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Comment Re:umm... (Score 1) 115

OK now you are dismissive AND arrogant. Good work, I am more concerned about you and your field of endeavor than I was when this started.

The fact that genomic research HAS enabled the ability to engineer organisms that can be extremely dangerous, and can potentially be dangerous to only targetted groups is intensely intertwined with all the beneficial advances in the field. You simply can't separate the two and pretend the dark side isn't there.

Genomics is simply a very dangeorus field. Its given an ethically challenged species the ability to play god and tamper with life itself. Its just a matter of time until someone will tamper with it and it wont end well.

"Yes, I singled out rednecks and skinheadsâ¦"

There wasn't even a tinge of humor in it, not sure why you are claiming there was.

You are engaging in the very kind of stereotyping and targeting of groups you've been preaching against and dismissing. And to pile on you just added a bunch more groups you hold in contempt and would probably just as soon seen wiped off the face of the earth.

Its the kind of bigotry a well educated, probably liberal, affluent person such as yourself would refuse to accept as bigotry. It doesn't really bother me that you are doing it. It bothers me you don't seem to even realize you are doing it.

Comment Re:umm... (Score 1) 115

" What do *you* think should be done to address the problem(s) that concerns you? What is your contribution?"

Not really sure there is anything that can be done. The genie is already out of the bottle. You can pass laws and try to suppress it which will slow beneficial use and do nothing to hamper malevolent use.

There are already people actively trying to alter organisms in their garage and on kickstarter. I assure you there are nation states like North Korea who have the capacity to do malevolent work. It is also well with in the range of well funded extremist groups.

Probably the best thing I can contribute is the thing I did contribute. Remind everyone that this technology is extremely powerful, if you are going to dwell on the upside you should at least remain aware of the downside. Since you seem to be actively involved in the field your dismissive attitude towards the dangers makes me more concerned, not less.

Your assertion that no one will ever try eugenics again is delusional. There are groups and people who are fully committed to it today, all they need is the power to implement it. Hungary for example is already drifting towards an anti semitic neo nazi state in the heart of Europe. As Greece plunges in to an economic abyss, a fascist state is a highly possible outcome. Genomics would have been a boon to the final solution and breeding a master race.

Claiming your commitment to "wisdom of civilization and culture" while you sling epithets like "redneck" and "skinhead" doesn't put you or your cause in a positive light. Labeling people as "rednecks" indicates you have a tendency to stereotype people the same way eugenicists do.

Comment Re:umm... (Score 1) 115

"A. Are you saying just because a technology can be used for harm it should be abandoned or suppressed?"

Actually, no I didn't say anything remotely resembling that. I think I pointed out if you are going to tote up the upside you should probably at least keep it in your mind there is a down side to most technologies. Their cost can be extremely steep, especially when you whistle past the grave yard and ignore them.

Fossil fuels for example have been a boon to the energy input equation driving civilization, as long as they don't start a run away greenhouse effect and wipe out life as we know it.

You seem to be a poster child for "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

"Just because the technology makes it more feasible doesn't mean we are reckless enough to flirt with it again"

Keep telling yourself that, and hope you have good genes.

"this stuff is not so easy to do accidentally"

Yea, its so tough there are DIY home geneticists "using the Synthetic Biology Parts Registry to engineer yogurt bacteria to produce prozac"

Comment Re:umm... (Score 1) 115

Its a little one side to think genomics will be all upside. The flip side...

A. What will be the costs if someone designs genetically targetted weapons, i.e. biological weapons that only target certain races or even individual people. I read an article a while back that the Secret Service strives to minimize access to the President's DNA, for example skin cells left in sheets, to prevent someone from targetting his genome with a biological weapon.

B. What will the cost be when people or nation states try to genetically engineer for superior intelligence, strength and speed to create an actual master race. It might be a win for them if they succeed, not so much for everyone else.

C. What will the cost be if eugenics returns and people who are considered genetically inferior are sterilized and their genome is wiped out. Reference B.

D. What will be the cost be when someone tries to genetical engineer a virus, bacteria, plant or animal, it goes horribly wrong and results in a global threat.

Comment Put old biological data online (Score 1) 299

Go through old books and papers - stuff going back to the victorian era is well represented.

Find the animal/plant that interests you and cut out the photos and grab test and curate them properly into the web.

That stuff could very easily go away. A lot of it already has.

I wouldn't pay much attention to copyright either. There's no point in protection of information that goes extinct.

Comment Must have hit close to home (Score 1) 955

When both Republicans and Democrats are calling for his head, you know there has to be something going on. I believe both sides use our intelligence services (and other Federal agencies) for their own benefit, both politically and financially. They want power and know no bounds to getting that power.

There are two sides in this debate, and they're not the usual left vs right or Republican vs Democrat. It's the government vs the people, and the government is not too happy when we the people discover just how dirty and corrupt they are.

I heard the Snowden interview. He's right; they're wrong. He's a patriot; they're out for themselves.

This country is fast becoming a police state with a totalitarian government. When are the people going to wake up and take the power back?

Comment You would ask that question wouldn't you? (Score 1) 1215

I'm probably a good person to ask that question of, it's on my thinkpad despite my starting with Unix in 1977; in my entire professional career as a program I had only one Windows gig the rest was Unix or embedded assembly. I really do c/unix stuff, for work and fun. So why then do I still use XP?

Cause it works finally.

If it were as bad as it were 10 years ago, I'd be using Unix on my laptop, but xp has stopped pissing me off with stupid shit and does the very little I ask of it reasonably well, although my expectations of it are so low I'd be equally happy with a BIOS that boots to a web browser.

It does need daily reboots and sometimes goes for weeks on end without a need for a reboot and (touch wood) doesn't seem to crash any more.

So, under the "don't fix what aint broken" maxim, I'll leave xp on this machine. Would I "upgrade"? Not a chance in hell. If I used anything else I'd put BSD on it instead.

Comment Re:Linux needs more desktop forks (Score 1) 185

That was funny⦠"Not Really" and then you vividly demonstrate that its becoming relatively difficult for a a Linux fanatic to even describe all the GUI/Desktop/Window Manager forks.

THIS IS REALLY SIMPLE. Linux will not succeed on the desktop with the current cluser f**k in desktop/GUI toolkits/window managers. Its getting worse every year, not better. Either have a giant encounter group and get on the same page or pack it in. Alternately pick one or two distros that are mostly getting it right and put ALL of the wood behind that arrow or arrows. Linux on the desktop is turning in to a total waste of time the way it is.

Only positive in it I can see is it gives large numbers of programmers something to do, and they will eventually learn one of the most important lessons of software development. Don't waste time on stuff that is never gonna fly.

Comment Re:Linux needs more desktop forks (Score 1) 185

I dont think I advocated "A" central authority, but when there is absolutely no consistency or continuity there is a fair chance it wont be good, it will take a miracle for it to excel, and a fair chance its going to suck.

You might not have to have a dictator but everyone needs to be working on the same code base, using the same frameworks, working to make those excel, and making some compromises. That is how the kernel works mostly. Instead on the desktop you get constant forking and the developer and user base is so diluted nothing is going to succeed.

Android is doing as well as it is because someone at Google is the central authority, despite efforts by Samsung and others to fragment it. Google also has the marketing clout to get people using it. If Android fragments as bad as the Linux desktop, the apps dont work right and a user wont be able to run two different versions because EVERYTHING is different.

For all of you who posted in this thread that GUI X.X works the way I want, well chances are you are one of those hardcore Linux types that want everything a certain way, wont tolerate anything else, not an average person looking for a computer that just works and they can use. You are as much the problem as the developers doing all the forks.

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