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User information for Paul

Real Name Paul   
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Nickname Creston
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Signed On Dec 23, 2002, 22:32
Total Comments 29925 (Jedi)
User ID 15604
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
11. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 23, 2018, 17:46 Creston
Yeah it has a SP. It's short, but from hearing from tons of people and reviews, it's apparently very, very good.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
8. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 23, 2018, 15:45 Creston
Also, I am REALLY excited for Jessica Jones season 2, as I thought the first season was by far the best thing Marvel on Netflix has done.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
7. Heads up Feb 23, 2018, 15:44 Creston
Titanfall 2 is currently FIVE BUCKS on Amazon for a digital download. (So you'd need Origin.)

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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
38. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 23, 2018, 12:23 Creston
Orogogus wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 22:09:
I might be too optimistic, but I don't think we're doomed to anarchy and apocalypse. Pretty much every other developed nation on Earth is more socialist than the US, so extending benefits to the poor and the sick isn't a pie-in-the-sky utopia that only works on paper.

Yes, but it's a matter of scale. Health care is another matter entirely, the only reason our health care is so fucked up is because of the costs, because the fucking pharmas make US customers pay for research done for European medicine, because Europe (rightly) says "Fuck off with your idiot prices. Your medicine costs $10."
And shit like an MRI costing 5 grand here.

Like I said in an earlier post somewhere, no government could pay for a hundred million people to go unemployed. In that aspect, Europe is in exactly the same boat, because all the corps there are climaxing over the thought of cutting out all the workers same as the ones here in the US are. If 40% of Europe suddenly needs to go on wellfare, how is Europe going to pay for it? They can't.

As the jobs situation approaches crisis levels it's hard to imagine that taxing the rich wouldn't become more and more accepted. We'll have another depression, and it will suck, but at some point people are going to stop believing that their situation is due to immigrants or over-regulation. Eventually the electorate will swing towards getting the haves to pay for an improved social net for the have nots. We just haven't gotten there yet, but you can't convince people to vote against their own interests forever.

But as Beamer showed, even if we tax the super rich 100%, it would still only pay for an $8000 UBI per year, which is nowhere near enough to live off of.

We CANNOT make a huge chunk of the population unemployed, and just expect money for them to just come from somewhere else. It's just not going to work.

I think trying to stop technology or automation is futile, though. Eventually someone else will pull it off out of your control, and it's not just about manufacturing more cheaply, it's also about making better products. The guy who has the better technology multiplier has more points to spend on features, quality and price, and eventually he's a generation ahead. Until you've really stamped out all the other players, you have to play to win or else you lose.

True. So we're all just gonna lose. Well, the poor people, anyway. The rich will be fine.
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News Comments > Trump Calls Out Video Games
63. Re: Trump Calls Out Video Games Feb 23, 2018, 09:40 Creston
I can just imagine the discussion that happened before this, where some poor hapless schlub had to explain to Drumpf what exactly a videogame IS.

"So, people PLAY these things?"

"Yes, sir."

"What, like a guitar?"

"No, like, you know... a game! They control like characters in the game and guide them to goals and such!"

"Like four in a row?"

"God, no! It's a game! It can be anything! You can play soccer in a videogame!"

"With an actual ball?"

*under breath* "FUUUUUUUUUU....."
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News Comments > Stellaris: Apocalypse Now!
3. Re: Stellaris: Apocalypse Now! Feb 22, 2018, 15:44 Creston
Peter M. Smith wrote on Feb 22, 2018, 14:14:
Creston wrote on Feb 22, 2018, 14:06:
Sweet. Gonna start playing this in the next few weeks (after I'm done with Witcher 3!), and this expansion looks very fun.

I *may* have brought my laptop to work today...and I may have picked up the DLC...and I might end up playing a little on the commute home.

