Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Biotech Earth Government Science Your Rights Online

SXSW: Al Gore Talks Surveillance Culture, Spider Goats 260

Posted by timothy
from the we-await-your-orders-sire dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Former vice president Al Gore sat down with Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg at this year's SXSW conference to talk about the future — specifically, what Gore sees as the dangers and opportunities awaiting the planet for the next few years. Gore drilled down into what he referred to as the "stalker economy." The rise of apps such as SnapChat, which allows smartphone users to control how long friends can view messages, is emblematic of people reaching the "gag point" with pervasive recording and surveillance by government and business. "Our democracy has been hacked," Gore also told his audience, referring to the U.S. Constitution as "our operating system." While there's never been a "golden age" of American Democracy, he added, the perils emerging today are new. "If a Congressman or Senator has to spend five hours a day begging special interests or rich people for money," he said, they'll be more concerned about how what they're saying will appeal to those interests—rather than their constituents. In yet another tangent, Gore railed against genetic engineering, including Spider Goats, which are goats with spliced spider DNA that allows them to secrete spider silk along with their milk. The goats breed, extending that trait to future generations. Gore sees such things as a case of science run amok, alternately creepy and scary."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SXSW: Al Gore Talks Surveillance Culture, Spider Goats

Comments Filter:
  • Mmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by gagol (583737) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:57PM (#43134383)
    Spider milk. I wonder what it tastes like...
  • manbearpig! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:57PM (#43134385)
    I'm serial!
  • democracy hacked? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:07PM (#43134429) Homepage Journal

    The flow of money into the U.S. political system, he argued, and the need by politicians to fundraise has led to special interests gaining undue power.

    âoeOur democracy has been hacked,â Gore told his audience, referring to the U.S. Constitution as âoeour operating system.â While thereâ(TM)s never been a âoegolden ageâ of American Democracy, he added, the perils emerging today are new. âoeIf a Congressman or Senator has to spend five hours a day begging special interests or rich people for money,â he said, theyâ(TM)ll be more concerned about how what theyâ(TM)re saying will appeal to those interestsâ"rather than their constituents.

    Special interests are inevitable in a system that allows politicians to set the rules for businesses and individuals in the first place. The politicians are the ones that hacked the Constitution, they hacked the Law. They figured out how to remove the chains that were placed upon the government to bind it, to provide it with only limited powers (article 1, section 8). Once the politicians found the way (it was easy once the Republic became wealthy enough due to all the business that thrived under the mostly free market system in the first 124 years of the Republic), just promise the people something for nothing and they will vote for you and will let you do whatever you want to the Law. The politicians turned the Republic into a democracy by promising a bunch of stuff to be given out as subsidies and it was popular, because the promise was to make only a minority of people to pay for it (discrimination against a minority based on different levels of income).

    So the more power that the government stole from the people by promising them free stuff, the more lucrative it became for politicians to keep power and the more competitive the field of politics became because it brought with it much more power than it was ever designed to give to the politicians.

    Politicians are today's Rock Stars, they live better than the rest of the public, they get all this respect for some reason, they get the best deals on everything (trust me, companies like large banks, credit card companies, even phone companies have lists of 'higher class' people to provide a much better service and not to bug in case they break the rules, and these lists include politicians and their various friends).

    It's lucrative to be a politician, and so it is very competitive and it gives so much power that wasn't meant to be there, that's why there is all this money pouring in - those are bribes to leave people alone in many cases.

    • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:36PM (#43134575)

      Bravo! All attempts to limit political contributions are doomed to fail, as the incentives to bypass such limits are too enormous. The only solution is to reduce the power of the government as a whole. This entirely opposite to the policies of both the Democrats and Republicans.

      Al Gore himself is a fine example, having incentivized thousands of lobbyists around the world, while stomping around with the carbon footprint of a mastodon.

      • Re:democracy hacked? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:52PM (#43134647) Homepage Journal

        Definitely [slashdot.org], Al Gore benefited from his political connections many times. Current TV would not have become profitable for him in that sale if he wasn't Gore and didn't have all these political connections (you can't just start a media company and really expect all those networks and channels and carriers to give you access). His fortune became larger also as a result of the 529 Million USD loan (political connections) that gov't gave Fisker car company, and they moved production to Finland, manufacturing gas guzzling (climate change, ha?) luxury 90,000USD cars (man of the people).

