Skip to main content

Misdirecting the disenfranchised

 Socialism has practically become a meaningless term. To the extent that it involves collectivism, all modern societies are 'socialist'. It is just a question of how well they do it. The historical context within which these concepts grew is no longer applicable. It is pointless to define the class struggle around the means of production when that is no longer the point of control.

You can access every bit of the world's knowledge online for essentially nothing. The only thing stopping you is the artificial construct of 'copyright'. It allows some to claim 'ownership' of the right to say who can access what things. As automation spreads, the same type of situation will apply for tangible things like electronic devices. Already, as of now, only about a fifth of the selling price of a smart phone is required to make them. More than half of the rest is captured by the entity 'owning' the right to have them made. 

The cost to create goods will eventually seek the level of the energy and materials used to make them. At that point, the equivalent of hereditary kings and queens will hold all the rights to make them, and they will charge whatever they wish. We know from experience that they will charge whatever the traffic will bear. 

The class struggle is ongoing and after a brief period of success, it seems we are losing again.


Popular posts from this blog

The system cannot execute the specified program

It always annoys me no end when I get messages like the following: "The system cannot execute the specified program." I got the above error from Windows XP when I tried to execute a program I use all the time. The message is hugely aggravating because it says the obvious without giving any actionable information. If you have such a problem and you are executing from a deep directory structure that may be your problem. It was in my case. Looking on the web with that phrase brought up a bunch of arcane stuff that did not apply to me. It mostly brought up long threads (as these things tend to do) which follow this pattern: 'Q' is the guy with the problem asking for help 'A' can be any number of people who jump in to 'help'. Q: I got this error "The system cannot execute the specified program." when I tried to ... [long list of things tried] A: What program were you running, what operating system, where is the program? What type of

The JWST did not take resources away from the poor.

The JWST project employed many people for a long time. It helped them and their communities. Like other NASA projects, it has funded technology breakthroughs that will pay back the investment. Right now, mathematical physicists are working on a new theory that combines quantum physics and relativity and explains how the two emerge from a common root structure. This will be aided by knowledge of the early universe we get from JWST. A breakthrough there could lead to essentially limitless low-cost energy. It could possibly lead to crazy stuff like anti-gravity and magnetic monopoles. It could extend the periodic table, and allow us to create exotic substances, it could allow us to create room temperature superconductors, and it could conceivably allow us to figure out how to explore the galaxy. Our understanding of electromagnetism since the 19th century has allowed us to do miraculous things that people in earlier centuries would simply think of as pure magic. Reaching for the stars is

Coming Soon: General Artificial Intelligence

The closer you get to experts who understand the nuts and bolts and history of AI, the more you find them saying that what we have is not nearly General Artificial Intelligence (GAI), and that GAI seems far away. I think we already have the roots in place with Neural Networks (NN), Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML), and primitive domain limited Artificial Intelligence (AI). Things like computer vision, voice recognition, and language translation are already in production. These are tough problems, but in some ways, machines are already better than humans are. I expect GAI to be an emergent property as systems mature, join, and augment one another. I was around during the 70s AI winter, and was involved in the 80s AI winter as one of the naysayers. I built a demonstration system with a Sperry voice recognition card in 1984. I could demonstrate it in a quiet room, but as a practical matter, it was not production ready at all. Around 1988 we built demonstration expert systems usin