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About Gian-Reto

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  1. Probably this makes or brakes large scale project: wheter the larger organization is broken into small enough teams, and these teams get enough autonomy, with a good organization behind it to unify the many smaller teams into the larger organization (which I guess is a producer role, which I would have totally forgotten hadn't hodgman pointed it out). If largescale game development organizations are anything like large scale business organizations in the financial industry, I wonder why any publisher would even want to build a game that needs many hundred people working on the project. Must be inefficiency itself. Maybe going a little bit offtopic, but to people working in the industry: is there any talk about games becoming too big? And not just from the "we need to charge more", "we need more investment" side... Is somebody in the game industry asking themselves if they can keep escalating project size, and thus cost and team sizes, when smaller games seem to be doing fine? When probably, taking what Nypren said above into account, the escalating teamsizes are not only driving up cost and inefficiency, but might also limiting creativity by diluting the vision (given that the more people are involved, the more different visions have the potential to collide), making development more impersonal thus leading to people feeling less connected to the team and project (which, arguably, is probably the case to some extent anyway with professionals doing development for a wage, but we all know that some task feel more personal than others at work, and how much impact a single person has on it is a boig factor), and also making limiting the amount of risks taken (would rogue programmers today still be able to sneak in a whole new mode into one of the big AAA titles?)... Is this the reason why some big publishers experimented with smaller Indie-like expieriences in the last few years (as opposed to simply trying to cash in on a hype in the industry which I thought to be the case)?
  2. Guys, thanks a lot for your responses. I have seen the Texture streaming viewmode but wasn't sure it could actually be used for non-streaming texture analysis.... I might need to read up on it. But as scouting ninja suggests, I guess I just need to get my hand on some checkerboard textures and create some basic materials... a little bit more work, but meh... maybe modern game engines just spoil us too much with all the other useful tools
  3. So long story short, I followed the advice of some people on this forum, and started using Unreal Engine 4 again last year after hitting the ceiling in Unity 5 one too many times again, and lo and behold, I kinda liked the expierience better this time... Blueprint is still not my cup of tea, but epic has made huge strides in many areas between 4.8 and 4.16, I was impressed. But that is fodder for a whole different topic, after I get a little bit more exposure to the C++ part of UE4 (which thankfully I have found more documentation on this time). In this topic I just wanted to ask the Unreal users, if somebody knows of an easy(-ish) way to compare the Texel density between two objects in the editor. Trying to eyball it is quite hard in Unreal given how good the texture filtering works even in the editor. I have seen no view mode or similar that would visualize the actual texel density of the objects in the scene, which is what I am after. If its unsure what I want, I want to put mesh A next to mesh B, and see how big the texture pixels are in comparison. To be able to standardize on a common texture resolution, and see which mesh needs a higher, or can have a lower resolution texture. The only Idea I have at the moment would be to work with a separate material with a checkerboard texture. That might work. though it is kind of a hassle, needing multiple checkerboard textures for different resolutions, OR having to come up with a good material function to achieve it, and then needing to swap materials every time I want to compare. Maybe someon here has a better solution? Maybe I missed something obvious again and are in for a "Doh!" moment ?
  4. Now, I would guess Kavik Kang would disagree with me here, but to me that doesn't mean the process didn't follow a strong vision. In my book having a strong vision from the start doesn't mean "I already know how this thing need to be developed, and EXACTLY what will be the result".... it just means SOMEONE, ideally the whole team, have agreed on goals and targets, some cornerstones of what will become the new game. And then TRY to develop along those lines. I also think a vision can shift over time. That does not mean, in my mind at least, that the vision has been abandoned. As long as the team communicates those shifts well, and the team is always united again under the altered vision, I think the unified vision is still there. So my point is less "if a design is great from the start, and the game deviates from it, the team has lost its vision, and the development of the game is doomed".... my point is that "if the team has no vision from the start, the vision is weak, or the team is not onboard with a great vision, the game will probably not become a classic"... And I am sure we will find exceptions. There are always exceptions ... and sure, maybe I am going out on a limb here with the "...no vision from the start". There is certainly a good point that many visions only develop over time in pre-production. So probably, I should clarify that to ".... has no vision at the start of production"... And that is fine. But I think, at some point those different visions have to be synced up. SOMEBODY needs to bring everybody to the table, and discuss all the visions of people in the room. Somebody needs to moderate, and maybe decide amongst clashing ideas. A good lead, be it a designer, artist or programmer, probably knows to listen to his team, and how to integrate all those visions into a bigger vision. I think this is the most important piece Kavik Kang is missing: the biggest asset of having a team is not the additional workforce to create more content faster... its all the additional creative minds that can pick apart the existing vision, or add to it. That is not necessarily a whole different vision. If the original vision already describes how every atom in this universe reflects light, somebody at the top has a big micromanagement issue. If every character is layed out in a fashion that does no longer allow interpretation, you probably get very stiff and dull characters... given how the writing, modelling, animation, AND voice acting bring a character to life, either the "vision tyrant" can pick the people who fit his vision EXACTLY, or he will get a subpar result because a voice actor cannot give it his all, an animator has to work in ways that do not suit his style, a modeller has no freedom to add more details where the model would benefit from it.
