tor

Tax Hamster Wheel

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Interesting.

You know Tor, for a dba you know a lot about people. Those skill sets don't always overlap.

I just hope whoever writes the bloody system in the end (because some one will eventually) does, too...

hehehe when every one hates you (dba stands for Don't Bother Asking, if you are a consultant to those people (i.e. implicitly saying you are better than them) you better learn people skills - makes it perfect for people on the aspergers scale, I think, because it requires accurate modelling of people that are not you. Easier game to play if you can dissociate your internal ego completely from the situation[1]).

I think the system will only ever work when they get the whole thing right.

Hell you can't even force checklists into the surgery arena despite the statistical proof of lives saved by using checklists. Forcing an expertise system into ATC is less likely I reckon :)

[1] Of course not so good for girlfriends because as soon as they see the personality switches they tend to suspect that the "you" they know is a construct as well. Of course they are correct but that is the case with everyone anyway.

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I think the other thing making it difficult is sensor technology.

Clearly if the sensors gave us a perfect view of the situation better than human eyes than you would not even need pilots in the planes if their positions / trajectory were known perfectly and the conditions were known perfectly. But the communication from the pilots is forming part of the feedback for the ATC guys. You would hardly want voice recognition running the show?

"Did you say Wasabi?"

I guess a long way off in the future as sensor technology gets better we will not need to drive our cars either, but until then I reckon the ATC guys are safe.

I suspect ATC are working off the same sensors, it's not like they can see anything much 10 miles out and 25K feet up with the naked eye. And at that radius even if they could see something they couldn't scan it fast enough to be worth much.

You still need pilots because there is stuff you can't see. That's why windsocks were invented.

However a decent GPS platform integrated with the engine output and wing settings (plus of course take off weight, fuel burn calcs and so on) would show wind velocity quite accurately. If it hasn't already been done it is because without the other systems it is pointless.

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I suspect ATC are working off the same sensors, it's not like they can see anything much 10 miles out and 25K feet up with the naked eye. And at that radius even if they could see something they couldn't scan it fast enough to be worth much.

You still need pilots because there is stuff you can't see. That's why windsocks were invented.

However a decent GPS platform integrated with the engine output and wing settings (plus of course take off weight, fuel burn calcs and so on) would show wind velocity quite accurately. If it hasn't already been done it is because without the other systems it is pointless.

Yeh its not them relying on vision tor its the pilots and as I said you would then need to take this information, with what? voice recognition? Good luck.

My quote:

But the communication from the pilots is forming part of the feedback for the ATC guys. You would hardly want voice recognition running the show?

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Oh anyone can write a simplistic system like the first one you posit.

The hard thing is writing the second one so it is usable. Can be done of course, just a matter of finding the right way of doing it and the budget to do it.

My current thinking is that the system takes input from all systems (for example your thunderstorm) and refers back to similar situations of what the ATC did. If what the ATC is choosing to do deviates from history it queries the ATC and then if you affirm it raises it with a peer for confirmation.

Then, later it asks for the piece of input which meant a different choice was made (this is actually the really hard bit) and in future uses that as part of the sanity check.

The problem is that to build a system like that you need to bring it up in a situation where time is not such a constraint (I am sure that landing a bunch of big arse planes in a stress situation you don't want to waste time peer reviewing your colleagues). In a non stress situation of course the system doesn't get to learn how to react in a stress situation. So you need to replay the live situation back into the system afterwards and peer review at that time tends, due to human nature, to be completely different.

An example would be if you, in a high stress situation, do something which might not be optimal but still works your colleagues will trust you based on experience not to do something stupid and crash the lot. In a non stress situation human nature tends towards either blanket agreement with your actions or annoying nitpicking over optimal solutions.

Then of course the actual translation of the different systems input has to be done in a way that if one system sh*ts and burns the others treat that correctly, that would be an interesting problem actually. Planes cost too much to keep in the air to be uber safe but crashing one costs too much to not be. hehehe. Cool arse problem actually. Probably solve most of them with heartbeats I guess.

