AuthorTopic: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization  (Read 8323 times)

Online RE

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2017, 12:21:12 PM »
2. For JIT delivery, driverless trucks make huge sense, because it cuts the cost way, way down by eliminating the need for humans constantly at the wheel. This overcomes the problem of (a) paying so much to humans just to be behind the wheel and (b) the wasted time they spend in enforced shut-down mode, sleeping at the truck stop.

As robots and machines eliminate ever more humans from "the workforce," how are people supposed to "make a living"?  Will "unnecessary" people be warehoused in giant human warehouses, dwelling in 6'x6'x6' cubicles and fed "food paste" from tubes protruding from these cubicles? Or will they just be "euthanized"?

Oh, please.

We, as humans, have just witnessed two centuries of existing technologies and patterns of work constantly being EXTREMELY disrupted, with businesses that existed for generations being eliminated and replaced by a faster, cheaper way. Do we have less humans as a result? Did horse wranglers and mule skinners get euthanized? Is the human population shrinking?

People, as individuals, are always challenged to find a way to make a living. Amazingly, some people seem to thrive in just about any scenario you can come up with, and many others couldn't find their own asshole with both hands.

The challenge of living is to find the basics of food and shelter and to make yourself comfortable within your means. Thus it has always been.

Am I concerned that technology is eliminating a lot of jobs? Yes. Do I think the future depends on humans driving trucks over the open road, not so much.

The "Oh, please" comment was unnecessary. I'm being real here.  And I'm hardly uninformed about the topic.

The broad topic is called "technological unemployment," -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment -- and those who insist that it's not a worry usually refer to a thing they call The Luddite Fallacy -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment#The_Luddite_fallacy

Problem is, "the luddite fallacy" is a load of horse-pucky.  The idea that it is a fallacy is nothing more than a doctrine of cornucopian faith (with cornucopianism being more than simply the unreasonable faith in natural resource replacements and other assorted make-believe).

Quote
"Do I think the future depends on humans driving trucks over the open road, not so much."

But my point wasn't merely about truck drivers being replaced by technological innovation.  What is happening with automation and advanced technologies is that they are more swiftly eliminating jobs in places like the USA than Any Other Single Factor -- including "outsourcing" to places like China and Mexico. (Ample evidence upon request.)  This hasn't happened to trucking, yet. You're saying that it would, or even should.   I'm saying if it happens with apples it won't be long before it happens to oranges.  There's no point restricting my point to either fruit.  Or to fruit! My issue cannot be treated as so many small potatoes.  The "luddite fallacy" is bullshit.

EVs are already too expensive for the average J6P.  They're a techno-toy for the Rich.  That's why Tesla has only sold 250,000 carz in 8 years of operation.  This in a market in the FSoA with 250,000,000 passenger carz on the road. Plus Tesla sells globally.  That means it is .1% of the market, and only the .1% can afford them.  Making such a vehicle autonomous and robotic will easily double the cost.  Notice nobody ever mentions a price tag on these vehicles?

Who's buying the ones that already exist?  Debt Bubble companies like Uber and Amazon, who burn through debt like a forest fire on steroids.  Their stupid belief is that someday they'll recoup the investment by eliminating those costly and unreliable drivers.  However, they'll undoubtedly have to replace the techno-marvels before they're ever paid off, and just work up still more debt.

Meanwhile, if you did replace these fleets of taxis and trucks with robots, you're talking industries which employ millions of people.  The total number of people employed in the workforce is already dropping fast.


So unless you start paying out a Guaranteed National Income, these folks aren't even going to have money for cab fare.

This shit is typical Elon Musk & Ray Kurzweil Snake Oil.  They may put some robotic taxis and trucks on the road, but it will never be profitable.  They'll fund it on more Wall Street debt money.

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2017, 12:26:07 PM »


But my point wasn't merely about truck drivers being replaced by technological innovation.  What is happening with automation and advanced technologies is that they are more swiftly eliminating jobs in places like the USA than Any Other Single Factor -- including "outsourcing" to places like China and Mexico. (Ample evidence upon request.)  This hasn't happened to trucking, yet. You're saying that it would, or even should.   I'm saying if it happens with apples it won't be long before it happens to oranges.  There's no point restricting my point to either fruit.  Or to fruit! My issue cannot be treated as so many small potatoes.  The "luddite fallacy" is bullshit.

Just for the sake of argument here, specifically addressing "the luddite fallacy," let's say we could replace resources and energy somehow and continue manufacturing robots that cause the technological unemployment to begin with (I think we all agree that the matrix won't happen due to energy and resources?). 

