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Technology is cool. 2005-05-14 14:53:15
by nuzod
Cornell has sealed the fate of the world a la Terminator with their self-replicating robots.

Also, the next time you're feeling lonely, why don't you check out Google's brothel finder?

Re: Technology is cool. 2005-05-16 15:59:08
by marasmus
That must be some GENIUS abstinence advocacy group they talk about in the article... Red lamp in the window, right off the interstate?!? Well I guess the sort of people who dedicate their lives to advocating abstinency (and as such, demoting the future of human civilization in their small, non-profit sort of way) aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.

Damn, i wish i could find an article online... there used to be a "religious commune" in central florida back around 50-ish years ago whose religious beliefs included complete abstinence. Incidentally, their religion died off with the last of their members, who obviously failed to reproduce their culture into a new generation.
Re: Technology is cool. 2005-05-20 02:32:57
by nuzod
Yeah, those people are unbelievable. I'm really curious as to what their logic was. Obviously if there were 100% abstinence, there wouldn't be anything left. So what's their solution? Test tube babies? Speaking of which, South Korea just made a huge advance in stem cell extraction. Any thoughts?
Re: Technology is cool. 2005-05-23 23:48:55
by marasmus
MMmmm... Overall, I'm hugely in favor of human embryonic stem cell research, as long as the cell donors do so voluntarily and knowingly. I'm also in favor of human cloning research for the sake of developing stem cells for theraputic causes. If the stem cells are harvested before they develop into specific tissues (particularly the brain), I personally don't have any moral problem with it. The potential benefits of this research are mind-boggling.

The idea of cloning a living being to create another living human being completely freaks me out. Doing so really throws the idea of "identity" right out the window. I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to grow up to find out I'm a perfect biological clone of someone else. I'd feel that MY life, as a unique entity, would be completely devalued. Actually, I feel that the live-cloning of any living being devalues the concept of "identity" for all other living beings. What if someone decided to clone 10 copies of Albert Einstein? Wouldn't that make other physicists feel (or even truly be) less valuable to the world, since their efforts would be seen as less significant than those of the 10 clone-Einsteins?

If this was allowed at any level, the people most wanting to embrace this technology would be precisely the type of people we wouldn't want using it- the Hitlers of the world building genetic Aryan armies... businesses building massive, identical workforces with no ties to "family", more willing to work long hours and holidays, making us less employable... where would it end?
Re: Technology is cool. 2005-05-24 02:24:36
by nuzod
I have to admit that my love for Star Wars is killing my views on cloning and robots. I can't help thinking that I'd rather have efficiency and productivity over fairness. Those thoughts get dangerous, though, as you mentioned.

From what I've seeen on the topic, it looks like the cells are harvested (what a Matrix-like term) well before they develop into anything specific. It's really unfortunate that the religious groups are making it so difficult to benefit from all the possibilities.