Will We Look Like That To The Future


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fred pelka

Guest
I don't think, Michael, that one needs to advocate going back to the Stone Age to ask whether our obsession with bigger, faster, flashier is always for the best. The Concorde might be an example here. It was decided by whoever decides these things (engineers, corporate planners, etc.) that there was a market for a jet that could fly faster than the speed of sound, for people who evidently needed to get from one side of the ocean to the other in two or three hours rather than five or six. Personally, I don't know anybody whose time is THAT valuable, but there you are. So a plane was designed, built, and flown which a) had some fairly serious technical problems and b) didn't fill much of a need anyway. It might, given the financial and human cost, have been better if folks had thought through some of the problems a bit more thoroughly, before rushing ahead with this technology simply because they thought they could.

The broader question that Bob raises for me is: are technical advances always for the best, by definition? Are we, for instance, better off as a society, and better off individually, because some of our cars can hit 130 MPH, instead of only 110 or even 75? If we had stopped at 75, might there be fewer traffic fatalities? And are the benefits we derive from some of us being able to hit 110, instead of 75, worth the cost?

I think it was Camus who coined the phrase "the cult of efficiency." I wonder if we aren't indulging in a "cult of progress" that took root in the Gilded Age (if not earlier). And like all cults, I wonder if this doesn't sometimes make us put our brains on hold, pushing ahead out of fervor (and arrogance), rather than acting in our own better interests.

Totally irrelevant thought: if you haven't taken time yet to see Mars through a telescope somewhere, do it soon. It's really a spectacular and awesome sight.

Fred
 
Actually, the Concord was as much a product of Cold War politics as anything else, but technical problems aside, the aircraft has a pretty good safety record. Throughout a service career spanning over 30 years, it only has one crash, and the cause of this was debris it encountered which had fallen off a different aircraft. Classic foreign object damage, and this has killed other planes befor.

How many other aircraft can claim a similar record?

>>Personally, I don't know anybody whose time is THAT valuable, but there you are. <<

The passengers willing to book a seat clearly thought otherwise. I don't think it's your place or mine to tell them they're wrong. We don't know them or why they belived this. It's enough that they did.

>>I don't think, Michael, that one needs to advocate going back to the Stone Age to ask whether our obsession with bigger, faster, flashier is always for the best. <<

Some do, and in that vein, what pray tell is ever accomplished by looking back to the "Good Old Days" which overall weren't that great to begin with? The future lies with the people with the courage to solve the problems and take the risks that go with the game. Always has, always will. It's never been with the people who quit whenever we get a bloody nose and never will be.

By all means, ask the tough questions and get the answers, but always strive to make things better.

>>It might, given the financial and human cost, have been better if folks had thought through some of the problems a bit more thoroughly, before rushing ahead with this technology simply because they thought they could.<<

Rushing ahead with what?

The roots of the Concord can be traced back to the late 1940's when the idea was first mooted and it wasn't until 1961 that SUD revealed it's proposal at the Paris Air Show. From there, it was 8 long years of research, testing, evaluation, and development befor the first flight took place on 2 March 1969. The first revenue flight didn't take place for a few more years.

Where's the rush?
 
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fred pelka

Guest
I stand corrected on the Concord, in terms of its safety record, though I don't know that eight years of research is really that long a time before marketing a cutting edge technology to the general public. Are there plans to reinstate the service, do you know? And if not, are American or Japanese airlines going to fill the gap?

Whatever the case, there are plenty of other examples I could have cited. For instance: Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM). It's been a few years since I researched the topic, but the last I heard quite a few observers of the technology believed that it was rushed into use before it was ready, resulting in far too many "false positives" (the machine telling doctors that something was wrong when it wasn't) which in turn resulted in an upsurge of probably unnecessary cesareans. In this case, the new technology, designed to improve the health of women in child birth, may actually have led to more health problems -- in the form of post-op infections, difficulties with anesthesia, etc. -- than it cured. So here we may well have a case where waiting a couple of years might have been the better choice. Similarly, I think we all can agree that the marketing of thalidomide in the early '60s (late '50s?) was a tragic instance of rushing ahead before all the risks were fully understood.

Still, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that pure research, conducted in an ethical and serious way, should ever be discouraged. Generally speaking it's better to know than not to know. It's what we do with what we know (or think we know) that is at the heart of the question here, and whether or not, as Bob seems to be saying, our own hubris doesn't sometimes lead us into some pretty horrific mistakes.

