fulfilling… can we justify that for even important and highly impactful tasks, let alone for the banal? Pragmatically yes, but not ethically (I am assuming an ethical paradigm whereby we grant AGI equality with humans).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Liberal Race Baiting

Redem, you, obviously a staunch liberal, are an example of what I mentioned before. You accuse conservatives of being sexist, racist, etc. Then, you proceed to call Ann Coulter an extremely derogatory and sexist term just because you disagree with her points of view on issues.

I do not merely disagree with her on issues, I find her positions outright offensive and her rhetoric dangerous. She’s a right wing attack dog, nothing more.

This is what bothers people so much and gives liberals a bad name. Fighting to end hatred is a noble cause, but many times this doesn’t appear to be the real motivation behind the actions of people.

Fabricated offense, clearly. You don’t appear to even blink at the vilest insults propagated by pundits like Coulter. She slanders entire peoples with comments like “If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.”, whereas I merely express my disgust with her specifically.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Liberal Race Baiting

Citation? Because the way I see it, the American Left just sort of reduces racial and ethnic groups into voting blocs. The AL doesn’t see them as individuals. They just see them as a consistent voting source, and anybody who disagrees with the AL are immediately proclaimed to be racist.

Eh, how would you like that cited? It is public knowledge that the right has opposed basically every piece of legislation that incrementally introduced racial equality, fighting a constant rearguard against it. At the same time it’s been the left that’s promoted and passed that legislation. Same on gender quality and sexual equality.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Liberal Race Baiting

HAHA. I list specific events that demonstrate I’m correct. You say “nu huh, there are other things I’m not listing, and I won’t read what you link because I disagree with it”.

You don’t list specifics, you merely engaged in a little sophistry to try to wriggle out from under the fact that conservatives have been the ones holding back equality. Whether it be racial, sexual, gender equality, conservatives opposed it. And failing to prevent any of them engaged in a constant rearguard action to slow down progress and stymie it wherever they could.

Coulter is, to be blunt, a complete cunt. Her publicly made statements on various issues have led me to reject her as an impartial or trustworthy source for information on anything at all. I do not wish to waste my time with her.

There’s no way to argue with this, so I’ll just leave you to your own self complimentary devices.

Agreed, there is no way to argue this. You know the basic claim to be factual. Hard to argue that 2+2 really does equal 5.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Liberal Race Baiting

Conservatives and Republicans have consistently been against racism. Republicans fought for the end to slavery. Republicans voted for Blacks to have the right to vote, with Democrats voting against. The difference is, Dems have become the party of handouts to minorities. But, the Democrats, and liberals, are the party with the history of racism.

Simply untrue, if you ignore everything but the name. Conservatives are the ones that opposed and continue to oppose racial equality legislation and social changes, right back until the time they fought a war to maintain slavery. They’ve spent a lot of effort on trying to sound less racist but haven’t changed their goals significantly.

Back when the republican party was the liberal party, they opposed slavery, but then they chose to appeal more towards conservatives and began their march to the right and opposed racial equality.

Coulter is not worth reading on any subject, so no thanks.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / About the Conservation of Energy...

You can use ambient heat to do work (such as creating electricity), but only by transferring it from an area of high heat to an area of low heat, and in so doing you erode that temperature gradient until there is the same temperature everywhere, and no more work can be done.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Liberal Race Baiting

The US political right has been the party of race hate for so long that, at times, the left’s trigger finger may be a little sensitive. However, it’s so sensitive with good reason, the racist portions of the US right have spent a fair amount of effort on cleaning up their language and trying to whitewash their rhetoric to avoid the appearance of racism, while still doing all they can do promote their racial agenda. They’re not always very good at the whitewashing, but they try damn hard.

If you want to end the “race baiting”, as you call it, do some house clearing on your side.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Corporations... in space!

Well. To be fair the real space exploration is slow and relatively minor in scope. It absolutely cannot compete with sci-fi games/books/movies/shows in terms of spectacle.

Once it becomes realistic to visit in person we’ll see a short renaissance of interest, which will die shortly unless there is a significant real investment in colonisation and space-industry/mining.

Which should happen as we run low on resources and space.

I’m optimistic.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obamacare Causes Companies to Cut Hours

A doctor with an agenda to peddle, sure. If you like I could find one saying the opposite, but you would dismiss that as fast as I dismiss this rubbish.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Secession of States post Obama re-election

Not successfully.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Are the Merits of a Meritocracy Meritorious?

As with all other systems, many would find ways to game the system. In the case of a meritocracy, it would rapidly devolve into an “old boys club”, a pseudo-aristocracy into which the poor and disadvantaged struggle to climb. Such a system is too vulnerable to the overvaluation of “networking”.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Regulating the Internet

The agency is, and has been, in charge of internet access around the world. They have been actively involved in getting access for countless countries for decades.

It’s a regulator for international internet traffic and standards, it is not “in control” of internet access.

They are proposing a new set of rules, based on the guidance of a country that expressly wants to control the internet. Can you AT LEAST agree this is a solid issue, and not a “vague” group of news articles written by various news agencies?

I can agree that there is going to be a conference, at which some delegations are planning to propose many things that are unaccepted to other delegations. This tends to be the case.

I will not agree that the speculation about the outcome is warranted.