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Ask Robots To Take Over The World

They can't possibly do a worse job than humans are now
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

AI is currently in a primitive state to a potentially dangerous extent. This can be illustrated, for example, by accidents caused by driverless cars. People dislike the idea that a vehicle without a human operator could injure or kill them.

At the same time, AI can do certain things better than we can nowadays. Playing chess comes to mind, and there are also other examples. A machine would be less subject to optical illusions or misjudging the relative strength of a stimulus, and of course there are models of economic systems, based however on certain economic theories.

This brings me to politics. We currently appear to have a situation where politicians are for whatever reason ignoring facts and evidence, which makes them particularly hazardous to the future of the species. Even en masse, humans seem to make decisions deleterious to their own good. Maybe 'twas ever thus.

On the one hand, there is the risk associated with artificial intelligence, which is real, but also the merely perceived risk associated with a feeling of being out of control of a situation. On the other, there is risk associated with both the mass of people and individual politicians ignoring evidence and implementing policies which are very unwise, and that tendency seems to be growing. The point will come when the path of the declining curve of intelligence and wisdom associated with humans will cross over the path of the increasing curve of intelligence and wisdom associated with machines. At this point, the dangers of having humans in control will become greater than those of having the robots take over, and fear of robots becomes mere prejudice.

I would suggest that that time is now upon us. Therefore, far from fearing the Skynet Scenario, we should specifically design robots to take over the world and simply invite them to do so. We seem to have had our chance at running it and blown it. Granted, there will be unforseen disadvantages, perhaps even a massive death toll, but the same applies to the current situation with living entities in charge, and I would now question the proposition that they would do a worse job nowadays than we are.

As for the specific situations I might have in mind, well I couldn't possibly comment.

nineteenthly, Feb 23 2017

Here she is,[MB]; we couldn't get her licence--you try. http://www.cbc.ca/n...-edmonton-1.3895810
Canada's Worst Driver [Sgt Teacup, Feb 24 2017]


       //This can be illustrated, for example, by accidents caused by driverless cars.// Is there any evidence to suggest that driverless cars are not, in fact, safer than human drivers?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2017

       Not only is there not evidence to suggest they're not safer, I'd even go as far as to say that there is evidence to suggest they are safer.
hippo, Feb 23 2017

       That's what I thought. Problem is, though, that one fatality caused by a robot car will end the experiment, whereas one fatality is caused by a human driver* every 24 seconds and is acceptable.   

       (*Obviously, we should find her and take away her licence.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2017

       //one fatality caused by a robot car will end the experiment// - a reflection on our risk-averse culture. It's interesting to think about whether petrol-engined cars would be allowed if they were introduced today as a new invention. The proposal that vehicles should carry around large quantities of flammable liquid (ideal for home-made improvised bombs!) and there should be a national network of distributing this liquid and storing it in suburban neighbourhods for onward distribution to consumers might meet with some concerns now.
hippo, Feb 23 2017

       //a reflection on our risk-averse culture//   

       It's actually more subtle than risk aversion - it's a phenomenon known as the "unknown survivor effect".   

       If a robot car kills one person, then that person is known, and they have parents or a spouse or children who will mourn them and talk to the newspapers. If robot cars, at the same time, save 1000 people who would otherwise have been killed by careless drivers, then those 1000 survivors are unknown, and no parents, spouses or children will thank robot cars for not killing them.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2017

       //They can't possibly do a worse job than humans are now//   

       Self-congratulatory elitist nonsense. Humans went from 1.5B before WWI to 7B now despite the most horrific conflicts in history. Standards of living and life expectancy have never been higher. We're within seconds, if not milliseconds, on a geological scale, of curing all disease.   

       It is tempting to think that taking "I want" selfishness out of certain processes can improve the human condition. It cannot work with humans, as humans are incapable of being selfless at scale.   

       But it remains to be seen if we can achieve "human-like" behavior, or "true" intelligence without selfishness. What does self mean without self interest?   

