The Financial Times reports (here) that Spain’s central government is looking to federalize financially distressed regions of the country. (Greece essentially succumbed to such central control early on so as to avoid the rush.) RR has anticipated a similar fate for California and states like Illinois, New Jersey, … under equally astute financial management by their state governments. It’s all part of the European model that Team Obama is forging for us.
On another and more earth-shaking note, artificial intelligence may be at the threshold of passing the Turing Test (q.v.). The new direction taken in AI recently depends on being able to manage ‘big data’. That is, being able to organize and draw cross connections and correlations similar to what humans are able to do, and to do this much better than IBM’s Watson (q.v.). the 12apr12 issue of Wired reports (here) that “there is reason to believe that code kernels for the first Turing-intelligent machine have already been written.”
The anticipated breakout is due to “Two revolutionary advances in information technology (which) may bring the Turing test out of retirement,” wrote Robert French, a cognitive scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, in a 12apr12 Science essay. “The first is the ready availability of vast amounts of raw data — from video feeds to complete sound environments, and from casual conversations to technical documents on every conceivable subject. The second is the advent of sophisticated techniques for collecting, organizing, and processing this rich collection of data.” The pre-Singularity threshold for hiring human workers continues to inch upward.
Meanwhile the Senate Democrats failed in their attempt to pass the ‘Buffett Rule’ tax increase. This much ballyhooed piece of snowball’s-chance-in-hell legislation is the centerpiece of Obama’s campaign initiative sold to the sheeple under the rubric of “fairness” in solving our debt and deficit problems in coming years. But without even going into the examination of ‘fairness’, the Buffet Rule tax will accomplish none of this, and serve only as the transom to massive tax increases on the middle class (some history here). The Heritage Foundation covers more detail on this.
The facts of the Buffett Rule are simple. The President wants millionaires (and small businesses taxed as individuals) to pay a minimum tax of 30 percent. For all of his rhetoric that the measure would "stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade," the Buffett Rule would bring in only $47 billion in revenue in ten years. To put those numbers in context, President Obama's budget calls for adding $6.7 trillion to the national debt. So the Buffett Rule would cover just 0.007% of all of Obama's debt and .001% of Obama's spending.
We shudder to contemplate that there are millions of Democrats with sufficient deficits as to make such election year demogauging a profitable enterprise for their progressive elite. No one doubts that they know their constiuents.