Writing the rule set would be interesting but I doubt it would be technically challenging. Been done for other stuff.

The real problem is that if the system does actually work and so the recruitment drive of ATC doesn't happen then the industry would rely on the system and when it cocks up (think Erebus) blame the system as if it was some kind of surprise and humans would have been perfect.

I'm not doubting your capability to do it tor.

In fact, I believe you probably could.

But I would ask, why would we want to do that.

So we arrive at a point where machines do everything for us. What do we do?

Probably we are not that far away from the automated flying systems where pilots are superceded, but is that necessarily a good thing. Billions of people with nothing to do.

Surely, in the same vein, we would have computers now that can replicate what you do.

Computers writing programmes for other computers. I think Microsoft actually produced a large portion of Windows 7 using automated systems.

Perhaps it could be easily asked, Why do we need your skills?

Despite human frailty, I feel, I would still like to know that a person was assisting in bringing my plane back to earth. Yes, I know we humans are not fail-safe either, but perhaps as yet, I still haven't reached that level of trust in machinery and especially electronics to deliver the goods under all conditions. My watch stopped the other day, and I was late for an appointment.

Computers are marvellous tools that have aided so many tasks that otherwise would require horrendous repetition, but I guess we have to question whether they are any more reliable than us fallible humans.

This is actually a good debate.

How far do we want to go with technology?

I'm surprised we haven't yet got a computerised hairdresser. Put in the style you want, and let it go for it!!

Be interesting to see a bald man, request a short back and sides.

I know this has got off the taxation thread to some degree, so maybe I should mention, that I am going to complete my tax this year using e-tax!!

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I think we should replace not only ATC's but drivers abilities to control their own vehicles. Think about how much safer and more efficient it would all be. Cars and planes controlled by computers could travel at far higher speeds and increase efficiency to the optimal. Merging traffic, traffic lights and law enforcement issues would be a thing of the past. 3D computing mixed with GPS sensor technology would create the ability to integrate a global transport system. You get there faster. Integration of weather systems would merely require brief detours once a certain risk threshold had been surpassed at the destination address. But because of the much higher efficiency and speed this would be a minor inconvenience. Nuclear power would be safe and pigs would oft be seen on the wing as you whizzed past them on your travels.

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I think we should replace not only ATC's but drivers abilities to control their own vehicles...

Now that one I really think should be done if we don't just ban cars. Unfortunately as it is really hard it might take a little longer ;)

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But I would ask, why would we want to do that...

Mostly what we have now is advisory type systems that remove the boring repetitive elements of a task such as programming or offer advice on the complex tasks.

You will find most dba's and also most good programmers have scripts that generate code according to a certain system so, for example, if I am creating a new db and need a basic front end to show people what the db does (I am not a very good front end programmer) I have a piece of db code which generates all the interaction code between the front end and the db, leaving me with just designing the forms and picking the colours (which I am also not so good at; grey and white is good, occasionally some red).

It removes a lot of the tedious repetitive typing.

Expert systems are pretty much the same as a grammar check. You put in all the rules you know and then when you are typing it can check your choices of words against those rules and ask if you really meant that when you do something that it doesn't have rules to support. It can't actually write a letter for you but it can help make sure the letter is valid.

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But I would ask, why would we want to do that.

So we arrive at a point where machines do everything for us. What do we do?

Probably we are not that far away from the automated flying systems where pilots are superceded, but is that necessarily a good thing. Billions of people with nothing to do.

People in the late 19th and early 20th centuries said the same about industrialisation and mechanisation: everyone would sit around doing nothing all day. This relies on the false assumption that there is only a finite amount of work to be done. However, we see that when tasks are automated, labour is re-employed to provide other goods and services that are currently not provided. There is no chance of us running out of things to do. We now work longer hours than we did before the digital revolution.

Computers writing programmes for other computers. I think Microsoft actually produced a large portion of Windows 7 using automated systems.

Perhaps it could be easily asked, Why do we need your skills?