Fred
 
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Bob Cruise

Guest
>>The fact of the matter is: should massive man-made creations come into being???<<

>Yes. These things serve our needs, desires, aspirations and goals. Just because bad things can happen or be done with them is no reason to give up. <

Well - people got along fine without the internet 20 years ago. Now what? We have a massive network of connectivity - one which leaves its users open to identity theft, child abusers, elaborate ripoffs and psychopaths who are obsessed with shutting down that network for the mere challenge of it.

The latest innovative fad is "flash mobs": people connect on the internet and agree to meet at a specified time and place and do a wild stunt. As such, it's only a matter of time before people start gathering to accomplish something not-so-harmless. This is progress?

>>Is it really in humanity's best interest to put so many human lives at the mercy of what seems a marvel of technological innovation? <<

>As opposed to what? Crawling back into the jungle and climb back into the trees our distant ancestors came from? Being subject to the whims of rival human tribes, predetors, rampent uncontrolled disease, famine, drought, etc?<

Well, thanks to technology, vast population explosions have taken place in areas formerly not so human-friendly. Sounds great, but then, subsequent sudden environmental and economic downturns have resulted in "rampent uncontrolled disease, famine, drought, etc.". The accompanying human losses far outweigh those which would have occurred in the absence of technology (look at Africa and Iraq).

Disease is another real concern.

Yeah - we can travel from one end of the globe to the other. But did anyone ever stop to think how that changes the spread of disease and foreign microbes. Look what happened with AIDS and SARS.

And just look at all the pollution which has resulted from the Age of Technology.

Finally, consider that automobile accidents claim more lives each day than anything else.

Great - technology has saved us from the plagues of the past, only to deliver us to another, more efficient manner of death.

One is forced to ask: "Might ignorance be bliss?"
 
>>Are there plans to reinstate the service, do you know? And if not, are American or Japanese airlines going to fill the gap? <<

Not at Present though Mr. Branson of Virgin Atlantic is trying to get some of the airframes. Somehow, I doubt he'll succeed, but I wish him the best if he does.

>>though I don't know that eight years of research is really that long a time before marketing a cutting edge technology to the general public.<<

This was actually a rather protracted gestation period for the time. Remember that the 8 years was from the Time SUD displayed their model and proposal at the 1961 Paris Air Show to the time of the first flight of a prototype. It's actual entry into airline revenue service didn't happen until 1976. That's a 15 year gestation.

>>It's what we do with what we know (or think we know) that is at the heart of the question here, and whether or not, as Bob seems to be saying, our own hubris doesn't sometimes lead us into some pretty horrific mistakes. <<

Exactly. Technology is nuetral. It's what people decide to do with it that causes the problems. Nuclear fission can be used to satisfy an entire regions electrical needs for a decade between reactor re-corings or turn a city into a glassed over smoking hole in 5 microseconds...all depending on the whim of the people who push the buttons.

>>Well - people got along fine without the internet 20 years ago. Now what? We have a massive network of connectivity - one which leaves its users open to identity theft, child abusers, elaborate ripoffs and psychopaths who are obsessed with shutting down that network for the mere challenge of it. <<

Okay...so what's really changed? Bob, the scams your talking about have always been around in one fashion or another. The internet is just a new venue whereby the players can try to pull off more of the same old thing. Overall, I think the internet is a major plus in a lot of respects. It's awesome power as a research tool is exemplified on this forum every day where ideas, theories, and research on the very cutting edge is exchanged and discussed every day.

>>The latest innovative fad is "flash mobs": people connect on the internet and agree to meet at a specified time and place and do a wild stunt. As such, it's only a matter of time before people start gathering to accomplish something not-so-harmless. This is progress? <<

So people never agreed to meet and do stupid things befor? Befor the internet, it was telephones and CB radios. Befor that, it was collage frat parties or lynch mobs. People have never wanted for ways to do the stupid and the dangerous.

