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Interesting:  Bill Joy leaving Sun...

http://news.com.com/2100-1012_3-5073205.html?tag=fd_top

Something big is coming down the pipeline. Care to speculate?

Crimson
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Yeah, he just wants to do something new.

Allen left MS.

Woz left apple.

I mean, the guy is 48 years old and seriously rich.

I wouldn't jump to conclusions.

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

He needs time off to build his bunker:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553528351/qid=1063124181/sr=1-8/ref=sr_1_8/002-2942859-2558452?v=glance&s=books

Nick
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I saw Joy talk at a Sun/Java conference in Seattle. He was a *huge* disappointment. His presentation had very little content and was delivered poorly.

In fact that was probably the second worse talk I've ever attended. The absolute worst was a woman from Microsoft presenting Passport/Hailstorm.

Clutch Cargo
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Why build when you can buy? Here is a Subterranean Fortress for sale in rural Washington. This tri-level house sits on top of a camouflaged 4-story deep Subterranean Fortress designed to handle virtually any disaster.

http://www.invisiblepuzzle.com/subterraneanfortress/index.htm

_runtime
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

anyways, what has he done for me lately? Sure he helped develop the old school BSD, but for years now, he has been held up in his secret lab in Boulder, CO working on JINI and JXTA vaporware.

_runtime
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Bill is told to have predicted the extinction of humanity by our technological achievements in the next two generations.

Johnny Bravo
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Actually, while I also found the BJ talks I have witnessed to be a big dissappointment, I'm with the Joy on the techno-scare bit. Notn that I would predict something (anything beyond the 5 year horizon, right?), but it is true that technology augments the "destructive" potential of the individual without a corresponding increase in containment powers of scociety to protect itself against rogues.
Will this lead to destruction, or to a society where every single real-life interaction is as security enveloped as it is on the Net today? Who knows?

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

He might have said it was possible within the next two generations, but remember this was in the boom where tech seemed to grow without bound.  His real argument is that the damage one person can inflict has been rising through history, to the point where an extreme Individual can lead to the extinction of humanity.

Overall, he gives humanity 50% survival probability.  He didn't say how he assigned this, but it was pretty obvious he simply didn't know if an Overwhelming attack or defense technology would appear first, so he split the numbers according to his lack of psychic ability.

sammy
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"Notn that I would predict something (anything beyond the 5 year horizon, right?), but it is true that technology augments the "destructive" potential of the individual without a corresponding increase in containment powers of scociety to protect itself against rogues."

We survived 60 years of this situation with nuclear weapons.  So maybe humanity will be smart enough to "increase the necessary containment powers".  It has certainly been brought to the forefront of everyone's attention in recent years.

It's the center of the current foreign policy debate.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"We survived 60 years of this situation with nuclear weapons. "

I would argue that that is not true. Serious nuclear destructive capability was well under control and not in the hands of every 12 year old. If scientific advance brings about the knowledge to cook up your own deadly targettable flu like virus with optimized fast infection rates, where all you need is some mukus from a common cold barer, a Game console and a pool filter, then we are talking.
Instead of setting the school on fire, little Johnny might decide to puch the button on all people with a genetic makeup similarly to Mr. Brown, the PE teacher. Oops, that's 38 million casualties ....

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Wasn't it in the sixties (or even fifties?) when officials remarked Rock'n'Roll were the doom of the young generation? In fact, if you listen closely to some songs of that era being played back reversely, you can spot satanic verses embed within.

Also, what about the Club Of Rome's predictions that by the year 2000, a population of more than 8 billion people would starve to death?

Johnny Bravo
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"Also, what about the Club Of Rome's predictions that by the year 2000, a population of more than 8 billion people would starve to death?"

Yeah, that was totally off. It's only six-and-a-half billion, and only a large percentage are living in poverty and starve to death. Moving on, nothing to see here...

Groby
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Oh really? Can you please hook me up with your sources?

Johnny Bravo
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Johnny:

He doesn't need to. When it's "millions of poor, innocent, malnourished children", he can claim any percentage is a "high" one.

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A large percentage of New York's inhabitants died on 9/11.
A large percentage of 1912's travellers on ships died.

Yes, I know I'm being cynical. But perhaps now you get the point.

Johnny Bravo
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

2.8 billion people live with less than $2 a day, according to 1998 World Bank statistics. [ http://globaled.ausaid.gov.au/secondary/casestud/economics/1/glob-inc.html ]

About 7 million people starve to death each year, according to The Hunger Project. [ http://www.thp.org/faq.html ].  In addition, somewhere between 600 and 1000 million suffer malnutricion to the point where it affects their health and/or longevity.

Alyosha` (who knows how to use Google)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Would've taken about 5 minutes in google to find data yourself. But I'll give you my sources, and you tell me where your ideas come from -  after all, you're pretty convinced my data is bogus, and maybe there's another data source that disagrees significantly.

