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  • Aug 13th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re: Ridiculous isn't it?

    I have friends who will pay you $10 million if you promise never to speak or write of those dangerous insights again!

    No? All right then, how about $50 million? Isn't that just a little bit tempting? Think how effectively you could use that money to promote some of your OTHER causes.

    Money is like a drug. Humans want pleasant lives NOW, while they still have a chance to enjoy them. People can be altruistic toward family, friends, and even the occasional stranger, but I'm not sure individuals of our species will ever become altruistic toward the world.

    This human failing only matters now that we have a global technological culture. Until very recently, when resources became scarce, our kind would just move on, and keep moving until we found the stuff we needed.

    Now that we are so numerous, I don't see how we can fail to use up everything. We just don't have instincts for preserving the whole world. Such an instinct would never have made sense in the past. The only way we might acquire such an instinct would be to have many or most of us die out, leaving behind the ones who cared about the world. But the ones left alive would probably not be the ones who cared about the world -- just the fighters, as usual.

    The only way we might be able to stave off the stripping bare of the planet would be to modify our own brains to make us less selfish. When you think of the kind of conflicts such a policy would generate, it's chilling. And obviously, the selfish people would never submit.

    No, I think we are going down. After the catastrophes have drastically reduced the population, maybe a new way for humans to cooperate will emerge.

  • Aug 13th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    For certain works, it matters

    Most of the time I would agree that having a plot "spoiled" doesn't really make much difference. For example [Spoiler alert!] in the film Titanic, the ship goes down and a lot of the passengers die. Darn, did I just ruin it for you?

    Occasionally there is a book or, more often, a film, where the ending really is a surprise. I will mention "The Sixth Sense" without actually Spoiling it for anyone. I would not have gotten the same impact from that film had I known the ending.

  • Jul 31st, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Patenting Neptune

    And what a good idea that is! I have personally done the same with Saturn. Act now, and a license to view my patent-protected planet through a home-based telescope will cost you only pennies a day. Professional astronomers, you may be surprised how easy it is to obtain a multi-year, large-telescope license for yourself and your staff.

  • Jul 31st, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Two can play that game

    You ignore one key fact: they have plenty of money for bribes. Logic is not part of this equation. Not at all.

  • Jul 31st, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Judge's DNA

    I do believe you're onto something.

    The life of humans is filled with these unfathomable absurdities. Maybe we should let some other primate, or dolphins or whales, take a shot at running the world. (Full disclosure: I own the patent rights to certain dolphin genomes. So far I have not moved to assert my rights over their existence, but someday they will have no choice but to make me their king, or face bankruptcy. Their assets can be seized by the court. A major precedent was set in Ralphoo v Whale, 2007. If that deadbeat cetacean hadn't moved its funds into undersea havens, I would already be living on the proceeds.)

  • Jul 31st, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: DNA, with Logic

    Right, kind of like jury nullification. Plus the judge gets a new car or something, and how can you say no when there are so many great reasons to say YES!!

  • Jul 31st, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Cutting it off for patent purposes

    See, when Lorena Bobbit clipped off her husband's dingaling, if she had rushed out and patented the thing (just throw it in a padded envelope for a quick provisional!), they would probably be back together now, living off the proceeds, the hell with sex, now we have moneeeeyyyyy!

  • Jul 23rd, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Using tools does rewire

    I agree, bdhoro, and I agree that writing things down does "rewire" the brain in some sense. So does having an axe to chop wood instead of just breaking up dry sticks with your bare hands. Or fixing up a goat bladder to carry around some water instead of having to slurp it up from a lake or stream. In those respects, I would say our brains are rewired beyond recognition by comparison with our hunter-gatherer relatives, but that's just the way being human has worked out. We get rewired shockingly often, and more so every week.

  • Jul 20th, 2011 @ 8:03am

    It is a rewiring, but a useful one

    The brain gets "rewired" all the time. In this case, a technology change has a potentially major impact on how we work with information. But this happens all the time in our civilization. Ever heard of books? They can store a lot of information too, things we no longer need to memorize.

  • Jul 20th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Backup Brain?

    My requirement is not so much for a spare as for an immediate swap-out.

  • Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Dwayne nailed it

    "The glasses are merely an excuse to treat everyone as a criminal. The reasoning behind all arrests in Brazil will now be, "He's a criminal because the glasses recognised him as one"
    Dwayne, your comment is the one that makes the most sense here. Unfortunately, we can't tolerate that kind of uncontrolled intelligence. You are under arrest.

    The charge? Being recognized by my special glasses, of course.

  • Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Monopolies write laws?

    Who do you think is going to write those laws, Congress? (Loud laughter in background) They wouldn't have the slightest idea what to write.

    Besides, if someone other than the big companies wrote our laws, it might weaken their hold on the markets. No "reasonable person" wants that to happen. (If you wanted that, you would no longer be a reasonable person.)