>>Well, thanks to technology, vast population explosions have taken place in areas formerly not so human-friendly. Sounds great, but then, subsequent sudden environmental and economic downturns have resulted in "rampent uncontrolled disease, famine, drought, etc.". The accompanying human losses far outweigh those which would have occurred in the absence of technology (look at Africa and Iraq). <<

Look at what? Technology isn't all that much in evidence in Africa and most all of the problems there have been political, not technical. Were people in a position to use the technology, I have no doubt that major portions of Africa could well be a breadbasket rather then a dusbowl of civil and racial/tribal strife bogged down in superstition.

Much the same applies to Iraq. Cultural discord, tribal rivialries, etc are the problem. Not the tools.

>>Disease is another real concern.

Yeah - we can travel from one end of the globe to the other. But did anyone ever stop to think how that changes the spread of disease and foreign microbes. Look what happened with AIDS and SARS. <<

Yes it is...but what's really going on? It's not lost on me that the AIDS problem is at it's worst in the nations/regions that aren't all that technically advanced. In the nations that are, it's at least controllable and controlled. Befor AIDS however, it was syphillis and it was uncurable as well up until the last century and it didn't need technology to spread. All it needed was laddies and lassies who were a little too eager to "get it on."

As for SARS, most of that was media hype. That's not to say it wasn't a concern, but the media played it up to make it look much worse then it actually was. Neither SARS nor even AIDS is even closeto being in the same ballpark as the Black Death which several hundred years ago wiped out nearly a quarter of Europe's population.

>>And just look at all the pollution which has resulted from the Age of Technology. <<

And look at how the same technology developed further has cleaned a lot of it up. The cities today may not be the brightest spots on the planet, but they're sparkling clean compared to the coal dust mired air and the sewage and waste clogged rivers and lakes of a century or even forty years ago.

>>Finally, consider that automobile accidents claim more lives each day than anything else.<<

As opposed to what? Wars, famine, shipwrecks, other types of accidents.

>>Great - technology has saved us from the plagues of the past, only to deliver us to another, more efficient manner of death.<<

And even more efficient cures and solutions.

>>One is forced to ask: "Might ignorance be bliss?"<<

No I'm not.

Unless one thinks that it might be better to go back to the trees and take our chances with plagues, drought, famine, and Leo the hungry lion. If that's your idea of paradise, you're welcome to it. I'll pass.
 
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Tom Pappas

Guest
Concorde had a fatal flaw designed into it, for the sake of expediency. There were dozens of near-catastrophic accidents involving runway litter before the Big One - it was only a matter of time before something really nasty happened, and everyone involved knew it. Expressed as "percentage of fleet lost to faulty design," Concorde has one of the worst records in aviation history.

Nuclear fission is a great way to produce electric power - and tons of radioactive waste that no one has figured out (in fifty years) what to do with. Fission plants are almost one hundred percent safe, too: there is a finite possibility that one will some day irradiate an area the size of Pennsylvania (in the words of China Syndrome). But the power producers have found they can market negligible risk as equaling no risk. If the industry was really concerned for safety, they would have perfected fusion power twenty years ago. But the quick, obscene profits were in fission, so that's where the investment went. Remember, it is an axiom of systems science that beyond a certain scale of complexity, systems manifest behaviors impossible for their designers to predict.

About the war on disease: the overuse of antibiotics has created a biological time bomb, in the form of strains of bacteria immune to everything we can throw at them. It is only a matter of time (hear that phrase again?) before something really dreadful begins killing off huge populations. SARS had to be contained because it couldn't be cured. We may already be there.

It's the unsinkable mentality writ large.
 
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Bob Cruise

Guest
>>Finally, consider that automobile accidents claim more lives each day than anything else.<<

>As opposed to what? Wars, famine, shipwrecks, other types of accidents. <

Well, not to belabor my point, but I think that says it all right there.

In the "good old days", hand-to-hand combat meant that war pretty much wiped out troops in amounts of, at most, tens of thousands.

Now, courtesy of technology, we have since developed the capacity to wipe out millions with one stroke - and render the landscape unusable in the aftermath.

I suppose this all goes back to the ultimate question: "What is the purpose of life?"

I give up - what is it?

Bob Cruise
First (and Foremost) Inductee in the International Curmudgeon Hall of Fame
 
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fred pelka

Guest
Great posts, guys. As always, lot to think about here.

A few more items to throw into the mix.

