Posts Tagged ‘Eugenics’

Twitter cuts (#96)

Contrarian, definitely. But — on reflection — it’s not unimaginable. (Even if the average murderer is less gifted than his victim, the maths could go through.)

October 24, 2016admin 46 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Extinction Genetics

Like everything great it appears superficially as a paradox, but there’s now a practical model for it:

The paradox Burt had to solve is how something very bad for mosquitoes could also be spread by them. One answer, he saw, was a selfish gene that is harmless if one copy is present but causes sterility if two copies are. (Like humans, mosquitoes have two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.) Starting with a male mosquito with one copy, the selfish gene will ensure that it ends up in every one of his sperm, rather than just half. That way any offspring with a wild mosquito will also be carriers, as will all their offspring’s offspring. As a result, the gene will rocket through the population. […] Eventually, it becomes likely that any mating pair of mosquitoes will both be carriers — and their offspring, with two copies, will be infertile. Quickly, the population will crash, reeling from the genetic poison.

So the provocation of malaria has resulted in a remarkable piece of abstract anti-biological ordnance being put together. (Abstract, because the principles are applicable to any sexually reproducing species. The concrete details of the mosquito-killing version are fascinating, and outlined in the article.)

Hypothetically, the optimum strategic environment in which to unleash this thing is high-intensity global warfare between bio-conservatives and their enemies. Given the length of the human generational cycle, it would be a slow weapon — but one that compelled its target population to submit to techno-genetic plasticization as the only alternative to extinction. Naturally, all vestiges of decency would have had to be stripped from the conflict for such abominable genius to be imaginable (which is why it’s a Frightday night scenario here at XS, where we’re appalled, of course). In any case, the essential asymmetry of this thing in the direction of extreme neo-eugenics is unmistakable, once noticed.

Technology is neutral goes the orthogonalist refrain. Really, it isn’t.

ADDED: A gene drive introduction (video). (Via.)

May 6, 2016admin 8 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility

Who needs an argument?

The kind of things 19th century English geniuses believed will set your teeth chattering:

Galton feared that the English race was degenerating, declining in both mental and physical ability. (It remains a common fear; the French thought they were degenerating, too.) Like others of his day, Galton used the term ‘race’ loosely. He referred alternately to the English race, the white race, the human race. But overall, English eugenics was less about race than class. To Galton’s mind, the filthy working poor were breeding like rabbits while the gentry were chastely dwindling. He became convinced that unless something were done, the flower of English manhood – not excluding specimens such as his cousin and, ahem, himself – would soon vanish, swamped by a massive tide of Oliver Twists and Tiny Tims.

Thank goodness that preposterous conviction has been rigorously debunked.

November 18, 2015admin 21 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility

Chaos Patch (#79)

(Open thread + links)

Yes, this merits a serious response. Swimming left. Two equilibria. Principled positions. White blight. Difficult spreads. Zones of progressive failure. Idiots at the controls. Popular activism. Cultural analysis. Order force. The weekly round, and the week in doom.

Elements for a popcorn apocalypse: Trump (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); Corbyn (1, 2, 3, 4); NRO (1, 2, 3), yellow stars at the NYT, bathhouse genocidaires, the ugly European, re-colonization time (see also), counter-revolution in the Vatican, burning with indignation (and icy dissent), TSA-grade security, scary book of the century watch, bullet points, and the most confusing story of the week (1, 2). Taylor Swift is, like, way problematic. Imitation games.

Refugee chaos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). An AoS round-up. “Among them actually there were no women, no children – the vast majority were aggressive young men …” (If anyone has bothered to try and deny that, I’ve yet to see it.) Rising Dampier (1, 2). Best to get on with it?

Negative economic theorems. Half-baked Alaska. Back to the Malthusian trap? How to isolate mass murder memes. Eugenics for the left. Poor brains. Deep roots of poverty (the NYT notices). Women in philosophy.

The Kaiser’s Jihad.

Quantum-resistant protocols. Superconducting graphene. Large Hadron Collider info-graphics. Falcon Heavy schedule.

Alexander on Chomsky. Error and destiny. Pynchon in disguise? Star Trek politics. Vickies.

September 13, 2015admin 46 Comments »
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Quote note (#181)

Hsu waxes optimistic about the coming ecology of explosive intelligence:

… perhaps we will experience a positive feedback loop: Better human minds invent better machine learning methods, which in turn accelerate our ability to improve human DNA and create even better minds. In my own work, I use methods from machine learning (so-called compressed sensing, or convex optimization in high dimensional geometry) to extract predictive models from genomic data. Thanks to recent advances, we can predict a phase transition in the behavior of these learning algorithms, representing a sudden increase in their effectiveness. We expect this transition to happen within about a decade, when we reach a critical threshold of about 1 million human genomes worth of data. Several entities, including the U.S. government’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the private company Human Longevity Inc. (founded by Craig Venter), are pursuing plans to genotype 1 million individuals or more.