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News Comments > RUINER Content Update
2. Re: RUINER Content Update Feb 22, 2018, 14:11 Creston
Yeah, I tried one particular section in the second level (after you've been in the city, and go into the parking garage) for like 20 minutes straight, and just gave up. Just 20 minutes of the same 10-20 seconds over and over and over again.

Refunded it. Shame, it looked cool, and it absolutely OOZED style, but I just can't abide checkpoint games where it makes me replay the same fucking battle 2000 times in a row because I can't get past it.

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News Comments > Stellaris: Apocalypse Now!
1. Re: Stellaris: Apocalypse Now! Feb 22, 2018, 14:06 Creston
Sweet. Gonna start playing this in the next few weeks (after I'm done with Witcher 3!), and this expansion looks very fun.
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News Comments > R.I. Proposes Violent Game Tax
57. Re: R.I. Proposes Violent Game Tax Feb 22, 2018, 14:04 Creston
PHJF wrote on Feb 22, 2018, 09:30:
I think it was some time recent when someone drove his truck into a crowd of people.





I read this in Cartman's voice, which made it really quite funny.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
1. Re: Morning Safety Dance Feb 22, 2018, 13:22 Creston
Clearly some silicon-valley shitheel wanted that.
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News Comments > Morning Interviews
8. Re: Morning Interviews Feb 22, 2018, 13:20 Creston
"Bringing Diablo 2 to modern PCs would cause people to stop playing WoW and Diablo 3."

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News Comments > R.I. Proposes Violent Game Tax
1. FJM Style! Feb 21, 2018, 19:36 Creston
“There is evidence that children exposed to violent video games at a young age tend to act more aggressively than those who are not,”

{quotation needed}

an additional 10-percent sales tax to video games sold in Rhode Island

Which would be zero after this goes into law, since people will just buy them elsewhere.

Revenue generated by this tax

Zero dollars.

would then be placed in a special account for school districts to use to pay for counseling, mental health programs, and other conflict-resolution activities.

Problem solved! What's next, whores?

To not be snarky for a moment, I really don't mind the idea behind it, but then you need to apply it to ALL media. Of course, what will happen is the same thing that happened with all the state lotteries. "All the monies will go to the schools!"

Then they roughly estimate that the lottery will bring in $100 million for the upcoming fiscal year, and they lower school budgeting by $100 million out of the general fund. And they spend that $100 million on something else.

So yes, technically the lottery money did go to the schools. In reality, it went to pay for raises for the fucking representatives or something.

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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
28. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 19:30 Creston
Beamer wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 19:07:
I think the best comment I've seen lately is that of course our colleges are full of kids trying to be activists. We've raised this crop on Young Adult Fiction based around dystopian nightmare societies and kids being the ones to break the bonds. Harry Potter wasn't dystopian, but was a society on the brink of becoming it. Hunger Games, whatever other stupid movies I've not seen but were everywhere, etc. Even Red Rising, the series I mentioned below, begins that way. Dystopian society, blind and greedy adults who burnt everything down and are happy letting everyone else rot, and kids being the ones to make things right.

Just reminded of it from your comments about it becoming all-out murder. Like most books about how dystopian societies begin.

We need some Final Fantasy teenagers, preferably with big swords!

Yeah, it all seemed so inconceivable even ten years ago, but now? I've long since given up hope. I just console myself with the, admittedly super-selfish, thought that I don't have kids and probably only have 20-30 years or so left. I won't see the worst of it.

My brother and sister in law, ten and fifteen years younger than me, with kids as little as two years old? Yeah, they're going to have a rough time. They always look at me funny too when I say that I hope it won't get too bad for them, as if they just have no idea what I could possibly be referring to.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
26. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 19:02 Creston
Beamer wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 18:56:
Thing is, the CEO will likely already have moved on - that's someone else's problem. His job was to drive results while he was there, and he did. Let the next guy worry about it. He can't worry, he'll lose his job if he does!

Yep, and there's the entire crux of the matter. Sometimes I think that rich people all look at that movie Elysium and all sigh with longing. "If only..."

