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Americans Uncomfortable With Possibility of Ubiquitous Drones, Designer Babies

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the can-you-design-the-babies-to-also-be-drones dept.

United States 155

alphadogg writes: "Americans are optimistic about scientific inventions on the horizon, though are cautious about future uses of DNA, robots, drones and always-on implants, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey on future technology (PDF). Asked about the likelihood of certain advances 50 years from now, survey respondents were most sure that lab-grown custom organs for transplant will happen (81%). Only 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather by then. When asked how they felt about possible near-term advances, 65% thought robot caregivers for the elderly is a bad idea, 63% didn't want to see personal drones in U.S. airspace, and 66% thought parents altering the DNA of prospective children was a bad idea."

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155 comments

Personal Drones (-1)

Lazere (2809091) | about 3 months ago | (#46790787)

Everybody having a drone is a horrible idea, kind of like giving everyone a gun is a bad idea. I expect owning a drone will be a "fundamental right" in the U.S. within 10 years.

Re:Personal Drones (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790809)

Just like 10 years after hiroshima, atom bombs were a fundamental right, right?

Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with the intent and apparent results of the 2nd amendment, but we don't actually enable much of a civilian arms race in the US.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

Lazere (2809091) | about 3 months ago | (#46790841)

True, but we're already pretty far with personal drones. They don't need to have a gun on them to be dangerous. If the personal drone thing takes off, the government won't need to operate spy drones, the public will do it for them.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790881)

Lots of things don't need guns to be dangerous.

Oh god, I sound like a gun-nut. But rather than qualify why that statement isn't an implicit defense of guns, I'm just gonna let it stand.

Personal drones with guns. (-1, Troll)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 3 months ago | (#46791335)

Guns are dangerous because of the cultural media message. The message that the media presents people is, 'If you own a gun, you are powerful and safe.', Which causes people to purchase them for the same reason a lot of people smoked 50 years ago. Think about how cigarettes used to be portrayed in the movies and consider how guns are portrayed in the movies. Sexy, confident and charismatic movie stars were lighting up every other scene, so of course half the population was smoking. With essentially the same marketing, why wouldn't gun ownership in America be ubiquitous? Everyone likes to feel safe and powerful. The fact that a gun makes you neither safe or powerful is moot.

Guns are particularly dangerous to sell with this message because weak minded individuals who buy into the image can hurt others with a gun quite easily, since a gun is a tool designed to wound or kill its target, where as a cigarette is largely self-damaging. I suspect that guns wouldn't be nearly the problem they are if you removed the media message.

Re:Personal drones with guns. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#46791577)

I've debated a lot of gun rights supporters, and I get a distinct impression that they are heavily influenced by just what you describe. They seem fixated on scenarios that could come straight out of a movie - they love to talk about how they will defend their family against home invasion, or shoot a mugger, or stop the rampaging gunmen before he kills innocent people.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 3 months ago | (#46791485)

If the personal drone thing takes off, the government won't need to operate spy drones, the public will do it for them.

Just look at all the cell phone pictures you see posted around the internet, cats, stupid accidents, and girls butts, etc. I doubt that personal drones are going to garner the kind of information a government spy agency would want or at least make really hard to sift through.

Re:Personal Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792019)

All you need is a better AI, and you have "ubiquitous search"....
www.artificialbrains.com/darpa-synapse-program
not like that will be a problem indefinitely, just a matter of mores law (about 14 cycles of it) .

Re:Personal Drones (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46790863)

Just like 10 years after hiroshima, atom bombs were a fundamental right, right?

Reductio ad absurdum aside...

To be fair, it would be pretty damn difficult to kill millions of people in seconds with a drone. At least, one that's not carrying a significant nuclear payload.

FWIW, I both support the 2nd Amendment and firmly believe that nobody is responsible enough to have nuclear weapons, governments included.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790917)

It's funny how reductio ad absurdum is a logical fallacy, and also the name of a literal logical method of proof.

I was just trying to assert that increases in military technology are moderately decoupled from available civilian weaponry. Which I feel can stand on its own.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46790981)

It's funny how reductio ad absurdum is a logical fallacy, and also the name of a literal logical method of proof.

Not all that funny, reductio ad absurdum disproves the hypothesis you started with. The fallacy of the hypothesis proves its logical negation.

Re:Personal Drones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791053)

English, retards

Re:Personal Drones (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791107)

Romanes eunt domus, biches.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#46791959)

Learn Latin you imperitus fool!!

Re:Personal Drones (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46791079)

No, really. I think you've got a mistake

The fallacy goes like this:

As a consquence of this rule you've proposed X is true.
X is absurd
your premise is flawed

the logical version goes like this:
As a consequence of your premises X is true
X is also false
X and not X is absurd
your premise is flawed.(thus the logical opposite of the premise)

The reason the former is a fallacy and the latter is a proof, is usually because the underlying arguments of consequence in the former take an irrational extreme that aren't true logical to arrive at the absurdity.

And in the latter, each step can be verified.

Nominally, if the method by which you reach the absurd conclusion is valid in the original argumentation presented by your opponent, it's a good take down.

It just usually isn't. This fallacy is usually another fallacy in carefully constructed disguise. I defend its usage.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#46791163)

"X is absurd" is a statement that X is false in an extremely obvious and ridiculous way. "Babies should be issued handguns for self defense" is absurd because it is such an obviously false and ridiculous statement. Or "Slashdot needs yet another car analogy" -- ditto. Therefore:
  1. As a consquence of this rule you've proposed X is true.
  2. X is absurd
  3. Because X is absurd, it is also false.
  4. It is also absurd that X is true and false at the same time.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46791197)

I don't follow you, both have the ad absurdum label for much the same reason. Both can be applied correctly or not. I fail to see how it is "funny". But we're severely off topic here, so never mind; it's probably some really specific humor deficiency on my part.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#46792079)

Wiki does a horrible job of explaining this fallacy, and only gives one use case and definition. I'd recommend a college Logic book which explains the fallacy very well in numerous ways. My old text book spends a chapter on this one because it's not a simple fallacy.

To your second point, it's not a humor deficiency. People were showing different ways of defining this fallacy. Some of them correct, others not. A fallacy is a logic error, it does not prove true or false. It can surely help to demonstrate the logical errors made in statements, but the reason for calling out fallacies in debate is to reduce an argument to it's simplest terms and invalidate irrational/illogical statements.

Example: "The sky is blue you ass!" may contain an ad hominem and may contain a true statement. I have given no proof as to the color or whether or not you are an "ass". I just presented a fallacy hoping that people believe me.

In Logic we would break that into two statements and choose what's relevant to our debate. If we were trying to determine people's opinion of you, we would keep the later calling sky color a fallacy (it could fit quite a few). If we were debating the color of the sky the former would stay and the later would be called fallacy (most likely ad hominem).

Re:Personal Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46790933)

Just like 10 years after hiroshima, atom bombs were a fundamental right, right?

Depends what you mean by "fundamental right". If you mean a right that the US government is sworn to uphold, then yes, atom bombs are a fundamental right. Don't like it? Then amend the constitution.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790995)

Yeah, sure, tell me how that works out for you when you tell a judge that after you buy yourself some yellow cake.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#46791093)

Yeah, sure, tell me how that works out for you when you tell a judge that after you buy yourself some yellow cake.

They can take my twinkies away when they pry them out of my cold dead hands, judge or no judge.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

rezme (1677208) | about 3 months ago | (#46790829)

This is disingenuous, IANAL, but I can't think of a single piece of legislation enacted in the last 50 years that increased our rights. Decreased, sure...

Re:Personal Drones (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 3 months ago | (#46791153)

The 24th amendment to the consitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 both come to mind (although the amendment was ratified January 23rd, 1964, so it's a few months over 50 years). I agree with the statement that our laws tend to restrict rights much more than they grant them, though. In theory, you've got the right to do anything that isn't forbidden by law, so the only laws that cause a net gain in freedom are the ones that restrict actions that take away someone else's freedom.

Re:Personal Drones (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46790847)

Everybody who is not properly trained in their use having a drone is a horrible idea, kind of like giving everyone who is not properly trained in their use a gun is a bad idea.

FTFY. Proper training has a tendency to fix a lot of the issues with people misusing tools, outliers notwithstanding.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 3 months ago | (#46791203)

outliers notwithstanding

Drunk people are not "outliers" and no amount of training is going to fix that particular class of problems.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46791483)

outliers notwithstanding

Drunk people are not "outliers" ...

No, but sociopaths are.

and no amount of training is going to fix that particular class of problems

A properly trained person is far less likely to try and use Dangerous Tool X when inebriated than an untrained person. Even so, we have to learn to accept that sometimes bad people do bad shit, but that's not a valid excuse for limiting the rights of the billions of not-bad people who don't do bad shit.

Re:Personal Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791957)

Are there really billions of people in USA? Most of the world knows that the more guns there are in the hands of citizens, the more shootings and gun crimes there are. Common sense, man. I look at the incredible stupid things people do with their cars and I am so glad that those people don't have guns. And I'm pretty sure those people were "properly trained" in the use of the automobile.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

entrigant (233266) | about 3 months ago | (#46792155)

Most of the world knows that the more guns there are in the hands of citizens, the more shootings and gun crimes there are.

Most of the world _might_ think this, but know it? I've seen evidence for that assertion and it's inverse. I don't know which is sound, nor do I care. Clearly mere legal ownership rates is not the most important factor in gun violence considering you can find evidence to support any position you wish to take on that one.

And I'm pretty sure those people were "properly trained" in the use of the automobile.

