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Index » Internet/Computer » The Web » Tech & Science Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 183, 184, 185  Next
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Lazy8
human
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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 21, 2018 - 9:43am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
ok, so you are against unilateral, dictatorial decisions and favour no regulation at all, or if absolutely necessary, then only democratically chosen ones... this is another road we have been down more than once.. 

so how about I use your own arguments against you.. earlier you stated "the rights had always existed, they just weren't exercisable until the forces of technological and social change toppled the old order." 

Well now that we have the forces of technological and social change working in their favour, why don't we extend these natural rights to all living organisms?  Wouldn't killing whales and hunting lions then be a transgression of their rights that we could conceivably pursue ?  

Does that work for you? 

Our bodies kill living organisms (parasites, pathogenic microbes) in uncountable numbers every day. They can't help it—it's part of being a body. You willing to extend the concept of rights to, say, influenza viruses?

If we impose that rule on ourselves (and I see no reason to regard a whale or a lion any differently in that regard from say, a chicken) then do we then impose that rule on lions?

Why not? If killing another animal is so bad we should never do it why should we allow it to happen, even at the deepest depths of the sea?

What about whales, then? Do krill count?

You're making an artificial distinction by putting man outside of nature. We eat other organisms and are in turn eaten when the time comes.

The concept of rights is (as you half-correctly point out) a human construct. An ethical law, not a physical law. It has no effect outside of a social environment—they impose duties on people with respect to others. We make a distinction between humans and animals in that we expect parity with humans: I recognize and respect your rights, you recognize and respect mine. You violate my rights and I am justified in responding in kind.

I don't expect my cats to respect my privacy. My dogs have only minimal understanding of the concept of property—mainly limited to if it fits in my mouth it's mine. So no, I won't extend the concept of rights to other species until they can reciprocate.

And if you want to start genetically engineering parrots or cuttlefish capable of respecting the rights of others (which, I want to emphasize, I would be completely fine with) then I'd be delighted to extend the concept to them.
NoEnzLefttoSplit
Being Norwegian is over-rated.
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Gender: Male
Zodiac: Taurus
Chinese Yr: Tiger


Posted: Apr 21, 2018 - 8:51am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 
1) It's not about being pro- or anti-technology per se, it's about who makes the decisions about which technologies' net impacts are positive or negative. You want those decisions centralized, I want them (to the maximum extent possible) distributed.

2) Neener neener.

3) You can have your utopian vision...for yourself. It isn't necessarily anyone else's utopian vision. I'm fine with you pursuing yours so long as you grant your neighbors the freedom to make similar decisions about their own lives.

Tedious disclaimer: no, that doesn't mean rejecting collective action, it means rejecting coercive action. Convince, don't coerce. And no, convincing a bare majority to coerce the rest doesn't count.

 
neener  

ok, so you are against unilateral, dictatorial decisions and favour no regulation at all, or if absolutely necessary, then only democratically chosen ones... this is another road we have been down more than once.. 

so how about I use your own arguments against you.. earlier you stated "the rights had always existed, they just weren't exercisable until the forces of technological and social change toppled the old order." 

Well now that we have the forces of technological and social change working in their favour, why don't we extend these natural rights to all living organisms?  Wouldn't killing whales and hunting lions then be a transgression of their rights that we could conceivably pursue ?  

Does that work for you? 


Lazy8
human
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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 21, 2018 - 8:11am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Before I get pigeonholed in a place I don't want to be:

1) I am not anti-technology in the slightest. At least I have never met a luddite who gets as excited about stellarators as me, or even one who would prefer to replace coal with 2-gen nuclear. 

2) Of the two of us, you are the more religious. I don't believe in God, intelligent design, or even, as you do, "universal human rights" as some intangible good existing out there in the aether, which is just a modern version of religious woo-woo. Same as it ever was. A social fiction necessary for us to function in a large group. Works wonderfully, but so did religion for many years. Nothing more, nothing less, but I don't want to open that discussion yet again. Far too well trodden.