      • by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:53AM (#43135381)

        The only solution is to reduce the power of the government as a whole. This entirely opposite to the policies of both the Democrats and Republicans.

        The Libertarians have been suggesting this remedy for decades now, but neither the Democrats nor the Republicans seem particularly interested. The Republicans at least pay lip service to smaller and more limited government, but never actually do much to achieve it, while Democrats are openly hostile to even the suggestion of it; It's anathema to them. So our problems with large, powerful and intrusive government are likely to continue and increase in the years ahead as they have for decades now.

        • Re:democracy hacked? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by dbIII (701233) on Monday March 11, 2013 @01:29AM (#43135491)
          However "smaller and more limited government" is in many cases just a code for not having any auditors that can identify where the bribes are coming from and what the money is getting spent on. That gold plated cisco router in a one room library mentioned in an earlier story is an example of the "smaller" government, as is the missing millions in Iraq, outsourcing a pile of TSA stuff to Chertoff's company and I'm sure plenty of more recent stuff perpetrated by both of the functioning US political parties. The players know that code so for some of the honest "smaller government" is seen as meaning nothing more than graft, corruption and diverting public money into friendly pockets - thus "It's anathema to them".

          It's one of those stupid twisted issues where the actual issue (in this case that of a well run public services delivered without consuming a lot of tax income, which everyone would like to see) gets buried under tons of baggage ranging from "I'm all right Jack" anarchists, blatant Royalists that want to set up the rich as a new nobility that Washington would have shot without hesitation, to utter scumbags on the take. Acting to oppose utter scumbags on the take (and similar) is framed as wishing to waste public money.
          • Great post! Just one thing...

            perpetrated by both of the functioning US political parties.

            Are they really functional? Perhaps, as you suggest, for themselves, but maybe not for the people they were elected to represent.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              Both parties that have the numbers to get legislation passed anyway. I'll leave rants about a political system that strongly discourages citizens to take part (even people having to line up for hours to vote like in Kenya but without the reason of equipment malfunctions) for another day, or for people who are actually US citizens.
          • Not to mention that with smaller government, the work that needs to be done gets sent to contractors that tend to charge a lot more for the same services. (defense contractors are quite adept at this). Anyone who's worked in government knows if you want a high paying salary you don't work in government--you contract to government.

            And you can only imagine just how much lobbying goes on to get those contracts... So smaller government can be a recipe for more aggressive lobbying.

          • by Quila (201335)

            The idea of smaller government means less power over the people. It does not mean less auditing and self-regulation of the government's functions. In fact, it should mean more, since these serve as a check on the power of the government.

      • Bravo! All attempts to limit political contributions are doomed to fail, as the incentives to bypass such limits are too enormous. The only solution is to reduce the power of the government as a whole.

        The problems that America has (and they are relatively few, first world problems) are down to the power of corporations. Their bribing politicians with contributions is one one part of that. Reducing the power of government will not reduce the power of corporations at all, it'll actually increase it. And thus would be counter productive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by roman_mir (125474)

          . Their bribing politicians with contributions is one one part of that. Reducing the power of government will not reduce the power of corporations at all, it'll actually increase it. And thus would be counter productive.

          - what do you mean when you say power? Because when I say power, I mean legal power to force an individual to do things that the individual does not want to do. Power is backed by force of violence. The State is predicated on violence, in fact by definition State is a system of violence.

          Consent of the governed gives the government its authority and I don't believe that the governed are interested to give the authority all of the powers that authorities have today, the governed are complaining, they are un

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Special interests are inevitable in a system that allows politicians to set the rules for businesses and individuals in the first place. The politicians are the ones that hacked the Constitution, they hacked the Law. They figured out how to remove the chains that were placed upon the government to bind it, to provide it with only limited powers (article 1, section 8). Once the politicians found the way (it was easy once the Republic became wealthy enough due to all the business that thrived under the mostly free market system in the first 124 years of the Republic), just promise the people something for nothing and they will vote for you and will let you do whatever you want to the Law. .

      Business really didn't thrive. It was boom and bust all the way. There were multiple deep and sometimes long recessions and depressions. There was also very much not a free market in critical industries. Federal land grants built the railroads and the West -- on land forcibly "liberated" from its previous occupants and owners.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by roman_mir (125474)

        Business really didn't thrive.

