Chatham

Chatham

  • Commented on On Syria
    There’s good money that Obama is planning on doing just that – blowing up some buildings, saying that a strong response was sent to the Syrian government, and declaring victory(-ish). I strongly doubt it will be as involved as the...
  • Commented on Lies, damned lies, and popular beliefs
    Well, it’s a pre-revolutionary state. Soon the populace will be fighting a guerilla war against their own ignorance....
  • Commented on A Bad Dream
    Eh. I doubt people are so schizophrenic that they’ll take up arms against the people they keep voting into power. I can’t speak for the UK, but at least in the US, there are very few people that are actually...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    Yes, congressional staffers and State Department researchers don't spend their time trying to push for radical change. They usually spend their time doing the job they were hired to do. Likewise, despite the fact that the US Postal Service has...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    How many hours monthly do the people you know work on political issues? Participation tends to be pretty low. Where I am, our primary is our general for the most part, since we're a one party jurisdiction. Yet only 17%...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    Why hasn't it happened yet? Comment #26 summed it up pretty well: "The problem is that resistance is exhausting and so few people are willing to do it. Many will complain bitterly, but they won't come out and work to...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    The parties can't stop anyone from getting their names on the ballot. It's true that some states make this more difficult than it should be, but not to the extent that they can overrule the electorate. We've even seen examples...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    I suppose then you're left with the same problem I mentioned before, which is not a problem of democracy. If the electorate keeps voting for a party that ruthlessly suppresses dissent, then it's a problem with individuals, not the system....
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    It's not disingenuous at all. How are the parties going to stop someone from voting for who they want? When someone gets into the voting booth, the parties can't control who they vote for....
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    In the US, parties can't overrule local electors. If people want to vote for a candidate in the primaries, there's nothing that can stop them. I understand in the UK it's a bit tougher and requires people to either work...
  • Commented on Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
    Meh. The situation you describe is the result of people not voting for better candidates. I'm not sure how you jump from that to thinking that this is a problem with representative democracy. People can vote for people who are...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    You can't say what species is "smarter" without defining the term first. I suppose the closest you could come would be to say that they are better at solving X problems, but certain animals are already better than humans at...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    Well, in the Christian context "free will" runs up against "the divine plan." But "free will" is one of those concepts we come up with in our head that ends up being meaningless when we give it even a little...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    I suppose. The abacus was an early intelligent machine. From what I've read, there are many people that disagree with your definition for Hard AI. But since there's really no agreed upon definition for it, that's to be expected....
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    Good point. The thing is, the more we delve into these things, the more we see how nebulous terms like "think" and "intelligence" are. You'll see the same thing thing when people try to define what "intelligence" and "self awareness"...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    Yes, but apparently we'll spend all our time gossiping about the Jupiter Brain Kardashian....
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    I chose a thousand years because it seemed like an exaggerated period of time. Based on the comments here, it seems that most people think that our technology level will be substantially more advanced even 300 or 400 years into...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    I'm not sure why this implies we have to be unique. Let's say that our current technological level last for another thousand years, and that there have been a thousand civilizations like us. Even if everyone spends all their time...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    "Onward and upward" wouldn't types wouldn't necessarily be obvious to us. "Onward, upward, and devour," perhaps. I suppose we wouldn't move forward from that, but then again, I suppose that we might not move much further forward from our current...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    Do you not think that human ambitions have changed at all over the past 100,000 years? Do you think that they will not change over the next 100,000? I'd argue that many of our greatest advances have been social, and...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    That, from the limited amount we have detected, there doesn't seem to be anyone who was enough like us at a period during a tiny sliver of time that's proportional to their distance from us. If there were others like...
  • Commented on Tapeworm Logic
    I never got the "paradox" part of Fermi's paradox. It basically says that if we make a bunch of assumptions about life - assumptions we are basing on little evidence - and then make other assumptions about what an advanced...
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