3) If I have a utopian vision, it is that of a high-tech society ring-fenced as much as possible from the natural environment. The wilds should be left untouched as much as we can possibly achieve. We have the technology to live very comfortably with the resources already at our disposal. We must stop this rape and pillage of the natural environment and let it recover from the devastation we have already wrought upon it.  (my credo). Your life in Montana already seems to be a close approximation of this. You use minimal resources (an internet connection) to work for a company miles away, but are surrounded by pristine (well almost) nature. Sounds like heaven. I want in.

So why am I concerned about genetic engineering and bionics? Well, there is a lot about it, that I am not concerned about. I think it could bring us huge benefits. But I think it has to be managed. And I think we should be careful not to unleash an environmental shock on an already stressed environment. This is simply good husbandry. I would be happy if we could grow the bulk of our food in factories and remove industrial scale agriculture from the environment. I would be happy if we got our energy from clean renewable sources that did not necessitate ripping up the land and denuding it. We do not need to save the environment, we just have to leave it alone. Sure you can have your own garden and veggie-plot. Nothing wrong with that. 

As an example of where I stand: I have read articles about using Crispr to make mosquitoes deformed or infertile to stop the spread of malaria. I have also read an article about using Crispr technology, not to kill off the mosquitoes but to prevent them carrying the malaria parasite. Guess which approach I favour? The first I find ridiculous, the second sounds really promising.

1) It's not about being pro- or anti-technology per se, it's about who makes the decisions about which technologies' net impacts are positive or negative. You want those decisions centralized, I want them (to the maximum extent possible) distributed.

2) Neener neener.

3) You can have your utopian vision...for yourself. It isn't necessarily anyone else's utopian vision. I'm fine with you pursuing yours so long as you grant your neighbors the freedom to make similar decisions about their own lives.

Tedious disclaimer: no, that doesn't mean rejecting collective action, it means rejecting coercive action. Convince, don't coerce. And no, convincing a bare majority to coerce the rest doesn't count.
NoEnzLefttoSplit
Being Norwegian is over-rated.
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Gender: Male
Zodiac: Taurus
Chinese Yr: Tiger


Posted: Apr 21, 2018 - 3:02am

 Lazy8 wrote:
NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Sure.. but modern technology is, well, modern. We simply have not had these capabilities ever before. Sure, my concerns sound like those of a luddite. But your optimism sounds like that of a trek-head, champing at the bit to enter into an exciting new world. The one real fiction in all those sci-fi movies is that the worlds they postulate are peopled by characters (humanoids, androids, aliens) that we can relate to. The one certain thing is that a future world is very unlikely to be peopled by such characters, but more likely by robo-vacuum cleaners.

All technology was once new and unprecedented. Think of the railroad: for the first time in human history an ordinary person could reasonably expect to visit a faraway place...and return. And do it over and over. A hundred mile trip used to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and something available almost exclusively to men. And not just because of social norms—the practicalities of daily life and the hardships of travel tied women to the home.

Unprecedented. Revolutionary.

Liberating.

Point 2: if there is one thing that history teaches us, is that the value of a human life in society is tied to their economic worth. Your much vaunted human rights only arose contemporaneously with the fall of feudalism, the industrial revolution and the consuming classes. I see no reason in a future world why that should continue.

A slight correction: the rights had always existed, they just weren't exercisable until the forces of technological and social change toppled the old order. But if you're so eager to free yourself from all that freedom I invite you to take up the yoke. North Korea beckons.

Or you could take up religion; I've heard of several openings.

Point 3: We can actively choose not to pursue certain technologies and have done so in the future. past. The argument that someone else is going to do it, so we may as well do it first, is weak.

It's not a moral argument, it's a pragmatic one. I care that the people who live near me and speak the same language have as good a set of opportunities as people far away. The stem cell therapies that show so much promise are emerging in China. They could have emerged here, and would probably develop faster.

And I'm typing this from a sheep ranch in Montana. This May I celebrate the eleventh anniversary of my last daily commute to work. I haven't retired—I work from home, telecommuting to an office over a thousand miles away. So day to day I do the work of the modern age but I live pretty much the same way my grandfathers did, except I get to watch MotoGP races every other Sunday or so—all made possible by this marvelous new (well, relatively new—I sent my first email in 1989) technology. The one with the unpredictable outcomes. The one we're using to argue about the social aspects of technology.