We'll start with the easy one:

World population is 6.3 billion ( http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/popclockw )

"More than one billion people are chronically hungry. Every year 13 to 18 million people die as a result of hunger and starvation." - From  "Ending Hunger : An Idea Whose Time Has Come: The Hunger Project." Praeger Press, New York. 1985.

Number of undernourished (not hungry. undernourished) people worldwide: About 500 Million. See the UN stats page:

http://millenniumindicators.un.org/unsd/mi/mi_series_results.asp?rowID=640&fID=r15&cgID=

And that's only undernourished people. I haven't looked at the health data at all. No mentioning of people below the poverty line.

That means about 8% of the world are undernourished. More than 16% are chronically hungry. Don't you think that the statement "A large percentage of New York's inhabitants died on 9/11." is rather silly in that context?

No, it's not the world starving to death. It's still a huge problem. It's just one that most of us choose to ignore - it's so unpleasant to think about it.

(I might also add that the Rome report never said ALL of the 8 billion would starve to death. Have you actually read it?)

- Robert

Groby
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Asking for the real figures was only a rhetorical question. But thanks for the refresher.

And no, my comparisons were not silly, but rather cynical, as I've pointed out myself.

Anyway, my initial point was that predicting the extinction of humanity in just two generations was just as silly as those predictions made by the Club Of Rome some 30 years ago. Actually, I'm wondering why you jumped on that same waggon. I think everyone in here knows things are bad in most parts of the world, and that we in the First World live on small islands of wealth and health. But extrapolating those facts into a scenario where _humanity_ is going to be extinct is futile. To me it sounds more like those "future scientists" want to punish themselves because they cannot stand the fact that many people in the Third World have merely a marginal chance of survival while at the same time our life expectancy is rising constantly.

Johnny Bravo
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I haven't yet seen a computing union I'd want to join.  They all quote fear-inspring statistics and seem aimed at motivating rather than educating.  That just doesn't fly with programmers, sorry to say.  What does fly are sites with obvious bias, but aren't going to peer-pressure you into positions you don't agree with.

For example, a site like Slashdot is popular for all the interesting news, but the maintainers claim about half of the unique visitors never even glanced at the comments. 

Another reason developers don't complain is because many of the good ones either concentrate in decent companies or just stay away from corporations.  What good and self assured developer wants to be an unloved "cost center" at some guy's broke-ass company?  So the status of developers declines, as the only good developers left are the self doubting ones.

Even deeper to the point, developers don't deal with fucked up people all day like everyone else.  They deal with fucked up computers.  The enfant terribles who give you a piece of their mind are the commando-types who leave the company when they think their work is done, or become management and have their own fights to deal with.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Um.. could someone delete my last post?  I don't know how Lynx posted this here.

Sorry.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, September 11, 2003

"we in the First World live on small islands of wealth and health"

Do we?

"one-third of all Americans are taking prescribed antidepressant medications, specifically the SSRIs of the Prozac family (Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors, including Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa)."

http://www.oriononline.org/pages/oo/curmudgeon/index_BigAndBlue.html

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, September 11, 2003

I got some statistics for ya, too:

No. 1 country with highest proliferation of internet access: USA
No. 2: Finland

No. 1 country with highest rate of suicide commited by gunshots in the head: USA
No. 2: Finland

So what do statistics tell? Sometimes nothing. I believe in common sense, and when I see that no one in the First World would like to emigrate into the Third World, and barely into the Second World (e.g. India), but when many people in the latter ones would take the first chance to immigrate into the First World, then I think it's safe to assume that indeed we live on small islands of wealth and health.

Johnny Bravo
Thursday, September 11, 2003

India is definitely a Third World country, not Second World.  They have produced millions of programmers and engineers, but they still have hundreds of millions of others out of their 1 billion population who are illiterate and/or malnourished.

Second World would be more on the level of some Caribbean countries like Barbados and Trinidad.

T. Norman
Friday, September 12, 2003

T.Norman, I don't know if you understand the historic definitions of 1st/2nd/3rd world countries.  The 1st world counties were the countries of the 'west' (basically NATO + some others), the 2nd world was the 'east' (basically the Warsaw pact and others), the 3rd world was the non-aligned countries (India and most African nations, among others).

It was not an economic rating, even though it has come to work as one.

RocketJeff
Friday, September 12, 2003

The most common usage today is to refer to 1st/2nd/3rd World countries as economic ratings.  That's why we hear and read about people worrying that the US is becoming a Third World country.

T. Norman
Friday, September 12, 2003

One of Bill Joy's main points about technology's potential for destruction has been missed here, and it's an important one.  The technology doesn't have to fall into the wrong hands.  No malice is required for serious damage to occur from self-replicating nanobots or genetically engineered microorganisms.  All it takes is human fallibility.  Simple, highly probable events such as a failure to detect a programming mistake on a self-replicating nanobot that's been released into the environment or an unintended release of some experimental microorganism have the potential to cause major destruction.

anon
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

One thing is sure is that Bill is a hell of a programmer.
Just fort that I'll show him some respect.

Keep the good & fine work from you Bill!

Unlabelled
Saturday, September 27, 2003

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