The feedback loop between algorithms and genomes will result in a rich and complex world, with myriad types of intelligences at play: the ordinary human (rapidly losing the ability to comprehend what is going on around them); the enhanced human (the driver of change over the next 100 years, but perhaps eventually surpassed); and all around them vast machine intellects, some alien (evolved completely in silico) and some strangely familiar (hybrids). Rather than the standard science-fiction scenario of relatively unchanged, familiar humans interacting with ever-improving computer minds, we will experience a future with a diversity of both human and machine intelligences. For the first time, sentient beings of many different types will interact collaboratively to create ever greater advances, both through standard forms of communication and through new technologies allowing brain interfaces. We may even see human minds uploaded into cyberspace, with further hybridization to follow in the purely virtual realm. These uploaded minds could combine with artificial algorithms and structures to produce an unknowable but humanlike consciousness. Researchers have recently linked mouse and monkey brains together, allowing the animals to collaborate — via an electronic connection — to solve problems. This is just the beginning of “shared thought.”

September 5, 2015admin 23 Comments »

Reality Boxes

Acknowledgement of a conservation law is typically a reliable indication of realistic analysis. There’s a notable example here (embedded in an important article):

In the past, individuals could suffer death or disability due to small genetic defects, for example in their immune systems, for which modern medicine now routinely substitutes and which welfare cushions. But even modern medicine and welfare have their limits. W.D. Hamilton stated that when the misery resulting from mutations grows too great to bear — for medical, economic or humanitarian reasons — the load will be reduced, either naturally or artificially — painfully through elevated rates of mortality, or painlessly through eugenics.
[My emphasis]

The slogan It’s going to happen one way or the other is engraved upon the gateway to the Temple of Gnon.

May 13, 2015admin 23 Comments »

Quote note (#160)

A simple, utterly crucial fact:

Some people are smarter than others. It seems like a straightforward truth, and one that should lend itself to scientific investigation. But those who try to study intelligence, at least in the West, find themselves lost in a political minefield.

A culture that is scared by the very thought of intelligence has already dug its own grave.

April 21, 2015admin 58 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Chaos Patch (#49)

(Open thread + links)

Reclaiming Burke. NRx culture, or tradition. A question of order. The ontology of modernity. Be the trigger (1, 2, 3, no one can say they weren’t warned). White flight (ultimate). Marxism. Fixing America. This could be a lot worse. Angelic machines. Where Urbit’s at. Fragged Friday is still going strong, Secession Lagniappe is back, the Metastasis continues (1, 2, 3, 4).

America’s (unplayed) Gulen card. ISIS buried regime change (it’s not America’s problem). Normalized terror. Camp of the Saints report: “I meet Afghans, Sudanese, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Eritreans, Pakistanis, Iranians … the list goes on.” Based Blackwater. America and the Ukraine (plus a modest proposal). What India isn’t doing.

The second economy. Tribes and jobs. Expect more of the same. The post-petrodollar epoch. Peak parasitism?

The new conformity (fact free, but can bite).

Historical vicissitudes of guilt culture. Eugenics spelled out. Bred for gullibility? NRO crosses the line (and it’s noticed). Jewish leftism. EthnoBolshevism.

Sun stuff.

Chesterton and Donovan on men and women. Lashed.

Into the deep web. Virtual totalitarian urbanism. Chinese Internet censorship choir.

An alternative universe would help the economy.

Down the rabbit hole (+ (video)).

February 15, 2015admin 20 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#30)

(Open thread, and stuff.)

Too much Ebola news and commentary to process, from speculative nightmares of various kinds, to historical reminiscences, neo-Puritan panic attacks, border disputes, alarm calls, and conspiracy theory.

Ron Paul, John Glanton, and Keith Preston walk into a bar. The bartender says: “OK, break it up gentlemen.” (Jordan Bloom should get it.) Related.

Eugenics around the back.

The game has changed.

Crabby thoughts.

An unfortunate invention.

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October 5, 2014admin 44 Comments »
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Scary Sailer

Bryan Caplan seizes upon a two-sentence Steve Sailer comment to fly into theatrical conniptions in public:

Does Steve genuinely favor denying half of Americans the right to reproduce? It’s hard to know. It is the uncertainty that he carefully cultivated that makes Sailer’s thought so scary to so many — including me. We shouldn’t have to wonder if a thinker approves of denying half the population the right to have children.

This really is Caplan at his most despicable. First, set up a bizarre counter-factual to support a quite different moral argument by analogy. The crudely-telegraphed argumentative strategy is to shift the burden of fanaticism from proponents to opponents (“hey, can’t you see that restricting immigration is just like sterilizing half the population”). Secondly, when a commentator corrects your counter-factual in the direction of historical reality — i.e. something that actually happened — deflect attention by cranking up the moral hysteria, while retreating into what seems increasingly to be Caplan’s favorite territory — unhinged deontological purism. Finally, suggest that the commentator is only mentioning historical reality in order to surreptitiously endorse your own preposterous thought-experiment as a practical program, thus exposing himself as “scary”.

Why doesn’t he just say that hyper-Nazi eugenics is wrong?  (Of course, he has, many times.) He probably wants to throw your granny into the biodiesel tanks too. Let’s talk about that rather than my project to engineer a national immigration apocalypse.

Anyone who seriously “wonders” whether Steve Sailer secretly advocates sterilizing half of the American population has released their grip on the last frayed threads of civilized conversation. Caplan is deteriorating from a nut into something far more repulsive.

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June 3, 2014admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations