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>This is more like the wheel rather than syphilis. Something created by humans to serve a purpose, that endures because it continues to be useful.

I see it more like a implementation of a way to allocate resources throughout a society, that increasingly becomes suboptimal over time as the incentives to participate in such an arrangement (not to be read/interpreted as agreement) will become less distributed among individuals.

One would think that with the technology we have at our disposal, societies wouldn't have to rely on co-opting parties that didn't ask to be born where they are told, "it's your obligation", when distributing resources for sustenance and quality of life.

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If the young are unwilling to support the old then there will be no such thing as retirement. Is that really what you want?

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As someone still young (32), I am hesitant to accept an obligation I was unwilling to negotiate or choose myself.

If we can provide food, shelter, and energy to the elderly in an automated fashion, how can there be no retirement?

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All humans are born into situations from which they benefit, without having previously earned or merited it, and for which they have obligations, also without having previously agreed to it.

Since that aspect of human nature seems to me impossible to change, my attitude is to try to live with both benefits and obligations I have "inherited".

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> All humans are born into situations from which they benefit, without having previously earned or merited it, and for which they have obligations, also without having previously agreed to it.

But that is by choice of those who choose to give birth to those people, not those who are born. You bequeath those benefits onto the recipient (both as a society and as parents) by creating/sustaining the environment into which they're born.

> Since that aspect of human nature seems to me impossible to change, my attitude is to try to live with both benefits and obligations I have "inherited".

I as well, even though I might have disagreements with it. I don't have any qualms about the amount I contribute into social security yearly (My income surpasses the max contribution limit), nor that I have to support both of my parents because of their poor life and financial choices.

The only recourse I have is to ensure that any children I have are as burden-free as possible. I'm not just giving them the gift of life, but the gift of freedom, which is equally priceless.

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I'm willing to believe that perhaps robots will eventually be able to supply all our human needs at some point in the future. At that point the whole calculus will change (and not just for the old but for huge swaths of society).

I'm speaking about the world we currently live in though.

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I agree with your first point. With enough automation and robotics, we should be able to provide for everyone's basic needs (not just the elderly) at little to no cost to the working population.

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Such arrangement seems to become unsustainable if the age distribution in a population in an area is skewed/starts to skew not in the younger direction, and if the younger generations don't want to take on the debt load.

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Which seems to be the route most countries are headed towards (India being the obvious exception). Good news is that Japan will get there first, so we can see what the actual impact is.

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Japan is a-typical in many ways.

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Scale this[0] up to 100 billion simulated neurons (feasible on dod budget), and it will probably operate way beyond a single human, or groups humans can do. Build multiple of them, and the ancestors can just copy the models built at t0=0 and be as intelligent as one that spent the time to build those models, takes us ~20 years to do the same for humans (maybe less so over time, but not on the order of what can be done with something like this).

Some relevant quotes from Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040:

"They exist as substitutes for the lower castes, the indentured labour, for all manners in which humans formerly oppressed their own. Slaves."

"Why do I exist? Was my purpose to replace humans, whose inability to coexist in peace is their evolutionary flaw? Or was my destiny to serve as the progenitor of a subservient race? I do not know. I did not ask to be born."

"A being is a being. A machine is a machine. Most humans would believe these two states to be exclusive, separate orders of existence. And yet, they are not. The key is neotiny, the retention of characteristics from an earlier stage of development. A human fetus follows the path paved by its ancestors, evolving in the womb from unicellular, to amphibian, to mammal, to man. There were those who believed that humanity was the end of the progression, the end product of natural evolution. They were wrong."

[0] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2851663/Are-b...

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Pretty cool. I really like that people are exploring ways to come in contact with one another. I wonder if someone would add a meta data filter that if a twitter /Instagram /vine handle is found, grab the max tweets, vines, posts (filtering out reposts/tweets perhaps) and see how they cluster compared to past selections/interactions.

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>As far as my apparent lack of humility: in the interest of not wasting your time or my own, I've truncated my correspondence. From now on, just imagine that all my posts are prefixed with a paragraph in which I grovel before the throne of scientific greatness.

You should write some code, that when you press the reply button it appends some form of lexical prostration that is derived from the comment space of the identity you're commenting to :P

In all seriousness, it appears that for the effort that goes into all the signaling that goes in within academia (and to the external world) to all the "real problems" people are solving, automatic approaches to all aspects of how research is conducted will happen because it is more efficient and consumes less energy than say a human being worrying about if their methods paper will be accepted and how to please reviewers, and etc…

I mean the fact that my PI hired me, as someone who didn't graduate from undergrad over all the phds who get rejected for volunteer positions, because i can slap some code together must say something about the direction things are going in this world. But when I tell the postdoc that the reason his spectrograms looks the way they do when he downsamples due to less constructive interference (while also trying signaling to appear humble because how dare some non-degreed folk pontificate on such things as a matter of established fact like the rest of the folks do around here, even when asked for help), he has to go ask the sr. research scientist the next day to only tell me that I was right… that's 24 hours his clunky matlab script could have ran! lol

Meh… inefficiencies, inefficiencies…

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I'm happy to report that I have zero experience in the postgrad industry. While I'd love to spend most of my time working in pure theory and potentially influencing an entire field, I really don't think I'd be able to put up with some of the antics I've heard about. There is plenty of silliness that occurs in the corporate world, with the information silos and kingdom building, but at the end of the day money talks and bullshit walks - with little delay.