Actually, it is highly unlikely that computers will ever be able write any meaningful programs. A very famous computer scientist called Alan Turing proved that computers can not solve a fairly straightforward problem (for humans): there is no program that can determine whether another program will terminate. More specifically, it would be possible for a program to solve it for some programs, but there can be no program that is guaranteed to solve it for any arbitrary program. This problem is known as the Halting problem

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I think we should replace not only ATC's but drivers abilities to control their own vehicles. Think about how much safer and more efficient it would all be. Cars and planes controlled by computers could travel at far higher speeds and increase efficiency to the optimal. Merging traffic, traffic lights and law enforcement issues would be a thing of the past. 3D computing mixed with GPS sensor technology would create the ability to integrate a global transport system. You get there faster. Integration of weather systems would merely require brief detours once a certain risk threshold had been surpassed at the destination address. But because of the much higher efficiency and speed this would be a minor inconvenience. Nuclear power would be safe and pigs would oft be seen on the wing as you whizzed past them on your travels.

There's plenty of research into automated driving systems. I have several colleagues who are working on this problem. Some of the simulations are excellent.... 4-way intersections with 6 lanes each way, but no traffic lights. Cars just "book" the time and space they need for the intersection, and drive through it. These simulations honestly make people jump, because it is just a mish-mash of vehicles missing each other by the smallest of margins... even if the cars are just a rectangle of pixels that don't look like cars at all smile.gif The planning problem to drive the vehicle safely is straightforward. The biggest barrier is the sensor technology to read the environment. If there were no pedestrians or bicyclists, safe automated driving would be possible already (although the change over during which there would be some automated cars and some manually-controlled cars would be problematic).

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People in the late 19th and early 20th centuries said the same about industrialisation and mechanisation: everyone would sit around doing nothing all day. This relies on the false assumption that there is only a finite amount of work to be done. However, we see that when tasks are automated, labour is re-employed to provide other goods and services that are currently not provided. There is no chance of us running out of things to do. We now work longer hours than we did before the digital revolution.

Yes and who would have thought houses would actually become more expensive in real dollars as technology inproved. Now for every person who gets out and develops a house their is one in government working out ways to prevent it! We will find jobs for people, I just wonder how many of them are counterproductive these days.

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Yes and who would have thought houses would actually become more expensive in real dollars as technology inproved. Now for every person who gets out and develops a house their is one in government working out ways to prevent it! We will find jobs for people, I just wonder how many of them are counterproductive these days.

+1

And, I don't think they are made any better. From my days living in Victoria and also around Fremantle etc there are some buildings built in the 19th century that are pretty robust and would survive a Cat 5 perfect storm no probs.

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Interesting semi related titbit I read last night. I am reading a penguin book about the impact of the british empire on various bits and pieces.

The author made a simple statement regarding revolutions and taxation which was that in the 1780's England's tax system was way more regressive than the French system and yet it was the French that had their revolution.

My memory is not super good but I think the French system at the time was primarily a land tax on the nobles whereas England had moved to excise on candles, booze and tobacco.

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...I am not a very good...which I am also not so good at...

Is telling clients your weaknesses your secret to achieving your outstanding remuneration results?

Edited by sydney3000

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Is telling clients your weaknesses your secret to achieving your outstanding remuneration results?

Never thought of it that way but it could be. My catchphrase is "I know SQL, and only a small bit of that". a couple of clients started calling me SQL Simon because of this. One poor young lass thought that was my real name hehehe.

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I see the bad moon arising.

I see trouble on the way.

I see earthquakes and lightnin.

I see bad times today.

I assume you are not going to go out tonight?

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I assume you are not going to go out tonight?

Are you monitoring my phone? We just folded on the Wallaby drinks tonight to do all day rugger drinkex tomorrow. Plus my old mate Wallaby Captain David Wilson isn't fronting tonight.

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Is telling clients your weaknesses your secret to achieving your outstanding remuneration results?

