Recent posts by vikaTae on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Can you be a woman just by saying you're one?

XY is male, XX is female. That’s what our society accepts as true. The problem with that definition is it doesn’t account for every possible combination of chromosome pair 23.

X, Y, XX, XY, YY, XXX, XXY, XYY, XXYY are all possible combinations that do occur naturally. Y and YY are always stillborn as it’s not possible to sustain human life without the X chromosome in pair 23. It has too many important genes in it. X, XX, and XXX always appear fully female, though X is sterile. The others appear as a mixture of the two, and may outwardly appear as either.

It’s very, very rare, but it is possible for an XXY that appears male, to become pregnant naturally. I think there are something like a half dozen individuals in the world with this degree of intersex.

Add into that mess that somethimes you have twins in the womb – two separately fertilized eggs – that merge during the formation process into a single embryo. The result is a single individual with two different genomes, each comprising a percentage of their anatomy. If the two eggs were two different genders, this will lead to gender related complications, where a portion of their body is genuinely female, and the rest genuinely male – all fused into a single being. Again, very rare, but occurs naturally.

But yes, best not to judge solely by outward appearances. If someone says they are a gender other than the one they visually appear to be when clothed, there may well be a genuine reason for that. Or equally there may not. Judge them on their behavior as well as how they appear.


EDIt: Apparently Implosion got there first with an edit describing chimeras. I really should type faster.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Can you be a woman just by saying you're one?

Originally posted by knoxknoxknox:

If you have a penis, you don’t look like a woman and you are enough happy with your body that you don’t want to do a surgery, you’re not a woman! You’re either a crossdresser, a trasvester or just a gay guy. Deal with it!

Depends.

The person could actually be intergendered. There are people in this world who outwardly look male, but possess ovaries on the inside, or have a mix of the primary characteristics of both genders but the secondaries are difficult to spot. It’s very rare but it does happen.

Alternatively, they could be a transgender individual unable to have corrective surgery for health complication reasons, which is also a possibility to consider.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Think twice before you eat Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's!

Good sentiment, CandyVan.

Shit is still shit, regardless of what the original elements were :)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The next President Clinton

That seems toi be the ‘in’ thing these days, issendorf. Voting for the person you dislike least, out of fear that voting for the person you actually like will just ‘waste’ your vote, as the perception is they’re not likely to win. (If everyone voted for the person whose policies they actually liked, we’d see a completely different result, and none of the current main players would likely get in.)

It seems to be more a matter of ’let’s spite those I hate most’, rather than ’let’s vote for the person I’d actually be happiest seeing in office’. Maybe it’s a disillusion about politics in general, or maybe it’s intellectual laziness. Whichever the reason, the result is the same; nobody really winds up with the candidate they desired, and few can claim they voted with any integrity.

It be a shame all round.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The next President Clinton

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Says a lot; pretty much what my answer to issendorf was … eh?

The problem with political cartoons is they’re just satire; not a serious answer to anything.

Still, thank you for not just sticking a google link in your post and calling it a day. Was…refreshing.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Microfluidics and Electronic Noses: A Plausible Social Stratification

Originally posted by beauval:

At first I thought this was going to be another of your transhuman threads.

It is. It’s discussing two highly disruptive techs and a quite plausible way they’ll affect our society when mature. For good or for ill. :)

I’ve padded it out a bit too much perhaps, but I wished to clarify that this could actually happen, and our society might actually end up like that.

There is already a bit of a social divide, certainly a financial one, between those who are blessed with good health and those who are not – e.g. if you want to buy life assurance, the costs will reflect certain medical conditions. Perhaps there should be a social penalty for those who refuse immunisation for petty reasons.

Yes, but this would make it a bit more stark, would it not? Those with a weak immune system who do not desire treatment (or cannot be treated, their immune system is already medically suppressed) would have to be careful not to expose themselves to pathogens, but on the flip side, could rely on the infrastructure of society to readily identify where those pathogens are.