I genuinely wonder if this is just going to lead to all-out murder at some point. How much longer are the rich just going to say "Fuck you, I got mine." before the poor just start killing them? There's guns aplenty. That's going to be a fucking scary time at that point.

It all comes down to them, true, but it's all just a cycle of everyone making mistakes, and those mistakes compounding. Any chance we'd have of actually breaking those mistakes ends with the top 0.1% lobbying against stuff (and there's where I think it is not a cycle and just assholes being assholes without realizing what monstrous assholes they are.)

Oh, I think they know. They just don't give a fuck. THEY won't suffer when everything is automated.

I was discussing and didn't think Creston found it antagonizing,

Not at all.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
24. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Feb 21, 2018, 18:54 Creston
LiTh wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 17:20:
I believe Bill Gates had the right idea the robots. If 1 robot takes 1 job, then make the company pay the robot a wage, put some of that aside for maintenance/upgrades then tax the rest of the majority of that income. That would be a way to pay for it without disrupting our current system all that much.

But they're already whining that they pay too much taxes. Here's the thing, companies want to automate, because they want to get rid of the cost of the worker. Why would they automate the worker if they then still have to pay as if that worker is still there? That saves them no money.

And even so, that still doesn't make up for the huge gap we'd need to make a livable UBI. And let's be honest here, "livable" is really just that. You CAN live off of it, but you'd have a really shitty, boring life, because all you can afford is to just stay alive. You won't have money for anything else.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
23. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 18:52 Creston
Beamer wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 17:08:
Not quite. Let's say McDonald's and Burger King decide to automate fully. They reduce their stores to 1 employee, and have the orders taken by tablets and cooked by robots. If an average store is open 18 hours a day, has 5 employees in at any given time, pays those employees $10 an hour including all the costs around them, and the chain has 7,000 locations in the US... they would save over $6M a day doing this. That's $2.3B per year.

Now everybody does it. All companies do this, because, after all, McDonald's and Burger King have shown we can do it.

Who is left to buy the burgers? The 1% doesn't eat at McDonald's. So who is McDonald's roboflipper going to sell its burgers to? The Burger King roboflipper doesn't eat, so he's not going to come get two quarter pounders. You need customers to have a business. Especially these low-end businesses that, let's be honest, cater by and large to the poorer segment of the population.

"Hey, let's put all the poor blue collar workers out of a job, so we can save 2 billion a year!"

two years later


Now what happens to Wendy's? McDonald's and Burger King are flush with cash. They can out innovate. They can out market. If they want, they can start a price war. Wendy's can either adapt or die. By choosing not to do what the others are doing, by taking a stand, it just puts itself out of business.

Right. So they ALL need to realize that putting their entire fucking work force out on the street is eventually going to kill ALL OF THEM.

It doesn't matter who starts with it. Once it gets going, it's not going to stop, because then it's do-or-die for the other businesses. They need to ALL realize that they should never START with this bullshit.

Will any of them? Of course not. All that matters is the next quarter's profit, because, after all, a publicly traded company exists solely and alone to "Return fair value to our shareholders."
(The CEO of the power company I used to work at said this once in a speech. He began with "Our primary reason for existing" and I figured he'd say "is to provide affordable and reliable power to our customers." Nope. Fair return for our shareholders. I wanted to fucking kick his teeth through the back of his fucking throat. His next sentence was that they were laying off 5000 people. I hope he died of throat and ass cancer.)

It doesn't fully work because those are franchisees, etc., but economies are global now.

So once one starts, everything will follow, and the entire economy will just die. Or all the poor people will. We all know what the 1% would prefer.

Americans gleefully kept going to Walmart for cheap prices, even as the company forced the destruction of American manufacturing companies like Huffy and Tupperware. If a Chinese company fully automates, and a US one doesn't, which will Walmart stock? Which will people buy?