One of my house-mates is a consultant to the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Working Group of the Human Genome Initiative. The group's agenda makes my head spin. As we learn more about human genetics, it becomes more possible to manipulate our very genetic heritage for purposes both noble and dubious. Program out various diseases? Sure. How about programming in "faster, bigger, smarter?" Hmmm. How about designing humans to be blue-eyed and blonde as opposed to brown-eyed and dark skinned? How about choosing to insure your child is gay, rather than straight, or the other way around? And on and on and on. I suppose it's inevitable that we will someday have the technology to clone a human being. Will we? Should we?

Second item: An archaeologist I know tells me that, though he has tremendous admiration for the (Gilded Age) pioneers who pretty much invented the field, it's also true that these same folks often destroyed (virtually looted) the very human heritage they were seeking to explore and preserve. Sometimes this was entirely inadvertent. The technology and methods available then were simply not up to the task of examining ancient sites without at the same time destroying them. For this reason, he tells me, it is now pretty much standard practice on new digs to always leave a substantial portion of the site entirely unexplored, on the assumption that future archaeologists will have better methods, and it's best to leave them something fresh. I imagine this might be very tough on some folks -- here you might be on the threshold of making some amazing new discovery that might radically change our understanding of the past (and incidentally get you your tenure), but you have to walk away. I can't think of too many other examples where people deliberately choose this sort of restraint.

The idea that technology is neutral is one of those assumptions I think might bear with some serious examination. Personally, I'm not too sure. Technology certainly gives a terrific edge to those who can afford it, whether it be high tech. weapons, the digital gap, or ownership of the mass media. Rather than being neutral, technology might well favor the side of those who have, as opposed to those who have not.

Fred
 
>>>As opposed to what? Wars, famine, shipwrecks, other types of accidents. <

Well, not to belabor my point, but I think that says it all right there. <<

Actually, it doesn't. Simple numbers don't tell the whole story. Get the fatality rate per thousand then compare it with all other causes and we'll have something to talk about.

>>Now, courtesy of technology, we have since developed the capacity to wipe out millions with one stroke - and render the landscape unusable in the aftermath.<<

And to save it. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are livable, forests have been restored, wetlands have been restored, rivers, and lake cleaned up, species such as the American Eagle and the American alligator brought back from the edge of extinction...need I go on? Humans using technical know-how restored that which they had destroyed.

>>I suppose this all goes back to the ultimate question: "What is the purpose of life?"

I give up - what is it? <<

And in terms of philosophical points, this is an open question without resolution and assumes that life must have some sort of perpose. There is not one shred of evidence to support this. None against it either. Sorry, but I can't help you with that one.

Nobody can.

>>Expressed as "percentage of fleet lost to faulty design," Concorde has one of the worst records in aviation history.<<

And in terms of passangers carried, millions of miles flown, and years in service, one of the best. 27 years of service befor one fatal crash ain't bad. Few other contenders can boast the same. All this really shows is that anybody can make something look as good or as bad as they want with numbers. Political wags, policy wonks, and media types have been playing this game for a very long time.

>>I suppose it's inevitable that we will someday have the technology to clone a human being. Will we? Should we? <<

Don't know. Don't pretend to either. Seems that those persuing the technology would have to find a way to deal with some nagging problems such as an observed predisposition to aging too quick. I suppose the best use of the technology would not be to "create" a whole new person, but to use the cells to grow replacement organs for those in need of a transplant.

Beyond that, I don't see the point, but that's just me. My inability to see the full potential doesn't mean it's not there.

>>The idea that technology is neutral is one of those assumptions I think might bear with some serious examination. <<

The term I used is morally nuetral and I've seen nothing to change that. Technology is just that; tools we created to serve our needs for better and/or for worse. It has no will of it's own, no life of it's own, no sense of direction of it's own, and no mind of it's own. It is utterly subject to our whims, desires, and goals and that's where the responsibility must lie.

The Titanic didn't cause herself to sink. Her watch team had a nasty accident where they blundered into an iceberg.

The World Trade Center towers didn't cause themselves to fall, and neither did the aircraft that were flown into them. The World Trade Center's demise was an entirely human undertaking. People caused it to happen. The aircraft they used were only tools which they, by councious and deliberate design exploited for the purpose.

Technology doesn't favour or oppose anybody.
 
>Humans using technical know-how restored that which they had destroyed.

So they can destroy it again...yes, that's so utterly noble...

>Technology is just that; tools we created to serve our needs for better and/or for worse. It has no will of it's own, no life of it's own, no sense of direction of it's own, and no mind of it's own. It is utterly subject to our whims, desires, and goals and that's where the responsibility must lie.

And therein lies the ultimate problem...the ones who created the technology are absolutely incapable of using it for anything other than destructive purposes (even if they go back afterwards and try to clean up the mess...the mess shouldn't have been made at all). And technology has rendered humanity apathetic and unable to truly think for themselves, let alone to even want to.

But, that's what humans always wanted, I suppose...to be able to do whatever they want without having to exert a lot of effort, or to be held accountable for their actions. Less thinking that way...and humans generally hate to think.
 
>>So they can destroy it again...yes, that's so utterly noble... <<

Or make it right again. There are two sides to the coin.

>>And therein lies the ultimate problem...the ones who created the technology are absolutely incapable of using it for anything other than destructive purposes.<<

Not really. Restored wetlands, rebuilt cities and industry, the advances in the medical sciences, the clean up of rivers and lakes as well as theair put the lie to that one. If people were incapable of using technical know-how for anything but destruction, none of these things would be happening.

>>But, that's what humans always wanted, I suppose...to be able to do whatever they want without having to exert a lot of effort, or to be held accountable for their actions. <<

A very human condition. Kind of like now where people try to blame technology for all of our ills when we need to look in the mirror for the real culprits.

But I suppose it's easier that way. Why accept responsibility for our failings when we can just blame the tools we by deliberate design choose to make??? A nice handy scapegoat with no thinking required. And as you pointed out, human's generally hate to think.

Who's fault is that?
 
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fred pelka

Guest
>>The term I used is morally neutral.

Michael, I don't want to nit pick, and maybe I missed the reference in a different post, but the phrase you used in the post I was responding to above was: "Exactly. Technology is neutral." It's interesting though that you draw a distinction between neutrality, and moral neutrality. I'd very much like to hear you say more about this. Can someone or something be morally neutral, but otherwise take a side? If so, then I think we might be closer to agreement than you think. But I'd definitely like to hear more.

But I see your point. Obviously, inanimate objects don't have a will to exert -- by definition. It's the old "Guns don't kill people, people do" line of reasoning, meaning there's no point to controlling the proliferation of weapons because it's the people using the weapons that are the problem. Without opening up a whole can of worms about gun control pro or con, this seems to me somewhat simplistic. Even if we assume that all people are in all cases responsible for all their actions (don't want to get into that one either), it still may be useful to think about ways to limit the potential of some people to do irreparable harm to others, to deny them the use of certain technologies. This is why we have laws that, for instance, prohibit private individuals from stockpiling nerve gas in their basements. (At least, I THINK we have such laws -- I HOPE we have such laws...). It does me no good, having been gassed, to have someone tell me -- "It wasn't the gas that killed you, it was your weird neighbor and his funky hobby." You ask: "Why accept responsibility for our failings when we can just blame the tools we by deliberate design choose to make?" Precisely. We CHOOSE to make these tools. Doesn't this mean we might in some way be responsible for the mayhem they cause? Might there be moral consequences to choosing, for instance, to make weapons of mass destruction, even if you aren't specifically the one to use them? Certainly, Robert Oppenheimer seemed to think so. So did Albert Speer.

All this is way off the topic though. All I meant to say way back when was that I thought Bob raised some interesting points. First -- that technological "progress" in and of itself might not always be a good thing. Second -- that as a culture we really haven't changed much since the Titanic went down, in terms of our techno-centric or techno-triumphalist ideology. Michael, you seem to demonstrate this yourself when you answered my (admittedly wooly) questions about cloning. I asked, will we clone humans, just because we can? Should we? Your answer was less a consideration of the moral or ethical implications, than a cost/potential analysis. "I don't see the point, but that's just me. My inability to see the full potential doesn't mean it's not there."

Maybe it doesn't matter what the full potential is. Maybe some things, some technical "advances" are simply better left unexplored, at least until we're better able to deal with them. I think it might be possible to reach such a conclusion, and also hold to the ultimate responsibility for each of us for his or her own actions.

Getting back to the topic: Will We Look Like That to the Future -- I think Bob is on to something. The technological triumphalism of the Gilded Age was called into question by the Great War and what followed, but right now it does seem that we still are enthralled by all the things we can do, without asking ourselves too deeply why we do them, what is the purpose, what are the possible consequences.