It’s partly commercial really: a bus company with e-noses installed on the busses, would pick up someone with a bad cold wishing to get on. Since they know 100% that the person has a bad cold in the infectious stage, as opposed to a non-infectious case of the sniffles, they could become liable for damages should that cold be passed on to other customers. It then becomes a case of which is more profitable? Running a but with a sick, contagious person on board, and keeping other customers off the bus? Or keeping the contagious person off, so the vehicle can fill up with healthy customers?

A third option is to run the bus wilt a separate compartment in the back, with a separate entrance for infectious individuals to use. This segregates them from the general population, whilst still taking their money. Of course, if infectious people at large in society has become rare enough, the first option of the three will be the one most will take: no point sectioning off part of the bus if it is rarely going to be used.

(It would of course become rare for an infectious person to be out and about, because if the infrastructure all around everyone is alerted to both the existence of and nature of the illness then it is much easier for them to seek treatment even before it becomes infectious).


Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

beauval, in addition to the positive side of members of society who “cooperate” by getting immunizations, what about those who eschew the more health-risky “adventures” of poor diet, boozing, smoking, etc.?

An E-nose would be able to detect alcohol in a person’s breath, and that would have fun consequences for anyone who drives drunk for example, as there is now 100% cast iron proof they were too drunk to drive, as recorded by their own car, and by every building they passed on their way to it, and by the pub door itself. Likewise if the drunk person used the lavatory, their blood alcohol content would be measured precisely; through the medium of their urine.

It would likely infuriate many, that the ‘breathalizer test’ would be automatic, detecting that they are drunk from their breath and their sweat, from the air they breathe and the surfaces they touch. It wouldn’t be possible to wiggle out of a DUI charge any more, since there would be so many sources corroborating exactly how drunk they were, long before they even started the car.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Microfluidics and Electronic Noses: A Plausible Social Stratification

Microfluidics is essentially a type of circuitry that uses fluid extremely small quantities of fluid inside the circuits to compute with. It is usually used as a scanner, to detect characteristics the liquid contains. For example, one microfluidic device currently in existence will examine a pinprick of blood for 25,000 different chemical markers indicating different causes of arthritis, and return a result of which specific one it is, within hours.

An electronic nose is the same sort of thing as a microfluidic device, save it detects and identifies particles in atmosphere. The most sensitive ones currently under development can detect gunpowder in the room, by picking up the minute traces escaping from a sealed bullet somewhere in said room.

In health applications, there are a range of electronic noses under development which can sample the air in a corridor or even an open space and determine what pathogens are in the air, and through extrapolation and data from other biometric devices, even which person’s breath they are coming from.


That’s the technological background. Now, I wish to extrapolate. In the not-to distant future we will very likely reach a point where microfluidic diagnostic units that can detect tens of millions of different chemical signatures each, are everywhere. Inside toilets to sample waste fluids. On the surface of exercise machines to sample sweat, inside consumed products to sample stomach acids, et al.

Likewise electronic noses will be widespread, and will in the reasonably near future, eclipse a bloodhound’s nose in capability. They’ll be monitoring the air in public and private spaces, both sniffing for chemical signals for security concerns, and sniffing for evidence of pollutants or airborne pathogens as a health monitoring system.


So far, so good, but what happens to us socially when the air we breathe, the fluids we extrude, are all continually screen-able – indeed, quietly screened – for undesirable compounds? When it is easy to continually monitor the health of everyone entering a space, and identify those who are currently in possession of infectious pathogens, it is not hard to envisage things going a step further, and those who are currently infectious being escorted out of public areas, or asked to leave private premises.

In other words, it is quite possible we’ll evolve into a society where your ability to go where you wish is curtailed by any pathogens you are currently infected by, in a large part precisely because it’ll become very easy to tell which people milling about in an area both are currently infected with something contagious, and precisely which contagion it is.

What are your thoughts on such a society? Would it be a good thing to identify say a malaria or ebola carrier virtually instantly and remove them for treatment or isolation wherever they pop up? Would you feel affronted if your rights to travel on public transport were curtailed just because you had a highly infectious case of the flu? Do you believe the right of free travel should never be curtailed, regardless of what maladies may be spread because of it?