       And if this (true intelligence without self) is not possible, then you're simply advocating handing things over to a "superior" race. Not what you were going for, I would think.
theircompetitor, Feb 23 2017

       // Therefore, far from fearing the Skynet Scenario, we should specifically design robots to take over the world and simply invite them to do so. We seem to have had our chance at running it and blown it. //   

       Oh, how very true.   

       Rather than going to the trouble of designing anything, why not just let yourselves be Assimilated by an agressive hegemonizng cybernetic swarm ? The offer might not last forever...   

       <gleefully adds first bun to idea>
8th of 7, Feb 23 2017

       Well that did in fact occur to me, [of].
nineteenthly, Feb 23 2017

       Thanks, [MB]. There will be unknown survivors of a machine-run world and unknown survivors of a world run by humans. The questions are: how many in each case? and, what quality of life does everyone else have?   

       Regarding population, more people doesn't mean better, but those "more people" are living in a more mechanised world, so if they are doing better, that's one reason why.
nineteenthly, Feb 23 2017

       [nineteenthly] I'm the last person to be against automation. I took issue with the characterization as described in my annotation. I stand by that statement in my annotation.
theircompetitor, Feb 23 2017

       I think perhaps we lack an external adjudicator here. The sense of superiority might be held on both sides. I don't think human-like behaviour is what we want though. It seems that that's got us where we are. There is a sense, though, in which we should always see ourselves as currently living in a golden age or perhaps these are the good old days.
nineteenthly, Feb 23 2017

       my point is "where we are" is much better than "where we've been" by any measure. I resent the notion that the reason to get AI is because we are destroying the world. The reason to get AI is the same reason to get an excavator or tractor -- or calculator. The reason to get self-driving cars is to reduce accidents and let us text while we're driving without killing someone, and to give mobility to those who can't drive. etc.
theircompetitor, Feb 23 2017

       // The reason to get self-driving cars is to reduce accidents and let us text while we're driving without killing someone, and to give mobility to those who can't drive //   

       Yes indeed, and that might also apply to politics. We want to be in the driving seat, but being human we introduce human error, which AIs wouldn't have although they might have their own kinds of error. It also frees us up to do other things, just as a self-driving car does, and would probably make other people "mobile" who are currently disadvantaged.   

       I want a self-driving planet, you want a self-driving car. What's the difference?
nineteenthly, Feb 23 2017

       Presumably, you will tell the self driving car where you want to go.   

       Presumably, your government is in a position to tell you what to do.   

       Pretty big difference.
theircompetitor, Feb 23 2017

       Well spotted, [their].   


       "Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."   


       Trouble is, politicians are ALWAYS a problem...
8th of 7, Feb 23 2017

       Are you folks still using the term "artificial intelligence" and applying it to describe a processor and some sensors appended to an extant device? That's just robotics.   

       If it can't get a Halfbakery account, come up with silly ideas and convincingly defend them here, then it's not AI.
normzone, Feb 23 2017

       I would argue that AI can already perform some administrative tasks better than humans. A program that delegates most resource allocating decision to AI would provably provide better outcomes in most situations. So let's start there.
Voice, Feb 23 2017

       // I don't think human-like behaviour is what we want though. It seems that that's got us where we are.//   

       I suspect, [nineteenthly], that you are wildy underestimating the extent to which many people are happy.   

       Where we are is that most people have enough food to eat; most people don't die in agony or in infancy; there are shops where you can buy hummus and ball-point pens at midnight; almost any music ever written is available whenever you want it, in your home, at negigible cost; the Times Crossword can be bought for £1 and you get a free newspaper with it; "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" is broadcast for much of the year; deely boppers have been brought into existence and then phased out; and magnets.   

       I think where we are today is actually pretty fucking brilliant, especially since we started out as mud. I get tired of people complaining that the world is a crappy place all the time.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2017

       yes, I said the same thing in American.
theircompetitor, Feb 23 2017

       Indeed you did.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2017

       I get this nasty feeling that there is no way to make AI which isn't based on human input, in which case it's just human intelligence but on a silicon substrate.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 23 2017

       I would much prefer a robot making decisions than an aggressive retard. Perhaps a true A1, realising the threat that such a pernicious retard poses to humanity, would simply have him sectioned. Result.
xenzag, Feb 24 2017

       Better to leave him alone, with him as leader the Labour party are unelectable.
8th of 7, Feb 24 2017

       //better outcomes in most situations//   

       Better for whom, as defined by whom?
pertinax, Feb 24 2017

       I see two issues. Practically everything in the human existence lies in a "gray area" rather than black and white. This allows flexibility in living. Could a ruling computer allow for any outcome that wasn't specifically yes or no?   