  5. I'd actually like that, and I think it could be valuable/interesting. Maybe start a spin-off topic in Game Design so we can discuss it without all the baggage of Kavik's martyrdom? So as proposed by @jbadams, here I am "Forking" a Thread opened in the Lounge into a Thread here in Game Design... because that Thread got bogged down and closed. Basically @Kavik Kang opened a very interesting Thread, with a misleading OP, stating that the common Thread amongst a lot of the most successfull games of all times was that they had a very strong, unified Vision behind them. Well, he didn't word it quite like that, amongst the vagueness of his text and including a Youtube Video of Queens "One Vision" for comedic effect, his exact statement wasn't so clear. This is my wellmeaning interpretation of what he wanted to discuss... before the thread ended how so many Kavik Kang threads end. But this was the first one I was really sad to see going down the rabbit hole so quickly. So here I am, trying to actually have the discussion I was hoping to find when I read the OP in Kavik Kangs thread. So, to make my own statement, I kinda agree with what I THINK Kavik Kang wanted to say, before he went down the same road again of his already well known narratives. Games, like movies, while being Teamwork, need a very strong, very clear vision behind them. Someone needs to set a clear goal, and then the team needs to execute it without straying to far off the course. If the plan was flawed, and a course correction is needed, somebody needs to sit down, take all that feedback into account, and chart a new course, lest everyone on the team runs off in different directions like headless chickens. We all have seen the games that seemed just a mess of ideas executed poorly, or where a strong vision clearly was diluted by different interests pulling in different directions, or people misinterpreting the vision. We all have seen games that lacked that all important vision from the start, and were just built based off existing trends or prior successes without anything added to the formula that would make for a great game. Now, given that Kavik Kang was talking about some of the greatest games of all times, we are not talking about "profitable" games. We all know a game successfull in sales doesn't mean its a great game in mechanics, story, or anything else. We, or I at least, are/am also not questioning if "decent" or "good", hell even "bad" games have a reason to exist. That is besides the point here. What I THINK Kavik Kang was talking about, and what I would certainly like to talk about are games that will become classics.... either cult classics that only a small niche of gamers get, but will love like nothing that comes out in the next decade. Or that real mainstream classic that can spawn massive online nerd fights even 20 years after it was released just because some dislike a classic getting a remake that changes the mechanics or story. 1) Now, we all know by now that Kavik Kang thinks a good game is made by a VERY hierarchical Team... while I do not fully agree here, lets also widen the discussion to that topic. Can you have a very focussed vision without a strict hierarchy, and what tools exist out there to a) get a team of people onboard with the vision, and b) keep them focussed on that vision? Or is it like Kavik Kang actually believes and you do need a Tyrant Designer telling everyone what to do? Is there a hybrid approach were the "genius" of a really good and expierienced designer can be combined with the added input of a more open and less hierarchical approach? 2) Can a comitee of people come up with a unified vision... or is the idea to spawn a focussed creative vision from a group of people with no hierarchy deciding the "pecking order" a pipe dream? If we need a hierarchy, which department should make the shots (lead positions of these departments obviously): Game Design, art, tech (I know that its usually the business, but remember we are not talking about making the game profitable)? I think there is a lot of merit in giving battle proven designers and leads a lot of power over the development of a certain game. Yet I do think giving them too much power limits the game in the end, and can lead to bad actors actually ruining games and even studios (some of Peter Molyneux' latest games come to mind.... probably needed some oversight there). So I think there is a delicate balance between a team of people with no real vision or the vision of the suits producing something lacking that elusive "greatness" factor, and a tyrant being able to run a games development into the ground with bad decisions because he cannot see his own flaws anymore. Please keep the discussion civil, and don't go offtopic (too much... ;))... if someone wants to talk about a system that might be dubbed Rube, please do it in another Thread.
  6. But is it more important than, say, the wellbeing of people in the here and now? Given progress has to be bought with people having to suffer (being robbed of your job, for example) to enable a future that MIGHT be better than the present, is it the right choice to force people to endure shortterm suffering for a distant longterm gain? a) making life better for whom? Again, devils advocate here, but you should probably think who will really profit from it, and who will not. And how to make sure MOST people get something out of it, and how to convince them that its in their best interest. b) Its a goal to strive for... but so is preservation of what you already have.... its the duality of progressives vs. conservatives. Mark that I didn't pose the question "Is progress a goal to strive for?"... instead I was asking "Is it always the highest goal to strive for?". I guess your answer to that will come down to your personality type and expierience, which can be compressed into the neat little box of "political orientation" -> A conservative person might actually agree with you that progress is a goal to strive for... but that the cost in the here and now is simply too high. Not what I said. I said that I have problem with the blind faith in science some people, especially in the atheist community, have shown in the past, and present. Trying to prove god doesn't exist for example... its about as productive as trying to touch your nose with your tongue. Its probably impossible to do, and even if you finally achieve the needed dexterity, its utterly pointless. I am all for the scientific approach... just be aware that a) Science is usually just working with a model of the real world, thus prone to errors due to the "resolution" of the model used b) Science is very limited to the limits of our knowledge. It will be still be limited in 100, 1000, or a million years, if humanity makes it that far I might agree... but the question in the end is, is humanity really ready to live with the consequences of new technology? Why are we now trying to ban nuclear energy in many parts of the world? Again, I am pretty sure nuclear energy will live on outside of some western countries that can afford to be picky where their energy comes from. Still, you see... it actually took 2 big reactor accidents, and some serious concerns about the ability of the companies running some of the oldest plants in the world to keep these plants save, to molbilize a good portion of the population of the western world to demand a "ban" (if you can call it that, given it takes decades to switch off a nuclear power plant) of nuclear energy... and it looks like at least here in western europe, the "ban" is actually a done deal. Now that is not much that has gone wrong. While the two incidents have MASSIVE longterm effects on the regions affected, both incidents can clearly be attributed to a failure of the company involved... one was a very stupid architecture involving combustible cooling elements, one was a company simply not prepared to spend a little bit more for the worst imaginable