This is my choice. I live without many of the modern conveniences because I don't want them. That isn't what you're trying to put on the table; your tinfoil hat would cover everyone in the reach of the law, whether they agree or not. That "we" in the above covers people you have no right to decide for.

  

Before I get pigeonholed in a place I don't want to be:

1) I am not anti-technology in the slightest. At least I have never met a luddite who gets as excited about stellarators as me, or even one who would prefer to replace coal with 2-gen nuclear. 

2) Of the two of us, you are the more religious. I don't believe in God, intelligent design, or even, as you do, "universal human rights" as some intangible good existing out there in the aether, which is just a modern version of religious woo-woo. Same as it ever was. A social fiction necessary for us to function in a large group. Works wonderfully, but so did religion for many years. Nothing more, nothing less, but I don't want to open that discussion yet again. Far too well trodden.

3) If I have a utopian vision, it is that of a high-tech society ring-fenced as much as possible from the natural environment. The wilds should be left untouched as much as we can possibly achieve. We have the technology to live very comfortably with the resources already at our disposal. We must stop this rape and pillage of the natural environment and let it recover from the devastation we have already wrought upon it.  (my credo). Your life in Montana already seems to be a close approximation of this. You use minimal resources (an internet connection) to work for a company miles away, but are surrounded by pristine (well almost) nature. Sounds like heaven. I want in.

So why am I concerned about genetic engineering and bionics? Well, there is a lot about it, that I am not concerned about. I think it could bring us huge benefits. But I think it has to be managed. And I think we should be careful not to unleash an environmental shock on an already stressed environment. This is simply good husbandry. I would be happy if we could grow the bulk of our food in factories and remove industrial scale agriculture from the environment. I would be happy if we got our energy from clean renewable sources that did not necessitate ripping up the land and denuding it. We do not need to save the environment, we just have to leave it alone. Sure you can have your own garden and veggie-plot. Nothing wrong with that. 

As an example of where I stand: I have read articles about using Crispr to make mosquitoes deformed or infertile to stop the spread of malaria. I have also read an article about using Crispr technology, not to kill off the mosquitoes but to prevent them carrying the malaria parasite. Guess which approach I favour? The first I find ridiculous, the second sounds really promising.


spammer
What would Edmund Burke do?
spammer Avatar

Location: Bokey's Basement(he doesn't feed us)


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 9:36am

 miamizsun wrote:
inner space?

To Boldly Go

New microscope captures 3-D movies of cells inside living organisms in unprecedented detail



More than 350 years ago, the English natural philosopher Robert Hooke peered through a microscope at a thin slice of cork and discovered that it was made of small box-like compartments, which he named “cells.”

From that moment on, Hooke and countless inquisitive minds after him strived to gain a better view of these fundamental building blocks of life.

Now, our window into the cellular world has become a lot clearer.



 

I just got my second MRI a few months ago.This technology has gotten so advanced,the physicians don't have the time to learn how to utilize it.I've seen neurosurgeons,chiropractors and LPNs struggle to come up with the info necessary to evaluate the patient.In today's tight,insurance driven 15 minute windows,the technology can actually lower the quality of treatment IMO.
  I am fortunate in that my treatment isn't driven by a company counting beans,but I've seen how this has evolved during my caretaking days.
miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 9:23am

inner space?

To Boldly Go

New microscope captures 3-D movies of cells inside living organisms in unprecedented detail






More than 350 years ago, the English natural philosopher Robert Hooke peered through a microscope at a thin slice of cork and discovered that it was made of small box-like compartments, which he named “cells.”

From that moment on, Hooke and countless inquisitive minds after him strived to gain a better view of these fundamental building blocks of life.

Now, our window into the cellular world has become a lot clearer.


Lazy8
human
Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 8:39am

NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Sure.. but modern technology is, well, modern. We simply have not had these capabilities ever before. Sure, my concerns sound like those of a luddite. But your optimism sounds like that of a trek-head, champing at the bit to enter into an exciting new world. The one real fiction in all those sci-fi movies is that the worlds they postulate are peopled by characters (humanoids, androids, aliens) that we can relate to. The one certain thing is that a future world is very unlikely to be peopled by such characters, but more likely by robo-vacuum cleaners.

