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MarginOfError last won the day on September 10 2022

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  1. As a bleeding heart liberal, I don't love UBI. In fact, I rather suspect UBI to be a last ditch effort to prevent that total demise of a failing society. @Carborendum is correct, to a point, that wealth cannot be generated without labor, and UBI encourages removing labor from the system. What would happen, however, if that assumption proved to be false? What if wealth could be generated without labor? The nightmare scenario happens with the introduction of technologies that can replace labor. What happens with automation eliminates the need for food service workers, logistics and transportation (delivery of goods), or retail? There has been a facility built near where I live that farms tomatoes and heavily automates the process of monitoring the tomatoes and harvesting them at the ideal time. Automation continues to grow in manufacturing sectors. And by most measures, automation produces more consistent, reliable products. And while we may never automate all humans out of an industry, it isn't unreasonable to believe cut the workforce by a third, or half. And as automation expands, the trend seems to be that the wealth generated from automation flows up toward the wealthy, not toward those who are being replaced. If we reach the point in society where there are significantly more people than there are jobs for them to work, UBI may become a necessary evil to prevent the blood bath of those who can't afford to live clawing back the ability to live from those who are concentrating the wealth. In other words, UBI is how you prevent the French Revolution. I don't want to discuss the downsides of UBI, because I largely agree with most here that it's a bad idea, and probably ought to be avoided. But I do think the growth of automation breaks the assumption that generating wealth requires labor, and we need to do some thinking about how to address that. (probably a separate discussion from the direction this thread has taken on taxation) MOE's Twisted Theories on Taxation I'm a little weird on the topic of taxes. I think sales taxes are dumb. I can get behind some use taxes, but largely, my preferred form of taxation is income tax. If I had it my way, income tax would be the only tax levied. But let's dive down the rabbit hole. The first foundational principle of MOE's taxation philosophy is that Taxes Must Be Transparent. By this, I mean that it should not take very long to figure out how much tax you're paying. As it is now, to determine the total taxes I pay I have to add up income tax, property tax, vehicle taxes, sales taxes, taxes on my utilities, and probably a host more that I can't even think of. This is absurd. The second foundational principle of MOE's taxation philosophy is that Businesses Do Not Pay Taxes. Even if you have a corporate tax, and corporation with half a brain cell will estimate what their tax liability is, adjust prices to cover it, and claim whatever exemptions they can to reduce liability, then take the difference as profit. A corporate tax is nothing more than a hidden tax on the consumer. This also bleeds into why I'm not a big fan of property taxes. Property owners who use their property will pay taxes, while those who lease their property pass those costs to their tenants. It's an unbalanced system and creates hidden taxes for tenants, which violates the first principle. The third foundational principle of MOE's taxation philosophy is that Governments Should Be Limited to Providing Universal Services. The military is an easily agreed upon example. I think Police, Fire, and EMS are relatively easy to agree upon. Personally, I would argue for including electrical, water, and internet (ISP only, not content). I think there's a good case for some portions of health care to be universal (specifically, annual physicals, well child visits, maternity care, and vaccinations). Lastly, I would personally prefer a well funded and highly competitive education system (and by competitive, I mean public school teacher positions should be well paid, highly sought after, and sensibly evaluated...again, another topic for another time) Whether you agree on the inclusion of all of those services is an interesting discussion, and actually a rather valuable discussion for a society to engage in. These principles, in my opinion, make it much easier for people to engage in the discussion of "what services does our society value, and how much do we need to contribute to pay for them?" So why do I prefer the income tax? Mostly for the pragmatic purpose of it being relatively easy to track. (Admittedly, not as easy as land, but hidden taxes and all). And it wouldn't really work unless we are willing to divorce "corporation" and "person." Otherwise you get people able to claim negative income, and other weird shenanigans. It only works if income is synonymous with "new wealth" and only corporations are able to make a profit or take a loss. I've gone on too long. make me your new punching bag.
  2. First and foremost, let me state my profound gratitude that you would take her in. Children who grow up in abusive homes almost never fully heal, but their lives are immeasurably better when someone can help them escape the patterns they learned from being abused. And that's all I'll say. Because while this has some fascinating contours as an academic discussion, I don't want to run down that route if you might still be in any phase of emotional processing. I'm not emotionally deft enough to not say something that would come out weird, and you don't need me debating the finer points of sealing theory when you're living through some pretty hefty upheavals. In other words, it isn't that I don't care, but I like to think I care enough not to open my big mouth. I'd probably go with "emotionally manipulative." I still classify that under the umbrella of abuse, though less offensive than outright emotional sabotage.