catastrophe to happen in the region because "that will never happen". All it took for popular opinion to shift was two incidents that simply showed that nuclear energy couldn't be entrusted to a capitalist company that would always try to cheapen out on security. But instead of accepting that nuclear energy wasn't as cheap as it was made out to be unless another catastrophe should keep happening every 20 or so years, and asking for stricter legislation while accepting a slightly higher price, the reaction was "ban it nao!" So while I don't think a ban is the right way to go forward... its one of the more realistic scenarios should enough incidents with algorithms and AI happen when this technology ramps up. And they will happen, we know it. And the conservatives will be all over it, unless they profit from the technology directly themselves. That needs to be seen, really. In the end, its simply a way to make sure unemployed people get the minimum they need in a world were employment is no longer guaranteed. I would expect the state to make adjustment when more and more people are affected, as not doing so would pose a problem for the economy due to shrinking consumation of goods. True on the last point. Maybe society is moving in this direction anyway... and if its an organic, longterm change, it'll probably happen without too much political noise. It will probably also look much different and probably not be nearly as utopist as we might hope it to be, given its probably shaped by the people who are in power today, and are profiting from the current system.... they will make damn sure they are profiting from the new one. Right... the question is how the system can cope with trade. As said, what you have outlayed till now is a closed system. Everything is highly controlled. You probably also want to highly control the contact with other systems -> thus isolationist tendencies, limited trade with other systems. It depends on how the system is designed, really... but expierience tells me somehow that a small dose of capitalism at that point would probably be in order, looking at how communist countries that started to trade with the outside world successfully often started to adopt partial capitalist systems. China comes to mind, and so does North Korea which seems to have created a special zone with partially capitalist rules just for the limited trade it had with South Korea, while that lasted. Sure, as long as you are willing to compromise, I don't think its an issue. Most of the woes of real life communsit experiments came from dogmatic following the pure theory (or MAYBE martially misinterpreting what MArx wrote, taking some of his words to literally )... with a little bit of compromise, you probably would have gotten a way more robust system at the expense of some centralized power (if Mao wasn't able to dictate agricultural rules, or the central government wasn't expected to make plans for 5 full years!). So the BIG question for your communist thought experiment probably is this: will the system be designed by reasonable people of diverse outlook, including rather conservative ones, which are ready to admit their ideas don't work out in real life before shtf? Or will it be ideologes that are more interested in seeing their vision realized than actually listening to people and adjusting their vision if needed? Sure, because most of the money no longer is backed by gold. Because our financial system has gone crazy quite a while ago. Bitcoins, while being coined as the cure, are just another crazy invention that go in the direction of these "virtual money" trends, not backed by any real value, and volantile as ****. The Federal reserve is that important because of that, AND because of global trade. When the state can no longer control their own currency because some speculative bastards at the other end of the world can bet against their currency, you kinda need a defense mechanism. In this sense, you are right that the federal reserve, at least, is very important. The banks on the other hand.... well.... While communist systems went stale quickly, and died (or almost died) a slow death because the rigid system would no longer promote the right people to the right job... or only when the stars aligned (somebody had the right family/friends, was doing the right thing, AND was actually competent for the job). Lets call it a draw, and rather think about how this affects our robot communism. Given you no longer need the right guy at the right place because we now have expert programs for that, the biggest question remains what if somebody has the "key to the kingdom" and can mess with the algorithm? Or are we now pretending that there isn't an elite sitting at the top of this new communist pyramid, not matter how flat it hopefully is, trying to manipulate everyone, and this case the algorithms, to do their bidding? What are the chances no such elite emerges in ANY system, really? If we don't pretend they don't exist, what happens when Neo-Mao dislikes that the algorithm for agriculture is perpetuating capitalist stereotypes and reprograms it to only plant... I don't know... non edible plants? Kill all sparrows because he hates them? Inadvertetly kill all bees? How do you safeguard your system from tampering by the elite, while still giving enough control to humans to actually be able to trust in the system? Well... I don't care about lazy people, as long as I don't have to pay for them... or the state pays them, and pays me also so I can be lazy too. I will use my lazy time to improve my game dev skills while they can lay at the beach, for all I care And I certainly think progress is good... But society atm sees it otherwise.... I am merely playing devils advocate here. Because the best intended plan for a new economy will fail if its not robust enough to withstand being picked apart by the conservatives, and society as a whole. Fair enough. I'll try to contain my urges to pick apart the system a little bit more from now on. Because that probably wasn't the intent of this Thread Okay, that sounds reasonable... I would go up to 50 years, but really, that is nitpicking. Well... see, again, not my opinion really, but WHO is asking for better standards of living? Certainly not the people actually in power. And the people that could actually USE a better living standard here in the west seem to be barking up a different tree. The mere mention of communism would probably get a lot of lower class guys into a hissy fit. The third world countries? Sure. Question is, what power do they have? There has been some progress made here thanks to quite left and liberal governments in the west but... will this trend go on? So while I might agree that there is a moral difference between the two... there is also a difference in money-making capability. One is a huge layout with a potential for an even bigger payout... the other is still a huge cost, with only potentially better social stability as a payout. When trying to see the world from the eyes of people in power, better not put morality first. People do not get promoted to these positions because the put their morals first, not even on the left. SpaceX and similar companies wasting millions on trying to make space flight cheaper might disagree. Just because the tech hype of the day has moved doesn't mean that there is still quite some interest in space flight. I hear the chinese really are pumping quite some money into that.
  7. A Common Thread

    Now THAT sound like a dystopia, unless his system does no reflect the writing style in his usual threads ... yeah, I really hoped this would turn into a more productive discussion, given the OP was a half decent opener for some discussion. But alas, I probably was wrong. Well, if anyone REALLY wants to discuss the importance of vision and direction in game development, I'm over there in the corner waiting while Kavik goes on about his one system to rule them all here...
