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‘Self-driving car’ actually controlled by man dressed up as a car seat

The Guardian has the story, here.

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16 comments to ‘Self-driving car’ actually controlled by man dressed up as a car seat

  • Jacob

    Reminds me of the enterprising Spaniards who connected a diesel generator to solar panels to enhance the minuscule solar power production, and increase subsidized income.

  • Paul Marks

    For some reason, I am not sure what, I am cheered up by this story.

  • MadRocketSci

    An amusing metaphor for what our “highly automated” “humans-are-obsolete” society actually is under the hood?

  • terence patrick hewett

    When we automation engineers were busy putting millions of oiks out of work, not a peep from the chatterati did we hear. But now we are targeting those further up the pecking order we get all the hand-wringing.

    To us it’s just the proto-machines of the third/fourth industrial revolution and we will adapt to them as we adapted before. What actually makes me laugh out loud is that they think that their fear and pain is of a higher order than a factory worker replaced by a machine. I suppose it is some compensation for after having spent thousands in gold and years slaving in university we get to put you all out of work. The revenge of the “geeks” “nerds” and “boffins” and “techies”?

    As a professional engineer: I don’t make a virtue of the historical progress of science: I observe as a particular phenomenon. We can no more stop the Third Industrial Revolution as we could stop the Second or the First: and this involves a whole spectrum of technologies not just IT.

    How right C P Snow was when he proclaimed in his lecture The Two Cultures:

    “If the scientists have the future in their bones, then the traditional culture responds by wishing the future did not exist.”

    Similar reactions were observed during and after the first and second industrial revolutions: and just as ineffective.

    It is the smallness of vision, the narrowness of intellect, the simple lack of courage and curiosity that is of interest.

  • Laird

    “An amusing metaphor for what our “highly automated” “humans-are-obsolete” society actually is under the hood?”

    Reminds me of the Isaac Asimov short story “The Feeling of Power.

  • Stonyground

    Mechanisation and automation makes it cheaper to make things. When something becomes cheaper it means that more people can afford to buy it. That means that you sell more units and you eventually have to employ more people in order to meet demand. That at least is my understanding of the reason that automation doesn’t create mass unemployment.

  • NickM

    When I was an UG at Nottingham I was taught EM (Maxwell’s Equations) by a Dr Maxwell. He was bearded and balding. Alas he was from Belfast and not Glasgow otherwise it would have been perfect. Though it has to be said Glasgow and Belfast are not exactly a million miles as the soliton goes.

    He was a crotchy git (there was a graffito in the George Green Library* gents which read simply, “Dr Maxwell has got fleas!”

    Anyhoo, he once told me about the nutters who called and they all had absolute demonstrations of their perpetual motion schemes and (if given their gan enough stuff about aliens and pyramids and all that shite).

    *University Park’s science library. George Green is a fascinating character.

  • djc

    Mechanisation and Automation: there are two reasons to do it; because the job is too hard, or because the job is too easy. The machine can do things that we are too weak, or slow, or insufficiently nimble to accomplish. The machine is patient and meticulous, keeps working, never gets bored, never misses a beat.
    There is not and never will be a finite amount of work to be done in the world; more mechanisation make it possible to do more. The problem is not finding more work to do, just adjusting to the need to find another job to be done

  • madrocketsci

    I remember reading some book (part of a Myst spinoff series): The memories are very vague, but it involved the protagonists discovering an apparently advanced, apparently highly automated utopian society. On the surface everything was very pretty and frictionless, and the people seemed to be leading a thought-leaderish lifestyle on the summit of Maslow’s heirarchy far from the need to figure out how any of the production of their abundance was actually accomplished. Their secret? (Come on, how do these societies *always* work?) Slavery. The civilization in question wasn’t anywhere near as good at automation as it liked to pretend it was. Instead, it was very good at hiding the servants from view, and horrifyingly good at pretending (and making it appear) that the people charged at gunpoint with figuring out ‘the details’ were things, not people. I remember it being very creepy, but I was reading it when I was in middle school, so my memories are about as blurry as the rest from the time.

    (Sort of a pre-morlock-rebellion Eloi society. 😛 )

  • madrocketsci

    Reminds me of the Isaac Asimov short story “The Feeling of Power.“

    That one is pretty good. Slightly different point, but funny. 😀

  • When we automation engineers were busy putting millions of oiks out of work, not a peep from the chatterati did we hear. But now we are targeting those further up the pecking order we get all the hand-wringing.

    Meh, all that really happened was people got pushed into doing different things, and the next wave will be no different, other than it will also push some different demographics. Fine by me.

  • bobby b

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    August 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

    “Meh, all that really happened was people got pushed into doing different things, and the next wave will be no different, other than it will also push some different demographics. Fine by me.”

    I’m sure it is. But (while I don’t know what you do on a day to day basis to earn your daily bread) I suspect you’re in an area not prone to becoming one of the statistics of social change.

    We’re back to that “Libertarians look at vast social trends and ignore the individual pain of change” issue. But that individual pain, if it can be avoided or ameliorated, ought to be.

  • I suspect you’re in an area not prone to becoming one of the statistics of social change.

    I have been a commodity broker, investment banker, freelance journalist, office data-drone (low point for sure), set up an IT company utilizing monks and nuns in enclosed orders, taught the basics of marksmanship in a war zone, set up and managed a supplementary healthcare provider network in the USA, and advised companies and think-tanks professionally about social media before anyone called it social media. So I am fairly familiar with change 😉

    That said, currently I am indeed in an area not very prone to social upheaval: retired & living off investments.

  • DP

    Dear Mr Micklethwaite

    We are mostly nth generation redundant farm labourers. Anyone hankering for the old days?

    DP

  • Andrew Duffin

    I suspect this is as near as we’ll get to actual self-driving cars for longer than most people expect.