On BioScience and Life and Such

Correct me if I am wrong

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Background: The Hyperion Cantos book 1 and 2  and The New York Times on mitochondrial manipulation (see further description on bottom of page).

It is my impression that theres an underlying, and absolute, assumption that genetic engineering will lead to less diversity.

But,

If given a choice of a range of possible engineered enhancements, would all societies, ethnicities and subgroups have the same preferences ?

I think not.

Then it follows that future genetic engineering will lead to greater diversity. Strange and unpredictable diversity.

The difference would be that it is now humankind deciding which different variants that are brought to life, not “nature”.

We would still need to accept and accomodate the “different” individuals in our society, probably even to a greater extent.

Would that not be a good thing ?

If you keeep putting up hurdles to stop implementation of advances in genetic engineering, are you not halting the development of a “natural” way to save humankind in the future ?

Genetic engineering is by this reasoning, the natural way forward.

It should be cool an unpredictable, just like nature is today.

The Hyperion Cantos book 1 and 2 describes a struggle between three parties: 1) artificial intelligence (AI), 2) a probable extension of our present tech-savvy society dependent on AI and 3) an AI-independent “natural” biologically diverse society (based on genetic engineering !?). Spoiler: The “natural” biological society wins.

Quote from NYT-article: “Some told the officials that the technique could introduce new genetic mutations into the human gene pool. Others warned that it could be used later for something ethically murkier — perhaps, said Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, “to engineer children with specific character traits.””

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Too much time on the train

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2014 at 8:33 am

You can recognize a good tale/story when you pause from it to continue your life, and realize that your life is dull and insignificant in comparison.

An excellent story is the same, but now your second thought when you pause is that everything you do in your dull an insignificant life leads up to that great story.

A truly brilliant story makes you realize that you are living it yourself, or could be if you didn’t focus on someone elses story.

I did not want to write this

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

This happened

Many, many yars ago – I was a PhD student. At a conference, late evening, at the bar. A female post-doc in a low-cut dress and a jacket, asked me if I could buy her a drink. I did, even though I didn’t have much money and she had more. We talked, mostly on work related issues, but after a while she steered the conversation on to personal matters. She removed her jacket. There was a dance floor and she wanted to dance.  We did, but it was awkward as she danced in a provocative manner. We sat back down at the bar. She slipped her room number into the conversation a couple of times. She wanted to dance again but I managed to find an excuse and left to find my own room and go to sleep.

The whole episode troubled me for the rest of my PhD-period as I was unsure of whether this would influence my chances of finishing my PhD, – she was after all influential in the lab.

This has happened to me several times later. I have other examples of women in influential positions, wearing low cut dresses,  sometimes high heels  – touching my hand, sometimes my thigh, and asking me to participate in dancing, sometimes provocative dancing.

I’m not sure if they are aware of what they are doing, – ….. oh wait …  I am perfectly sure they know what they are doing, …. and what effect it has on me.

I wish these things wouldn’t happen as I feel as though I am being taken advantage of. I know I should have stopped things as events were closing in on my personal boundaries, but being in a vulnerable position in my career when these things happened …. I simply didn’t manage to.

Women in power needs to be made aware that wearing sexualized outfits, dancing in a provocative manner and touching other people can lead to serious distress and sometimes psychological damage to vulnerable individuals.

Note: I have left out names and description of places to protect those involved, and myself. This post is purely fictional.

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