THE police in Glueckstadt, Germany set up a radar detector with an automatic attached camera to catch speeders.
They caught a duck.
I never knew that William Gibson had a blog.
Of course, the cynic in me is whispering that it's just a cog in the PR machine for his new novel, Pattern Recognition, due February 3, 2003, available at fine booksellers everywhere, be the first your corner of the Sprawl to own this fine book, it's a floor wax, it's a dessert topping!
This opinion piece appeared in the Philly Inquirer this morning. It reads like every anti-cloning, anti-genetic engineering opinion piece I've read.
Is it me, or do the arguments against cloning/genetic engineering boil down to, "If God had meant man to fly, He would have given him wings," and that old horror movie chestnut, "There were some things that man was not meant to know!" Seriously, I haven't heard any more sensible argument from the anti-cloning camp. Bill McKibben, the essay's author, says that manipulating human embryos to add "IQ or muscle mass" is a "threat to the human species." Being smarter or stronger is threatening? McKibben says that cloning and genetic manipulation technology pose a "threat ...to a coherent human future." What the hell does that mean? 'Coherent'? That's art criticism, not science.
Either McKibbin is unable to say what he means, or he's afraid to. If it's the former, we can dismiss his views, because they aren't well formed. If it's the latter, then what is he really talking about? What does he really mean?
I'm getting a very dark suspicion that McKibben's 'coherent' means 'controlled'. By somebody. Probably not you or me. Most likely by a wise elite like Mr. McKibben, who think they know exactly what the human race should look like in the future (pretty much what it looks like now), and who don't want their expectations and plans upset by an unruly bunch of people who have other ideas of what they want to do with their own bodies, and what they want for their kids.
All I can say is, thank god McKibben wasn't around when the human race was coming down from the trees, taking up tool-making, assuming an upright posture and growing larger brains. I'm sure he would have found all of that far too 'incoherent', far too threatening to his traditional view of the Australopithecine way of life. And I'm sure the other Australopithecines would have laughed at him. We should laugh at him, too.
People have tried to modify and improve their own bodies and minds since the beginning of time. They get tattoos and do weight training. They get facelifts and send their kids to Montessori schools. Humans want to jump higher, run faster, think smarter, be better. That's an essential part of what it means to be human. Genetic manipulation of the human germplasm will happen. If humans see an opportunity to become better, they'll take it. McKibben and all the other nay-sayers out there can't stop it. By all means, let's talk about how it's going to happen. Let's talk about the opportunities and pitfalls, and think long and carefully about how we are going to change ourselves. But let's not fool ourselves that we can stop it.
meaning: previous, precede, tip
先生 == sensei == teacher
先月== sengetsu == last month
|Originally a combination of 'foot/stop' (止) on top and 'person' (人) on bottom. 'Stop' came to mean 'die', and the character as a whole meant 'dead people/ancestors'. Other meanings came later. Henshall suggests taking it as a variant of 'life' (生), and as a mnemonic: 'Those dead people preceded us in life.'|