Could you see a new social divide forming between those who have high immunities and good medical treatment versus those who refuse immunisation, or have little in the way of healthcare? Would this divide be a positive thing in your view, or a negative thing? Why?

Your thoughts please.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Full Body Transplants a Reality on a Personal Level

Petes:

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

If a body was more responsive, would they immediately have control of those new reflexes? Would the mind be prepared to immediately capitalize on the new skills?

No.

Even though the new body has those capabilities, you won’t know how to best utilise them right off the bat. If you were say, a 50-a-day smoker for 30 years, and you’ve transferred into the body of an athlete at their physical peak, then you’ll feel the increased lung capacity immediately, but you won’t know how to work those lungs for maximum efficiency, and you might actually wind up being short of breath because those new lungs aren’t optimised for a brain screaming at them to breathe hard with the upper lung and completely neglecting the lower (which the brain was used to being non-functional for years).

It’s like with cars. If you move from a 1.3 litre about-town runabout as the only vehicle you’’ve ever driven and have been driving for 30 years, to a 6 litre twin turbo V8 4×4, you’re not going to suddenly gain all the knowledge you need to be able to drive that optimally. Plus, whilst both are road cars, and have the same controls, the controls in the new car are going to be in different places on the new one; places you might not expect to find them. Plus there will be all new controls you’ve never seen before, and have no idea how to use.

You’ll get the hang of it, but it will take time. Likely a few months, before you’ve really been able to ‘break things in’, and get to know where the controls are, comfortable using them, and beginning to break your old activity habits.

For example, what if your spouse had a body transplant? What if your mother were suddenly “younger” than you?

If my spouse had a body transplant, I’d be on his back about it making sure he got one that was equally as well endowed. Though without the ginger hair. =grin=

More seriously, it’s the sort of thing we would have talked about beforehand, and agreed upon, coming to terms with the concept long before it happened. It wouldn’t worry me. A family member being younger of body wouldn’t worry me either. They’re still the same person I’ve known, just fitter and with less arthritis. Frankly, it would be less to worry about.

As a people how would we treat body transplants? Would we allow 9-year-old “children” to drink alcohol if they had the brain of a 50-year-old?

I don’t believe it’s going to be physically possible to graft a fully grown adult head onto a nine year old body. The size mismatch would play too much havoc with the spinal nerves, and if they don’t line up, you’re a quadraplegic. Blood vessels can be rerouted, nerve bundles that are both equally tightly packed but radically different diameters cannot.

You’ll be limited to bodies that have more-or-less fully matured, or in the case of children, bodies of a similar age with a similar build.


Don:

Originally posted by donseptico:

There are times when I think I’d very much like a full body transplant (Waiting on the histology results on the lumps and bumps removed on Tuesday) and others when a ‘transfer my consciousness to that device’ type scenario would suit me better (no pleasing some people is there)

Pragmatically, you go with whichever is most likely to be available at the time. if the upcoming procedure is successful (or even moderately successful) then it’s reasonable to say the capability for more mainstream full body transplatation isn’t that far away. Brain uploading is likely 60-70 years away, best case scenario.

So I’d say body transplantation for now, then use the transplant body to keep you in relatively good health until such time as an upload is feasable. Then move onto that more advanced tech, and dump the meat body completely.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The next President Clinton

Originally posted by jhco50:

[snip]

The interesting thing about Jhco’s predictions, is they serve something like a weathervane. He’s been a semi-reg on these forums for years, and has made a lot of political predictions. The general trend is that whatever Jhco predicts, the actual outcome is usually somewhere near 180 degrees away from it. That said:

I will tell you all right now, your next administration will be conservative.

Considering that by the standards of the rest of the western world, Obama, and most of the Democrats are staunch conservatives, this part at least is accurate. What the US considers to be ‘left’ anywhere else in the world, is ‘right of center’.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Think twice before you eat Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's!

Originally posted by 10crystalmask01:

Oh yes, their mascot may scare away much of the coulrophobics.

An interesting take on Ronald McDonald (PDF). Whilst it is very heavy on the claims and very light on the references, it does a fair job of pointing out that the idea of the clown is to market directly to children. You snare the kids and the parents follow too. You get your customers when they’re young, and you snare them for life; they grow up using you as a staple.

