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Comment: Re:Not quite (Score 1) 182

I don't know what the laws are on corpse fucking, I've really never looked in to it. If there is scientific value to it, then I really don't see what the concern is. If it were me they were fucking, I'd be well and truly dead and beyond concern. Nonetheless, necrophilia is not socially acceptable, and may in fact be illegal, I would expect scientists to obey the law or at least keep a low profile if there was actual gain (and if caught, accept the consequences of their actions). Kevorkian was put in jail because he overstepped the limit of the law and has to pay the consequences. I personally think the man is absolutely correct, that anyone who wishes to die should be able to do so as quickly and painlessly as possible (*with caveats that are distracting to this discussion). This is, in my mind, an open ethical question and an open legal question.

I don't really think you are interested in having a discussion, just more fear mongering over what might happen based on fear of progress and no doubt a few issues you feel are important that you know many of your contemporaries might not care about. The best one is "what if homosexuality were eradicated", personally I don't see a problem if it were done by say, gene splicing (rather than abortion or outright murder), but I know quite a few who would fight violently. Those are good discussions to have if/when they are real, it's an academic debate until such time that we have the problem to solve.

The same arguments exist about AI, all the terrible things that might happen, some things that may or may not be terrible depending on implementation. Yet entirely ignoring all the good that might also happen. I do not feel science should be handcuffed by committees, not religious ones and not secular ones. We'd still be denying heliocentricity and think stars were pixie dust or some crap if various scientists allowed themselves to be restrained by committee. The facts need to be discovered, what we do with that knowledge is up to us.

Comment: Re:So let me get this straight (Score 3, Insightful) 676

by Austerity Empowers (#49537209) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

I think you can have a negative opinion of him but think he did the right thing, also. I don't think he did the best possible thing, I don't think he tried very hard, I think he was angry, didn't get the response he wanted from the right people quickly enough and acted brashly. I think he could have done more to protect secrets that need to stay secrets (because lives are on the line), while also revealing how incredibly bad our government was acting. But what he did was still better than keeping quiet.

I also suspect that the older you are, the more foreign enemies scare you than domestic ones. That's not a statement that indicates the older crowd is correct in their fears either, if anything the foreign enemy threat is in fact somewhat lower, but the domestic enemy threat has grown tremendously in the past 40 years. Just look at the people funding the republican party? I cannot imagine a scarier group of people with a more frightening ideology.

Comment: Re:Not quite (Score 0) 182

Those aren't questions for scientists, and should have nothing to do with science and not get in the way of science. While I dislike many things China does geopolitically, I think their scientist had the right idea in terms of protecting us from his experiments. I try not to think of all the scary things scientists at the CDC are doing with excellent intentions, this is benign by comparison.

The science should proceed unabated, and we will solve problems as they occur, as we have always done.

1) People are going to genetically engineer bioweapons, it will happen, it may already have happened.
2) Cookie cutter humans will come to exist if they are desirable, we will decide if we think that's a problem and fix the problems.
3) What's wrong with hybrids? What is the problem? Show me what is going wrong first.
4) In American society, the rich and powerful are going to win. In other societies maybe not. You can't stop this, and based on politics as it exists today, probably never will be able to. This is the best example of doing our best to react to something we can't control.
5) Why would you? Why should you? If they have done something that produces undesireable results, then you go find them. We do not monitor every human being for genocidal impulses do we?
6) How do we punish murderers? Rapists? Theives? Who has jurisdiction. Generally, the country in which the crime occurred. War crimes are an exception perhaps. This transcends genetic modification, but I will not answer to the UN nor endorse a system where americans answer to the UN. I suspect others of different nationalities will agree.