  8. A Common Thread

    The only thing I might add is: what good is something nobody understands? Maybe what you produced is so far advanced that people will only really grasp the concept 300 years in the future. Maybe you ARE the Da Vinci of game designers... But unless you you want to put your idea on nice paper and store it hoping future generations to aknowledge your genius, you probably should work on a demonstration of the concept people around you can understand. As far as I know the response to the prototype ruleset you produced was rather mixed from the few people who actually cared to try it. Maybe make it even simpler to get more people to try it, and more people to understand it? After all, what you have at the moment doesn't look like a product that can be sold to anyone... But really, is this topic just about your Rube system in the end? I am sure you can... ask your local friendly necromancer or vampire. They will know a cure
  9. A Common Thread

    I immidiatly had to think of Big bang theory... "Noooo, don't ask!!!" ... we have had way to many confusing thread about that in the past. Just search for Kavik Kang... he made some very long threads about his system. And yes, the hype was real back then, at least on his side. He claimed his ruleset could create a "god", whatever that meant. Maybe he was right. Maybe somebody went through all his documents he produced and can confirm that... for me it was TL; DR
  10. A Common Thread

    Weeeell... while I would be tempted to join in the "bashing" that often happens, rightfully so, when @Kavik Kang starts on of his obscure threads, this time I will take his side, partially... No, not all games were created by a single designer-dictator-tyrant overlord whiping all those underlings that worked for him to follow his exact vision. Actually, if his underlings don't get at least enough competency to decide in their own part of the work that the designer-tyrant doesn't have to be involved 24/7, that designer will soon burn out, unless he is some kind of a god that can be everywhere at the same time. Also, I would say without the vision of other great minds in their own field, no "masterpiece" game could be done... a game designer is no art director, music composer, or lead programmer. On the other hand we see the result of "design by commitee"... its usually a subpar product, mostly lacking what Kavik Kang is... ehrrrr... talking about here (you know, NOT linking a youtube video would probably made your point a stronger one, but whatever)... Vision. And then there is the Focus Group Testing, and Cookie Cutter Copy Pasta that often are the result of big publishers interfering too much with the creative process... these games all lack VISION.... unless you want to argue that some suits looking at the other publishers successfull title, calling a dev studio and telling them "build the same, but different" is some kind of creative vision Maybe I am misinterpreting Kavik Kangs intention with his OP here, maybe he wants to keep banging the drum that everyone should listen to the Designer God who knows it all instead of warping his vision through their own interpretations, who knows... But at least if I interpret the OP this way, I have to say he has a point. Does that mean the games no made with a higher creative vision have no reason to exist? No... the game industry needs to pay their bills after all. Just like most artist having to create... less aspirational art to pay their bills. And some of those run-of-the-mill cookie cutter games can ACTUALLY hide a gem of higher vision in them. All I am saying some games age better than others. And most of the ones who do, probably had some very focused creative Vision behind it, even if that vision sometimes is obsfucated by a focused tested, and commitee designed facade. EDIT: Just to clarify: I am talking about having "One vision".... which is something a team of people can have too. In the best case, a publisher, game developer, and potentially third party IP owner / writer all share the same vision. What I am talking about is that this is often no longer the case today, and that the "vision" of the game ends up as a frankenstein monster due to differing interests from different parties, or nobody actually really sitting down to come up with a clear vision before the production is started... or the vision being one simply nobody cares about. .... not that this was ever really that much better in the past *cough*E.T the game*cough*
  11. 1) Is progress always the highest goal to strive for? Is progress always a net positive for humanity as a whole? Or has the blind faith in the good of science and progress become a substitute for religion, where people cling to the believe that progress can cure all ills given time, and good things await beyond the "event horizon" (whith death being replaced by the far future here). One reason I never called myself an atheist is because I cannot really get into this blind faith in science. 2) You can't stop the whole world. True. Just as much as you cannot make the whole world adopt your algorithm driven system. In all probability every part of the world will react differently to automation... leading to a new competition of systems and, maybe, cold war in the process. Some parts of the world will profit a lot, others will loose in the process. Leading to more inequality over the whole globe, no less. So if we want to get back to reality, no "solution" will work everywhere, and no "solution" will be generally adopted, and thus every utopia you think of right now will help a region become more equal and prosper, at most, not the whole world. I think the most realistic base idea has already been put forward, the basic income. It was even voted on here in switzerland, and while it had predictably little chance of being accepted, it achieved double digit yes votes... I think something in the 30 percentage region. Many young people, and many in my age group where open to it (I voted yes btw).... And the most amazing thing was that even a lot of professors of economy, and even some right lobbyist actually had a positive stance to it, calling it one of the few leftwing ideas in the last few years that were actually good ideas for the economy. Thus I think a general basic income has a good chance to be accepted by all parts of society, given enough time. There are good selling points for everyone, being able to sustain the poor with a monetary source of income that come without the stigma of other social wellfare programs because everyone gets it, and being a leftwing idea going in the direction of socialism will satisfy the left, and it having the ability to soften the blow of automation and all the efficiency and money saving programs of the private sector in the last few years, AND reduce the cost of the wellfare program considerably makes it attractive for the right. Now, will that alone be able to carry a society that has a very low employment rate? At that point, it comes down to the productivity of the economy and high taxes for private corporations. Will companys accept these far higher taxes? That is a good question. Sure, socialism and communism, where companys are owned by the state might make this question redundant. But I would say that given the taxes are not punishing in the sense that companys do not see any profit in fully automating their business instead of just paying less efficient human workforce and foregoe the taxes (because IF taxes are too high, someone somewhere on the planet will employ low cost human labour and just produce the things the oldfashioned way.... or produce it the automated way WITHOUT paying any kind of taxes), probably companies will accept the higher taxes given these taxes guarantee a stable system and social peace. After all, what we have seen in the last few decades is that stability is just as, if not more important than efficiency or low cost. A lot of companys moving their labour to low cost countries have made a net loss because those countries lacked a stable system... or because they lacked regulation for a stable work environment. I guess give it 10 more years with the current cluster**** with globalization and outsourcing, and some companies might be happy to pay more for a "quality work environment" in a stable country. Again, note that this is not a complete deviation from the more extreme system you are proposing. All I am saying is it can work WITHOUT moving to a fully state-owned economy. Maybe a question you should think about is this: - How would your system interact with other systems implemented in other parts of the world? It probably would be naive to simply assume everyone would find the same solution for the same problem at the same time. It would probably also naive to assume this algorithm driven socialistic/communist system would be the winner of this new "race of systems". So you could face the situation were you have another competition of systems, like during the cold war. How would your system react to that? As far as I can tell, communist systems always had problems with global trade, as their system was built upon a closed ecosystem, thus outside interference would probably mess up the plan, and thus the system. Now, you can say that throwing AI at the problem might make a "five year plan" unnecessary, the plan could evolve from second to second, thus making the system more robust against outside interference, thus making trade with other countries/systems/entities not an automatic threat to the system. But lets consider this: if, for some reason, a competing system (ultra-capitalist, or another communist system, doesn't matter) can produce what your system is struggling with cheaply and offers you a good deal. Should your system now take advantage of that to fill a shortterm need? Even if that means longterm that you are loosing value, as you are now paying someone outside of your system for a product, thus you have a net loss, while your system is based on a closed system, as far as I can tell? Or do you close your system to outside trade, in a way like China did for a long time, and still does in some way, or what Trump wants to do in the US? Can your system survive without protectionism? Seeing how this is actually the biggest "power" in any system... how to mitigate the risk of abuse of centralizing so much power? An incredibly big government like China has (where the senat has thousand of members)? A more complex government, were there is no central authority, but instead give the separate entities "ruling" over parts of the system (the heads of state owned factories, the different departments) more authority? 