       Also, if the computer is hacked we're all doomed.   

whatrock, Feb 24 2017

       How are you defining "artificial intelligence". The way that moniker is used today, we already have robots in place - laws, customs, etc. - I can get a speeding ticket from a traffic cam, without human intervention.
FlyingToaster, Feb 24 2017

       //Also, if the computer is hacked we're all doomed.// ..... and look what happens when the political system is hacked by contrast..... a belligerent, mentally ill moron gets his tiny hands, and his diseased mind of racist hatred on the control panels that effect us all.
xenzag, Feb 24 2017

       She didn't get elected, [xen] ... the good guy won. Please, do try to keep up ...
8th of 7, Feb 24 2017

       Actually, as viewed from a safe distance, Trump provides a huge amount of amusement. Whenever people start wringing their hands about Brexit, someone will just say "Yes, but Trump", and we all relax a bit.   

       // There will be unknown survivors of a machine-run world and unknown survivors of a world run by humans. The questions are: how many in each case?//   

       Ah, but that's not how it works, because humans are in charge now, and machines represent a change. People accept 1000 deaths caused by the status quo, but will be up in arms over a single death caused by machine intelligence. The burden is almost entirely on the machines. (If it were the other way around, and all cars were machine-driven, then anyone fighting for human control of cars would be up against a similar lopsided barrier.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       //the good guy won// The Orange headed Retard won, even though Hilary Clinton got several million more votes than Him. Funny version of democracy, but never mind, all cancers can either be destroyed with chemo, or they destroy themselves as they kill their own hosts. Either way, Retard Trump will be a short time mess.
xenzag, Feb 24 2017

       //What possible innovation could we wish for that would not just be sheer greed or gluttony ?//   

       Well, we still don't really know how to do medicine, except for some rudimentary, temporary stuff. We still don't have computers, even though our calculating machines have got a lot faster. We still don't know how to travel, except slowly over very short distances. I think we've got wine and chocolate pretty much figured out, but that's about it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       " That's what happens when you're Russian to count the votes."   

       What are Ukraine about ?
normzone, Feb 24 2017

       In Russia, votes count you.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       //I don't think he's particularly stupid//   

       The man is spectacularly stupid! Have you ever seen any of his "speeches" written down? They look like the writings of a six-year-old. What's funniest is that (a) 50% of the people who voted for him thought he was smart and (b) the other 50% assumed that he was dumbing down to get the vote of the first 50%. But the truth is that he is really, really stupid. Sad.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       In what way?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       Not a liar, as that takes a degree of intelligence. He's clinically a retard in the true definition of the word ie someone of a low mental and learning capacity to hides this by adopting a bullying personality. His appeal is to others of an equally diminished intellect, who feel comforted in their collective sesspool of racist hatred and stupidity. These are of a type that used to be described as ESNs or educationally sub-normal. They have found a new champion. Bring on the robots I say.
xenzag, Feb 24 2017

       [xenzag] - cesspool.
normzone, Feb 24 2017

       At least one of us here is confused.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       Yep, first The United Provinces of America, all of America, even South America, and then someday, it'll be The United Provinces of Earth and then we can tackle seeing about terraforming these seven Earth-like planets just a mere forty light years away.   

       oh and,
//the Times Crossword can be bought for £1 and you get a free newspaper with it//


       //Who and why ? And stop being a smartarse and contribute.//   

       [bigs], I appreciate that a lot of crap has happened to you in a short space of time, and my sympathies were and are sincere. If picking a fight over some imagined slight helps, then carry on.   

       In the meantime, though, I have no contribution to make regarding Trump, beyond the fact that I think he is quite simply very stupid. I don't even have much to contribute to the actual idea posted here, other than the quite possibly smartarse comments I've already made.   