All of your concerns are fears over what might happen, what people might do, the millions of movie scenarios where the evil mastermind does something terrible. We do not need to create a system of ethics in advance to address every conceivable scenario, we solve the problems as they arise. I don't even want to enter a scenario where we need to get everyones moral and religious code in alignment with the future when we can't even agree on the present, it's a waste of time. I trust that it is in nobodies best interest to destroy the human race, and that nobody will intentionally do so. Could it happen by accident? Yup, but it will happen if it's legal or not. I trust more people keeping their work out in the open without fear of reprisal to keep them on the straight and narrow, than forcing them to sneak around and avoid detection.

This technology has many incredibly positive possible benefits, in addition to the terrible things. As we have always done, maximize the good, minimize the bad.

Comment: Re:Buying cars based on fuel price... ugh (Score 1) 616

by Austerity Empowers (#49529545) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

Don't compare "rated" versus "averaging for me". My car is "rated" at 36mpg (pretty good for a 10yo car), but actually gets 28mpg on my highway commute, but much lower if I use it to drive around town (which I don't, for unrelated reasons).

I like 'averaging for me' a whole lot more, those "ratings" are fabricated from unicorn horns and fairy dust.

Comment: Re:1000 times (Score 1) 616

by Austerity Empowers (#49529499) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

Stupid people would think buying a $60k electric car saves money, particularly a car that has not existed very long for which there is no 10-15 year reliability data that is worth a damn.

I'm not sure very many people who have the means are either stupid, or doing it to save money. Also, that is a particularly excellent car, by any standard. I would take it over my Accord any day of the week. But alas, that is too much money for me to spend on a car.

Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 599

So the solution is to create an environment for girls where they can succeed, and will likely produce good jobs later in life. Whereas boys are sentenced to a frou-frou go nowhere education in the language arts which may or may not enable them to be a successful barista?

Maybe the solution is to have separate boys and girls schools in general, that may be something we need to figure out. But, to use a horrible term from our past, we should at least TRY to make them separate but equal. Encouraging boys to hop on the short bus strikes me as terrible, the entire purpose behind this effort is to enable girls to get the better paying jobs by increasing their achievement potential, we should not encourage boys into the crappy (or non-existent) ones and remove potential achievers from the STEM field in a bizarre attempt at equality. Boys already screw up enough trying to pursue pro sports careers that will never amount to anything.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

I understand your fear of Scientology's litigious nature. Perhaps the Christians, Muslims and Mormons should sue me for this: but I know a number of gay people whose lives have been ruined by their religions, and a number of women who have hurt or severely injured themselves in the pursuit of abortions denied to them by religious people. How many muslim girls have been killed because they had the temerity to be raped? How many men were killed for being gay? All these religions are bad when the worst elements of them are allowed to run free. But they are not all wholly bad, all the time. Even the damn Church of Satan, whose existence is defined by worshiping evil, does quite a bit of good at times.

So it seems like you're still just picking on Scientology.

Comment: Re:Turkey (Score 1) 249

I'm not saying the sins of the father should be held against us. I'm saying that we should study our history and learn what we did wrong, or else what's the point in studying history at all?

There's internally derived guilt from recognizing all you have may be ill-gotten, and there's externally derived guilt seeking reparations and apologies. The latter I have no empathy for in this case, everyone involved is dead. But there's no reason we shouldn't understand that we came from a real bad scene, and we should try not to do it again.

Off topic, but Chinese were probably our country's very first "H1B'"s. We brought them here, had em build some railroads, and sent the ones who lived back. We focus a lot of black slaves, and we're committed to not making that mistake again, but we forget the other abuses we've perpetrated and absolutely ARE reliving them.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

In historical context it makes sense. If one were to believe a King derived the power to rule from Divine Right, then the King would be the man to trust, as God's direct interpreter. However, if one thinks that no man has been given such a Right, then one way of slapping that man in the face is to say "In God We Trust". Not literally God, he can't be reached for comment, or any particular one.

That the G word is mentioned is offensive only to people interested in politics. Besides, in practice it should read "In The Invisible Hand We Trust", which if written on paper would collapse our economy immediately due to overwhelming hilarity.

Seen on a button at an SF Convention: Veteran of the Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force. 1990-1951.