  3. Today's edition of "tell us you're old without using the words 'I'm old'"
  4. The lyrics of Come Thou Long Expected Jesus and In Humility Our Savior can both be sung to the tunes of What Child is This. Music can be oddly fungible. Thy hymn book has an entire section about which hymns can be sung to which lyrics (See Title, Tune, and Meter, though the online version is not has user friendly as the printed version, if I recall). For a fun mashup, try singing the lyrics of If You Could Hie To Kolob to the tune of Come Thou Fount
  5. Incoming details that nobody wanted. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is my favorite Christmas carol. The lyrics were first published in 1744 by Charles Wesley. Apparently history has lost what music he intended for it. The tune you commonly hear with it is Hyfrydol (Rowland Prichard), a Welsh tune first published in 1844. Prior to that, and still commonly today, it is sung to Stuttgart (Christian Friederich Witt). The lyrics for In Humility Our Savior were written in 1910 (Mabel Jones Gabbott) and set to Hyfrydol. I've heard the Hyfrydol used for various hymns in LDS, Protestant, Episcopal, and Catholic services I've attended. It's a pleasant and well liked tune. It's pleasant nature and existence in the public domain make it a popular choice for new hymns where an old feel is desired. Sources:,_Thou_Long_Expected_Jesus Hyfrydol - Wikipedia In Humility, Our Savior (
  6. I'll give up my 2009 Handbook when you pry it from my cold, dead hands
  7. 27.4 Sealing Living Children to Parents Children who are born after their mother has been sealed to a husband in a temple are born in the covenant of that sealing. They do not need to receive the ordinance of sealing to parents. Adopted or Foster Children Who Are Living Living children who are born in the covenant or have been sealed to parents cannot be sealed to any other parents without First Presidency approval. ========================================================== If the family wants the child sealed to them, they will need to meet with their bishop and ask that he make a request to the First Presidency. The Handbook is silent on what conditions are required for this to be considered. They should not expect quick answers, as the bishop will likely want to ask the Stake President, who--unless he has encountered this scenario before--will probably ask the Area Presidency. They should be emotionally prepared to be told "no." I can't say what the First Presidency would look for to authorize this, but the lack of wiggle room the Handbook suggests a low probability of success.
  8. Your mileage may vary. I have the master key to the local Catholic parish. And I'm quasi in charge of tending the fire to kick off their Easter vigil.
  9. I'm confused about why you're using language that implies a present tense. Past tense would seem more appropriate.
  10. "Teaching" AI has a few interpretations, depending on what information you consider essential. In the Amazon example, removing sex from the database would be sufficient, and thus forcing it to focus on other factors. Instead, Amazon seems to have abandoned the project altogether. I would imagine it wasn't very successful at picking good employees, which is another way of saying that Amazon didn't have the data available to correctly identify them*. Stock selection and disease diagnosis are areas I would expect AI to excel. There is a wealth of relevant data available, and they aren't moral decisions. It also keeps a focus on "high density" areas (where most of the mass of a probability curve lives). AI is good in these areas, and will make odd decisions in low density areas. There's an interesting manifestation of this in things like AI art, where you get some impressive looking drawings, but some of the finer details are a little odd. It's a bit of a running joke right now that AI art struggles with the placement of fingers. * an interesting result in itself, as it suggests that what makes a good employee is not captured on resumes or applications.
  11. Great! So if and/or when we get non-caucasian temple presentations, you and I can team up to mentor people in how to see themselves in other racial presentations! I get that there are people that don't feel the need for the person on the screen to look like them in order to relate. It isn't particularly important to me either. But I do understand that it is impactful to some people. And it's such an unimportant detail, that I'd like to give it to them. Not a temple example (for obvious reasons), but sometimes it can be interesting to view the world through the eyes of people who haven't spent their whole lives seeing the majority of media looking like themselves: Star Wars: Rogue One So I'd encourage you to try to think less about why it bothers you and more about what impact it could make for others. I believe that when we have a reasonable ability to do things to improve another's ability to grow in the gospel, we should do them.
