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Comment: Your Jurassic Park Vision (Score 1) 181

by bwanaaa (#43486661) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Freeman Dyson What You Will
REcently you extolled the wonderful ability our science is developing to restore extinct species to this planet. You presented several poignant stories of cute animals that should be brought back because we humans have been careless. Why should we do this? But this is not my question. You already provided some innuendo as to an answer - we feel guilty at wholesale extermination of 'innocent species',or because we are pruning the genetic diversity of our planet. Or perhaps it is a 'fear argument'. That less scrupulous nations will use this technology for less altruistic purposes (hybridizing chimps, humans and dogs to create a dim witted and willing servant class?). The proposal to pursue this technology reminds me of humanity's headlong pursuit of atomic research. We needed to develop that technology out of fear- the fear that someone else would have it first and then we might see nuclear Pearl Harbors. But look at how much trouble we have at containing the nuclear genie. One might argue that we are in Afghanistan just to have proximity to the Pakistani nukes so we can get on top of any situation that might develop there. Your rebuttal of course will run along the lines of 'guns dont kill, people do'. And of course you might add that if we do not do this, then some other poorer, more desperate, and equally intelligent nation will develop this tech and leapfrog us. But what if we restore an animal that happens to be an excellent intermediate host to a flu strain and enables it to become a human lethal pandemic producing strain? This kind of decision will come upon us again and again. More genies will come bursting out of the tech-no-logical bottle. My question is: Is the only way to control 'dangerous' tech to lead in it? How can we sandbox our research and at the same time encourage it? allow it only to be done on the moon or a different planet? Or perhaps every involved researcher, engineer, student and professor should go online and post their thoughts on twitter, wikipedia and slashdot. These intellects are the agents who are leading us into the maze. Should they be held personally accountable for misuse of their discoveries? Or should the wise old men of science and who direct these efforts and the business men who finance them be held accountable. Aren't they the ones who are angling for financial rewards? Please forgive these outrageous suggestions. Even when life was easier, when exploration meant getting into a boat and sailing away to find new lands, we still made unknowing mistakes and decimated populations simply by visiting them. If we resurrect the extinct, we might visit upon ourselves an irreversible extinction.

Comment: xray laser was done before (Score 1) 145

by bwanaaa (#38836811) Attached to: Scientists Create World's First Atomic X-Ray Laser
since E=h*v, the energy output is amazing- a true death ray - you could fry any missile in flight. what's the name of those russian things the iraqis are shooting at israel? Actually, Edward teller conceived an interesting design for an xray laser. A thermonuclear weapon i space encased by a porcupine shell of tungsten rods. The rods are aimed at their targts an when the thermonuclear weapon is detonated, the gamma rays shoot down the tungsten rods and xrays are generated. presto, goldfinger would be jealous. of course there is the little problem of clean up afterwards...

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.

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