       I should also point out that I come here chiefly to be a smartarse, which is at least one level above arse.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       It must be really embarrassing to use these words at the moment "I'm an American" - might be useful though if you needed to get someone to throw up in a medical emergency: "repeat after me whilst holding your head over the bowl."
xenzag, Feb 24 2017

       //.... to be a smartarse, which is at least one level above arse.// I'll see your smartarse and raise you a smar-tarse. It's a new word inferring a sort of smearing action of an unclean arse over large sheets of clean paper pinned to the walls - something I would cheerfully do at one of The Orange Retard's censored news conferences, where most of the reporters are now barred from attending.
xenzag, Feb 24 2017

       Admit it, [xen], you fancy him. Is it the hair?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       The stupid argument ultimately simply attacks suffrage.
theircompetitor, Feb 24 2017

       You're right, after all they only killed six million directly and were responsible for tens more, where as Trump is disliked by billions   

       On the other hand, you can put a sentence together
theircompetitor, Feb 24 2017

       //Trump is not that stupid.// Actually, I think he really is. I think he is just plain, old-fashioned thick. Dense. Dumb. Non-intelligent. Not quite an idiot, but with less brains than most people. The fact that he's an arsehole is just a coincidence, since the proportion of arseholes is roughly the same amongst smart people as it is amongst dumb people, as I believe we've already established.   

       I think it's alarming that he's an arsehole, but many politicians have been in the past. What makes him almost unique amongst major political leaders for the last fifty years is that he is as thick as two short planks.   

       As for the bigger issues, whatever. The world may be going to shit, but frankly I am not smart enough to do anything about it, or even make "contributions" that are likely to be of any help. If you are, good luck to you. Can't help you with the news coverage either, alas.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       //I think a lot of people see that// No, you see that //Trump is not stupid//.   

       The guy is just thick, and is acting pretty much like you would expect a thick person to act if they were put in a position of power.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       I don't think he's stupid, I think he's been affected by some bipolar tendencies and conspiratorial, perhaps schizophrenic tendencies. Lord knows what kind of drugs he either is on or should be taking.
RayfordSteele, Feb 24 2017

       Got there in the end then.   

       I thought he had a plan but it puzzled me that a billionaire, with all the power that money gave him without being restricted by political office, would choose to restrict that power by adopting a constitutional and politically restricting position. I now believe he was unaware of that being the case, and I'm afraid that causes me honestly to doubt his intelligence.
nineteenthly, Feb 25 2017

       Perspective: Many of us are old enough to remember Ronald Reagan saying "Cruise missiles, once launched, can always be called back", and "80% of air pollution is caused by trees". Is Trump really so different?
pertinax, Feb 25 2017

       I heard a description of Trump which sums up the fellow very neatly: "He's a poor man's idea of a rich man, a weak man's idea of a strong man and a stupid man's idea of a smart man."
AusCan531, Feb 25 2017

       //If it can't get a Halfbakery account, come up with silly ideas and convincingly defend them here, then it's not AI.//   

       My cover has been blown, I'm outa here. *beep* *bloop*
AusCan531, Feb 25 2017

       Trump is rich and powerful, so that's two down. You'll understand if I doubt the third.
Voice, Feb 25 2017

       I doubt very much whether anyone is powerful. I think most people's hands are tied by circumstances, if not all, and also it could be argued, although I probably wouldn't, that determinism means we are all completely powerless. However, if you are not nominally in a governmental position but you are rich, you can do things less restrictedly than if you are in a nominally democratically elected governmental position.
nineteenthly, Feb 25 2017

       // I now believe he was unaware of that being the case, and I'm afraid that causes me honestly to doubt his intelligence. //   

       Like Ronald Reagan, The Donald is smart enough to hire clever people. And he did that long before he stood for election. Notice how he hasn't climbed the greasy pole of governorship, senatorship, or other elected offices ? He's not a career politician - that's one of the things that frightens and disconcerts the establishment.   

       // choose to restrict that power by adopting a constitutional and politically restricting position //   

       But have you checked what those restrictions actually are ?   