  12. I've enjoyed a lot of the things I've seen that have come from ChatGPT. I haven't played with it myself at all, but I certainly appreciate the engineering behind it. Artificial Intelligence has a lot of potential, and there are a lot of things that it can do far better than humans are able to. But it also has some pretty hefty weaknesses that needs to be understood and, yes, restrained. First and foremost, we need to understand that AI is not actually intelligence. It's high speed bayesian analysis. What it is returning (in grossly oversimplified terms) is the result that has the highest posterior probability from a new set of data applied to a model based on a training data set. The fact that ChatGPT works as quickly and as well as it does is, in my opinion, more impressive on a technical level than it is on a mathematical level. Next, we need to understand the idea of "training data." Any AI/Machine Learning model is subject to the "Garbage In/Garbage Out" rule. ChatGPT seems to have a pretty good training data set. But what gets put into a training dataset has a huge impact on what the model spits out. Consider Amazon's hiring AI (Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women | Reuters) that was trained on its recruiting and hiring data. Based on the training data, Amazon hired more men than women, and the posterior probabilities ended up showing men as having a higher probability of being hired than women. So it stopped flagging applications from women to be considered for employment. To be clear, it wasn't evaluating the qualifications; it saw sex as an influential and heavily weighted predictor and disqualified candidates on that basis alone. (Note: This does not necessarily mean that Amazon had biased hiring practices prior to the AI. It just means that the AI interpreted sex as a good shortcut). AI algorithms can be taught to avoid these kind of pitfalls, but doing so inherently introduces the biases of the programming team into the algorithm, which inevitably opens the door to criticism. Very importantly, AI and Machine Learning have no sense of ethics or morality. The Taybot is a good example. My other favorite example, that I can't find a source for right now, is a machine learning program that was intended to study how to minimize forces on pilots landing air planes. After training the model,the algorithm started nosediving planes into the runway. It learned that if it crashed the plane hard enough, it could trigger an integer overflow that would cause the landing forces to be interpreted as negative numbers. And since negative force is obviously better than positive force, crashing the plane was the logical thing to do. Computers will only ever consider values that humans tell them are important. So whose values do you want your AI to have? Not coincidentally, this is why many scientists have signed on to letters declaring that AI must never be used in weaponry and warfare. More specifically, it shouldn't be used to automate target selection. Moral and ethical decisions should remain the purview of humans, because our experience has shown that our worst impulses tend to find their way into our machines. And that's probably not good for anyone.
  13. You are correct about this. I had more in mind not having to time pauses in the acting with the needed translation. In the current version, the audio can be mixed and blended as needed. With live acting, the actors sometimes had awkward pauses in the dialog that had to be timed in order to allow the dubbing. A move to straight voice acting removes that obstacle* * undoubtedly creating other obstacles.
  14. I suspect there are a couple of contributing factors for why people had such a distaste for the newer videos. 1. They were different and unfamiliar. When you change a thing that people gotten accustomed to, there's generally going to be some kind of backlash. Human nature is kind of reactionary. I remember when the video before the most recent two was released. It had a younger Satan who acted the part in a more contemporary manner, while the previous Satan had a more classical theater style. I remember some of these complaints then, too. 2. Different videos, with different actors, directors, and crews will sometimes have different emphases. Perhaps it's an inflection on a word that, in some languages, can have subtle (or not so subtle changes to meaning). I some of this happened in the newer videos, and people found that some of their favorite "truths" that they had taken from earlier versions were now less prominent. They may have felt like important teaching were being lost (not something I agree with, but I can empathize with the concept). Personally, I enjoyed seeing the different versions, largely because they do have some subtle differences in presentation that have caused me to think more and consider new ideas. I would like to see the trend continue in even the current comic book format (sorry, that's what it felt like to me. I don't mind it. It's just a different artistic style). I would love it if there were multiple audio versions with different voice actors that explore different expressions of the characters. Even if we are to assume that the core events in the record are literal, there's very little to indicate that Adam and/or Eve's reactions to some events are known. And interpreting some of those things in different ways might help us unlock new truths or relate truths to our lives in different ways. Furthermore, some people might relate to a crying Eve, and others to a more stoic Eve, for example. Another thing I hope and pray for is that there will be more comic book slides produced that show more diversity in the characters. I know this will likely trigger anti-woke sentiment, but hear me out. We are encouraged to imagine ourselves in the place of Adam and Eve through parts of the endowment as we make covenants. And as we return to do proxy work, we study those covenants, the teachings of the Endowment, and how some of those allegorical/symbolic items relate to us. Seeing races and ethnicities represented in those roles could have a powerful impact in helping some people place themselves in those roles and expand their knowledge. I think something like this would have been a lot more cost prohibitive in full movie form, but the current format (where the backgrounds are separated from the characters), I think these substitutions are a lot more accessible, and I think the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages.
  15. That and dubbing in multiple languages with accurate translations is far easier when you are not bound by the constraints of the time it takes to say something in English.