All technology was once new and unprecedented. Think of the railroad: for the first time in human history an ordinary person could reasonably expect to visit a faraway place...and return. And do it over and over. A hundred mile trip used to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and something available almost exclusively to men. And not just because of social norms—the practicalities of daily life and the hardships of travel tied women to the home.

Unprecedented. Revolutionary.

Liberating.

Point 2: if there is one thing that history teaches us, is that the value of a human life in society is tied to their economic worth. Your much vaunted human rights only arose contemporaneously with the fall of feudalism, the industrial revolution and the consuming classes. I see no reason in a future world why that should continue.

A slight correction: the rights had always existed, they just weren't exercisable until the forces of technological and social change toppled the old order. But if you're so eager to free yourself from all that freedom I invite you to take up the yoke. North Korea beckons.

Or you could take up religion; I've heard of several openings.

Point 3: We can actively choose not to pursue certain technologies and have done so in the future. past. The argument that someone else is going to do it, so we may as well do it first, is weak.

It's not a moral argument, it's a pragmatic one. I care that the people who live near me and speak the same language have as good a set of opportunities as people far away. The stem cell therapies that show so much promise are emerging in China. They could have emerged here, and would probably develop faster.

And I'm typing this from a sheep ranch in Montana. This May I celebrate the eleventh anniversary of my last daily commute to work. I haven't retired—I work from home, telecommuting to an office over a thousand miles away. So day to day I do the work of the modern age but I live pretty much the same way my grandfathers did, except I get to watch MotoGP races every other Sunday or so—all made possible by this marvelous new (well, relatively new—I sent my first email in 1989) technology. The one with the unpredictable outcomes. The one we're using to argue about the social aspects of technology.

This is my choice. I live without many of the modern conveniences because I don't want them. That isn't what you're trying to put on the table; your tinfoil hat would cover everyone in the reach of the law, whether they agree or not. That "we" in the above covers people you have no right to decide for.


NoEnzLefttoSplit
Being Norwegian is over-rated.
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Gender: Male
Zodiac: Taurus
Chinese Yr: Tiger


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 8:04am

 Lazy8 wrote:

If anybody could predict the future it would have already been done. Successfully, I mean.

Because nothing you're talking about is new. Every advance we've made has generated predictions of a future populated by either mindless automatons either doing what they're told or heroic but flawed humans ruled by their heartless technological overlords. All I have to guide me then is...the whole of human history. Dystopia never seems to get here. Cower in fear of the future if you like, I want to see it all.

Every time we think we're on the brink of being in complete control of our world we discover that it's more complex than we knew and control remains out of reach. The endless debate over free will and determinism, for instance, that we have even now bores me. I mean if all that hand-wringing keeps you from blowing up research labs then by golly keep at it, but it's not like solving the problems we face today (imposed on us by a random, uncaring universe) we leave us bereft of problems to solve or make the universe care we were ever here.

 
Sure.. but modern technology is, well, modern. We simply have not had these capabilities ever before. Sure, my concerns sound like those of a luddite. But your optimism sounds like that of a trek-head, champing at the bit to enter into an exciting new world. The one real fiction in all those sci-fi movies is that the worlds they postulate are peopled by characters (humanoids, androids, aliens) that we can relate to. The one certain thing is that a future world is very unlikely to be peopled by such characters, but more likely by robo-vacuum cleaners.

Point 2: if there is one thing that history teaches us, is that the value of a human life in society is tied to their economic worth. Your much vaunted human rights only arose contemporaneously with the fall of feudalism, the industrial revolution and the consuming classes. I see no reason in a future world why that should continue.

Point 3: We can actively choose not to pursue certain technologies and have done so in the future. past. The argument that someone else is going to do it, so we may as well do it first, is weak.  


NoEnzLefttoSplit
Being Norwegian is over-rated.
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Gender: Male
Zodiac: Taurus
Chinese Yr: Tiger


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 8:04am

 Lazy8 wrote:

If anybody could predict the future it would have already been done. Successfully, I mean.

