False-color mosaic courtesy of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows differences in the composition of surface materials around hydrocarbon lakes at Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Kraken Mare, which is Titan’s largest sea and covers about the same area as Earth’s Caspian Sea and Lake Superior combined, can be seen spreading out with many tendrils on the upper right. The orange areas are thought to be the Titan equivalent of salt flats on Earth. Click image for more info at National Geographic online.
One important fundamental difference in value between a diamond ring and an armful of kindling is man-hours, one takes a lot more to make than the other. But it's conceivable, one day, with sufficient advances in hardware and software, that man-hours will be rendered moot. Which would mean money as we know would cease to matter and that sounds great to those of who don't have much. But there could necessarily be a phase along the way that might not be so appealing
But a funny thing is going to happen when the machines start taking the jobs of doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, managers and professors. We're not quite there yet, but the day is coming very soon when many of what had traditionally been considered untouchable jobs will be done just as effectively or better by machines. .. When the machines and the Internet start taking the white collar jobs, look for a moral panic and rethinking of the capitalist bargain that should have started 30 years ago, but didn't because blue collar workers have no political power.
I imagine two things might happen: Many of those displaced white-collar workers will suddenly discover
that social safety nets, food and housing assistance, and unemployment payments matter after all, and many politicians paid by the owners of profitable AI run corporations will just as suddenly discover
their conservative leaning white-collar suburbanite base was a bunch of lazy, socialist, commie leeches. That's one possible version of the approaching singularity
anyway. Another is the AIs might not have anything against us per se
, they just might see humans and our artifacts as made of atoms that could be recycled to make something way more useful in a new world order of machine axioms: the opposite of love or respect is not hate or contempt, it's indifference.
- Grats, it's a baby dino!
- Imagine if Joe-not-a-Plumber posed as a future doctor instead of a future plumbing mogul, only to have his dream dashed by the cruel Kenyan usurper, and viola, you have not-a-doctor Michael Lofti.
- The Canadian Arctic is now warmer than ever.
- Speaking of climate change, turns out that may have caused the collapse of bronze-aged cultures in the Holy Land around the same time the first roots of Old Testament were being laid down.
- The story of my fellow science blogger who was called an urban whore for not donating her expertise to a well funded, for profit science publisher landed in this follow up post at TPM:
In a political setting, which demands that people of color pick themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps and overcome institutional racism through hard work and dedication, it is telling that a black woman as intelligent, accomplished and professional as Lee is subject to such offensive ridicule when she refuses to work for free.