So all of the truck drivers get replaced by driverless trucks and are out of work.  Well couldn't they do something else?  I mean, as society advances and progresses, aren't there always new jobs being created?  All of the jobs that were lost due to the horse becoming obsolete were replaced, and then some, with all that was required to manufacture and utilize cars. 

How many jobs has the internet gotten rid of?  How many jobs has the internet created?  There's all kinds of jobs that are needed to keep the internet working.  So can robots do all of those jobs?  Can robots manufacture robots all the way from resource extraction, to energy extraction, and all humans have to do is consume?  I can see that future as a possibility (taking natural resource and energy replacement out of the equation) because the economics are already digibits and are not subject to any physical laws (aside from the laws needed to keep the internet afloat).  This future was envisioned in the movie Wall-e, which is another awesome movie. 



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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2017, 12:40:12 PM »
How many jobs has the internet gotten rid of?  How many jobs has the internet created? 

If you look at the Labor Participation Rate graph I put up, you can see clearly that more jobs are being destroyed than created.  In addition, the new jobs that have been created are lower in wages and purchasing power for J6P has steadily declined since the 1970s.

So if you followed this to it's logical illogical conclusion the end result is nobody employed with no purchasing power to buy a cab fare!

It's all funded on debt, but unless you get credit to the end consumer, they can't buy the product or service.  That's why you see all the retail stores closing down and why Amazon and Alibaba are money losing operations funded on debt.  Robotic carz are no different.

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Offline JRM

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 12:44:50 PM »
But my point wasn't merely about truck drivers being replaced by technological innovation.

But it brings up the argument that always get trotted out, which is that if you introduce disruptive technology, it kills jobs.

I did not mean to be insulting, but I view that argument as specious. It overlooks the possibility that disruptive technology can often bring more benefits, cause us to use fewer scarce resources, and pollute less.

And I was addressing the larger topic -- not just cars and trucks.

I did that because our culture is going ahead with an attempt at BAU, the failure of which is hardly specious. It is already resulting in failure. No need to wait.

That failure can only worsen until something snaps.

It hasn't failed in an sort of snapping way, yet, because the "first world" has had a "middle class" which could afford all sorts of luxury goods and services. That middle class is in collapse already, leaving fewer and fewer people with the income with which to support that luxury based economy.

The fact remains that needs (e.g., food, shelter...) are more important and relevant in an economic system than luxuries are, and both are being attended to with an ever-increasing rate of productivity per unit of labor (meaning numbers of workers per unit of time in production).  If the market for luxury goods and services is shrinking due to a shrinkage in the number of folks who can afford such luxury goods and services (as it is), and the productive capacity of all goods and services is generally increasing due to technological innovation (in the ratio just mentioned), it stands to reason that things are heading toward a breaking point.  Environmental consequences and resource scarcity only compound this tendency toward a breaking point.

All investment of labor, time, resources, research and development, etc., should be directed toward acknowledging and addressing all of the above as a building, integrated crisis.  Instead, far too much of these are being directed at exacerbating the crisis. 

Not all technology-driven disruptions are--or must, necessarily be--contributory to the crisis.  That's why we need to find a way to have choices in adopting innovations, rather than simply adopting those technological "advancements" which are profitable for corporations and their investors.

The 19th century Luddites may have been mistaken, but the 21st century neo-luddites almost certainly are not.

It overlooks the possibility that disruptive technology can often bring more benefits, cause us to use fewer scarce resources, and pollute less.

I'm certain that those benefits--and others as well--can come from disruptive technologies, and those are the ones we should seriously consider adopting!  One major problem, here, is that the R&D resources tend to go to whatever may turn a profit, while we need a great deal more R&D in areas which are less likely to enrich already rich people -- and which smooths a path to sustainable, equitable, even viable future possibilities.

To have R&D which, by design, only serves rich and powerful people's (and corporations') bank accounts can only result in catastrophe. 


My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline luciddreams

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 12:51:53 PM »
But my point wasn't merely about truck drivers being replaced by technological innovation.

But it brings up the argument that always get trotted out, which is that if you introduce disruptive technology, it kills jobs.

I did not mean to be insulting, but I view that argument as specious. It overlooks the possibility that disruptive technology can often bring more benefits, cause us to use fewer scarce resources, and pollute less.

And I was addressing the larger topic -- not just cars and trucks.

I did that because our culture is going ahead with an attempt at BAU, the failure of which is hardly specious. It is already resulting in failure. No need to wait.

That failure can only worsen until something snaps.