1) Good. Then we also need to make sure these AIs cannot easely be cracked with the same key... thus they are working from different location, have radically different code, different keys, and so on. I do think such a system probably could be pretty robust, if its designed for security and being hard to abuse... but its going to be a delicate balance between a lot of different interests 2) IDK if capitalism really IS that dependend on banking. You could happily replace banking with an unregulated system like the cryptocurrencies and capitalism could still thrive, probably. Not that I think deregulation is going in the right direction, but after all banks are just a middle man. The federal reserve is important as long as we want real life value being tied to our currency, and we trust states more than private entities... something the cryptocurrency craze has proven is not a given anymore, altough I personally take the conservative stance when it comes to cryptocurrencies to "wait and see"... most of it at the moment is hype, and when the dust settles, some few people will have made a fortune, most will have lost a lot of money, and if cryptocurrencies really will live on hinges probably on wheter a currency comes along that actually offers something existing solutions cannot provide, without coming with a ton of downsides on its own. 3) Capitalism IS abuse. But it has proven a very stable system, having survived quite a lot of crises... Mostly thanks to most states still having some "socialist" components to them, and not fully privatizing the system. And the fail safes you mention. Capitalism taken to its extreme would probably lead to anarchy and fail quickly... whereas communism taken to its extreme leads to stagnation and will fail just as quickly. So yeah, I am sure we have a quite wide spectrum to move on where we could develop a stable system. Its not on the extreme ends of the spectrum, but certainly a little bit more socialist ideas couldn't do much harm to our current capitalistic systems. Well, the question is do people want equity, really? Devils advocate here, can't resist The system you propose here hinges on enough people actually WANTING to change the status quo, which also isn't a given. And how people will react when sh*t hits the fan, and the system has to be changed because of a detoriating standard of living, is still up for debate. So if we debate a communist system that probably will not have a chance in real life because of a multitude of factors outside of how well designed the system is and how well it would work (could be the best system in the world, and then people vote for Trump, or Erdogan)... I am sure we can debate a space exploration program that is unlikely to kick into high gear in the next 100 years... both for the small chance that thing move quicker than we anticipate, and for the sake of internet discussions As to the value of what could be out there... we simply don't know for sure. The POSSIBILITY for value is endless, though. Helium3 is just the beginning... how many rare resources restrict new technologies because we simply cannot not source enough of it here on earth? What other stuff could be out there we don't even know about yet? The cost is astronomical (pun intended ), sure.... the benefits are not clear, sure... but as long as we stay a capitalist system, its not a question IF it will be done... just how much cost will have to come down before a company is willing to take the risk. Then there is human curiosity. If the last few decades have shown us one thing, its that the more people become atheists (or simply non-religious), the more science becomes a substitute for religions. Thus ANYTHING that can give humanity meaning will be undertaken, including the search for knowledge. Space is kind of the final frontier here. Again, its not a question IF, but simply by WHEN it becomes cheap enough... Its a stretch to see a big increase in efforts here in the next 50 years, but at some point humanity will ramp up their efforts to explore space big time. Maybe human workforce is already obsolete by then, and will not even be considered... but human workers might actually have one big advantage over most machines when it comes to space exploration... being "jack of all trades, master of none", while most machines will always be purpose built for a special task. Its one of the reason WHY machines are so much more efficient at that one task than a human worker. When you send an exploration force into space, you have plan for the unexpected. You probably will not be able to build a machine that can handle the unexpected as well as a well trained human astronaut for quite a long time into the future. Thus this MIGHT be a new venue for increasing demand for human labour.
  12. Well.... going down the devils advocate route here, are we only talking about alternatives benefiting the lower classes? Should the ultra-capitalist systems that actually might emerge when a company less left leaning than Google (which, in its own quirky way, is also ultra-capitalist, sadly... a left leaning consience cannot rescue a company from becoming the capitalist top dog on the planet) becomes the dominant tech company? Not that I want to live in the russian system, on steroids, expanded on the whole planet, with putins socialist "government" being replaced by tyrannic privat companies. But its another way how automation might change society. How would it keep the system socially stable? Hm, first thought that comes to mind is tyranny... but then, that seldom results in a longterm stable system, unless the citizens have been "pacified" by a catastrophe or have been living under a tyranny for a very long time... But what if the current divisiveness in politics and social norms isn't subsiding, but is increasing? What if western, and maybe other societies worldwide goes through many decades of unrest, failing systems, maybe even war? At what point would citizens accept ANY system, no matter how tyrannic or unjust, as long as it brings them stability, peace and minimal living standards? That could be what is needed to keep the ultra-capitalist tyrrany going, at least for a while. Now could such a system survive without some socialist components and paying people money despite not working? Maybe the system would keep humans occupied in some way or another. Lets say all the work a machine cannot do a lot more efficient, the system would employ human workers for. These jobs would be more expensive for the system, but at the same time might feed a part of the population. Maybe there would be jobs "to dangerous to risk a machine for"... instead of sending an expensive machine to do a dangerous job, the system would send human workers to do it. They are easy to replace, given there is enough competition in the job market for every open position that pays a living in this dysantropic world. I can see the exploration of space being spearheaded by humans to save on hardware cost for the long range probes. PROBABLY going to drive cost up, given human astronauts usually want a return ticket. As said, another alternative route to deal with automation is to simply not allow automation to happen. Again, probably not the alternatives you are looking for.... but its one of the more realistic ways how future might pan out if we look at the current trend worldwide, where rightwing politics are on the rise, bringing isolationism and backwards thinking with it. I am not sure that political and social pressure could stop automation completly... but I can see a scenario where it delays its implementation, the implementation goes wrong and these backwards forces achieve a ban of the technology, at least for some time. Then coming back to less "devils advocates" solutions... I can also see automation work in a current day capitalist system. One thing to keep in mind is that machines also need to compete with humans in the workforce. IF machines can do the same job better and cheaper, humans will be obsolete. But what if humans are simply cheaper to run than machines? What if energy prices trend upwards, while the price for food stays the same? What if the manufacturing cost for more complex computers needed to run those AI algorithms do not get cheaper fast enough? What if its cheaper to employ 10, or maybe 100 humans to do the job an expensive machine could do running on expensive fuel? Going off from todays trends its a stretch (altough it IS getting ever more expensive to create a new chip manufacturing line for a smaller process, energy prices have not really gone up)... but remember, we are still decades away from this vision potentially having any chance. A lot can happen during this time. Like nuclear powerplants going offline and being replaced with less efficient renewable energy. Like an increasing amount of natural disasters destroying manufacturing plants and increasing hardware cost (the cost for RAM has risen to staggering amounts thanks to the tsunamy some years back destroying the biggest RAM factory in the world)... like Cryptocurrency disrupting more than just the financial market (if the amount of energy wasted on cryptocurrency continues to grow, I see some countries trying to ban it not just for the danger of financing of terrorism and crime). Would I prefer any of these systems to automation actually closing the gap between the rich and the poor a little bit? No. But they are alternative paths leading to a very different way humanity deals with automation. Now, to end on a note probably seen as more constructive... I do think a lot can be achieved with a mixed system. I think what really is needed is that the social contract between the public and the private companies are re-negotiated. I think you can have a private company, that is working for its own profit yet still trying to benefit society as a whole. Given how this whole system basically hinges on nationstates being gone, or at least no longer being in competition with each other, a private company will have to obey the rules of the "world state".... there is no "safe haven" anymore for bad actors in the private sector to flee to. So you can leave the company privatized, and let them compete within clear rules set by the state. Instead of making one of them clearly superior in position like today in capitalistic wester countries (where the economy, and thus the private sector tends to dictate the rules), or in the communist systems (where the state dictates the rules), you could have a system were the public state and private companies are kind of even partners with a very strict set of "rules of engagement".... companies would have to adhere to clear rules, yet had a formalized path open to filed complaints in a manner the state couldn't simply ingore. There would be clear benefits to the private companies too, guaranteeing stability and social peace for adhering to the rules and paying taxes. I think the problem is, that something else at some point is also elligible to being automated. If that is ALWAYS the best or cheapest route I am not so sure myself. And again, one of the things the guys presenting the automation-communism/socialism as the only way to go tend to forget is that the push for automation is ONLY so strong because of modern day free market capitalism, were if something is more efficient, it will have to be done, unless the company wants to loose ground and riks becoming obsolete. A communist system can sustain ineffciency, has in the past, and might simply choose going the easy route and pay people to do the job that could be automated. Is "better" ultimately the end goal of work, outside of a hypercompetitive system like capitalism? IF one day communism takes over, and IF it one day spans the whole earth as one communist system... what kind of competition would force humanity to do jobs "better", when they could simply be done the same way they always have? An alien race that poses an outside threat? Some scam set up by the state to keep the masses on their toes? For the soviet union, the competition was the US and capitalism. If capitalism is gone, and there is no "outside threat" to compete with, a communist systemwill run out of steam probably. While a capitalist system has built competition into its core. Thus communism actually is the better solution if you want to NOT automate jobs, and want to keep the status quo, at the point when no outside competition is forcing communism to keep up. Still, the more centralized a system, the more open to abuse it is. That is one of the biggest issues I see with the communist system as it was implemented until now. Now, if you could setup a system where multiple smaller entities kinda "compete" with each other... or, to use less capitalistic wording, exist alongside each other... with each entitiy being semi-isolated from each other so if one of them is overtaken by a tyrant, the other can react... maybe that would mitigate the risk. I can see communism work when communism doesn't try to unify the whole world, but instead leaves local governments free to reign over their own little communist country. Unlike the soviet union who tried to completly control their vassal countries (sold them their old junk tanks by simply telling the local government to tell their industry to stop producing indigenous tanks, even if those were vastly superior, and instead produce something else)... Given how many countries today are kind of struggling with their own size, I can see those "communist nations" being small-ish. Would kinda satisfy some of the rightwing pushes for more regionality. One thing that hasn't been brought up in the discussion by now is the fact that there might the situation in the future were the amount of work outpaces the ability of our industry to produce enough machines to do the work. IF space faring technology is picking up pace again, and humans start colonizing other planets, as well as start probing the farther reaches of the solar system and beyond, there might be a sudden increase in jobs because of all the infrastructure needed to keep offworld mining and exploration going. Maybe a ton of jobs would suddenly emerge for humans to work offworld. Or maybe the industry would concentrate on automating offworld jobs, not having enough capacity to also keep automating all the jobs left on earth....
  13. While that might be true, humanitys track record when it comes to preventing making the same mistake twice (or for the 100th time) is pretty bad. So I am not optimistic about things just because it failed before and we now know what NOT to do. The problem with every centralized system is inefficiency and tendency to be abused. While the first might now be avoidable thanks to technology, the same technology is making the second problem an even bigger one. While you had about a thousand underlings with a human brain needing to look away for a tyrant to get into power (which, as we have seen, was easy enough)... when most of those positions are getting automated, all that is needed is insider knowhow of the automated systems, a group of hackers, or some inside job, and only a few humans have to look away. Sure, this is all pessimism... still lets not pretend that the risk isn't there. Maybe we do find a way this time to prevent Stalin or Mao from happening. But certainly no with blind optimism. Well, its simply showing that the "left-right" spectrum is seriously lacking, and maybe not even a two dimensional chart like the one @deltaKshatriya was showing is really capturing where people not following party lines, or the political parties themselves fall on. Most of the founding ideas of the national socialist were certainly rightwing. Their economic system clearly was not. Thus, while the name might have been chosen for obsfucation, it is actually not that far from the truth. The nazis WERE nationalists AND socialists at the same time.... autoritorians, xenophobes and militaristic technocrates at the same time. Maybe some on the right try to use that to smear the left, or make up for the fact that thanks to the soviet communists being on the winning side in the 2nd world war, they never got branded just as badly as the germans. Doesn't matter. Lets just state that the crude, dysfunctional mix of ideas that founded nazi germany also borrowed from the left side of the spectrum. Now, many of the things you list there are not inherently bad, if you take of the leftwing glasses for a minute: - nationalistic -> nothing bad about, as long as people are not totally xenophobic because of that, or use it to justify war - traditionalists -> nothing bad about that. As the chinese said: "Someone who doesn't respect the old will also not keep the new for long"... - anti-internationalists -> if you are quite left, I can see how you view this as bad. But, to be honest, there are many good reasons to be anti-globalist, which would be the 21st century term for it. Globalism hasn't exactly been kind to most people in the lower "classes" of western society, nor has it helped everyone in the third world countries. Don't conflate nationalists, traditionalists, conservatives, or anti-globalists with racists and antisemites. a) many on the left are pretty racist too today... they just claim its not racism because of "muh privilege"... b) AFAIK the jews also didn't fare well under communist rule. Just as did many of the ethnic minorities in the soviet countries, as far as I know. Lets be real here: until Nazi germany went completly bonkers and thought they could take the whole of Russia within weeks, Stalins Soviet empire did the exact same thing the german whermacht did: conquering as many countries in eastern europe as they could. There was even a pact between Stalin and Hitler, dividing europe between germany and soviet russia. Even before that, Russia had invaded Finnland. If germany wouldn't have started the war, the soviets would have. They wanted to "internationalize" their empire, no matter what. Only Stalins great purge would probably have delayed that. So really, WW2 is a very bad case to show some ideological superiority... unless you want to make the point that both sides of the spectrum are bad when they get too extreme. I think the important thing I want to point out is this: there are bad actors on both sides... and most people probably are genuinly good people, when you can overlook their ideology (and are not in the group they hate on at the moment, when we near the far end of the spectrum). All good points. I wonder why some US Folks are still clinging to paying way more for education, when a degree is becoming pretty much the expected norm in the professional world, and way more when they inevitably get ill, just to save on taxes (which probably will only matter that much for the rich)... Is it because the wages are so low? Or is it simply "muh freedom" being rated higher than anything else by some folks in the US? About the infant mortality rate... is teenage motherhood still such a big thing in the US? And AFAIK that could also be linked to the amount of cases of overweight in the US.. I guess one of the biggest issues is that the US politics, on the left and the right, is just dominated by the rich. No matter if Democrat or rebuplican, it seems it costs a ton of money to get anywhere in politics, so by the time a president is elected he probably had to beg a ton of billionaires for money. Isn't that seen as a big problem in the US? Shouldn't politics try to reduce the amount of money it costs to become POTUS for example, by limiting what a candidate can spend during their campaign?
  14. Agreed Care to elaborate? How are the far left and far right dictators NOT starting to look very alike? I am not talking about some conservatives or liberals of the more moderate kind. I am talking about people that have become so extreme that they are just abusing the political agenda (or their religion) for their tyranny. How are Hitler and Stalin not the same thing in different clothing (and with slightly different outcome)? How is it that the far right and far left hooligans battling in the streets wear the same clothing, and act exactly the same, only shouting different nonsense? Well, the kind of "X did nothing wrong, Y is evil" kind of thing. That is, from the moderates and centrists view, propaganda from the extremes of the spectrum. From the center, they both look like a bad option. I understand that you will see the side you lean more towards as less evil, yes... but "its only them, not us"? Okay, fine. Not meant as an insult. Maybe you should just understand that reading 300 pages is a serious commitment of time. So maybe try to see things from the other side when you get snarky comments for the amount of pages you expect people to read. Don't know, maybe you are a book fanatic and you inhale 300 pages in an hour.... many people are not. If that would be true in our current society, we probably wouldn't have this discussion at the moment. See, modern day capitalism is seeing human life as a resource to exploit... what the guys are pondering here should a) prevent that state getting even worse with humans not even being a resource anymore, only a market to sell to, and b) maybe make things a little bit more even in the process thanks to automagic. A laudable idea. I am not sure if they are aware that if that plan goes wrong, things could get even more downhill. Which is the position you are holding, if I understand you correct. I am in the middle somewhere. I see the concerns you hold. But I do see the opportunities of new technology. IF.... we don't know. Its a risk. It's not given. It was clear since '86 that the risk of nuclear power plants making big parts of a country inhabitable is real. Not just a very small percentage in a statistic (and AFAIK, the number is really small unless human error occurs)... but happening in the real world. Because humans are stupid. And omit security measures to save money. Yet nuclear power plants are still built all over the world. Some countries have banned them, others still see opportunities for cheap power. Its the same here. People should be aware of the risk. Outright banning new technology because there IS a risk is IMO a knee-jerk reaction. Yah, when other countries lose control over their robot armies, or social order breaks down in a good chunk of the world because of automation, lets see how the US will stand alone. Unilateralism is not such a great idea in a world were ICBMs can reach any point in the world, and your economy is linked to import and export. Dude, your military might still be 10 years ahead... but China is quickly gaining on you there. The tech companys that are still ahead are actually multinationals by now, ready to jump ship should the US become hostile for globalist companys. High-tech manufacturing is by now mostly done in Asia, you might be on par with germany there by now (given one of the biggest chip factories in the west is located in germany) Wake up man... the US might not be as **** as some doom-and-gloom-guys might have believe and still do, but you are quickly loosing your "leader of the free world" title. Now that is a valid concern and a valid question. but that its kinda just the conservative mindset speaking. Which is, again, a valid point and a needed balance to the liberal optimism. I would say "that is why we need to be careful what we build", and not trust new technology too much.... Well maybe explain to me then how ownership should work in communism. As far as I get the theory, nobody owns anything but "the people" (which means the state, or the elite, depending on how authoritarian or neo-monarchist the communis^tic state in question is)... which in turn "lend" what is needed for people to do their job and live a normal life to those that need it. As far as I get it that was one reason why the soviet union had such trouble with its elite. They needed the oligarchs and other influental people to get things organized, yet they couldn't officially reward them as nobody was allowed to own property.... so these became pretty much criminals (because they amassed possesions above what a normal soviet citizen should get) that the state simply ignored as long as the public wouldn't notice (because the oligarchs actually had a lot of influence), if I got my history right there. Then the soviets got their implementation pretty wrong, if this was Marx' theory. Again, that sounds more like socialism to me. And again, I am questioning why someone would even use a name tainted by almost a century of bloodshed and economic mismanagement instead of using a term less likely to provoke knee-jerk reactions.