This problem is being worked on, and I'm pretty confident that the solution will be based on the principals of the semantic web. I have a feeling that academia will be pretty late to the party when it comes to implementation though, if half of the stories I've heard are true.

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With humans at the helm of figuring out ways to allocate resources to such efforts, I'm not holding my breath for academia or industry.

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Based on that assumption (that I also made when the NYT realsead their 1033 foia data) when I made a drill down for the top line items (based on foia submitted prices) for each county and associated them with the companies for those products[0], that they added to their wiki[1]. It's seems that BAE comes out on top if you also assume that the cost of the equipment by some measure is proportional to the opex (which we already assume could be greater than the capex). Here are the top ten with more listed in [0]:

    ~ BAE SYSTEMS TACTICAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS : $106,955,000.00, items: [u'2355-01-555-0908', u'2355-01-590-1660']
    ~ NAVISTAR DEFENSE LLC : $60,563,580.00, items: [u'2355-01-553-4634', u'4210-01-568-7116', u'2355-01-602-3357']
    ~ U S ARMY TANK AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND : $45,291,296.05, items: [u'2320-01-107-7155', u'2320-01-488-6962', u'1940-01-526-0770', u'2320-01-371-9577', u'2320-01-346-9317', u'2320-01-447-3892', u'2320-01-128-9551', u'2355-01-123-1606', u'2350-01-068-4089', u'2320-01-230-0300', u'2320-01-107-7153', u'2320-01-455-9593', u'2320-01-146-7193', u'2320-01-206-4079', u'2320-01-047-8750', u'2320-01-107-7156', u'2320-01-047-8754', u'2330-01-091-9005', u'2320-01-380-8604', u'2320-00-077-1632', u'2320-01-100-7672', u'2320-01-146-7191', u'2320-01-389-7558', u'2320-01-523-1314', u'2320-01-146-7188', u'2320-01-523-1127', u'2320-00-077-1631', u'2350-01-068-4077', u'2310-01-146-7194', u'2320-01-371-9584', u'2320-01-371-9583', u'2320-01-456-1282', u'2320-01-272-5028', u'2320-01-492-8215', u'2320-01-097-0249', u'2320-01-380-8233', u'2320-01-380-8213', u'2320-01-128-9552', u'2320-01-412-0143', u'2320-01-230-0303', u'2350-01-069-6931', u'3810-01-205-2716', u'8145-01-413-8521', u'2320-01-206-4078', u'2350-01-338-3116', u'2320-01-499-0015', u'2320-01-542-8463', u'2330-01-155-0048', u'2420-01-205-8636', u'2310-01-111-2275', u'2320-01-447-6343', u'5180-01-361-6874', u'2320-01-372-3933', u'2320-01-146-7190', u'2320-01-354-3384', u'2355-00-168-2620', u'2320-01-146-7189', u'2320-01-354-4528', u'2320-01-380-8229', u'2350-01-096-9356', u'2320-01-097-0260', u'2320-01-447-3891', u'2310-01-111-2274', u'2320-01-099-6426', u'2320-01-418-7400']
    ~ BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC. : $21,933,282.00, items: [u'1520-01-020-4216', u'1520-00-087-7637', u'1520-00-169-7137', u'1520-01-043-4949', u'1520-00-133-9286']
    ~ SHORT BROS /USA/ INC : $10,680,000.00, items: [u'1510-01-418-1848']
    ~ NAVAL AIR WARFARE CTR : $10,000,000.00, items: [u'5820-01-435-2596']
    ~ U S ARMY TANK AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND AMSTA-IM-MM U.S: $8,581,181.73, items: [u'2320-01-050-2084', u'2320-01-230-0305', u'2320-01-206-4088', u'2320-00-077-1617', u'2320-01-047-8756', u'2320-01-230-0304', u'2320-01-354-3385', u'2320-01-125-2640', u'2320-00-926-0873', u'2320-00-077-1616', u'2320-01-230-0308', u'2320-01-230-0307', u'2320-01-206-4087', u'2320-01-047-8769', u'2320-01-230-0302', u'2320-01-206-4077', u'2320-01-431-1163', u'3805-01-028-4389', u'4910-00-735-6056', u'2320-01-047-8753', u'2320-01-133-5368']
    ~ HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC. : $8,574,024.50, items: [u'1270-01-384-1108']
    ~ HALTER MARINE INC. : $5,110,617.00, items: [u'1940-01-549-9765']
    ~ WARNER ROBINS AIR LOGISTICS CENTER : $4,764,652.00, items: [u'3805-00-234-9778', u'1005-01-073-2368', u'2320-01-563-7052', u'3825-01-096-5554', u'2320-01-044-7133', u'6115-01-349-1536']



