Patched Tube

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About Patched Tube

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  • Birthday 06/07/1962

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    Washington, DC
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  • Springsteen fan since?
    Vicky played me "Born to Run"
  • Does Mary's dress wave or sway?
    A question for the philosophers
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  1. Well why not?!
  2. Automation have been putting people out of work since the adaptation of the ox cart. The wide spread adaption of machines has created a large surplus of labor; in a Bronze Age agricultural community essentially everybody worked from the time they were able to work until, essentially, they died. That labor might not have been very productive but they worked. In today's society we camoflouge much of this structural unemployment with things like universal primary education, large amounts of secondary education and the retirement - even with large scale incarceration. This takes a lot of bodies out of the labor pool. Even large standing militaries were barely possible prior to automation (as expressed as % of population). What I suspect will be different about the next wave of automation is not just the application of energy to a task (how much can you improve a lathe?) but the application of information to tasks. The next wave of machines will be able to gather, share and recieve information at an unprecedented level. Not just automation but "intelligent" automation. This, I strongly suspect, will simply remove the requirement for "the man in the loop" for many tasks.
  3. I would love to go to a match with you if the chance presents itself. No beer required.
  4. Industrial design can certainly be artistic (I am not getting into "what is art?"). I'm a pretty big believer that beautiful design is good design; with things mechanical the old saying that ugly goes straight through to the bone seems largely true. I suspect certain aspects of our appreciation art like symmetry and balance are rooted in evolutionary adaptations to tool making. All things being equal looking tools tend to be good tools. This in turn I suspect has to do with certain underlying constants in geometry and the forces described in classical physics. I find it interesting that the mathematics used to describe the above are often also elegant and often simple.
  5. Well the Japanese do like baseball....
  6. I certainly hope not; Yucca Mountain is a deeply flawed site. It was chosen for political reasons more than for technical reasons and it was only fair politics derailed it. That much of the political opposition happens to be more or less right doesn't hurt.
  7. Good enough. In my one extended exposure to the game a lot of beer was consumed.
  8. There was a very interesting exhibit some years ago at the Smithsonian on this very topic and I was lucky to have an art history major with me which added a lot to the experiance. I really like my "Lenin" a lot. Simple two color print but very evocative. The picture I posted washed out the color a bit - it's much more vibrant. I also have it hung so it appears to be glancing at the door and coat closet as you come into my place. Nothing like coming over for dinner and having old Vladimir giving you the stink eye as you walk in.
  9. Art is like a great many things in life; knowing something about it helps you to appreciate it. I'm not suggesting anybody should go out and try to learn something about any specific thing (though I have suggestions ) but merely that information assists with appreciation. Cricket must be a great game as it is enjoyed by millions of people across the globe. I don't know a damned thing about it and I suspect I would enjoy the TV in my local kabob place a lot more if I did.
  10. Wow. I didn't know that. Thanks for posting that.
  11. As one wag put it if agriculture had not followed this trajectory we wouldn't eat food - we'd be food.
  12. Just because you have a specific axe to grind doesn't mean it's the right ax. Dredging up a couple of sociologists with whom you agree with does not impress particularly as Marxism has a pretty dismal track record in explaining much less predicting events and the track record is even worse in the United States. Marxism is a text book case of trying to extend an interesting but narrow thesis much further than is wise.
  13. Arguably they will make those judgements better and faster than a human can. A autonomous vehicle can take the "suicide" choice a lot more reliably than you or I can. I also think it's a moot point; people had all kinds of worries about the computer/information revolution ( there were concerns about railways and factories too). Some of those concerns failed to materialize, some of them have proven to be entirely justified. The revoloution came anyways.
  14. That is why in the U.S. analyzing our politics strictly through class is so overly simplistic as to be essentially pointless. What's worse it's misleading. Add to that the perpetual argument of just who is "working class" further degrades its utility. Stretching "working class" to include anybody not in a managerial or executive role makes the subgroup so large as to be politically and socially speaking amorphous. "Working class" in the American context is probably best used as a synonym for "blue" and maybe "pink collar" - the latter term subject to considerable interpretation and "stretching" as well. Moreover if present trends continue, and I have no reason to believe they won't, the term "working class" may be blurred/overshadowed by the emergence of the "non-working class": those willing to work but unemployed or underemployed as a consequence of long term/permanent structural redundency brought about by automation.
  15. There is some speculation that he simply needs the pay check; that his finances are so highly leveraged that he requires every nickel of cash flow just to keep afloat. Whatever the reason... it's pretty distasteful.