..and hard work at a guess as opposed to awaiting to suck on the govt tit via taxation of those that do cut it whilst those that can't, the former, just wait and throw sh*t from the sidelines.

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Are you monitoring my phone?

Nah I just figured there could be an earth satellite rising with bad intent.

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..and hard work at a guess as opposed to awaiting to suck on the govt tit via taxation of those that do cut it whilst those that can't, the former, just wait and throw sh*t from the sidelines.

One of the guys at the start up was claiming he "did a tor" this morning because he woke up at 5 and decided he may as well start working.

Then he realised that I was there and that I have been on the go since 0230 yesterday hehehe.

The other guy said I only work these hours because I get paid 5 times what he gets (he is the GM of the start up). I said it might be the other way round.

I actually missed sleep because I had to go in to a meeting with a federal agency this morning, one hour meeting which all the answers were done in the first 2 or 3 minutes:

tor: can you do this?

gov: yes

tor: great, we're done

I had better things to do than sit around for an hour while they talked about the approval process and that nonsense (which they all know anyway) but they insisted I just sit there and nod complacently.

Gotta get me some of them glasses homer used when he was on the jury so I can snooze through those things.

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..and hard work at a guess as opposed to awaiting to suck on the govt tit via taxation of those that do cut it whilst those that can't, the former, just wait and throw sh*t from the sidelines.

I get your point but I can only imagine Armageddon if only the ones who cut it earn enough to survive.

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I get your point but I can only imagine Armageddon if only the ones who cut it earn enough to survive.

Nah you just tax the crap out of the ones that cut it and create "make work" jobs for the rest :)

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Its Eurosocialism, take a bucket of water from the shallow end of the pool walk to the other end and throw it in the deep end and proclaim that the water level is rising in the deep end whilst jounos photograph and record your musings during the symbolic pour.

Common thoughts amongst folk in the deep end who can't be arsed doing what it takes to get to the shallow end. Views that get more popular based on the public profile of a minority few basking in the shallows that got there through good genes, luck, guile, lies or cheating. Views that totally ignore those that got there through risk, hard work or are rewarded for demanding and/or critical duties in the pool.

Interesting.

Anecdotally, I know quite a few wealthy people whom have wealth a fair bit above the average person, very very few of them became that wealthy through hard work or through being exceptionally intelligent.

Most of these people I know became/are wealthy through inheritance, dishonesty or sheer luck. Nothing more, nothing less. Luck applies even to my own circumstances to a considerable degree, and my wealth could very much be wiped out just as easily by bad luck.

Granted, some wealthy people did work hard, however all wealthy people must remember one important thing. It is society that enabled their wealth. Their wealth means nothing, in fact it is useless without the society that made them wealthy.

I do know an awful lot of really hard working people with average (or what I consider "normal") wealth and some (but very few) lazy people in this category.

I agree though, the long term unemployed would contain a great majority of lazy people.

And then there would be a heck of a lot of poor people who have been simply damn unlucky.

Edited by tux

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...I do know an awful lot of really hard working people with average (or what I consider "normal") wealth and some (but very few) lazy people in this category...

I think most smart people that are reaping the benefits work out the cost factor and choose their level of wealth. Not many people actually want to be really rich. The cost/risk to get there is too high. I usually get nervous around those people as they tend to be doing weird sh*t.

So I suppose it depends on what you call average wealth.

For me it is is basically security. I am killing myself now because I know that it means I will have a much easier time in life for the next however many years I live.

As I suspect we late thirties people are one of the last generations to die involuntarily this makes sense to me (although with my lifestyle I will probably be one of the ones that dies like what is now normal, the girlfriend however I suspect will be alive when she is in her 150's, that requires a lot of forethought and planning).

People that don't share those views and are skilled and hardworking are mostly going to just stop once they hit a certain level of wealth because what is the point in going any further? Most of us are strongly defined by our jobs and so retirement, whilst being a notional desire, is not actually on most peoples game plan, especially those that are good at their job. So they taper off their hard working and go for more of the non monetary goals.

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