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01/27/2005 Archived Entry: "News and Views"
Posted by CKL @ 10:26 AM PST

It's official: use a text browser, go to jail!

"A Londonder made a tsnuami[sic]-relief donation using lynx -- a text-based browser used by the blind, Unix-users and others -- on Sun's Solaris operating system. The site-operator decided that this 'unusual' event in the system log indicated a hack-attempt, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him..."
-- Boing Boing

And yes, Spock must die. We don't like half-breeds 'round these parts, boy.

"Last year Canada passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which bans chimeras. Specifically, it prohibits transferring a nonhuman cell into a human embryo and putting human cells into a nonhuman embryo. Cynthia Cohen is a member of Canada's Stem Cell Oversight Committee, which oversees research protocols to ensure they are in accordance with the new guidelines... Creating chimeras, she said, by mixing human and animal gametes (sperms and eggs) or transferring reproductive cells, diminishes human dignity. 'It would deny that there is something distinctive and valuable about human beings that ought to be honored and protected,' said Cohen..."
-- National Geographic

It always bothers me when I hear about things like this, i.e., reactionary segments of the population trying to constrain the leading edge and enforce the majority view. There's nothing wrong with being "normal", but the conservatives should remember that the minorities-- the forward thinkers, the visionaries, the crazies-- are the people who make the world a better place. Don't hold them back because you don't know what consequences their actions will have.

And, of course, it bothers me when people imply that human actions are "unnatural" and in the same breath talk about disturbing the "global ecosystem". Humans are still a part of nature, dude, whether you believe in divine creation or not. We're here, we're interconnected, and we have no more lasting effect on the environment-- which we share with countless other species-- than any other life form. Seriously. Stop counting in years and think about changes over centuries and millennia. In the grand scheme of the universe, we're not that important. We're tiny, stupid, and mostly harmless. Deal with it.

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