Because nothing you're talking about is new. Every advance we've made has generated predictions of a future populated by either mindless automatons either doing what they're told or heroic but flawed humans ruled by their heartless technological overlords. All I have to guide me then is...the whole of human history. Dystopia never seems to get here. Cower in fear of the future if you like, I want to see it all.

Every time we think we're on the brink of being in complete control of our world we discover that it's more complex than we knew and control remains out of reach. The endless debate over free will and determinism, for instance, that we have even now bores me. I mean if all that hand-wringing keeps you from blowing up research labs then by golly keep at it, but it's not like solving the problems we face today (imposed on us by a random, uncaring universe) we leave us bereft of problems to solve or make the universe care we were ever here.

 
Sure.. but modern technology is, well, modern. We simply have not had these capabilities ever before. Sure, my concerns sound like those of a luddite. But your optimism sounds like that of a trek-head, champing at the bit to enter into an exciting new world. The one real fiction in all those sci-fi movies is that the worlds they postulate are peopled by characters (humanoids, androids, aliens) that we can relate to. The one certain thing is that a future world is very unlikely to be peopled by such characters, but more likely by robo-vacuum cleaners.

Point 2: if there is one thing that history teaches us, is that the value of a human life in society is tied to their economic worth. Your much vaunted human rights only arose contemporaneously with the fall of feudalism, the industrial revolution and the consuming classes. I see no reason in a future world why that should continue.

Point 3: We can actively choose not to pursue certain technologies and have done so in the future. The argument that someone else is going to do it, so we may as well do it first, is weak.  
black321
See For Yourself
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Location: A sunset in the desert
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Capricorn
Chinese Yr: Horse


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:59am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 black321 wrote:
what is so wrong with taking a slower, methodical pace, assuming there is genuine intent to adapt whatever "good" tech is available?  where has this rush to market gotten us to date?  yes, a lot of good has come from tech, but so has a lot of baggage.  there is a very solid argument we've already gotten way ahead of ourselves...the cost/benefit analysis is still weighing the results.

1. We usually don't realize the benefits of a new technology until it's in place, which tilts the balance sheet. The worst possible outcome a hysterical critic can imagine get counted as a real negative even when it's imaginary and the real benefits aren't factored into the calculation. Could you have imagined that this conversation would take place in this forum, in this  manner, by these means in 1958?

2. Again, we can't actually stop a new technology or even slow it down, we can just guarantee that it happens somewhere else first.

3. Nothing stops you from publicizing your concerns, even summoning an ignorant mob with pitchforks and torches to protest an emerging technology. Or an old one—look at the antivaccine movement and all the good they've done bringing back the forces of natural selection to breed humans immune to the measles virus!

Or better yet propose a better technology. Notice I didn't say implement—that's hard. Much easier to demand that a technology spring out of the ground (electric cars, say) than to actually develop one. But I digress.

 
Until we can figure out how to use passwords...i'm going to pass on any gene editing, ha.

As for a prior comment about leaving the world of natural selection behind...why not just nuke it all away, and not have to worry about it...a daily dose of chemo for what ails you.  

p.s., i for one would like to invest in more, not less, research, labs...and invest in more planning.  It's the pace, not the progress that i'd like to slow.  


Lazy8
human
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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:54am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
I am not afraid of new technologies failing to deliver on their promise. I am much more frightened about them succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. The risk as I see it does not lie in failing to reap unforeseen benefits (of which I am sure there will be many, curing cancer being just one example).

No, the risk is in what happens when we reach the holy grail of total control and domination over natural processes, which after all are just algorithms that have developed over the course of time. What happens when everything becomes fully determinable, including our moods, our state of health, our biological age, our intellect, our political views?  Even more than they already are. I honestly think we will reach these "goals" at some time in the future, either intentionally, or even just by accident.

What happens when the human/machine interface erodes into just an ancient and now insignificant distinction? Will machines be valued like humans or will humans be valued like machines? Will it matter? Will your value be measured primarily on your functioning or will it based on some woo-woo belief (like natural rights - sorry, had to get that in there)... 
Or even at a purely mundane level, what coordinates will give us meaning in our daily life when today's goalposts no longer exist?

