ASFO 2022–09–24

In which I step outside my usual track and talk about Computers and “AI” for a bit. This is, if anything, a propos of the misguided efforts to tame inflation by depressing wages, when labour productivity has grown much more rapidly than wages since the 1970s, with the result that direct labour costs are a less proportion of the cost of providing goods and services than they ever have been. Also something about a video game and what it implies for our efforts towards space settlement. Maybe next week we’ll have a Double Asteroid Redirect Test or SLS launch to talk about.

Supplementary Show

2022–09–30 Readings (with my copious commentary) from a slim volume entitled The Breeder Reactor, published by the Scottish Academic Press, reporting a meeting at the University of Strathclyde, 25 March 1977. Foreword by JS Forrest FRS (editor), Setting the Scene by Sir Samuel Curran FRS (Principal and Vice–chancellor of the University), and the first part of The Birth of the Breeder by Lord (Sir Christopher) Hinton of Bankside, OM, KBE, FRS ― in which he admits to having essentially stolen enriched uranium from the weapons program.

A page with the text A COMPUTER CAN NEVER BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE THEREFORE A COMPUTER MUST NEVER MAKE A MANAGEMENT DECISION (as discussed on the show)
This appears to be from 1970s IBM training materials
View of a "claw machine" with a bin of plushies. On the mechanism is the text "MACHINE'S DECISION IS FINAL".
The opposing viewpoint
A desktop with a mailing envelope on which the recipient address has been obfuscated ; some pro-nuclear stickers and pamphlets ; and an accompanying letter
Sample parcel of stickers as mailed to a Reddit user

Author: publius

Fools! I will destroy you all!!