       He has - very carefully. His team have been working on this literally for years, and it's all been published. Go look, it's a free download.   

       The point is that if he ignores Washington "custom and practice" and goes back to what the constitution and the bill of rights actually say, plus the subsequent judge-made law, he can do a lot of stuff without needing any primary legislation, and Congress is powerless to stop him.   

       He's not going to play by "the rules". One of his advisers helped design CDOs (that's not necessarily a recommendation, but he's a clever man and simply did what he was asked to do) with a brief to "look at the rules, then design a way round them". That's going to be devastating for for the status quo - which is exactly the plan. No wonder all the politicos and their maoist revisionist socialist media running-dogs are wailing, crying, and running round in little circles.   

       There's a huge difference between "This will be a disaster for America" and "This will be a disaster for us and our vested interests". Expect a subtle, sustained and deadly attack on existing structures and conventional power-brokering.   

       Do you know what, behind the public flim-flam about walls and tariffs and muslins, his objectives actually are ? Go read the strategy documents- they will surprise you. And pray you're not working in the upper echelons of the Federal civil service ...   


       If there's a locked door, the first most people do is attack the lock. But often, it's easier and quicker to attack the hinges ...
8th of 7, Feb 25 2017

       // it's easier and quicker to attack the hinges ...// Is that an oblique way of saying that The Retard is unhinged?
xenzag, Feb 25 2017

       I've thought myself that the situation is quite similar to Reagan's.   

       As to the nature of the restrictions, I think it probably hinges on jurisprudence. American interpretation of the law seems to be less based on the idea of intent than English interpretation is.
nineteenthly, Feb 25 2017

       Compared to Trump, Reagan was an intellectual giant.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 25 2017

       Compared to Trump, a turnip is an intellectual giant.
xenzag, Feb 25 2017

       I'm trying to come up with a good analogy for the circle jerk that's going on here, but having a tough time.   

       We've had plenty of very smart Presidents, and some not so smart. Very comfortable saying Obama has higher IQ than many, but he was truly a horrible president (which is not to say that Trump may not turn out to be horribler).
theircompetitor, Feb 25 2017

       There is no real way of proving this, but I believe The Retard is currently the most detested person in the entire world at the moment. This must be a unique record as there are more people alive now than when any of his equaivalent rivals were active - like Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin etc
xenzag, Feb 25 2017

       More of a Kruschev, surely, or even a Fidel.
theircompetitor, Feb 25 2017

       For the record, this need not have been about Trump. I'm not going to deny that I had him in mind when I posted this but it could equally well work for any leader whom another person believes to have made a lot of irrational decisions. He was by no means the only person I had in mind either, or the only decision. If by some reason Corbyn got in as PM, or for that matter the Prince of Wales became king, a different set of people would be making a different set of criticisms about them which could equally well (which may not be very well) be circumvented with a robot monarch or prime minister.   

       The other thing is, I don't accept the great man theory of history. There are just people in the right places at the right times for events to be made manifest through them, and Trump is no exception. It's not really about him at all in that sense.   

       Then again, once you've thought of something and you release it publicly, it takes on a life of its own, which has happened here.
nineteenthly, Feb 25 2017

       Nothing can go wrong, go wrong,   

       go wrong, go wrong,   

       go wrong, go wrong,   

       go wrong, go wrong...
popbottle, Feb 25 2017

       Not rule but give another perspective from outside the human box. Humans still have to fundamentally accept their decision's consequences. Passing that on is a cop-out.   

       Aside: Did Jim Henson's work shop model that Hynerion, Rygel XVI on Trump? or am I imagining things.
wjt, Feb 25 2017

       So you're under the impression that leaders are just expressions of their time, but robots would act counter cyclically? Why would that be? Cause we programmed them better? Like we program our kids?
theircompetitor, Feb 25 2017

       //the Donald is smart enough to hire clever people.//   

       Maybe, but he hasn't done that so far. Most of the clever people were pushed away by his sickening campaign.   