Will it all be about fantasy sports and swilling beer? Avoiding boredom? Is this truly the world we want? A fully engineered total system? 

If anybody could predict the future it would have already been done. Successfully, I mean.

Because nothing you're talking about is new. Every advance we've made has generated predictions of a future populated by either mindless automatons either doing what they're told or heroic but flawed humans ruled by their heartless technological overlords. All I have to guide me then is...the whole of human history. Dystopia never seems to get here. Cower in fear of the future if you like, I want to see it all.

Every time we think we're on the brink of being in complete control of our world we discover that it's more complex than we knew and control remains out of reach. The endless debate over free will and determinism, for instance, that we have even now bores me. I mean if all that hand-wringing keeps you from blowing up research labs then by golly keep at it, but it's not like solving the problems we face today (imposed on us by a random, uncaring universe) we leave us bereft of problems to solve or make the universe care we were ever here.
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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:51am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

I am not afraid of new technologies failing to deliver on their promise. I am much more frightened about them succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. The risk as I see it does not lie in failing to reap unforeseen benefits (of which I am sure there will be many, curing cancer being just one example).

No, the risk is in what happens when we reach the holy grail of total control and domination over natural processes, which after all are just algorithms that have developed over the course of time. What happens when everything becomes fully determinable, including our moods, our state of health, our biological age, our intellect, our political views?  Even more than they already are. I honestly think we will reach these "goals" at some time in the future, either intentionally, or even just by accident.

What happens when the human/machine interface erodes into just an ancient and now insignificant distinction? Will machines be valued like humans or will humans be valued like machines? Will it matter? Will your value be measured primarily on your functioning or will it based on some woo-woo belief (like natural rights - sorry, had to get that in there)... 
Or even at a purely mundane level, what coordinates will give us meaning in our daily life when today's goalposts no longer exist?

Will it all be about fantasy sports and swilling beer? Avoiding boredom? Is this truly the world we want? A fully engineered total system? 
 
We can only hope...
c.
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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:33am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 black321 wrote:
what is so wrong with taking a slower, methodical pace, assuming there is genuine intent to adapt whatever "good" tech is available?  where has this rush to market gotten us to date?  yes, a lot of good has come from tech, but so has a lot of baggage.  there is a very solid argument we've already gotten way ahead of ourselves...the cost/benefit analysis is still weighing the results.

1. We usually don't realize the benefits of a new technology until it's in place, which tilts the balance sheet. The worst possible outcome a hysterical critic can imagine get counted as a real negative even when it's imaginary and the real benefits aren't factored into the calculation. Could you have imagined that this conversation would take place in this forum, in this  manner, by these means in 1958?

2. Again, we can't actually stop a new technology or even slow it down, we can just guarantee that it happens somewhere else first.

3. Nothing stops you from publicizing your concerns, even summoning an ignorant mob with pitchforks and torches to protest an emerging technology. Or an old one—look at the antivaccine movement and all the good they've done bringing back the forces of natural selection to breed humans immune to the measles virus!

Or better yet propose a better technology. Notice I didn't say implement—that's hard. Much easier to demand that a technology spring out of the ground (electric cars, say) than to actually develop one. But I digress.

 
I am not afraid of new technologies failing to deliver on their promise. I am much more frightened about them succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. The risk as I see it does not lie in failing to reap unforeseen benefits (of which I am sure there will be many, curing cancer being just one example).

No, the risk is in what happens when we reach the holy grail of total control and domination over natural processes, which after all are just algorithms that have developed over the course of time. What happens when everything becomes fully determinable, including our moods, our state of health, our biological age, our intellect, our political views?  Even more than they already are. I honestly think we will reach these "goals" at some time in the future, either intentionally, or even just by accident.

What happens when the human/machine interface erodes into just an ancient and now insignificant distinction? Will machines be valued like humans or will humans be valued like machines? Will it matter? Will your value be measured primarily on your functioning or will it based on some woo-woo belief (like natural rights - sorry, had to get that in there)... 
Or even at a purely mundane level, what coordinates will give us meaning in our daily life when today's goalposts no longer exist?

