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TOTD 24 May 2001

When scientists ask questions like, "Are we humans the only intelligent life in the universe?" one can hardly keep from being amused. We needn't look to sightings of little green (or gray) men, or await humankind's capacity to travel beyond the solar system for an answer. Indeed, what life is not intelligent? Yet, because most scientists confuse intelligence with the cerebral function, they value the thinking brain and belittle the intelligence that produced it.

-Laurence G. Boldt

If an animal does something, we call it instinct; if we do the same thing for the same reason, we call it intelligence.

-Will Cuppy

Again, I took the Laurence G. Boldt quote from his book, The Tao of Abundance. Can you tell what books I'm reading these days?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2001 11:16 am (UTC)
Stephen Hawking once argued that our definition of life is arrogant and self-centered, he gave a lecture in which he revised the standard of life to simply be maintaining oneself in the face of boundless entropy.

full lecture

Inerestingly, in the face of that definition, Hawking then states that computer virii are "life."

He then goes on to cover the really brilliant part of the essay, essectially how the mapping of the genome will inevitably lead to a creation of rich upperclass supermen, and poor everymen. Nieztche would be proud! He also hastens to add that the passage of anti-cloning and anti-genetic manipulation laws would only serve to both widen the gap between rich-supermen and poor-everymen, but also ensure it's inevitablility.

Our only hope is a free world discussion and an opening of all this proprietary technology to everyone, something that will not happen.
May. 25th, 2001 10:32 pm (UTC)
Creating Have & Have-not Divides with Prohibition
That reminds me of a quote from quote from science fiction author,David Brin:

One of the basic decisions we all face in times ahead will be this:

Can we stand living our lives exposed to scrutiny ... our secrets laid out in the open ... if in return we get flashlights of our own, that we can shine on the arrogant and strong?

Or is privacy's illusion so precious that it is worth any price, including surrendering our own right to pierce the schemes of the powerful?

There are no easy answers, but asking questions can be a good first step.

-David Brin

Sure, we can pass laws against using high-tech micro cameras to keep tabs on people, but will those laws really stop powerful corporations and an increasingly intrusive government from using the technology to monitor US? Or will it grant people with the means to work around or above the law the ability to keep tabs on US but deny US the ability to watch THEM and keep THEM accountable?

Sure, you can ban cloning research or experimentation with genetic modification and engineering, but will that ban prevent misuse of these new technologies? Or will such bans merely deny the benefits of these technologies to ordinary people and reserve them for those with the means to work around or above the law?
May. 25th, 2001 06:34 pm (UTC)
also, i realized a bit ago that a sig block i use is pretty relevant as well... (I like it because it uses copious semicolons.)

"The most perfect ape cannot draw an ape; only man can do that; but, likewise, only man regards the ability to do this as a sign of superiority."

-- G.C. Lichtenberg, 1742--1799.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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