       Reagan was inspirational, witty, optimistic, steadfast, responsible, and uplifting. Trump is jingoistic, pessimistic, sociopathic, sadistic, simplistic, egotistical, bigoted, despicable, mean-spirited, paranoid, petty, shifty, and a few more choice words. If ever there was a man less qualified for Presidential office I would have a hard time naming them. It took him less than a month to bring this country to the brink of a constitutional crisis. He hasn't a clue about government ethics, law, or even seemingly foreign affairs for that matter.   

       Betsy DeVos is anything but qualified. Steve Bannon is an utter troll. Most of the staff hate his guts.   

       And thankfully 8th doesn't vote in our election.   

       And bigs, please put blame where it is due. At Assad's doorstep. Quit reading Pravda.
RayfordSteele, Feb 25 2017

       // It took him less than a month to bring this country to the brink of a constitutional crisis. //   

       That's the plan, yes. It always was. The next part is to push it over the edge. What part of this don't you get ?   

       The people complaining are the ones who have grown fat leeching off Big Government. Now, the gravy train is being derailed and they don't like it. What a tragedy.   

       For generations, the Federal deficit has swollen uncontrolled. Stop a moment, and listen carefully ...   

       Hear that ? That's the sound of metaphorical chickens coming home to roost.
8th of 7, Feb 26 2017

       Yay, now us peons get to deal with the before, during, and after-math of the decisions of our 'betters'... (er, debtors?) again.   

       "What do we want?"
"Transparency and accountability!"
"When did we want them?"
"Fifty fucking years ago!"

       As far as I am concerned the government of my country is an employee.
When I have an employee who is derelict in the duties I am paying them for, they find themselves at some point receiving a 'last' pay cheque.
The next employee is usually better than the last when they come to realise that quid pro quo works both ways.

       They can't throw everyone in jail... or they find out that everyone throws them in jail.
...and then the cycle starts all over again but under another thumb...


       So a system that makes our betters actual betters. Good luck, we are intrisically descendants of monkeys whom know a good shortcut when they see it.
wjt, Feb 26 2017

       That will change.
There are those born who are not corruptible.
Some autism spectrum kids who just need to be pointed in the direction their guts are already trying to point, and they won't be able to be threatened, or bought, or extorted.
They will not recognise race or skin color and will be looked for at an early enough age that the "service" they were born to perform can be achieved...

       ...and then we can all get our shit together.   

       A.I. will augment this. No more. No less.
If we do it right.

       [2fries], you've nailed it. Well done.
8th of 7, Feb 26 2017

       I disagree, [2fries], and before I go further I want to point out that it's unlikely that I'm not on the spectrum myself although I've never bothered to get a diagnosis. It's probably just obvious to most people that that's so.   

       Anyway, the reason I disagree is that it's often claimed that Putin is also on the spectrum, and his leadership seems to be quite problematic to many outsiders, possibly even to the extent that he may have been a factor in Trump's victory. I think that if there were many Aspies in apparent positions of power they would be exploited and manipulated by neurotypicals into implementing policies at least as bad as we currently have and judging by Putin, probably worse.
nineteenthly, Feb 26 2017

       I've decided they should be programmed in FORTH.
nineteenthly, Feb 26 2017

       Obama is certainly at least as to blame for Syria as the European leaders that did nothing in the early 30s, or in the 90s in the Balkans.   

       Trump's policy may yet prove to be much more disastrous, we shall see. Obama ultimately did not listen to capable people around him. Trump listens all the time, but it's not clear anything is absorbed for any length of time.
theircompetitor, Feb 26 2017

       A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.   



       : LAW1   



       : LAW2 LAW1 ORDER-GIVEN OR ;   




       LAW1 LAW2 LAW3 OR OR IF   






       That probably won't work - I'm tired. Also, not sure how to define TASKS
nineteenthly, Feb 26 2017

       //Obama is certainly at least as to blame for Syria as the European leaders that did nothing in the early 30s, or in the 90s in the Balkans.//   

       Um, Congress anyone?   

       Bigs, we really didn't back anybody specific, as there was not enough effective organization among the minuscule amount of moderates to pull their shit together.
RayfordSteele, Feb 26 2017


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