|To: robert b furman who wrote (71766)||3/3/2016 11:24:07 PM|
|From: Return to Sender|
|OT: Bob, you and I are two sides of the same coin. If we ever got together I bet we would have a great time.|
I am pretty sure that being bullish has led to about twice as much fun for you as me the last few years.
Even when I do end up being right about us needing to have a bear market I'll probably miss the actual bottom again looking for something worse.
That's why I am posting the market data. Then even I won't miss it. Maybe...
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|To: Return to Sender who wrote (71768)||3/3/2016 11:29:56 PM|
|I don't like to follow the markets too closely, due to the 'forest for the trees' phenomenon.|
But being retired I have plenty of time to observe my Watchlist. Looking for l/t entry points
not s/t trades, usually. Gotta get some income set up for when I actually start tapping my
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|From: Sam||3/4/2016 12:22:32 AM|
|OT -- futuristic stuff|
How exactly do you rein in a wildly powerful AI before it enslaves us all?
Oxford uni egghead says plans are afoot
4 Mar 2016 at 01:26, Iain Thomson
RSA 2016 Developing massively intelligent computer systems is going to happen, says Professor Nick Bostrom, and they could be the last invention humans ever make. Finding ways to control these super-brains is still on the todo list, though.
Speaking at the RSA 2016 conference, Prof Bostrom, director of the University of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute in the UK, said artificial intelligence to at least human level is highly likely in our lifetime.
A survey of academics in the field produced a median guesstimate of 2040 to 2050 for that milestone, but it's likely that superhuman AI systems won't be far behind this.
"I think it will swoosh past human intelligence," he said. "Our basic biological machinery in humans doesn't change; it's the same 100 billion neurons housed in a few pounds of cheesy matter. It could well turn out that once you achieve a human level of machine intelligence then it's not much harder to go beyond that to super intelligence."
Once we reach superhuman AI, methods to control this power become critical, lest our invention sees human for what we truly are and turns on us or crushes us – a theme that has been the staple of science fiction since Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men. But this isn't something scientists have given serious thought to until recently.
Over the past 18 months that has changed, and there is now a parallel effort to create control systems for such an advanced AI. Bostrom said that in his opinion this was as important as building the AI in the first place.
One possibility is developing a reward system for AIs that can be used to exert control, but in his view, that just wasn't scalable once AI reaches a particular level of strength. Presumably a sufficiently advanced machine could figure out a way to either disable or seize control of such a mechanism.
Another idea is to raise the AI to want what we want, within a suitable moral framework. It's a promising area, but very difficult, since the machine might not want to hold the same values as flawed and compromised mortals.
In a more extreme case, we could ensure AIs are developed in isolation, giving us the ability to just pull the plug on compartmented systems, preventing a large intelligence from emerging. Such a design could limit its potential, though.
"To me the controls are the most important intellectual challenges of our time," he said. "That is one of the most important things to invent."
Despite the risk, Bostrom opined that AI systems were essential if mankind is to move on to greater levels of consciousness. Biological enhancements, or biomechanical ones, could weld machine AI hardware to our fleshy brains.
In any case, if we do get high-level cyber-minds walking among us, this hack likes William Gibson's approach in Neuromancer – wiring an electromagnetic shotgun to every AI's forehead just in case.
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|From: Sam||3/4/2016 9:21:33 AM|
|OT -- general economy post -- jobs report|
U.S. Added 242,000 Jobs in February
U.S. payrolls grew more than expected; wages fell 0.1% from January
By Jeffrey Sparshott
Updated March 4, 2016 8:38 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON—U.S. employers picked up the pace of hiring in February, a sign of steady economic growth despite financial-market turmoil and weakness abroad.
Nonfarm payrolls increased a seasonally adjusted 242,000 in February, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of U.S. households, held steady at 4.9% in February.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected payrolls to rise by 200,000 and the jobless rate to remain at 4.9%.
Revisions showed employers added 30,000 more jobs in December and January than previously estimated. December’s payroll gain of 271,000 was revised from a previously reported 262,000. January’s gain was recast to 172,000 from the initial estimate of 151,000.
The Typical U.S. Worker May Get Bigger Raises Than in the Jobs Report
Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers fell 3 cents last month to $25.35. Wages were down 0.1% from the prior month but have climbed 2.2% from a year earlier. Economists had expected wages to rise 0.2% from the prior month.
The Federal Reserve, which has been closely watching the labor market for underlying improvement, in December increased short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. At the time, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the economy appeared to be “on a path of sustainable improvement.”
Since then, tepid overseas growth, skittish investors, a strong dollar and tumbling commodity prices have combined to roil segments of the U.S. economy. That may give Fed officials pause before they move again.
“The Fed needs to show patience,” Dallas Fed President Robert Steven Kaplan said Thursday. “This is particularly true in light of key global secular trends as well as recent developments relating to slowing global economic growth and tightening financial conditions.”
Fed officials are set to meet March 15-16 to decide the next step on rates.
Among many concerns: Energy firms have been pummeled by the fall in oil prices, the manufacturing sector has been contracting and service-sector growth slowed in February.
But U.S. consumer spending has been a bright spot. American households have been buoyed by solid job creation—monthly job gains averaged 229,000 in 2015—and nascent signs of faster wage growth amid low inflation.
Friday’s report showed the strongest job growth in health care, retail, restaurants, education and construction.
Manufacturers shed jobs for the first time since September. And employment in mining, a sector that includes the oil and gas industry, fell. Since hitting a peak in September 2014, mining has lost 171,000 jobs.
The average workweek for private-sector workers fell by 0.2 hour to 34.4 hours, the shortest week since January 2014.
Meanwhile, the share of Americans participating in the labor force rose to 62.9% in February, the highest level in a year. The measure bottomed out at 62.4% in September—the lowest level since 1977—but has crept up steadily as more people joined the workforce.
And a broad measure of unemployment that includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work dropped to 9.7% from 9.9% in January. That was the lowest level since May 2008.
Write to Jeffrey Sparshott at email@example.com and Harriet Torry at firstname.lastname@example.org
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