155 votes

What is the capitalist answer to automation?

In 1800, more than 90% of everyone were farmers. Modernly in the United States, which is a net exporter of food, less than 5% of everyone are employed on farms. That's a reduction of 85%, much ...
  • 88.4k
109 votes
Accepted

Why does the EU not seem to pursue technological independence?

The EU does pursue technological independence. For example, it has assembled its own satellite navigation system so that it does not have to rely on GPS and Glonass. The EU develops a lot of military ...
  • 17.1k
76 votes

How can Republicans who favour free markets, consistently express anger when they don't like the outcome of that choice?

I think the misunderstanding comes from how conservatives complain about bias in media and tech. Conservatives often don't call for government action, they just want to shed light on the injustices. ...
  • 10.8k
74 votes
Accepted

What is the origin of the fears of racism associated with facial recognition technology?

People often have the mistaken belief that computers are inherently objective and unbiased – and while they may not hold prejudices themselves, the results that they produce reflect the biases and ...
  • 25.7k
64 votes

Why do Republicans want to break up Facebook?

(Caveat: The Republican Party is nowhere near the monolith it works so hard to appear as.) As the Republican party has fallen more and more in-line with Trumpism (which, really, predates Trump and ...
63 votes
Accepted

Why do Republicans want to break up Facebook?

Republicans cannot just "use other platforms" because of the network effect. Everyone is already on Facebook, Twitter, et. al. So say die-hard Republicans all go to Parler. Now they're in ...
  • 7,425
51 votes

Why did some US institutions not migrate their very old software systems to use somewhat newer ones?

It's not just US institutions, there are many countries, institutions - including banks - and companies running on ancient software and hardware. There are multiple reasons for that: First, from the ...
  • 2,328
49 votes

Do voice assistants such as Alexa commonly have political opinions and do people believe them unthinkingly?

I wonder how we should react to a non-sentient robot claiming to hold a particular set of beliefs and principles. You should bear in mind that it is actually expressing the views of the controllers ...
  • 5,743
44 votes

What is the capitalist answer to automation?

The answer from a capitalist's point of view is fairly straight forward. As demand for certain types of labor fall, demand for other types of labor will increase and workers will need to gain skills ...
  • 14.4k
43 votes

Why does the EU not seem to pursue technological independence?

It’s not only EU, there is no such thing as a technological independent state anymore. North Korea is the closest one to be. There are enterprises in US and Asia which manufacture nanotechnology, but ...
  • 602
39 votes

What is the origin of the fears of racism associated with facial recognition technology?

Let me set aside, for the moment, the question of whether current facial recognition technology (FRT) accurately distinguishes the facial features of non-whites. There is some evidence that it does ...
  • 55.7k
34 votes

How can Republicans who favour free markets, consistently express anger when they don't like the outcome of that choice?

It probably depends on what circle of 'conservatives' you're talking to, but the most legitimate complaint I see get thrown around, is that big tech companies should be forced to abide by one of the ...
29 votes

Why do Republicans want to break up Facebook?

The Republican Party Historically the Republican party has been a big tent which deliberately sets out to include a wide range of opinions on the political right. As a result there are, roughly ...
  • 18.2k
28 votes

Dealing with crime in cryptocurrency based economies

Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aren't actually that untraceable, because the transfer history of every wallet is public. When cryptocurrencies ever become economically relevant, you ...
  • 69.1k
26 votes
Accepted

Why did some US institutions not migrate their very old software systems to use somewhat newer ones?

Because it's hard to do, prone to failure and very costly. And because the newer alternatives aren't always a big improvement. Very costly in the sense that failure costs in the multiple 100M$ are ...
25 votes

What is the origin of the fears of racism associated with facial recognition technology?

Every new technology used for policing is thought to lead to racist results, because it is assumed that policing as currently practiced leads to racist results. Here's a blog post from 4 years ago ...
  • 14.9k
25 votes

Why do Republicans want to break up Facebook?

Allow me to preface this by noting that breaking up or regulating large social media companies might in fact be a good idea. It's patently unwise to leave major social and political issues to be ...
  • 55.7k
22 votes

What is the capitalist answer to automation?

It doesn't have one. Full automation in a capitalist society will naturally evolve towards a dystopia without intervention from outside the economy. When a machine is smart enough, and can do the job ...
21 votes

Why does the EU not seem to pursue technological independence?

Technological independence is a strategic military goal, not an economic one. One of the basic principles of economics is comparative advantage, which says that trade will benefit both parties if ...
  • 18.2k
20 votes

How can Republicans who favour free markets, consistently express anger when they don't like the outcome of that choice?

So I'm on the libertarian side with some leftist and some rightist reservations, so I am not a conservative, but I think there are a few points to be made. I think I should note that I don't buy the ...
19 votes

Why does the EU not seem to pursue technological independence?

A full answer would probably take several books. But in part it's a combination of economics and politics. On the economics side, manufacturing is too expensive in Europe (just like in US), due in ...
  • 89.4k
17 votes

What are the reasons why Mexico remains so poorly industrialized?

Why some countries are poor and others are rich is one of the fundamental questions in economics, going all the way back to Adam Smith. There is a whole wealth of literature on the subject, but to ...
  • 10.8k
16 votes

What is the capitalist answer to automation?

I'm not sure if Tim Burton is a Capitalist or not, but he gave a really good illustration of what tends to happen over time in his version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Charlie's father works ...
  • 40k
15 votes

What is the capitalist answer to automation?

Capitalism doesn't have an answer, and doesn't need an answer. What people always forget when they worry about automation is that prices for things get less. At the turn of the century, people would ...
  • 5,950
15 votes

Why do Republicans want to break up Facebook?

The Republicans are reacting logically to their de facto leader being banned from Facebook and Twitter. If a top Democratic leader managed to get themselves banned from Facebook and Twitter, then you ...
13 votes

Why did some US institutions not migrate their very old software systems to use somewhat newer ones?

I would like to address the underlying misconception that was expressed in the note: I am not thinking about big leaps, but at least to work with languages and frameworks that are at most 20 years ...
  • 468
12 votes
Accepted

Are there non-military uses of 20%-enriched Uranium?

Partial answer: It's usable as reactor fuel 20% enrichment is also referred to as "High-assay Low-Enrichment Uranium" (HALEU). It has various benefits when used as a fuel in some reactors; see the ...
  • 6,736
12 votes

What is the origin of the fears of racism associated with facial recognition technology?

In addition to the other answers, there's also the issue of using facial recognition to predict criminality of an individual. For example: this The Intercept article. For clarity, the research paper ...
  • 222

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible