Drunkrobot

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About Drunkrobot

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    Steely-Eyed Missile Man
  1. "Red sauce tastes like tomatoes, but brown sauce doesn't taste like anything." - Drunkrobot I've said some pretty stupid things in my time, but that one takes the cake for it's sheer non-informativeness.
  2. Thinking quickly, my favorite fictional surface-to-orbit spacecraft is the Orion II spaceplane from Space Odyessy. Favorite fictional orbit-to-orbit spacecraft is split between the somewhat-realistic Red Dwarf... ...and the thoroughly impractical Imperial I-class Star Destroyer. As for real spacecraft, well, you have to go for Korolev's baby.
  3. No. NASA is NOT going to scrap the rocket it spent the greater part of a decade building, moving their entire heavy launch capabilities to a smaller, privately-owned rocket that is still on frickin paper right now, just because the unmanned test flight ended in a explosion. Test flight: noun, A flight during which the performance of an air/spacecraft or its equipment is tested. It would be fantastic if the flight ended with a critical error, because it would mean we've found an error, and that's the point of test flights. If SLS-1 fails, NASA fishes out the wreakage from the Atlantic, finds out what went wrong, corrects the mistake, and launches again.
  4. For as long as the humans are still indisputably "in charge", they can decide whatever jobs they desire to have, and whatever jobs they want to relegate to the robots. Humans like intellectual challenges, and others appreciating their work. Robots can do heavy-labor and repetitive, dangerous tasks. If we manage to skirt around the impending environmental disaster and increase the resource base to NEOs and the Moon, the global (now a retrospectively-archaic term) economy has space to expand for a long time, centuries at the least. An increase in wealth (here, "wealth" is food, water, housing, healthcare etc.) means one of two things: 1. An increase in population. 2. An increase in living standards. Right now, the global trend in families is moving towards having less children (less than three). As the developing world develops, and welfare spreads to those people, population growth will slow down, even stabilize. That mean the only avenue for humanity to dedicate it's wealth towards is improving living standards. The services and goods enjoyed by the middle class of today's developed world would be universally available, and god knows what the richer end of society will have access to. Of course, it might all come crashing down when the robots start asking the big questions, like "Am I alive?", "Do I have rights?" and "Why do I have to clear that minefield?". But maybe we should avoid thinking of it like 'The unstoppable killer machines enslaving and exterminating the helpless humans 4 teh evulz.' and approach it rationally. Even when there comes an AI, either by accident or concious effort on our part, that is smarter than a human, it will have no reason to turn on us, assuming we don't freak the frick out and try to delete it. Even if it was apparently superior to us in every way (which might not ever happen, we don't know yet), it will understand Darwinism, and not that pig-offal 'social Darwinism' you see employed by supervillians. An ecosystem is most versatile with the maximum number of species running the maximum number of strategies. It would be logical to favor a synergy of humans and AI in this brave new world, staying with the status quo, in a way, us doing what we do best and the robots doing what they do best. The questions on a robots standing in society might change, but we won't be made obsolete and turned into WD40, if that answers your question.
  5. Most components on the Lunar Module had a back-up spare, including the pilot. Even if the Commander had no complications during the landing or launching sequence, the Lunar Module Pilot fed him critical information so that he didn't have to check his instruments as much, taking some of the pressure off him and letting him make a smoother landing. And no, the Lunar Module Pilot didn't actually pilot the Lunar Module.
  6. I'm referring to how it would be like watching 'Jaws' while on a dingy off the Australian coast. "What's the absolute worst thing that could happen?" Just to mess with the astronaut's heads. What can I say, I'm a sadist.
  7. Don't send them Gravity, whatever you do. Actually, scratch that, FORCE THEM ON PAIN OF DEATH to watch Gravity.
  8. We could send them cheesy movies, the worst we can find. They'll have to sit and watch them all, and we'll monitor their minds.
  9. Before you can get to the Moon, or anywhere else in the Universe, you have to first get into Low Earth Orbit. Even with all the experience we have, and will have by the time ISS is decommissioned (hopefully not too soon), we just don't have a system in place to get modules, supplies, fuel, astronauts etc. into orbit from the surface of the Earth. Hang me if I offend you, but all this talk about SpaceX "cutting out red tape" and "simplifying operations" sounds a bit like a dead end to me. Falcon is a multistage rocket, a technology based on ballistic missiles meant for nuclear war, something you only need to do once. If we're going to go back to the Moon, we need a transportation system, something we can use again and again and again, not a single-use bomb delivery platform. We need something big and new and crazy, not a re-branded package of the same old thing. I don't know what it will be, an elevator, a space-plane, or we grow and train space-dragons, but whatever we build, we need it before we get serious about the Moon or anywhere else, not after.
  10. If you want to build anything major in space (which you probably do, since we all love space here), you will need raw materials at the very least. To get these materials where they need to be, you need either some fantastical portal technology to move materials from Earth to the building site, or you take resources from near the site itself. If the site is in an orbit of some kind, asteroids are almost always favorable than planets, since the fuel requirements to escape their gravity wells is tiny. You can argue that asteroid mining isn't necessary, but it would be in the same way that America could import all of it's food, wood, oil and metal from Europe: Possible, but not realistic, financially.
  11. In a sense, I support Simon's opinion. If it was not for our primal instinct to desire survival, or the survival of our children, then we would be extinct. But I wouldn't catagorise it as a part of "humanity", or "personhood". It is true amongst the entirety of Life to improve one's own position at the expense of others, such is the unfortunate truth of living on a planet that simply doesn't have the carrying capacity for every species in existence. I was envisioning traits that Homo sapiens, alone of all the species on Earth, could be proud of having, products of our currently unmatched self-awareness. Any animal can lay claim to simply refusing to die, but how many can be willing to save other species from extinction, on purpose, at a cost to their own resources? We are meek, not in the modern sense (lack of power, helpless) but in an older sense (has power, but can show restraint in wielding that power), or at least, we're learning to be so. As a technicality, we're only counting traits that come along with sapience
  12. Put it this way: If you had to make the absolute best case for the human race in a single paragraph, what would you preach about us? What aspect of our intelligence do you, personally, hold in highest regard?
  13. Magic is science that is not yet understood. Once, only angels and birds could fly, now thousands, hundreds of thousands, of people are aloft at any moment. Telepathy was once impossible, now we carry around little black slabs that let us communicate to anybody we know, at any moment (Or not. It has become so trivial to us, we can deny messages on a whim). If the abilities wielded by wizards and superheros in current fiction turn out to be possible, then we will find a way of making them a reality, to the point where everyone has that ability, and we stop noticing that we have it.
  14. You may or may not be familer with the 4chan-born concept of "Humanity: F*** Yeah!". Put simply, in fiction, notably science fiction and fantasy, where multipe sapient races exist, humans are, quite often, the "vanilla" race. Average, boring, jack of all trades, master of none. Every other race in the setting will have a "hat", something about them that makes them special, but not us. This is done because most writers (and readers) are human. How would a pacifist react to a book preaching our "natural supremicy at war", or a cynic to our "favor towards peace and friendship"? "Humanity: F*** Yeah!"'s goal is to give humanity a hat. Someone writes a short story, with a characteristic of the human race as a main theme. Maybe our dogged tenacity catches a stronger opponent off guard in a war of attrition? Or we take one look at the tech the older races are wielding, chew them up and spit them out smaller, cleaner, more powerful and available in several colours? In a few stories, our passion of music, literature and fashion turns us into the settings cultural rock. Or, we're just really good at killing everything , everywhere, because that's how we roll. Of course, if it was reality, we can't be all of these things. What we would become in a wider community depends on exactly what traits make us stand out. Given that we have no comparable species to measure our psychology against (at least for now), we are free to speculate. What general aspects of our collective personality (maturity, impulsiveness, tolerance, rage, genius, insanity etc) are you glad that we have, and how would they affect how we interact with "others"?