        - orly? USA was built in that time period. The debts (mostly private) were all paid out as the country became largest manufacturer in the world in that time period. In that time period basically all major cities were built around manufacturing and shipping hubs, the infrastructure was built privately. The 'booms and busts' of the time happened exactly around every incident of gov't meddling with the economy, and of-course the Civil War didn't help matters. And yet, including the War and all the problems, b

        • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Monday March 11, 2013 @01:37AM (#43135521) Homepage Journal

          And yet you completely skip over the point that most of the 19th Century prosperity in the USA was made on the work of the Federal army in cleaning out those pesky natives from the resources the settlers wanted.

          Scratch a libertard, find a good old-fashioned oligarch underneath.

        • by dbIII (701233)

          The banking problems were minor compared to the total disaster that is at hand today

          While you do have some points they are ruined by such obvious dishonesty or breathtaking ignorance.

        • This would be the 19th Century where the wealth was made from stealing land from native Americans, and extracting natural resources such as gold and oil? Where the agricultural practices that would create the dust bowl were being created. Where cotton was picked by black slaves, and the railroads were built by the Chinese? Where the abuses of monopolies were rampant. Where a few became ultra-rich, but the majority were dirt poor?

    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:00PM (#43134689) Journal

      Wag the dog.. Business sets the rules.. Government enforces them... Who do you think has the resources to set up a government to begin with? Business and government are not competing interests. They are symbiotic, unable to exist on their own. Together they set up a wonderful system where the slaves actually believe they are free because they can buy lots of trinkets.

      • Together they set up a wonderful system where the slaves actually believe they are free because they can buy lots of trinkets.

        Um, you know that a slave is a real thing, right? And it isn't "someone who goes to work to make money." Believe it or not, you are not a slave. Your comment is like a kid who wants to call CPA because his mom won't let him play video games.

        • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday March 11, 2013 @01:08AM (#43135435) Homepage Journal

          Believe it or not, you are not a slave.

          I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted. - Frederick Douglass

          The thing about slavery is that there have been so many forms with various levels of freedom. And then variations like serfdom and helotry.

          What would be your test for whether a person is a slave - a test that would encompass all historical forms of slavery? Find that test and apply it to modern subjects of nation states to see where they fall. Apply some small variations ("plus they are allowed to insult the master"). Measure against the legal theory that slaves have no inherent right to property and compare it to up-to-100% of income being subject to confiscation. See where the chips may fall.

          In the US, at least, the traditional definition of 'citizen' ("a oath of allegiance in exchange for a duty of protection") isn't in play as the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected the argument that the government has any duty to protect its People. What we are here is a very open question, from a legal history perspective.

          • "not being able to do the things I wanted" isn't a slave, that's basically every person alive. Fact is, when you live with other people, you can't do everything you want. Sucks, but it's reality, and saying you are a slave because you can't do what you want makes you look like a petulant teenager.
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Wag the dog.. Business sets the rules.. Government enforces them...

        Two words: regulatory capture

        The relatively new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is independant of Congress and has been churning out meaningful regulations.
        Compare and contrast with mining or nuclear regulators, who are not independant of Congress and are heavily influenced by the companies they regulate.

        Independant regulators (that do not have to worry about getting defunded every year) could do wonders to fix our fucked up system of rules.
        I mean, we appoint independant prosecutors to impeach Clinton,

    • Re:democracy hacked? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:08PM (#43134731) Homepage Journal

      Special interests are inevitable in a system that allows politicians to set the rules for businesses and individuals in the first place.

      Only if money changes hands.

      that's why there is all this money pouring in

      No, there's money pouring in because it's legal to do so. Make it illegal, create public election financing and put a few politicians away for taking money and watch how fast things change.

      Politicians set the rules for businesses and individuals in 1790 too, you know.

      • Campaign contributions are a drop in the bucket; it's what politicians do when they're out of office that makes the in-office stuff look like kindergarten play. Unless you plan to prohibit politicians from ever holding a job or making an investment after they leave office, people will find a legal way to pay them for their insider knowledge.

        Politicians set the rules for businesses and individuals in 1790 too, you know.

        You don't seriously think that the reach of the federal government in 1790 was as extensive as it is today, so don't be ridiculous.

    • Why on earth your comment is scoring +2 is beyond me, or any other sentient being.

      promising a bunch of stuff to be given out as subsidies and it was popular, because the promise was to make only a minority of people to pay for it (discrimination against a minority based on different levels of income).

      That statement would only be true if the US used a progressive taxation system. However, as the US taxation system is the most regressive in the world - and is a part of why the US has the most highly skewed distribution of wealth of any industrialized nation - your claim is 100% bullshit. If anything, the taxation system effectively results in those with the least paying the most for handouts to those who already have the

      • by Quila (201335)

        That statement would only be true if the US used a progressive taxation system. However, as the US taxation system is the most regressive in the world

        Absolutely false. The US has a progressive federal income taxation system, from 10 to 35%. It's just not progressive to confiscatory, punitive levels as you'd like it.

        Sales taxes are regressive. Sin taxes such as those on alcohol and cigarettes are regressive. Taxes on fuel and carbon emissions are regressive. Interestingly, such taxes are very popular with li

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          The US has a progressive federal income taxation system, from 10 to 35%. It's just not progressive to confiscatory, punitive levels as you'd like it.

          i.e. it's not fully progressive

          Sales taxes are regressive. Sin taxes such as those on alcohol and cigarettes are regressive. Taxes on fuel and carbon emissions are regressive. Interestingly, such taxes are very popular with liberals.

          Yet again the meaningless American right wing use of the word "liberal" crops up. If by "liberal" you mean "left wing" then you are quite wrong. Left wingers do not approve of flat-rate (regressive) taxes at all. We think that taxes should come out of income with the wealthiest paying a LOT more. Sales taxes, especially on things like electricity, fuel, food or clothes are completely inequitable for those on low incomes.

          I know that right wingers like to equate left winger

    • by Marxdot (2699183) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:30PM (#43134827)

      tl;dr, roman_mir implies that democracy and proper self-determination is "tyrannical" and makes thinly-veiled wishes for a de jure dictatorship of industrialists, as usual.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        tl;dr, roman_mir implies that democracy and proper self-determination is "tyrannical" and makes thinly-veiled wishes for a de jure dictatorship of industrialists, as usual.

        tl;dr roman_mir is a libertarian

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:58PM (#43134961) Journal

      It's lucrative to be a politician, and so it is very competitive and it gives so much power that wasn't meant to be there

      Yet another reason to keep as much power as possible as local as possible. If some small town or large city gets corrupt, it doesn't affect the rest of us. But if the federal government is corrupt, it affects all of us. And it's a lot harder to deal with federal government corruption than local government corruption.

      • by Quila (201335)

        We've actually had a successful armed rebellion against a local corrupt government, the Battle of Athens. The corrupt government was thrown out, and it didn't affect the rest of the country. Like you say, it's not so easy or practical to do that when all the power is at the federal level.

    • Special interests are inevitable in a system that allows politicians to set the rules for businesses and individuals in the first place. The politicians are the ones that hacked the Constitution, they hacked the Law. They figured out how to remove the chains that were placed upon the government to bind it, to provide it with only limited powers (article 1, section 8). Once the politicians found the way (it was easy once the Republic became wealthy enough due to all the business that thrived under the mostly free market system in the first 124 years of the Republic), just promise the people something for nothing and they will vote for you and will let you do whatever you want to the Law. The politicians turned the Republic into a democracy by promising a bunch of stuff to be given out as subsidies and it was popular, because the promise was to make only a minority of people to pay for it (discrimination against a minority based on different levels of income).

      So the more power that the government stole from the people by promising them free stuff, the more lucrative it became for politicians to keep power and the more competitive the field of politics became because it brought with it much more power than it was ever designed to give to the politicians.

      As I read this I thought I was reading the intro sequence to The Phantom Menace...

  • Sad to see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tagged_84 (1144281) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:26PM (#43134513) Homepage
    Sad to see his stance on genetic engineering is so negative. How does he expect us to recover so many extinct species and continue to advance if we don't master our biological side?

    Those goats aren't being thrown out in the wild to breed, they're being used to create stronger materials that will likely be used to protect us from the dangers of climate change. Sure we have risks of contamination, but to be put off advancement because of what-ifs would mean we'd still be in caves fearing the wrath of fire.
  • Sing along: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hartree (191324) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:32PM (#43134549)

    Spider Goat, Spider Goat,
    makes the thread for your spider coat!
    Spins cloth with eight legged speed,
    Any color, any weave.
    Take note,
    Here comes the Spider Goat!