What you seem to be saying is that our technologies are merely extensions of ourselves, for good and ill, and I agree. And in that sense they are morally neutral, or rather, whatever morality or immorality they might have is invested in them by us -- those who conceive, build, and use the stuff. So as we look at the technology all around us, what does it say about us as conceivers, builders, users?

Another very wooly question, I admit. Really,I can't help it. Something about sitting in front of a computer screen...makes me...want to...phil..os..ooooo...phize...can't..stop...typing...ARRRGHAARUUGRRAAARR...this technology has got me in its evil claws!!!...

Seriously, I'm just winging it folks, looking to see what sticks and what doesn't. I mean, what's a brain for, unless it's to frame and ask stupid questions? And to thank you all again for your great patience.

Fred
 
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fred pelka

Guest
"Dazzled by the possibilities of technology, I devoted crucial years of my life to serving it. But in the end my feelings about it are highly skeptical."

Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich
 
>>Michael, I don't want to nit pick, and maybe I missed the reference in a different post, but the phrase you used in the post I was responding to above was: "Exactly. Technology is neutral."<<

You're right. I did. I stand corrected. Nevertheless, that's what I meant to say and stand by it.

>>It's interesting though that you draw a distinction between neutrality, and moral neutrality. I'd very much like to hear you say more about this.

There's not much to say beyond that. Objects that we create don't have any will, sense of direction or mind of their own. The guns you alluded to cannot persuade somebody to blow their top and blow somebody away any more then can a knife or a nuclear weapon. Unless a human being makes a deliberate choice to use them, at best, they're costly doorstops or paperwights for all the real value they may have.

>>Can someone or something be morally neutral, but otherwise take a side? <<

Things cannot take sides. A gun or a ship can no more take a "side" then can a Craftsman wrench.

>>It's the old "Guns don't kill people, people do" line of reasoning, <<

When was the last time you saw a Smith & Wesson .357 float out of it's box, hunt somebody down and blow them away? To put it on a larger scale, when was the last time an ICBM decided "I'm having a bad hair day so I'll just fly out of my nest and kill 15 million people."???

It's really not simplistic at all. What I'm doing is putting the responsibility where it really belongs in all of this and get away from the blame shifting.

And make no mistake, that's exactly what's happening. The Titanic didn't screw up. Her operators did. The gun didn't screw up, the bloke who pulled the trigger did. The World Trade Center and four Boeing aircraft didn't screw up, the nutjobs from the "Die Dog For Allah" crowd did that. The shuttle's Challanger and Columbia didn't screw up, the people running the show at NASA did that.

>>We CHOOSE to make these tools. Doesn't this mean we might in some way be responsible for the mayhem they cause? <<

We are responsible for the mayhem we cause with them. The tools don't cause anything. They can't.

>>First -- that technological "progress" in and of itself might not always be a good thing. <<

For the reasons I long ago expressed, I can't agree with this.

>>Second -- that as a culture we really haven't changed much since the Titanic went down, in terms of our techno-centric or techno-triumphalist ideology.<<

A very human condition. Our responsibility...not the tools. Conterary to what Albert Speer thought, we cannot be the servents of that which we create to serve us.

>>Michael, you seem to demonstrate this yourself when you answered my (admittedly wooly) questions about cloning. I asked, will we clone humans, just because we can? Should we? Your answer was less a consideration of the moral or ethical implications, than a cost/potential analysis. "I don't see the point, but that's just me. My inability to see the full potential doesn't mean it's not there." <<

I wasn't attempting to evaluate it's the moral implications of what's been discovered. That much has been done to death. It can become a tool for incrdible evil or equally awesome good, but it's a decision we have to make. The technology can't do it for us.

Well, I have to run off to work now. Gotta eat and all that.
 
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Tom Pappas

Guest
Thank goodness the Titanic disaster put an end for all time to the subordination of the safety and well-being of an international conglomerate's customers to its corporate profits!

And thank goodness that the primary goal of capitalism is, and forever will be, the conservation of the only planet of its kind in this end of the galaxy.

And how inspiring it is to know that an informed electorate will continue to control the selfish desires of those who produce and market biomedical technology such as cloning.

Nothing has changed, folks. Nor is it likely to, no matter how many platitudes about "a decision we have to make" are uttered here.
 
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