Yes, but there is a counterpoint to the "YOU ALL KEPT BUYING WALMART!" argument. People primarily buy at Walmart because they have to. Wages have been flat basically since the fucking 70s, while inflation has risen 650% since then. (just off of one calculator I found, number may not be entirely correct.)

So what are people to do? I'm sure 99% of people would much rather buy at the local mom and pop shop, but that same 99% really can't afford to anymore. When my wife and I were living off her $22000 salary, you bet your ass I bought shit at Walmart, because I couldn't afford anything else. Now I wouldn't be caught dead in a Walmart.

And who is to blame for that lack of buying power... oh wait, it's the corporations again. You know, it's almost as if having entities be so dominant that they control all aspects of our lives, and yet they give zero fucking percent about us, is really not that great an idea after all.

The whole thing becomes like the metaphor of the frog in the pot. Americans will keep flocking to lower priced options because they think it won't happen to them, and when it does happen to them it's too late. It went beyond the point of no return before they realized anything was happening. In general, we're awful at voting with our dollars and just go after the best price.

Yes, I do agree with that to a certain extent, though again with the caveat that many people do so because they really have no choice.

It had serious benefits, and still has some, but in the early 80s it just broke. For a lot of reasons, we can't blame Reagan for many of them, but there's no coincidence things went insane under his watch.

Possibly, I don't know enough about economic theory to debate that, but the way it is right now, with nothing but utter greed dominating it, it's fucking sickening. It would have been better if it HAD really died in 2008, like some traders were wondering.


We've already fucked ourselves.

That I do agree with, though I do think that at least on the economical side, we COULD stop this before it's too late. Not on the climate side, we're already fucked there. You and I will see single weather events just kill half a million people in our lifetime. But the economic side, and the imminent total destruction of our entire societal structure, that we COULD stop. All it would take is all these greedy fucking assholes to, for one second, think further than their next quarterly result, and realize that automating everything is going to be just as devastating as just releasing another 300 quadrillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
18. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 16:44 Creston
Beamer wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 16:25:
Why are we headed to it?
Who can stop it. Honest question: who can stop it? How do you even write legislation for it. Were robots in Detroit factories a bad thing? How about vending machines in buildings that used to have newspaper stands? How about buttons in an elevator instead of an elevator man? How about phone menu systems instead of a secretary? Or Outlook calendars instead of secretaries?

The only ones who can stop it is the ones who are implementing it. Ie, the corporations. They need to wake up to the fact that they're going to flat-out kill a large chunk of their customer base. But I guess most of them just shrug and go "The rich will just buy more of our product."

One thing that always bugs me about the "should we have stuck with blacksmiths then?!" argument, though, is that that argument doesn't scale. We are talking, world wide, about something like half a BILLION people losing their jobs. Not the occasional blacksmith / elevator attendant / whatever here and there. We're talking, for the first time ever, of such a massive change in automation capacity that it will literally change everything.

But hey, maybe that's the price to pay to get to a technological utopia. That half a billion unfortunates are just forgotten and die along the way.

I'm not trying to be a dick here. I'm just saying it's really, really hard to define a clear line, and legislation fails hard without a clear line.

No, I get it. It's not easy to stop, but it's at the same time not necessary to continue.

And it's easy to say greed, but the people making these decisions aren't often greedy as individuals, it's a whole cycle of greed. Wall Street demands growth in both revenue and profit margin. Margin is really hard to increase after a certain point, with G&A being the area CEOs have the most control over. If they fail, the stock underperforms and they're fired. So they do what it takes to make sure Wall Street is happy. The analysts on Wall Street are making sure their clients get the best return, otherwise they'll be fired. Their clients may be the people being squeezed by the corporations, so they need growth to be as high as possible to think they have any chance of retirement.

The stock market was the worst thing we ever invented. One thing that makes me chuckle though is that Wall Street is driving incessantly towards the one thing that will put a large chunk of them out of business as well. But they've stolen enough money to be able to retire. No tree-bark soup for them.