  15. Nazis no longer exist today... if you are talking about fascists, yes, the far left also preaches a form of fascism, no matter how they try to sugarcoat it. But then, so is the far right. The extremes start to resemble each other the more extreme they get. .... Maybe in part because most fascist regimes that existed in history were actually socialist systems, not capitalist ones, thus resembling communist systems in many things besides who is elected as the ruling elite and who is the scapegoat. But that is going off on a tangent... You are not really helping your point by spouting right propaganda. Well, I cannot not even say if he is right or wrong, he has gone so far sideways of your question. I am a little confused though why it matter how old or new the ideas communism is based on is. Surely it does matter more how it was applied in practice? Or how the mistakes of the past could be avoided (thus how the totalitarian tendencies could be taken out of the communist idea that are in there because of "there shall be no elite" is just creating a vacuum filled by the strongest individual in the end in true anarchist fashion)? Just because the Nazis used Socialist ideas in shaping their (very disfunctional) economy doesn't mean socialist economies lead to Fascism. But we should look into WHY socialism was so attractive for dictators that almost none of them in the past actually let capitalism run the economy, and dictators today are increasingly infusing their economies with socialist ideas (like putin having rolled back some privatizations over the last few years). Same with communism. The ideas behind the economic system might be sound, and the intention might be laudable. The track record is pretty bad though in real life. I don't know what modern day Marxists and Communist REALLY want, all they say gets drowned out by the shouting of the far left hooligans, and the counter-shouting of the right wing "communism bad" crowd. So maybe you can explain to me what you understand under the term communism, and why it should work now when it failed miserably in the 20th century? Especially how you prevent the tyrant getting control over the system, which has been the one consistent weak point in every communist system ever implemented. Honest question. I am trying to understand the mindset of the modern day communist now that they seem to be popping up everywhere. Sure, its OT here anyway. 1) Agreed 2) Well, I am going farther into the future... its kind of the logical end point of an ever increasing AI Intelligence. Probably not going to happen in the next 100 years, no matter how much the "Singularity" believers wish for it to come sooner (yeah, because that would certainly work out well for them... I really cannot understand that mindset). In the shorter timespan, we will have rather problems with loosing control of machines. When they are self learning, it will get harder and harder to guarantee that they do not learn the wrong thing. Every chatbot to date has been trolled by the internet and became a Nazi as soon as the chatbot was connected to the net to learn through interaction with the online public... every time it had to be taken down because of course the company couldn't leave a chatbot online that praised Hitler or was spouting racist crap. Then there is the rumour that Google already lost control of some of their algorithms and has openly stated they are no longer sure why certain algorithms work the way they do. There has been an outrage lately here in switzerland were ads of some swiss supermarkets have been shown on Breitbart... which trigger certain local snowflakes that have nothing better to do than play the online moral police. But the point is, the company claimed they had no idea why their ads were shown on Breitbart, and stated their ad-service wouldn't know either (I bet it was Google, but then I guess by now every other ad service will also have replaced humans with alorithms to decide were to run what ads). So while there might be no revolt by sentinent machines in the short term, and incidents such as the ones mentioned probably get rarer... the only way to actually make sure those cannot happen is to remove self-learning from a machine, or restrict it very strictly until the machine is moving within a very small "echo chamber" when learning new things. Of course we could say that this is only a problem for the petty applications algorithms are used today (social media, running ads, chatting with strangers to prove the tech)... but then I believe the problem still exists in other applications. Maybe this: - Does he actually believe robots mean communism, or is he only kee-jerking to statements he has read in the thread? Because I don't think robots=communism... there are many ways to make society work under heavy automation, some of them good, most probably very bad for most humans, some of them quite moderate, most probably rather extreme from our current perspective. - What is HIS solution to the problem if communism is unacceptable? Is it a ban of automation? How would that work? Because while I don't think a ban of AI or automation really is the way to go... I know many people, very close to me, that react that way. I had long discussions with them, and I do understand their reasoning. I don't believe in the economic isolationism that Trump advocates, but I think we should give people that are resisting new technology and globalism at least the credit that they do have valid points, that automation and globalism probably should take into account. Now I am not sure @Kavik Kang is really intersted in a real debate, given he seems to be in pure reaction mode, still not really listening to what people write, mixed with healthy shilling for his 300 page document See, then its not REALLY communism. That is, as far as I understand it, socialism. mixed with some communist ideas, maybe. Communism tries to do away with the elite, and take away all kind of ownership. The latter is why most people that are not slaves, piss poor or idealists will object to it... the former is why its usually resulting in a dictatorship. There will be ALWAYS an elite.... trying to destroy the elite, and prevent the organic formation of a new one just leaves a vacuum, which leads to the meanest bastard taking control. What you propose is a strong socialist state, that borrows some ideas from Marx to ensure a more even resource allocation. Which might work even when the concept of private ownership, and a capitalistic, altough state controlled, econmy still exist. You are basically going in the direction of modern day China, with a government more interested in equity between its citizens. And yeah, modern day China is not really a communist regime anymore. Which, as far as I am concerned, is good. Its also an authoritarian state. Which I find rather bad.... but that just shows the dangers of the concept, even with a watered down socialism. A strong state always is in danger of becoming a dictatorship. Well, yeah, maybe you should simply ignore it? Just saying... You are kinda training the dog in the wrong direction here When has "Don't feed the troll!" come out of fashion in the intertubes, I wonder..... Playing devils advocate here: Military HAS to be state owned, because the state HAS to have a monopoly on militaristic power... unless you want militias armed to the teeth everywhere, like in the southern parts of the US. Or you want to invest even more into shady mercenary groups like Blackwater (that the US government does EXACTLY that is mindboggling to me, but again, going off on a tangent). Or you want some other country to invade your nation (not that high a risk, still there) Medical care does not have to be. You CAN expect everyone to pay out of his own pocket for medical care. Now, I do agree that this might not make so much sense when in turn modern society is expected to ensure basic living standarts even to the poorest of its members, as this is part of the social contract... social peace and stability, accepting the gap between the rich and the poor for a basic solidarity between the members of society enacted by the state. Thus the state needs to pay for its poorest members anyway... But just wanted to point out how those two things are not exactly the same thing. One ensures the souvereignity of the nation, prevents the pitfalls of private military corps being used even more, and prevents citizens to organize their own militia... it basically affects ALL citizens, directly, and is easy to understand for everyone. The other only affect people directly that cannot afford basic health care. It will, at some point, affect everyone going through a serious ilness, who wasn't farsighted enough to save money just for that. In the end it will affect even the richest when the social contract is no longer upheld and it leads to more crime because the poorest cannot afford their pills they need, and to a lower satisfaction in the middle class actually running the whole shop because they go poor as soon as they have to fight cancer or get another serious illness. But that indirect link is kinda hard to understand for most people I would guess. Its much more theoretical and indirect than "no military -> north korea will invade us".
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