    • by shadowofwind (1209890) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:56PM (#43134673)

      Mashing the two previous posts....

      There was an old woman who swallowed a goat
      For spiderweb rope, she swallowed a goat
      She swallowed the goat to protect us from the dangers of climate change....

      Dang, doesn't rhyme.

      Doesn't make any sense either.

    • It can only be female crime fighting goats swinging through the city, as they'll be shooting web from their udders. And then the comic books will get hold of this idea and... .. oh god... ... need brain bleach badly!...

      AAAARRGHHH!!

  • spidergoat (Score:5, Funny)

    by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:36PM (#43134569)

    Spidergoat, the secondary menace to Al after, of course, man-bear-pig.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:46PM (#43134617)

    Abomination! Throw all the scientists down the well.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    . ....Note the sarcasm tags.

    • . ....Note the sarcasm tags.

      You must have written them in Unicode, because Slashdot doesn't seem to be able to display them...

      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .

      Also, your scientists are really small. Or are you just approximating your scientists as a point mass when they fall down the well?

  • Awesomely creepy!
  • by CncRobot (2849261) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:10PM (#43134751)

    When Bill Clinton was president he sold top secret ICBM technology to the Chinese in return for cash donations to the DNC, specifically his and Gore's election campaigns. This is fact. When asked about it during a debate between Gore and Bush, Gore's response was "No controlling legal authority" meaning that Janet Reno was the only one authorized to prosecute and she was told not to.

    I really have a hard time listening to Gore, especially when it comes to campaign contributions. What he and Clinton did was treason, period, and he abused his power to not be prosecuted.

    • by dbIII (701233) on Monday March 11, 2013 @02:14AM (#43135643)
      Ford flew to Jakarta to accept a large donation on the day Indonesia invaded East Timor, and then the US used it's regional influence and UN veto to ensure that Indonesia was left alone. Policy has been set by foreign powers donating to US political parties for quite a while and what looks like it should be treason is sometimes just the way both parties operate, and why outsiders like myself see the US political system as a corrupt shadow of what it was supposed to be.
  • Spider goats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:15PM (#43134765) Homepage Journal

    I used to own stock in the company that made spider goats.

    When it was first announced I thought it was a great idea and would lead to a business producing a useful product. Spider silk is strong stuff which and would have many useful applications such as lightweight rope and lightweight body armor.

    Although the goats made the spider silk proteins, the company never figured out the trick of making actual silk. Some process in the spinnerets of the spiders turns the proteins into silk, and the company was unable to reproduce this effect.

    They sold off the IP for the process, and vanished into obscurity. I don't think anyone has figured out what the missing step was. (This was a couple of years ago - may have been solved since.)

    I see nothing wrong with using animals in this way - as factories for producing useful products. The goats weren't mistreated (unlike chickens we raise for food). We do the same thing with other animals without the genetic engineering aspect - wool from sheep, for example.

    • Yeah, if we could mass produce spider thread, it would be amazing.
    • by Aighearach (97333)

      I heard the original top scientist left and went underground and started making star-monkeys.

    • by Entropius (188861)

      Exactly -- and, even more strongly, we have been genetically engineering other animals for millennia, by selective breeding. We built, for instance, the bulldog -- a dog with no face, that can't fuck on its own, can't give birth on its own, and is generally completely physically incompetent. How is building a goat that makes spider silk any more unnatural or cruel?

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Exactly -- and, even more strongly, we have been genetically engineering other animals for millennia, by selective breeding. We built, for instance, the bulldog -- a dog with no face, that can't fuck on its own, can't give birth on its own, and is generally completely physically incompetent. How is building a goat that makes spider silk any more unnatural or cruel?

        Hey, guess what? I don't approve of bulldogs OR goat-spiders!

        Who knew that because A is worse than B, that doesn't make B good, since life is not just about binary choices?

    • This is not the first time a "GMO panic" story has fallen flat on the ears of Slashdot. The media keeps trying to stir up paranoia about in vitro meat [asme.org], and I haven't met a single person who finds it anything other than ethically unimpeachable.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The media keeps trying to stir up paranoia about in vitro meat, and I haven't met a single person who finds it anything other than ethically unimpeachable.