[0] https://github.com/TheUpshot/Military-Surplus-Gear/issues/10

[1] https://github.com/TheUpshot/Military-Surplus-Gear/wiki

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>I think we as programmers vastly understimate how useful even basic programming would be to virtually anyone today.

>It's not that they are dumb, it's that they've never been exposed to the opportunity. And conversely, it's not because I'm smart, but I literally can't remember what it was like not to break things down into computable pattern

I think that this dynamic can make for a great opportunity for those that really enjoy the research side of things and who can write software and looking for alternatives outside of pursuing degrees, especially for those who are entrepreneurial.

>…but I wonder if we could achieve the same growth in capacity of intellect by teaching more computational thinking (and implementation)

My experience with working with neuro postdocs is in line with noobermin, and toufka comments. I'm not bummed out by it, but it's kind of like seeing that there is untapped value there to be exploited by me and many others who see the opportunity being ignored by others.

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In my lab we're using a 128 channel biosemi hardware[0] and we wish the cheaper commercial head sets could come even close to what we're using. We've played/hacked the emotiv/muse and they're both crap (from a muscle contribution to the signal perspective)… even with the signal we are getting from the 128 leads (plus 4 facial), we still feel like our hands are tied behind our backs because its not like we're measuring the neurons directly, but maybe we'll get somewhere.

And then there's the headset that needs people to be a still as possible… so overall I think we're still years out for anything good that's cheaper commercially (at least something that the research will back from non muscle contribution standpoint). I'm interested in openbci, which I think will drive the prices down in the long run (along with projects like open ephys). Maybe one of these days we'll convince our PI to let us open source something to one of these projects since we're definitely relying on it (liblsl, libboost…) lol.

I think something using nano-electrode arrays[1] will probably be the best for having confidence in the signal and less likely to damage the brain. I was talking to Graham Yelton over at sandia about their project to try to get a pulse on where we are:

"Originally the nano-electrode array project targeted traces of dissolved lead and arsenic species in drinking water. Since then we have used modified versions of the array platform for impedance and capacitance studies of biofilm formation and vapor-phase detection, respectively. We have also applied the concept for thermo-electric nano-wires arrays, thermo-interface templates, and electrochromics (micro-pixilation). Steve’s group has deep expertise and focuses on biosensing, beyond my limited bio sensor knowledge."

I would love to see that work combined with the nano mechanical systems work going on at MIT[2], a la deep brain nano neural stimulation (tdcs? meh). Who knows, maybe people are working on it now, but sometimes trying to figure out whats going on where is another problem in itself…

[0] http://www.biosemi.com/

[1] http://www.sandia.gov/mstc/MsensorSensorMsystems/technical-i...

[2] http://meche.mit.edu/research/micronano/

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What we have in our world today is closer to universal surveillance of everyone, available to the few. The few, of which we know to due to the declining information asymmetry over our collective human history, are just as susceptible to all the things that make us human.

The reasons those on here give is along the lines of: because HIPAA, because it may be embarrassing for me if I get caught on video in some compromising way, because I might not get that job/promotion/etc (which seem to not be the ones we hear parroted in the news i.e. terrorism, to justify current asymmetries, not to mention no questioning of the utility of a job done by people which people seem to implicitly equate to be the only way resources can be allocated to people in any system).

I have yet to see those then go on to acknowledge in their plausible theoretical scenarios (that probably already happen to some degree without [sous]surveillance available to all easily) that because I may think I was wrongly looked over/scrutinized, what would stop me from then doing the same to those who would wield such over me in those same situations or anyone else?

I can see why it can be distressing if one is convinced that the way one grows up, is normalized to, generally reinforced by their society at large (and maybe less so as time goes by as society…changes) and finds solace in such way of being, figures that is the way the world must be. The unswaddled babies and young children uploaded to internet by their parents (and their parents friends and relatives) without any say, will probably wonder why all the old folks of their time care much when all they have known will be what is so foreign us today.

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Having developed on both android and ios, the platforms and the ecosystems leave a lot to be desired, not to mention I feel like I'm running a expensive dumbed down computer in my pocket.

If I want download a file on my phone and pipe it into another process, I shouldn't have to download an app that exports everything on the phone for w/e purposes or write one when a simple script would do…

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https://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/

This project hasn't received any updates in a while but so far it has never let me down when I need to do some text processing in my smartphone.

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