It hasn't failed in an sort of snapping way, yet, because the "first world" has had a "middle class" which could afford all sorts of luxury goods and services. That middle class is in collapse already, leaving fewer and fewer people with the income with which to support that luxury based economy.

The fact remains that needs (e.g., food, shelter...) are more important and relevant in an economic system than luxuries are, and both are being attended to with an ever-increasing rate of productivity per unit of labor (meaning numbers of workers per unit of time in production).  If the market for luxury goods and services is shrinking due to a shrinkage in the number of folks who can afford such luxury goods and services (as it is), and the productive capacity of all goods and services is generally increasing due to technological innovation (in the ratio just mentioned), it stands to reason that things are heading toward a breaking point.  Environmental consequences and resource scarcity only compound this tendency toward a breaking point.

All investment of labor, time, resources, research and development, etc., should be directed toward acknowledging and addressing all of the above as a building, integrated crisis.  Instead, far too much of these are being directed at exacerbating the crisis. 

Not all technology-driven disruptions are--or must, necessarily be--contributory to the crisis.  That's why we need to find a way to have choices in adopting innovations, rather than simply adopting those technological "advancements" which are profitable for corporations and their investors.

The 19th century Luddites may have been mistaken, but the 21st century neo-luddites almost certainly are not.

It overlooks the possibility that disruptive technology can often bring more benefits, cause us to use fewer scarce resources, and pollute less.

I'm certain that those benefits--and others as well--can come from disruptive technologies, and those are the ones we should seriously consider adopting!  One major problem, here, is that the R&D resources tend to go to whatever may turn a profit, while we need a great deal more R&D in areas which are less likely to enrich already rich people -- and which smooths a path to sustainable, equitable, even viable future possibilities.

To have R&D which, by design, only serves rich and powerful people's (and corporations') bank accounts can only result in catastrophe.

In the end it's the lack of energy that makes all of this mute IMO.

We should be focusing on restoration agriculture as a world if we are to seriously address the climate, our numbers, and our lower energy per capita near future. 

Offline JRM

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2017, 12:53:01 PM »
2. For JIT delivery, driverless trucks make huge sense, because it cuts the cost way, way down by eliminating the need for humans constantly at the wheel. This overcomes the problem of (a) paying so much to humans just to be behind the wheel and (b) the wasted time they spend in enforced shut-down mode, sleeping at the truck stop.

As robots and machines eliminate ever more humans from "the workforce," how are people supposed to "make a living"?  Will "unnecessary" people be warehoused in giant human warehouses, dwelling in 6'x6'x6' cubicles and fed "food paste" from tubes protruding from these cubicles? Or will they just be "euthanized"?

Oh, please.

We, as humans, have just witnessed two centuries of existing technologies and patterns of work constantly being EXTREMELY disrupted, with businesses that existed for generations being eliminated and replaced by a faster, cheaper way. Do we have less humans as a result? Did horse wranglers and mule skinners get euthanized? Is the human population shrinking?

People, as individuals, are always challenged to find a way to make a living. Amazingly, some people seem to thrive in just about any scenario you can come up with, and many others couldn't find their own asshole with both hands.

The challenge of living is to find the basics of food and shelter and to make yourself comfortable within your means. Thus it has always been.

Am I concerned that technology is eliminating a lot of jobs? Yes. Do I think the future depends on humans driving trucks over the open road, not so much.

The "Oh, please" comment was unnecessary. I'm being real here.  And I'm hardly uninformed about the topic.

The broad topic is called "technological unemployment," -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment -- and those who insist that it's not a worry usually refer to a thing they call The Luddite Fallacy -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_unemployment#The_Luddite_fallacy

Problem is, "the luddite fallacy" is a load of horse-pucky.  The idea that it is a fallacy is nothing more than a doctrine of cornucopian faith (with cornucopianism being more than simply the unreasonable faith in natural resource replacements and other assorted make-believe).

Quote
"Do I think the future depends on humans driving trucks over the open road, not so much."

But my point wasn't merely about truck drivers being replaced by technological innovation.  What is happening with automation and advanced technologies is that they are more swiftly eliminating jobs in places like the USA than Any Other Single Factor -- including "outsourcing" to places like China and Mexico. (Ample evidence upon request.)  This hasn't happened to trucking, yet. You're saying that it would, or even should.   I'm saying if it happens with apples it won't be long before it happens to oranges.  There's no point restricting my point to either fruit.  Or to fruit! My issue cannot be treated as so many small potatoes.  The "luddite fallacy" is bullshit.