        Companies which exist to manufacture stuff can't even give us products without lead paint, you think they're going to check that meat properly for defects? Nature has defenses against defects, if they are bad enough the animal gets sick, maybe even dies.

    • by rasmusbr (2186518)

      There was a documentary (Horizon: Playing God [bbc.co.uk]) about it last year that shows the silk being made, but it doesn't explain how it works except that the first step is to separate the spider silk protein from the milk.

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      I'm probably being thick, but why can't we just breed lots and lots of spiders and keep them all locked up in a big cage making spider silk? Why do we have to pass them through goats?

      tl;dr I love goats and hate spiders

  • Does whatever a spidergoat does.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:21AM (#43135287)
    Al Gore is right on one thing. Since the politician who gathers the most campaign contributions tends to win elections, we have a system in place now where the best sell outs get in office. This means politicians do things like make pork projects to special interests, and the special interests pay them kickbacks, all increasing the national debt. At one point the phone company and monopolies were supposed to be regulated by the government. Now corporations regulate the government by writing the legislation for them. Unless we change how campaign contributions work, the system will eventually fail because the national debt's interest becomes more and more of the total tax dollars taken in. Politicians in charge now won't change campaign contributions, because that's how they get paid, that's how they play the game and feel they're winning. But the people's interest aren't always the same interests as corporate interests, and the politicians might not give a damn about the people, but just themselves. This is the biggest problem of democracy as I see it now.
    • Since the politician who gathers the most campaign contributions tends to win elections

      It's kind of a red herring. Remember, people pay money to politicians to gain access. Thus, they will give money to the politician they think is going to win, not the one they think will lose.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Why not have campaign spending limits so it's not such a big deal. They have campaign spending limits in Canada. Also, they should limit (or completely eliminated) the ability for corporations to donate to campaigns, and also limit the amount any individual could donate to campaigns down to something small enough that a reasonable percentage of the population could afford to make the same donation. That way, there's less inequality as rich people and corporations wouldn't be able to buy off politicians, a
  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Monday March 11, 2013 @03:33AM (#43135851)

    If we dismiss arguments with "the speaker is a hypocrite" then NOBODY will EVER listen to ANYBODY because we are ALL hypocrites.

    FOR GOODNESS SAKE, stop associating ideas with the mouths from which they emerge, and

    LET IDEAS STAND OR FALL ON THEIR MERIT

    NOT ON WHO SUPPOSEDLY SAID THEM

  • We need a lock box. I'm surprised he didn't suggest the lock box for saving privacy.
  • While there's never been a "golden age" of American Democracy, he added, the perils emerging today are new.

    No they are not. We live in a second 18th century. Everything that isn't yet in corporate hands is "enclosed". At all fronts. In Europe, even co-housing is now starting to be illegal. Ideas are enclosed. The money system is enclosed. And off course democracy is enclosed. At both sides of the pond. When will politicians ever learn from the past?

  • Let me guess, he's for embryonic stem cell therapy but doesn't realize that one of the most exciting uses of it would require genetic engineering. (Got a genetic lung disease? Easy, take your genetic material, fix the problem, create a new esc line of your corrected DNA a grow a new lung. It's compatible with you and doesn't have the problem.)
  • "Give me all the power, let me save you from the global warming monster and the scary technology monster. We can all live in the dark like the DPRK."

  • That's just wrong. Whatever your opinion of him, I think Al Gore has got that one right. Crossing venomous, hairy, crawling spawns of Satan with the loveable and intelligent goat is just evil.
  • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Monday March 11, 2013 @11:50AM (#43139035) Homepage Journal
    This is the part of TFA, in its entirety about genetic engineering.

    Gore also railed against genetic engineering, including Spider Goats, which are goats with spliced spider DNA that allows them to secrete spider silk along with their milk. The goats breed, extending that trait to future generations. Gore sees such things as a case of science run amok, alternately creepy and scary.

    No actual quotation, no stating of his case for what his problem with genetic engineering really is, no explanation of what's "creepy and scary" about the specific goat silk example, etc. SImply nothing other than saying he doesn't like it.

    Might as well get his opinion of some fashion model's dress design, for all the argument and analysis happening here.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

Working...