He’s a clever, and effective marketing tool, specifically aimed at getting as many children consuming their products as possible.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / American Shame: My Lai Massacre

Originally posted by Kasic:
Is it because are you are uncomfortable talking about things like this? Is it more distressing that it’s American troops?

In the USA, soldiers are second only to God. Insulting them or saying they did something wrong or can be anything less than heroic and selfless at all times is tantamount to blasphemy.

Have to agree with this sentiment. Whilst veterans are often treated like shit from a physical needs or administrative standpoint, the number of folks who believe that a US vet can do no wrong, and is deserving of verbal respect at all times no matter what, is I would have to say, quite substantial.

These same people would very likely take a ‘not in my back yard’ approach to programs trying to treat disabled war vets in their area, butthat’s another matter.

Again, like Kasic’s putting it, the common belief is that the US armed forces represent the army of FREEDOM, marching out to liberate the world from its oppressors, and bring the gift of American values to all corners of the Earth. The US is Mother. The US is Father. The mighty US of A can do no wrong.

Then. when the rose colored glasses fall off, the level cognitive disconnect is quite impressive. It stems I think from the way we were all taught as youngsters, thatthe US was the beacon of hope in the world. The very best nation on Earth. We required the biggest military on Earth because everyone else was jealous of our success. We were to put it bluntly, God’s chosen people.

Relatively few actively seek to explore other cultures, or immerse themselves in other cultures except those they are stationed in during wartime operations. During wartime, you’re hardly going to see the best side of a foreign country, after all. As such it’s a shock to the system when one of these events break, and it becomes clear we’re no better than anyone else on the planet, and our people are, well, just people. Some are very good, some are absolutely horrid, and they run the gamut of everything in-between. Atrocities are committed in our name, just as they are committed in other nations’ names.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Full Body Transplants a Reality on a Personal Level

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

I read somewhere a while back about self-piloting cars and what it may mean for future generations to “drive” a car. (“Back in the day we had to physically STEER the car to keep it on the road! And we could only do about 75 everywhere.”) The article’s premise was “your car may decide that you have to die.” Meaning, if your self-piloting smart car was on a crash course with another smart car full of children, a quick calculation may result in the two cars deciding that your life was the least loss and take you off the cliff to avoid the collision.

WIRED magazine. That’s where you read it. We had a discussion on that exact scenario here before, that you may or may not be interested in perusing.

The cultural shock of being “you” when nobody really recognizes “you” will probably require some clumsy psychological preparation. Your clothes may not fit. Your voice will be different. You may be stronger or weaker.

Yes. When I first wrote the OP for this thread, I was thinking of a particular experiment that was done to see what the psychological and neurological effects would be of someone suddenly gaining a different head. It used VR and AR techniques, notably the rubber bodypart illusion technique to make the participants believe their head had changed.

The participants were to complete a prescribed series of actions in front of a mirror, once for the camera, and once again whilst wearing a head mounted display unit (which of course eliminates all visual data except what the screen displays). Their display showed a steroscopic image of a different volunteer’s head in the mirror, performing the mirror image of the same actions this volunteer was perfoming, in time with their own actions.

Interestingly, neurologically, the brain quickly identified that the displayed head was a mirror image of their own head, and integrated their new appearance into the person’s psyche at an instinctual level. This suggests it would be relatively easy for a person to radically change appearance, and have their brain wiring accept the change at the most fundamental levels – any resistance would be learned, or culturally derived rather than instinctual.

However, that doesn’t begin to address how other people would see the change and what issues with it they might have. As you say, identifying the body of someone they knew, now dead, but up and walking around with a different head on their shoulders could conceivably be a traumatic experience.


Another angle that’s come to mind just now whilst writing this, is a question of whether or not the patient would inherit some of the mannerisms of the donor, such as their gait. That’s determined quite a bit by muscle memory, and I’m unsure how much a new brain in charge upstairs would have to fight against the donated body’s preferred way of doing things, exposing weaknesses in musculature that weren’t apparent before, because the original owner used the muscle groups in different ways.

