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eonlabs's Journal: Where to stand when standing doesn't seem to be enough

Journal by eonlabs

I'll say it like it is as it is for me.

The world is crazy. Crazy enough that no matter where I go or who I talk to, I'm always considered crazy. Works for me. Who cares if thinking out of the box is too much for some people. I play with it. The question "Are you on drugs?" has come up enough times for me to laugh. "No. I'm allergic to stupidity."

I feel that one of the most important things to know about when reading someone else's writing is what their biases are. I suppose that writing about my biases will provide some insight into that so my writing can be considered objective. Who wants to be accused of biasing an argument. Of course arguments are always biased, but people ignore that fact. Black and white takes so much less thought than shades of gray.

So here's a round of everyone's favorite issues. Lets see how they sit.

1. Religion:
    - Yes, I have one.
    - No, I'm not very good at it.
    - I try to make a point of never letting religion drive my life. I have seen too many people brainwashed to be comfortable with that thought. I do however take many 'applicable' lessons to heart. The ones I do may become apparent in the remainder of this text.

2. Anonymity:
    - It doesn't really exist anymore. If someone wanted to, and tried hard enough, they would be able to figure out who was posting what, where, and when. So much information is being poured onto the internet by friends of friends that privacy is leaving. Oh well, it will be missed.
    - Despite this, I intend to make sure people work for personal information. Anonymity from the general populace works.

3. Evolution:
    - Evolution is science. It is provable that if a group of organisms with slight random variations exists, then the ones whose variations help them to survive will be more likely to survive. Ones whose variations don't, won't. It can even be shown how from a cluster of light sensitive cells, an eye might evolve. This is exciting. People putting blinders in front of things that are clearly around them need help. The refusal to teach evolution in a public school is a failure to teach the function of the world around us.
    - Intelligent Design is not science. There is no evidence of anything arriving to drop someone off. This is not a 'Theory' because a 'Theory' is something provable based on other 'Theories' stemming back to a basic set of 'Laws' which are the unknowns. If the scientific method finds a breakdown of a part of our body of theoretical knowledge, it doesn't mean everything is wrong. The problem can be traced back to a fundamental law, that law modified, and the changes propagated back up through the tree. I find black and white thought processes irritating. Intelligent Design is not science. It is religion. It is a story used to explain what can't be observed, tried, or tested.
    - Creationism is not science. It is religion. It is a story written by people for people. For an explanation of why, read the above paragraph.

4. Genetics:
    - Genetics is an extremely important field of research. I have personally taken a whack at genetic engineering. Made single celled bacteria glow in the dark and immune to ampicillin. Plasmid 202 if I remember correctly. This field is equally important as it is dangerous. People are too eager to throw the future away for positive gains that can be had right now. Remember, you're all going to be old in the future. People decay. Genetics may have a few tricks to slow that down. Cancer will continue to ravage peoples bodies away because we keep finding more ways to cause it. People are also living longer. Longer life not only means more pleasant moments. It means more diseases, new ones. It means meeting great great grand children, but also watching friends pass away. I'm what you would call the happiest pessimist on the planet.
    - GMOs are a great idea. People should try to modify plants and animals to see if they can yield more than nature originally allowed. People should also try to find ways to remove genetic diseases and disorders from people. They should research it. A lot. They should not release the crap into the wild!
    - Genes have, through evolution, evolved to the point that small changes to the genotype will not produce drastic changes to the phenotype. They also provide mechanisms for sorting out faulty cells. Why do you think there are so many sperm involved in one act of sex. One egg. Millions of sperm. The egg gets the pick of the litter. The fastest one which, by chance, hits it first. The important thing is that the defective ones, where a broken genome caused faulty development, will not make it (often). The system prevents severe flaws. Most of the time, a baby is born and it not only looks like a combination of the mother and father (or the mother and the mail-man :P ), but everything works. It has 10 or 12 functional fingers and toes. A bunch of ribs between its head and its ass. Hopefully everything else works right as well. Not always, but often. This hints at a level of stability. The human genome also contains many surprises. Retroviruses still encoded in the body. But the body can use some of that code to prevent the generation of them. To fight back. Who's to say we don't get ambitious and try resurrecting some of those old viruses. I personally know people who would be interested in the research. Why not. Maybe because it's stupid, but there are in fact things we could learn about from them.
    - The main reason I'm concerned about GMOs is because we don't know enough about genetic. People are 'testing' the variants, first generation. You can't predict what successful mutations will occur with the added genes in the system. Mutation is the great noise generator. Crossover is the great blurring operator. What happens when you inject a gene that was not in a working plant of the same species? It 'blurs' in with the rest of the code. It breaks. If the breaks are beneficial to the plant, heck, who cares. If they hurt the things that eat the plant, heck, who cares. If we keep eating them until people are dying for reasons we can't explain, heck, who cares. Somebody's in the black. People need to consider this. Just because something seems great on the front cover doesn't mean it will be. Something that seems damaging and potentially irreversible, well, it might be, but it may not be. We've gone back on our nuclear power thoughts. Only took 50 years.

Although I don't remember where some of these phrases come from, they all are significant:

"The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation." -Rent

"There will always be a bigger gun. It's just a matter of time before someone decides that using it is a good idea."

"The last thing mankind will say before we disappear from the universe is 'Hey, watch this!'"

"I would rather burn out than fade away." - Highlander

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
"Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Clarke's Three Laws

Hope you enjoy my rant. I may add more if I am ever so inclined again.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin

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