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Comment: Re:Death is natural (Score 1) 334

by Beardmonster (#46510477) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

That's not true. Infant mortality is dropping faster than overall death rate, but the overall death rate is also dropping. Starvation is less common (in most parts of the world), we have made advances in medicine that saves more people, and we are (usually) less prone to kill each other. So life expectancy is going up. Maximum life span may not have increased (yet), though. But it will. There's nothing magic about ageing. It's a complicated disease, that's all.

Comment: Re:Death is natural (Score 1) 334

by Beardmonster (#46501567) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

And how long is a natural life time, would you say? Is it 86.5 years, as the current overall life expectancy in Monaco, or 47.5 yeas as in Sierra Leone? Or maybe closer to 20, as in our neolithic past? Life expectancy has been increasing really fast during the last few generations. We're also healthier at a higher age than before. I don't really hear anyone complaining over that. "Man, I wish I was a frail old geezer like my granddad used to be, instead of jogging around on the beach like this!" Ageing is no more natural than any other illness. Step by step we're learning to treat it, and eventually we're likely to cure it. It may take decades or centuries or even longer, depending on what kind of priority we give such research. And when we've done it, we'll have a chuckle at ancient preconceptions while we merrily keep jogging on the beach.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 0) 463

It's actually much less destructive to the economy than drinking a bottle of wine, if the wine contains alcohol that is. Worldwide 2,7 million deaths are caused by alcohol every year, according to the World Health Organization, and it's a huge factor in domestic abuse and violent crimes in general, etc. People tend to regard moderate consumption as non-problematic or even beneficial, but the net health effect of moderate consumption is very much negative. Next after tobacco, alcohol is the biggest cause of cancer, e.g. So yes, of course use of drugs like alcohol is more destructive to the economy than blowing up virtual spaceships.

Comment: Re:"Nearby star" (Score 0) 203

by Beardmonster (#44104531) Attached to: 3 Habitable-Zone Super-Earths Found Orbiting Nearby Star

It's great news that so many planets are found, and obviously the chances of extra-terrestrial life are higher if there are more planets, but saying that such life is "probable" is pure speculation. We still need to know under what circumstances life can start and how likely it is to get going given the right circumstances to calculate the odds. Until then any guess is just a hunch. No matter how many planets there are, it's still possible that the odds against life is greater.

Comment: Re:rampage killers (Score 1) 2987

by Beardmonster (#42299829) Attached to: 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

I'll show you this, like it was an assignment in logic: Prove that gun control decrease school shootings!

Axioms:
There are people who, sometimes, want to injure or kill others.
People are more likely to succeed in injuring or killing others the more lethal weapons they can get hold of.

Proof:
With stricter gun laws, it becomes more difficult to get hold of guns.
If guns are more difficult to get hold of, fewer people will have guns.
If fewer people have guns, fewer people with murderous intentions will have guns.
Therefore, with stricter gun laws, there will be fewer school shootings.

Comment: Re:Gun control != taking guns away (Score 1) 2987

by Beardmonster (#42299787) Attached to: 27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

Alcohol kills and injures outrageous numbers of people every year. Tobacco too. Weapons add to the suffering, as well as mental problems and sheer stupidity, not to mention poverty and desperation. We don't have one single problem to solve, but many, and none of them are easy to do away with. Yet we should try to work in the right direction on all of these issues. If you abstain from alcohol and tobacco, refuse to own guns, help people in need of medical attention or money, and try to convince other people to do the same, the society of tomorrow will be a slightly better place than if you ignore these issues. Putting pressure on politicians isn't a bad thing either. Every little bit helps.

Comment: Re:Copyright is NOT the issue - it's the distracti (Score 2) 183

by Beardmonster (#34736636) Attached to: Pirate Party Founder Steps Down After 5 Years

You can't expect much subtlety in catch phrases and propaganda. But I can assure you that the thought process doesn't end there when pro-pirates are concerned, and I assume the same is true for the anti-pirates.

Copying information has been easy and nearly costless for quite some time. What the internets have provided us with is a very easy and nearly costless way to connect people and publish and distribute information. All organizations (in its most inclusive meaning) that have benefited from the earlier situation where high costs were associated with connecting people as well as publishing and distributing information, are in one way or another threated by this development. This includes e.g. the copyright industry as well as the catholic church and even the national state itself, even though it may not be immediately obvious. All these organizations will try to defend themselves, and we will have a major struggle for quite some time, but I really don't think opposing communication among people will work out very well in the long run.

Here comes everybody, by Clay Shirky, explains some of these things in more detail. It's a great book.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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