EVs are already too expensive for the average J6P.  They're a techno-toy for the Rich.  That's why Tesla has only sold 250,000 carz in 8 years of operation.  This in a market in the FSoA with 250,000,000 passenger carz on the road. Plus Tesla sells globally.  That means it is .1% of the market, and only the .1% can afford them.  Making such a vehicle autonomous and robotic will easily double the cost.  Notice nobody ever mentions a price tag on these vehicles?

Who's buying the ones that already exist?  Debt Bubble companies like Uber and Amazon, who burn through debt like a forest fire on steroids.  Their stupid belief is that someday they'll recoup the investment by eliminating those costly and unreliable drivers.  However, they'll undoubtedly have to replace the techno-marvels before they're ever paid off, and just work up still more debt.

Meanwhile, if you did replace these fleets of taxis and trucks with robots, you're talking industries which employ millions of people.  The total number of people employed in the workforce is already dropping fast.


So unless you start paying out a Guaranteed National Income, these folks aren't even going to have money for cab fare.

This shit is typical Elon Musk & Ray Kurzweil Snake Oil.  They may put some robotic taxis and trucks on the road, but it will never be profitable.  They'll fund it on more Wall Street debt money.

RE


Good work, RE!

I'm in fundamental agreement with the salient points in RE's post here. 
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2017, 12:55:05 PM »

In the end it's the lack of energy that makes all of this mute IMO.

SG Alert!: It's moot, not mute

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Offline JRM

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 01:00:26 PM »
I've provided a very rough sketch (and only the beginning of such a sketch) of one sort of R&D project which the world sorely needs today.  Even the title for the project is but a rough sketch suggestion for a "working title".

It is here:

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,9023.msg124331/topicseen.html#msg124331

What are the odds of this happening in today's America? Not good, right?  Why?  Because it won't make anyone rich in the short run.  It may preserve some real wealth in the long run, however.  That is, if we define wealth as "well-being" in a long term context.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 01:18:56 PM »
Damn!  What a great bunch of responses.  Thanks for the welcome, Eddie.

First:
like that a decade from now we may not need the interstate highway system.

I'd like to see this proposition detailed out a bit.  Why? How?
Good question.  My suggestion (notice I said "may not", not "will not") comes from my less optimistic doomer side.  Considering the not unreal possibility that within a decade this country may see a catastrophic economic contraction forcing the shutdown of large corporate enterprises including government entities like the DOT.  Financial hardship accompanied by high fuel prices could see a significant reduction in miles driven.  The Interstate Highway system requires vigilant maintenance to keep it functional.  That requires capital, which could, and probably will, become scarce.

Now keep in mind that I never said we would not need overland roads of various sizes.  But high-speed controlled access interchanges with entrance and exit ramps, overpasses, flyovers, and all the other accoutrements of modern engine-powered transport systems could become just so much overbuilt liability.  To say within a decade is pessimistic for sure.  To say a hundred years is almost a certainty.

Eddie's points are well taken.  For fleet operations and taxi services driverless cars may well become more common.  But my response was in agreement with the author's statement that
Quote
Our streets and highways are never going to be populated by a significant number of driverless cars. Any more than our lives are going to be enriched by attentive robots exhibiting artificial intelligence.


Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I had thought the Farmer was pointing out it was an absurd falsehood fabricated for the Dim to consume.

Hi Farmer, Welcome aboard the Diner.  :hi:

Thanks to you also for the welcome, Ox.
You pretty much nailed where I was going with that.  But help me out here: is "Dim" the obvious, as in short for "Dimwitted"?
Incidentally, I have a couple of actual Golden Oxen out in my pasture.  They are Jersey steers over 2 years old that are soon to become freezer dwellers.

As for the labor vs. robotics discussion: WAY above my pay grade.  But I definitely concur with this...

In the end it's the lack of energy that makes all of this mute (moot) IMO.
--Greg
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline Eddie

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2017, 01:31:58 PM »
We should be focusing on restoration agriculture as a world if we are to seriously address the climate, our numbers, and our lower energy per capita near future.


Uh....we ARE!

Most of the people in this conversation are doing that. (Round of applause for doomer farmers and permies and bamboo-zlers of all persuasions).

It's those other people.....
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2017, 01:46:06 PM »
2. For JIT delivery, driverless trucks make huge sense, because it cuts the cost way, way down by eliminating the need for humans constantly at the wheel. This overcomes the problem of (a) paying so much to humans just to be behind the wheel and (b) the wasted time they spend in enforced shut-down mode, sleeping at the truck stop.