Will it all be about fantasy sports and swilling beer? Avoiding boredom? Is this truly the world we want? A fully engineered total system? 


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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:28am

 aflanigan wrote:

There's an old saying: be careful what you wish for.

I'm getting the impression that some of these researchers are hoping to move into an era where "engineering" DNA will seek to supplant or eliminate the natural process selection, which relies on random genetic mutations, in favor of  some sort of "intelligent design" method of engineering the human genome.

If they manage to succeed, we had better say goodbye to the human race. What they produce in eliminating natural selection might be superficially recognizable as human, but it will not be human, at least in the biological sense.

I shudder to think how vulnerable such a population of creatures would potentially be without the protections offered by natural selection when attempting to coexist with viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens who will continue to enjoy the advantages natural selection offers in the struggle to live and thrive.
 

this is broad subject and there's at least two categories of science here

the biology is being digitized or turned into computer code (an analogy may look like swapping 1,0 with a,g,c,t)

in this sense, genetic editing is similar to text editing in a word document but more importantly the philosophy that governs/motivates our actions regarding it

according to craig venter and andrew hessel (among others) the government at this point is fully involved  i'd expect some basic guidelines and best practices soon (there could be something now that i'm not aware of, but i do know there has been a lot of discussion around it)

once you begin to understand the science, the concepts, the execution, you'll find out that it's much difficult to engineer and deploy bad code versus good code

as i understand it, it's easier in practice to identify, modify and estimate or "know" the effects when knocking out or disabling code than to rewrite or add it

hessel addresses this in several talks, but i think he did recently in his interview with rob reid

some stuff they all point out-genectic versus epigentic, heritable or germ line (something that can be passed on) versus somatic or individual (something that can't be passed), etc.

it's possible that you and others know most of this already, if not, i'd suggest to everyone interested to set up an news feed/aggregation on something like twitter  a few sites that i follow (anything with george church, andrew hessel, craig venter

regards

http://andrewhessel.com/

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/

http://www.sanger.ac.uk/

https://www.broadinstitute.org/

http://arep.med.harvard.edu/gmc/

http://www.jcvi.org/

https://www.humanlongevity.com/

http://biotech-365.com/virology-news/

https://synbiobeta.com/

https://exponential.singularityu.org/medicine/




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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:27am

 Lazy8 wrote:

If a cancer gene is just what we're missing we can add it back I suppose, but think about what you're advocating for if we weren't talking about deleting a negative trait we already had but adding one we never had: I have a beneficial trait I want to impart to (some) of humanity. Unfortunately it carries significant cancer risk. Shall we add it?

Of course fire that Og make may spontaneously jump from fire ring and burn us all—it not natural! Can't predict what do! So-called fire experts not know everything. Think of children!

And no, we don't need to become Luddites. We already have an endless supply.

 
You seem to be having a different conversation/knocking down straw men. I am responding to miamizsun's post about efforts to improve cancer survivability by performing engineering of genes, deleting (editing out) oncogenes and mutations of tumor suppressor genes. 

I suppose we could also talk about what you want to talk about (adding genes that provide a beneficial trait to the genome), but that wasn't what I was talking about.

Maybe we could add a gene that provides the beneficial trait of preventing people from making straw man arguments?{#Wink}
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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 7:02am

 black321 wrote:
what is so wrong with taking a slower, methodical pace, assuming there is genuine intent to adapt whatever "good" tech is available?  where has this rush to market gotten us to date?  yes, a lot of good has come from tech, but so has a lot of baggage.  there is a very solid argument we've already gotten way ahead of ourselves...the cost/benefit analysis is still weighing the results.

1. We usually don't realize the benefits of a new technology until it's in place, which tilts the balance sheet. The worst possible outcome a hysterical critic can imagine get counted as a real negative even when it's imaginary and the real benefits aren't factored into the calculation. Could you have imagined that this conversation would take place in this forum, in this  manner, by these means in 1958?