It's an entire broken financial culture. The biggest culprit is probably spreadsheets, frankly, or at least computers. Computers which, of course, led to the firing of entire departments of corporations whose jobs used to be to solve analyses by hand.

I think the biggest culprit is the stock market. This need to just grow grow grow grow grow grow grow grow grow. Nothing can grow indefinitely, but Wall Street seems to think that not only CAN it, but it SHOULD grow indefinitely.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
7. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 21, 2018, 16:25 Creston
Glad your doggie is okay, Blue!
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
8. Re: SIM cards Feb 21, 2018, 16:24 Creston
DrEvil wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 14:04:
Creston wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 12:48:
Erm, and then what do you do when you need to get a new SIM installed in a phone? Buy a new phone?

Internet of Forced Obsolence.

No, now it's effectively just software -- you don't need a new sim.

Is it? They're still talking about an (admittedly super tiny) presence in the processor itself.
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
16. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 16:16 Creston
Beamer wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 13:21:
I could debate this with you for hours. Debate sounds a bit more antagonistic than I mean, but just spitball where we're headed and what we can do about it.

We're headed to this, anyway.

But why? Why are we headed to this? It's not some inescapable singularity where we're on a technological train and we have no way of stopping it. We're going here because fucking GREED is driving it. Companies see a way to cut costs, so boom, let's cut costs and make the shareholders happy.

I genuinely don't think a single one of them thinks to themselves "Does it really make much sense to make a hundred million people unemployed and thereby kill a huge chunk of our potential customers?"

Importantly, the price of little is going down. No restaurant is going to replace its cashiers with tablets and then cut the price of burgers. Even if it does, it'd be cents being cut out, which isn't overly meaningful. And that's just on the blue collar side. AI is going to put six and seven figure traders out of business in the next 5 years. Other digital markets, like programmatic advertising, will probably do that, too. People in supply chain for retailers are already being phased out by algorithms, and lots of buyer roles will follow.

Sounds great. Let's all RUSH TOWARDS THIS! How awesome will it be if AIs program robots to make everything for all us humans, who are sitting in cardboard boxes on the street along the side of the FuckYou corporation, too poor to buy anything? Woohoo!

The only jobs that will be safe are artistic jobs and true manual labor (though CES did have that robot that folds clothing.)

Artistic jobs already pay nothing anyway, so they can join everyone in the tree-bark soup line. And manual labor will easily be faded out. Really the only jobs that will be around are sociopath-asshole (I'm sorry, I believe they're called "executives") jobs and the people that program/repair the AIs and robots.

But money will still be made, for a time.

How? Extrapolate this out. How would money be made by the people? Our entire society is based around the concept of money for labor/food for money. You take away the labor, the equation fails. Where is the money coming from? I hear all these "People will just work PT jobs!" but that's bullshit, because they don't exist, certainly in not even a tenth of a percent of what would be needed to provide labor to all these people.

Or the "People will go back to being self-employed!" Self employed in what? How are you going to self-employ and somehow be capable of competing with a freaking corporation that has robots churning out product for 50000 times cheaper than you could ever make it? Maybe some people can find a niche to create "Real Human Stuff" for the hipster rich, but other than that, I don't see it.

We either move towards a country where Jeff Bezos owns everything, and nothing is worth anything and our GDP plummets because no one can afford anything, or we start taking from those who are reaping the benefits of automation and give to those who are losing from automation.

Right. And right now, we're headed towards number 1. Let's look at it another way. If 100 million people (and again, we're just looking at the US now, but this is going to happen EVERYWHERE, so the number will be monstrously larger than that) were to become unemployed over the next 2 decades, what would happen? How would the US pay for that? It can't. What's the difference between unemployment and UBI? It still needs to get paid by a government that can't afford it.

And again, we just CUT taxes on these people/entities that everyone is saying are going to pay for this!

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