As robots and machines eliminate ever more humans from "the workforce," how are people supposed to "make a living"?  Will "unnecessary" people be warehoused in giant human warehouses, dwelling in 6'x6'x6' cubicles and fed "food paste" from tubes protruding from these cubicles? Or will they just be "euthanized"?

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2017, 02:02:41 PM »

In the end it's the lack of energy that makes all of this mute IMO.

SG Alert!: It's moot, not mute

RE
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Actually RE, in this case I actually meant to use "mute" and not "moot." 

Am I fuckin' seriously the only Diner that makes spelling and homonym mistakes?  I feel like I'm on the receiving end of a SG witch hunt. 

Welcome to the Diner Farmer...I hope you've got thick internet avatar skin cause if you stick around you're gonna need it. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 02:40:41 PM by luciddreams »

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2017, 02:06:20 PM »
Damn!  What a great bunch of responses.  Thanks for the welcome, Eddie.

First:
like that a decade from now we may not need the interstate highway system.

I'd like to see this proposition detailed out a bit.  Why? How?
Good question.  My suggestion (notice I said "may not", not "will not") comes from my less optimistic doomer side.  Considering the not unreal possibility that within a decade this country may see a catastrophic economic contraction forcing the shutdown of large corporate enterprises including government entities like the DOT.  Financial hardship accompanied by high fuel prices could see a significant reduction in miles driven.  The Interstate Highway system requires vigilant maintenance to keep it functional.  That requires capital, which could, and probably will, become scarce.

Now keep in mind that I never said we would not need overland roads of various sizes.  But high-speed controlled access interchanges with entrance and exit ramps, overpasses, flyovers, and all the other accoutrements of modern engine-powered transport systems could become just so much overbuilt liability.  To say within a decade is pessimistic for sure.  To say a hundred years is almost a certainty.

Eddie's points are well taken.  For fleet operations and taxi services driverless cars may well become more common.  But my response was in agreement with the author's statement that
Quote
Our streets and highways are never going to be populated by a significant number of driverless cars. Any more than our lives are going to be enriched by attentive robots exhibiting artificial intelligence.


Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I had thought the Farmer was pointing out it was an absurd falsehood fabricated for the Dim to consume.

Hi Farmer, Welcome aboard the Diner.  :hi:

Thanks to you also for the welcome, Ox.
You pretty much nailed where I was going with that.  But help me out here: is "Dim" the obvious, as in short for "Dimwitted"?
Incidentally, I have a couple of actual Golden Oxen out in my pasture.  They are Jersey steers over 2 years old that are soon to become freezer dwellers.

As for the labor vs. robotics discussion: WAY above my pay grade.  But I definitely concur with this...

In the end it's the lack of energy that makes all of this mute (moot) IMO.
--Greg


He means DIM as in clockwork orange.  Or the DIM who obsess with flat screens so completely they loose any desire for the 'old in out' and fade away to nothingness consumed by the flickering blue light.  Minds wiped so squeaky clean thought slides right off.  What you called dim-witted.

I don't understand this particular violation of the CCs but R.E. is pretty good at keeping everyone playing nice so perhaps he will explain.


Welcome to the Diner Farmer.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Online RE

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2017, 02:13:30 PM »

In the end it's the lack of energy that makes all of this mute IMO.

SG Alert!: It's moot, not mute

RE
SG Chief of Police

Actually RE, in this case I actually meant to use "mute" and not "moot." 

I'm I fuckin' seriously the only Diner that makes spelling and homonym mistakes?  I feel like I'm on the receiving end of a SG witch hunt. 

Welcome to the Diner Farmer...I hope you've got thick internet avatar skin cause if you stick around you're gonna need it.

I just nailed FM for a Criminal Misspelling.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Online RE

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Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2017, 02:21:02 PM »

He means DIM as in clockwork orange.  Or the DIM who obsess with flat screens so completely they loose any desire for the 'old in out' and fade away to nothingness consumed by the flickering blue light.  Minds wiped so squeaky clean thought slides right off.  What you called dim-witted.

I don't understand this particular violation of the CCs but R.E. is pretty good at keeping everyone playing nice so perhaps he will explain.

I already requested of GO that he keeps his use of the "Dim" terminology to his IRL friends who know his usage of the term.  It's his "polite" way of calling people STUPID.  In this case it was directed at the general population, not Diners and not any particular Blogger, but if you think people are stupid, just call them stupid, not "dim".  Everybody understands what stupid means.  You don't need a background in "A Clockwork Orange" to understand stupid.

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