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When I grow up, I wanna be a curmudgeon!  
06:47pm 14/09/2008
 
 
Benjamin
It's true. I fully intend to be a cantankerous, dirty old man. When I hit ninety, all bets are off. And, according to my reaction to certain modern technology, I may be well on my way. Automated, not-on-rails, "is capable of going crazy and smashing into your house filled with half a hundred screaming people" transportation scares me. It's a control thing, I guess. I don't even really like cruise control, to tell you the fuller, curmudgeonier truth. I found this link in my morning cup of slashdot. (Yes, my 'morning' cup. I'm sick, damnit, so I slept in.) I do not believe that buses should be allowed to steer themselves. I'm not sure why I feel so strongly about it. I'm a geek, for crying out loud. I've been working with computers for a long time now, and I've always looked forward to the next technological whosawhatsit to come along. But planes and buses controlling themselves... that idea scares the hell out of me. Maybe I've seen terminator too many times? Maybe since most of my work with computers has been dealing with what happens when they don't do what they're supposed to, I'm less likely to trust that "No, _this_ time It'll work perfectly, honest!". Maybe I've heard too many horror stories about auto-pilot refusing to disengage, or sensors malfunctioning... Or maybe it's just a control thing.

The frustrating part is that I am fully aware that it's statistically safer (and not by just a little bit, either) for computers to make decisions. Humans make poor decisions... a LOT of poor decisions. We're famous for it, even. (I dare you to contest that) When we have car wrecks, it's usually because a human felt an overpowering urge to get their stupid on. Planes are safer, but that might well be because there's a lot less stuff to run into up in the sky, and not simply because of the tighter controls and better training required for pilots. (Hi Vicki!) Nevertheless, the idea of a bus or a plane making it's own decisions as to where to go or how to get there scares the crap out of me. Or maybe it's that despite the fact that the idea of a bus or plane being controlled by something that could be flummoxed by a stray 1 or 0 taking a bite out of a byte, humans are so very bad at it, in general, that lives will actually be saved by humans being taken out of the loop. (I hope it's scary to other people, anyway. Otherwise I'm just a lonely, sad, paranoid, crackpot) Maybe that's what bugs me... Hrmmm... fucking human pride. Anyway, I'm going to go have some pizza now, and trust that the driver from Pizza Mambo will be a person, and will not sneeze and drive into my house.
location: Eldemar
mood: None of your damned business!
 
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(no subject)
 lilith42
 
10:54pm 14/09/2008 (UTC)
 
 
Lilith
Right on! Damn kids need to get their robotic dogs off my damn lawn!


You always could make me laugh while getting a very valid point across hehehe.
 
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 kires
 
11:07pm 14/09/2008 (UTC)
 
 
Benjamin
That robotic dog poo is _hell_ to clean up, ya know.
 
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 spc476
 
05:30am 15/09/2008 (UTC)
 
 
Captain Napalm: hmmm
I hate to tell you this, but planes already pretty much fly (or can fly) themselves. I had the chance to fly an actual Airbus A320 flight simulator (the ones they use to train actual pilots) and I found it amazingly simple to take off and land (and to land, all I had to do was keep some crosshairs within a box). Even fighter jets today are “fly-by-wire” where you signal your intent to the airplane (using the joystick and pedals) and the on-board computers do the actual flying.

The only real role the pilot has is to handle emergencies. Otherwise, they can sleep on the job.

picword: hmmm
 
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(no subject)
 kires
 
04:01pm 15/09/2008 (UTC)
 
 
Benjamin
It seems that you agree with pretty much everything I wrote, so why the "I hate to tell you this"?

More importantly, though, how did you get to fly the simulator?
 
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(no subject)
 spc476
 
07:43pm 15/09/2008 (UTC)
 
 
Captain Napalm
A friend's girlfriend's (now wife) father was a flight instructor out of Miami. He got us into the flight simulator.
 
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