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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 30012 (Jedi)
User ID 15604
 
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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 here....tax 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!"
"Brilliant!"

two years later

"WHY THE FUCK AREN'T WE SELLING ANY BURGERS??!"

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.

SNIP

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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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
11. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 13:51 Creston
 
Orogogus wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 13:31:
Creston wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 13:12:
If UBI is to work, the amount would need to probably something along the lines of 2000-3000 dollars a month for the average family. The cost of that would bankrupt anything and anyone trying to bear it. A $2000 UBI would cost four times the current US budget.

What's the math on that? The US population is about 330 million, x $2000 = $660 billion, and Wikipedia says the 2015 US budget was $3.8 trillion. And that's counting men, women and children for the population side, not households or families.

Per month, dude. Not $2000 a year. So $24000 a year.
Admittedly it's only twice the US budget, not four times. I'm not sure what the four times number I'd read about was referring to, but even so, it's still a monster amount of money.

And we just cut taxes on theoretically the only two entities that could pay for it, (maybe, combined, but not really): Corporations and the 1%.

Also, corporations are jizzing all over themselves at the thought of cutting costs with automation, so yeah, they're going to be massively behind the idea of then paying 7 trillion dollars in taxes each year to pay people for NOT EVEN WORKING FOR THEM.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
7. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 13:12 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 12:50:
Did you read the article? He wants a tax increase on the 1% to fund a $500 per month stipend for everyone earning under $50,000.

Yeah, I edited it pretty quickly, but not quick enough.

Not sure how what he said got your ire. Because of automation? He has no say in that, and is just warning that it's coming and we better prepare ourselves. He's not involved in Facebook.

Not anymore anyway, but his idea is still fucking stupid. I love this general belief that when automation takes away a large chunk of the jobs, people will just "get part-time jobs". As if there are 200 million part-time jobs just waiting to be filled by all the displaced FT employees.

So which tiny subset of people making less than $50K is going to be helped by the massive $500 a month? People who have no income can't do jack shit with $500 a month. That's a rent check and a utilities bill. Boom, gone. Food? Fuck you, eat bark soup. But hey, if you make $44K with your six part time jobs that are going to be there for the taking, sweet, we found someone for whom $500 would help.

If UBI is to work, the amount would need to probably something along the lines of 2000-3000 dollars a month for the average family. The cost of that would bankrupt anything and anyone trying to bear it. A $2000 UBI would cost four times the current US budget.

And even then, people on the $2000 UBI would have barely enough money to pay for food, housing, clothes and other basic amenities. All these companies currently producing luxury goods that are getting hard at the thought of automating the shit out of everything, well, I hope they enjoy losing 95% of their customer base.

 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
4. Re: Morning Metaverse Feb 21, 2018, 12:50 Creston
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Feb 21, 2018, 11:40:
That said, he isn't wrong that technology is going to force most jobs out of existence in countries like the US.

I wonder how he imagines people will still be on Facebook in a time when nobody has money for food anymore.

America's motto is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. It's "I got mine. Fuck you."
 
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
1. SIM cards Feb 21, 2018, 12:48 Creston
 
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.
 
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News Comments > No Microtransactions in Burnout Paradise Remastered
1. Re: No Microtransactions in Burnout Paradise Remastered Feb 21, 2018, 12:46 Creston
 
It's so ubiquitous by now that store pages just automatically assume this shit is in there.
 
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News Comments > Burnout Paradise Remastered Announced
16. Re: Burnout Paradise Remastered Announced Feb 21, 2018, 09:29 Creston
 
I'm failing to see what got "remastered" on this. It looks exactly the same as the game I currently have sitting in my Steam library, and in this day and age, after the likes of the latest Forza titles, it just looks pretty terrible.
 
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News Comments > Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Released
4. Re: Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Released Feb 20, 2018, 23:22 Creston
 
The wait is over! Of course, it had been over like six times before already, but this time we promise it's really the definitive edition! Until we release a Definitive HD Edition, followed by a Definitive Supreme Edition, then a Definitive Supreme HD Edition, and...

Seriously, stop selling the same fucking game over and over again. One remake is fucking enough.

Then again, Windows Store only, so I'm going to hazard a guess that you're really not selling that many copies anyways.

 
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse
5. Re: Evening Metaverse Feb 20, 2018, 23:20 Creston
 
Just what the world needs, another fucking echo chamber.
 
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News Comments > Assassin's Creed: Origins Adds Discovery Tour and Game+
3. Re: Assassin's Creed: Origins Adds Discovery Tour and Game+ Feb 20, 2018, 23:17 Creston
 
I'm really quite looking forward to the discovery tour, and a new game + mode should be cool too. Thanks Ubi.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
14. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 19, 2018, 18:18 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 19, 2018, 13:13:
jdreyer wrote on Feb 19, 2018, 13:01:
The good news is I was re-elected president of the JDreyer household!

The bad news is that I was elected by a single vote, and have to work hard to make sure the voter will re-elect me next term.

My Facebook campaign of misinformation seems to have failed. Drat!

You need the Russian bots. You buy, cheap cheap, twenty rubles! Click here!
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
4. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 19, 2018, 11:53 Creston
 
Snow Kitten 2020!
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
3. Re: Evening Tech Bits Feb 17, 2018, 12:37 Creston
 
As someone who regularly runs into stuff, I can personally confirm that walls, not people are to blame in this situation

What...the...fuck.

 
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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
24. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Feb 17, 2018, 12:36 Creston
 
robdot wrote on Feb 16, 2018, 20:24:
The willfull ignorance of the modern conservative is the most dangerous threat to America. They would rather keep the Russian spies, and get rid of the FBI, these people,the Republican voter, are going to destroy us,with the power,of ignorance.

(none of this is meant at you personally)

Then at the next election, fucking VOTE THEM OUT.

I live in the middle of a red state, there's nothing I can do about it, but all these whiny democrats who lament the state of the US right now were the same assholes who wrote all these fancy-ass blogs about how they weren't going to bother voting or would vote for Jill Stein or blablabla.

STOP FUCKING POSTING ON THE INTERNET AND FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If every liberal actually bothered to get off his ass and vote, there is no way the morons who think Trump is great could ever get a majority.
 
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