On BioScience and Life and Such

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

The First Monthly Biopinionated Quote-Fest

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 at 9:51 am

post to news.thinkgene.com

1. In a comment on this blog by Andrew Yates of Think Gene:.

……………..educated people don’t have children

2. From this friendfeed discussion:

“I agree. I don’t think too many people from the news industry will read this piece, and those that do will immediately jump to explaining it, why it’s wrong, or what I need to understand, or something else. On the other hand I don’t too many other people will read it either. I’m basically writing this for myself so if I come back here by chance in a couple of years and want to know what I was thinking about, here it will be. If experience is a guide, however, I won’t come back and re-read it. So the real reason I write stuff like this is that it helps my thinking process, having written this I am now ready to move on to the next step or thing or level or what-have-you.” – Dave Winer

“perfect explanation for why we blog!” – Bora Zivkovic

3.  From another friendfeed discussion:

any legal or scientific definition will be arbitrary because the development of of a fertilized egg into a human body/brain/person is a gradual process. atheists have a problem here, I wish they’d admit it. – Christopher Harris

4.  Ian Mulvany Twitter

MS office suite must have retarded human evolution by at least several million man years”

5. Another two from Andrew Yates (I know, ….I’m a fan)  in this post:

(The coolest thing about genetics is that leftist don’t believe race exists and rightists don’t believe evolution exists, so if you’re into genetics, you can antagonize your family in the heartland and your friends on the coasts! Science sure is fun.)

6. and this post:

Contrary to the hallmark of every critical journalistic piece about genetics, the future of inequality needs no neo-Hitler concocting blonde-hair, blue-eyed super genius babies in sterile reproductive camps. It only needs to increasingly make raising more successful children more expensive. I’m not aware of any significant counteracting trend.

7. George Dvorsky in this post on his blog:

What is it about sex selection that gives cause to such rejection?

For me this is a no-brainer. Couples in the developed world, where gender discrimination and biases are less prominent, should be allowed to use gender selection for family balancing purposes. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that this is still not a right in some countries, including Canada where couples and their doctors face the threat of large fines and jail terms.

8. Daniel MacArthur of Genetic future in a comment to Steve Murphy of GeneSherpas on this post:

By the way, I didn’t say that you should be embarrassed by your post – I’ve been reading your blog too long to expect you to be introspective about anything you write. I meant that I was embarrassed by reading it.

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Me: Visible, Traceable, …. Miserable ?

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm

post to news.thinkgene.com

allelic length variation among 6 individuals

Image via Wikipedia

I am more and more visible. I blog, tweet and use services like friendfeed and LinkedIN. I started out with an alias, but now have my name out there. My picture I anticipate will follow soon. There are services I do not use, – like facebook, – it’s still to “unprofessional” for me (I like my web-presence to be mostly work-related).

As a consequence of this visibility, or more specifically, the subsequent information sharing, I am wiser now as a person than when I started my extended web presence about a year ago. Much wiser in fact. The personal gain has been tremendous.

Work-wise (sic !), we have been planning to set up human ID testing services which would imply creating  DNA-profiles for human identification. Such identification can be used in criminal cases, immigration cases, genealogy research, paternity testing and more.

I realize from learning the nitty gritty of DNA-profiling, and seeing how the technology develops (and becomes cheaper),  that I am (we all are) more and more traceable.

Thus, my body (DNA) as well as my soul (web-presence), is now out there for everyone to see

The big question then becomes: Is this virtual hereditary omnipresence dangerous to me ? Are we approaching George Orwells Big Brother scenario ?

I (maybe naively) say no, it is not dangerous. Because, to some extent I still choose when to be present on the web and to which groups I am visible. And, If I choose not to do illegal acts, – and If the system works the way it is supposed to, I would be kept out of any DNA-profile registry (if my profile is not registered, then my identity is not revealed by my DNA, and I can retain my anonymity).

If I end up in such a registry because I am falsely accused of something, or framed……or if someone decides to do a SNP scan of me without my knowledge……..or if my web-identity is misused……now that’s a different ballpark altogether, and I’ll try and explore the danger that lies in such abuse in future posts. Fact is though, in these cases we are talking about abuse and abuse is “dangerous” in any setting.

For now I’d like to make a point to the contrary: At least when it comes to sharing personal info on the web: It could in fact turn out to be damaging to my future career and reputation not to do it. Damaging, because web-sharing is rapidly becoming the norm (pointed out by Bora Zivkovic on friendfeed):

Exactly! 20 years from now a person who does NOT have drunk Facebook pictures online will be suspicious – what was there to be whitewashed? or is this person too timid or antisocial?

Nevertheless, I still choose not to sign up on Facebook since anyone valuing my personal life higher than my professional one when hiring is not worth working for.

And that’s just it, even if I’m being naive about this, I still have a choice not to share, – and as long as that choice is a free one, then there should be no reason to sound the big brother alarm.

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