2. Again, we can't actually stop a new technology or even slow it down, we can just guarantee that it happens somewhere else first.

3. Nothing stops you from publicizing your concerns, even summoning an ignorant mob with pitchforks and torches to protest an emerging technology. Or an old one—look at the antivaccine movement and all the good they've done bringing back the forces of natural selection to breed humans immune to the measles virus!

Or better yet propose a better technology. Notice I didn't say implement—that's hard. Much easier to demand that a technology spring out of the ground (electric cars, say) than to actually develop one. But I digress.
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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 6:40am

 Lazy8 wrote:
I have no problem with thinking seriously about the world we want to create, I just object to ignorant people insisting on stopping the arrival of that world until they can grasp what it means. 

 
what is so wrong with taking a slower, methodical pace, assuming there is genuine intent to adapt whatever "good" tech is available?  where has this rush to market gotten us to date?  yes, a lot of good has come from tech, but so has a lot of baggage.  there is a very solid argument we've already gotten way ahead of ourselves...the cost/benefit analysis is still weighing the results.
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Posted: Apr 20, 2018 - 4:54am

 Proclivities wrote:
Well it's a good thing someone invented beer.
 

{#Lol}  yep, that and refrigeration



let's not forget tacos or the tortilla


it's freakin genius

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Posted: Apr 19, 2018 - 3:53pm

 aflanigan wrote:
But the editing they have in mind takes away the potential for such random mutations to exhibit potentially beneficial effects they might have on human survival over generations; it tinkers with the machinery of evolution itself in a way that I suspect may have unintended (and potentially devastating) consequences. What if a mutation that is suspected of having a carcinogenic effect and is deliberately edited out of existence intrinsically carries a potentially unforeseen beneficial effect for our species, such as providing immunity/resistance against some pathogenic virus or microbe that will itself be created by a genetic mutation that has yet to occur?

I'm not saying we should become Luddites, but I'm skeptical of unalloyed evangelism when it comes to technological advances. We should try to be as cognizant as we can of the potential downsides of such efforts, much as scientists at Los Alamos worried about potential misuse of fission weapons. Being skeptical regarding the trailing edge of the sword blade while celebrating the leading edge is a good thing IMO.
p.s. These discussions of oncology evangelism often remind me of a particular episode of Star Trek which dealt with the issue of overpopulation, and in perhaps an unintended way, with the potential downside of profoundly increasing human lifespans by eliminating disease.

If a cancer gene is just what we're missing we can add it back I suppose, but think about what you're advocating for if we weren't talking about deleting a negative trait we already had but adding one we never had: I have a beneficial trait I want to impart to (some) of humanity. Unfortunately it carries significant cancer risk. Shall we add it?

Of course fire that Og make may spontaneously jump from fire ring and burn us all—it not natural! Can't predict what do! So-called fire experts not know everything. Think of children!

And no, we don't need to become Luddites. We already have an endless supply.
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Posted: Apr 19, 2018 - 2:52pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

The random mutations go on tin the background regardless of what else we're doing. Adding a directed editing process doesn't stop gamma rays from zapping DNA strands.

 
But the editing they have in mind takes away the potential for such random mutations to exhibit potentially beneficial effects they might have on human survival over generations; it tinkers with the machinery of evolution itself in a way that I suspect may have unintended (and potentially devastating) consequences. What if a mutation that is suspected of having a carcinogenic effect and is deliberately edited out of existence intrinsically carries a potentially unforeseen beneficial effect for our species, such as providing immunity/resistance against some pathogenic virus or microbe that will itself be created by a genetic mutation that has yet to occur?

I'm not saying we should become Luddites, but I'm skeptical of unalloyed evangelism when it comes to technological advances. We should try to be as cognizant as we can of the potential downsides of such efforts, much as scientists at Los Alamos worried about potential misuse of fission weapons. Being skeptical regarding the trailing edge of the sword blade while celebrating the leading edge is a good thing IMO.
p.s. These discussions of oncology evangelism often remind me of a particular episode of Star Trek which dealt with the issue of overpopulation, and in perhaps an unintended way, with the potential downside of profoundly increasing human lifespans by eliminating disease.


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