The brain absolutely 100% is the device responsible for telling which muscle to move when, and thus controlling gait, but its choices are influenced by muscle weakness and injury in the limbs – it could well be that the patient might adapt a hybrid of their own gait and the donor’s, simply because that’s what gets the best feedback response from the donated muscles.

Where I’m going with this, is they could to a degree end up moving like the donor as well as looking like them from the neck down, which would further complicate the whole identity issue from the POV of someone who knew the donor.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is my PC virus infected

If the contents of your PC are important to you, why aren’t you making grandfather-father-son backups as a matter of rote, anyway?

Three layers of backups.

The grandfather is the oldest, and is typically three days to a week old at most.
The father is the intermediary, and is two to four days old
The son is the youngest and is ideally last night’s backup, or the last 48 hours at most.

You use the grandfather backup’s media as the next son backup, so you use the same three media, but keep a rolling generational backup going.

That way if the worst comes to the worst and you have to reinstall, you’ve lost a few hours of work at the most.

If you’ve got the cash, going for a single layer of redundancy with a file server is also a good idea – so everything gets saved twice, on two different physical harddrives. But that depends on how much your work and your data is vital to you.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Think twice before you eat Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's!

Well you could always look to Russia:

The Russian consumer protection agency said on Friday [July 2014] it was taking the company to court for selling foods that contain more fats and carbohydrates than are allowed by national regulations..

Some of their products are too unhealthy for Russians to be able to stomach. Well, that probably says it all. Those guys will eat practically anything.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / 8 Stages of Genocide

It sounds very similar to the Allport scale, used for determining levels of discrimination within a community:

Scale 1: Antilocution. Antilocution usually refers to a majority group making jokes about a minority group, but it can also apply to members of a minority group making jokes or speaking negatively about other members of the same minority group (or about members of the majority group). Speech is in terms of negative stereotypes and negative images. This is also called hate speech. It is commonly seen as harmless by the majority. Antilocution itself may not be harmful, but it sets the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice.

Scale 2: Avoidance. People in a minority group are actively avoided by members of the majority group (or by other factions of the same minority group) and oftentimes vice-versa. No direct harm may be intended, but harm is done, mostly to the minority group, through isolation.

Scale 3: Discrimination. The minority group is discriminated against by denying them opportunities and services, thus putting prejudice into action. Behaviors have the specific goal of harming the minority group by preventing them from achieving goals, getting education or jobs, etc. The majority group is actively trying to harm the minority.

Scale 4: Physical Attack. The majority group vandalize minority group things, they burn property and carry out violent attacks on individuals or groups. Physical harm is done to members of the minority group. Members of a particular faction within a minority group may also carry out physical attacks against members of another faction within that majority group. There is also the possibility of members of the minority group carrying out isolated attacks against individual members of the majority group, though of course the minority group usually lacks the numerical, economic, political, and military force to make these attacks widespread and systematic.

Scale 5: Extermination.The majority group seeks extermination of the minority group. They attempt to eliminate the entire group of people. There may also be members of a minority group strongly in favor of and actively assisting in the extermination of that same group (their own group).

(Source)

The main difference would be that Allport’s scale was first codified in 1954, not 1996. However, it seems quite obvious that the Genocide watch scale is a direct derivative of Allport’s work.

To me the interesting bit is why they’ve felt the necessity of breaking it into eight distinct stages rather than the standard five. Their reasoning for this increased breakdown could be quite illuminating.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Think twice before you eat Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's!

vika admits to supporting animal abuse

which means he has no morals and we can ignore everything he says

I’m not even a he :P

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Think twice before you eat Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's!

Originally posted by Mafefe_Classic:

make parasitology/immunology a mandatory course in high school

then nobody will eat meat bkuz they will know about the freaky parasites that all meat contains.

I doubt that would stop many.

Have you ever been inside a morgue, Mafefe? You know the running gag about the mortician who eats their lunch whilst cutting about dead bodies? It has rather more than a grain of truth to it. I’ve witnessed one guy who was munching away on a corned beef sandwich whilst poking around inside an evacuated cranial cavity.

No matter how icky something seems at first, it soon becomes routine, and the horror factor fades.

Heck, I pick meat up at the abbatoir myself. I know full well what they do to the animals, and I still eat meat.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Full Body Transplants a Reality on a Personal Level

I honestly had not given newborns or infants a second’s thought, implosion. There would be vast problems finding a child’s body that was not only compatible, but in getting the parents to sign off on it. Stillborns are a possibility, but due to the degree of distraught would-be parents’ lack of cooperation, such schemes might be nigh impossible to achieve.

I’m also concerned about the genetic compatibility with children now that you mention it. A graft of two still-growing bodies might seem ok at first, but what do you do if their genes are encoded to produce say two differing neck girths as the two halves grow?

You’d have to continually provide skin grafts, or slow one of the two halves with growth suppressors – which would of course affect the development of the other, et al.

It might be better to limit such transplants to fully matured bodies to avoid such complications, in the same way as the theoretical minimum age you could pewrform a full brain transplant is 12 years of age, so as to allow sufficent space in the cranial cavity to physically house it.

I am really interested in what you and Petes said too, about what happens when there is a massive potential issue such as an incorrect gender being the only choice available (some would love it, some would hate it) or an incorrect ethnicity (same issues).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Transhumanism

Seriously, I would rather be half killbot than have some quirky augmented reality device.

Why not both? Makes sense if you’re going to be half killbot, that you can directly read heat signatures around you, and listen in on Wi-Fi traffic around you to zero in on targets, or have a virtual grid placed over your vision to tell you where the physical structures actually are in low visibility environments as produced by smoke, dust, fog, etc.


OP, I suspect you may get more responses if you narrow down which facets of or flavors of transhumanism you wish to discuss.

for example, my own is all about sensory integration and substitution, but there are many different, and often mutually incompatible types of transhumanism about. Oftn all they have in common is the act of transitioning from the human form to some other.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Implications of Allowing Gay Marriage (Polygamy/Incest)

It’s not so much the curing I don’t think, more that these people for whatever mad reason are worried that by exposing their (or more pertinently other people’s) children to a gay person through television programming, that these children will somehow contract gayness. That they’ll grow up to be gay, precisely because they saw a gay person on TV in an educational program aimed at their age group.

Thus the campaign by members of the lunatic fringe far right to have a children’s programming series that included a potentially gay character, taken off the air before it adversely affected their poor defenseless minds, turning them also into gay people.

That there were also three apparently heterosexual characters on the show didn’t matter. They wouldn’t have any influence. Only this one gay person would corrupt the children, turning them all gay purely by visual exposure.

Hence the same drive to have gay marriage forbidden, gays denied equal rights, gays shoved into the cupboard and forgotten about; out of sight, out of mind. Because of this same fear that just the sight of a gay person will corrupt children, turn them gay at the sight of the gay person. The mere sight being enough to influence their genetic predisposition, years after their genes were laid down and years before they even understand what sexual attraction truly even is.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Implications of Allowing Gay Marriage (Polygamy/Incest)

Originally posted by KingZeldar3:

That’s downright silly. So a character is considered gay for wearing something that girls are mostly known to wear?

Apparently.

The more vile implication made was that it was offensive for a potentially gay person to be part of a children’s program, as it was dangerous to expose our young children to a gay individual, as they might… well, basically the fear was they would absorb the ‘gayness’ through osmosis.

Again, I remind you this was less than two decades ago, and I dare say a majority of the people who objected so strenuously then, are still around today. Still no wiser, and just as adamant that ‘we need to protect the children from the gays’ as they were then.

Ultimately, I believe it is this irrational fear that a person can contract same sexual attraction from being in the presence of a gay person, or even watching them on TV, like some sort of non-corporeal, visually transmitted disease that only homosexuals possess, that is at the root of all the anti-homosexual fervor of whichever stripe it decides to present as.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The next President Clinton

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage she’ll face, is not her gender, but her family. As with the Bush family, it starts to feel like they’re trying for a dynasty when several members of the same family have aimed for presidency. I realise they’re not, but it’s hard not to see that conclusion when you start seeing the same family names popping up.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Think twice before you eat Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's!

Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you.

So? Quite a few chemicals are like that. The key is moderation. The author is trying to be sensationalist writing that. It’s scaremongering, and little else.

Eating fast food just twice a week DOUBLES your risk of developing insulin resistance compared to eating it just once a week

If eating it once a week carries a risk of say 0.0001% chance of developing a potential problem, then a chance of 0.0002% would indeed be doubling the risk. It would still be so small as to be statistically insignificant.

Without actual numbers (which the author is not providing) this is just empty scaremongering, with no actual information content.

This shouldn’t come as any great surprise. After all, how healthful can something be that shows no signs of decomposing after being left on a counter for more than a decade

Why, exactly, do you wish your food to be decomposing? Digestion is not the same as decomposition. What a lack of decomposition simply means is that no microbial life is feeding on it, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on context.If you can still derive nutrient from digesting the food, then it is in fact, still food.

I could go on, but the article is full of blatant sensationalism and scaremongering, whilst being careful to give few actual facts in a relevant contextual basis. Makes me very wary of trusting anything the article says.

The rest is a mix of corn-derived fillers and additives (most likely genetically modified),

Why, if you’re not trying to scaremonger, does the possibility of genetically modified ingredients deserve mention? All our food is ‘genetically modified’, always has been for the entire history of the human race. Throwing that snippet in can only be meant to play on reader’s fears. Scary buzzword. Panic stations.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Implications of Allowing Gay Marriage (Polygamy/Incest)

I doubt it’s going to end soon. Too many minds try to destroy what they don’t understand.

I was listening to the radio earlier today, and a historical segment on the Tellytubbies was on. It was chronicalling the history of the gay tellytubby scandal.

Tellytubbies was a very popular young children’s program in the 1990s, and it went viral soon after launch by the UK’s BBC. PBS purchased rights to show it as a young children’s educational show – which it was. However, the religious right went into meltdown mode because one of the four nominally male characters carried a handbag and in one episode wore a tutu he’d found. A lot of gnashing of teeth and demands that PBS pull the plug on the show and the BBC stop making it, because exposing young children to a potential gay would damage them.

That hoohah was less than 20 years ago, and many of those same attitudes still run rampant.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Full Body Transplants a Reality on a Personal Level

On a personal level, I’m for this sort of thing. This particular experiment won’t be making use of my own work, as they’re trying for a general sync between the head’s half of the spine and the body’s half. But if this develops, they’ll need neural code maps and nerve position maps for within the bundles. That means my own work will be directly called upon, which is never a bad thing. :)

If I was in line for the procedure, I’d wish to know what my new body would look like before the procedure, and come to terms with whether it was acceptable for me or not. I’d really hate to wind up with a male body for example, and would need to plan ahead as to what I’d have to change in what I wear with a new female body (yes, I know, vanity should be a low priority).

Beyond that, the concept doesn’t bother me. But then, I’m known as someone who would be happy with a fully prosthetic body so long as it functioned and looked how I desired, so it is perhaps no surprise I have such vanity issues with a new body, but vanity is as deep as the ‘squick’ factor goes.

Originally posted by beauval:

But where will they get the donors from? I would imagine that a fully functioning but brain dead body is quite a hard thing to find.

Worryingly they may consider locked-in patients, as tests for locked-in syndrome are not nearly as prevalent as they should be. So there is a potential danger that patients of locked-in could be used for donors.

Otherwise, well, there’s an interesting titbit with heart transplant operations. A main problem with them is the old heart must be stopped and removed, the new one put in and started. It’s a problem because you only have twelve minutes maximum to do all that. Soon as blood flow ceases, the brain begins to degrade. Literally the moment blood flow ceases, the brain’s cells begin to starve to death. After twelve minutes without oxygen being provided, the brain is irretrievable, and the operation is a failure.

But, in the case of a full body transplant, you don’t need the brain. The body’s still viable without it. So, there is a case to be made that if the person has died on the operating table, and is a registered organ donor, then the transplant operation they were undergoing can be completed. They’re brain-dead and irrecoverable, but their body can now be donated as a single piece, to someone who does still have a functional brain.