By whom? In every state I've lived in drivers license requirements are so lax they might as well just stop pretending and rubber stamp every application. I'm "pretty sure" hardly anyone has been "properly trained" in the use of an automobile in the USA.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 3 months ago | (#46792629)

Indeed...if you haven't developed heel-toe shifting naturally or you do not know what it is then you are most likely a danger to other drivers--barely competent.

Re:Personal Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792253)

most of the world doesn't permit unregulated gun ownership the way the US does and most of the world has significantly lower murder rate and more importantly an exponentially lower accidental gun death rate. Nukes are just another dangerous tool, should every citizen have a right to build those in their back yard too? how about IED's? the reality is you DO have to limit peoples freedom when it comes to weapons, the question is where to draw the line, personally and from evidence of how bad the situation is in the US, the line needs to be drawn to also include gun regulation. Training isn't sufficient.

Re:Personal Drones (0)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 3 months ago | (#46792639)

and a lower rate of economic success...draw all the conclusion you want but until everyone starts crapping golden eggs like your average above average American citizen then shut your yap. Did I just hear a toilet flush? Insert tail between legs.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 months ago | (#46791531)

Now let us add a constitutional amendment to correct the second amendment.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people, who are properly trained to use guns, to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I am sure you would agree to the idea of a gun license to keep arms, right mate?

Re:Personal Drones (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 3 months ago | (#46791767)

I am sure you would agree to the idea of a gun license to keep arms, right mate?

I'm not GP, but yeah, actually.

The word "license" is a bit tricky, because it implies a bit of tracking and government oversight which probably won't fly in a business like gun sales. However, requiring some form of in-house training before sale of a gun wouldn't be a terrible idea.

As one option, we could require a certified gun-safety person administer the training (look, I'm making jobs!) Before you purchase a firearm, you and Captain Safety have to spend some time on the range. He/she would observe as you load, fire, clear, etc. Maybe it could even be similar to vehicle certification (i.e. your drivers license) in that there are different flavors. Just like I'm only licensed to drive a car, and not a bus, motorcycle or big rig. I'm only licensed for handguns, not shotguns, rifles, etc.

Just a few idea... but yeah. Having some mandatory training wouldn't be a terrible idea. And if someone is already familiar with firearms, the training would be a breeze. Just another day on the range.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46791831)

I am GP, and I could not have said it better myself.

We, the American community, can train each other in the proper operation of the tool known as a "firearm" without the nanny-state looking over our shoulders, as we do with so many other specialized tools. To whit, if one wants to learn how to use the tools needed to build guitars, they apprentice with a luthier, not some government agent.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 3 months ago | (#46792285)

We, the American community, can train each other in the proper operation of the tool known as a "firearm" without the nanny-state looking over our shoulders, as we do with so many other specialized tools.

Evidence says otherwise!

Re:Personal Drones (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 3 months ago | (#46792643)

Total Burn.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#46791915)

Certification has the same issue as gun licensing, which is not an issue for gun shops as much as it's a concern for being tracked and tagged as a gun owner by the Government.

Make it part of public schools where everyone is a potential gun owner and I'd agree easily.

The common misnomer of the 2nd amendment is that a person owns a gun for self protection. The real purpose of the amendment is so that citizens in mass can revolt against corrupt government. (I don't mean to imply you made this misnomer, just preventing some trolling).

If everyone was a potential gun owner and trained to operate weapons, we are not worse off. Corrupt politicians certainly would not like it, but as far as I'm concerned they should be on trial and/or in jail anyway.

Re:Personal Drones (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#46791641)

The gun rights supporters oppose training requirements for the same reason pro-choice supporters oppose any forms of restriction on abortion. They both recognise that regulation can easily be used as constitutional workrounds: The government cannot ban X, but they can require X is only available after filling in form 3940-subsection-C in triplicate and submitting to a federal agency which has an annual budget of $50 and a two-year backlog on processing the paperwork.

This is a very common approach in the US, where various levels of government are often working at cross-purposes and actively trying to subvert one another. Witness things like zoning laws being used to ban sexually orientated businesses, or sexual offender exclusion zones that are intentionally overlapped so entire cities are without a square inch not somehow covered. If there was a requirement that individuals were required to undergo gun training and get a license, an anti-gun administration could deliberately underfund the department or set certification standards so high as to be humanly impossible to pass. In the same way that some states have passed laws which require any doctor performing an abortion have admitting privilidges at a local hospital, in full knowledge that for many clinics there are no hospitals within range that would grant such privledges and thus the requirement is intentionally impossible to comply with.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46791867)

The gun rights supporters oppose training requirements for the same reason pro-choice supporters oppose any forms of restriction on abortion.

This being the second reply apparently presuming that I was referring to some sort of government-approved licensure process, I feel compelled to point out that I by no means meant to imply that either situation should require such approval.

I was merely pointing out the absolute fact that properly trained people are far less likely to misuse a tool than people who are not properly trained.

The government cannot ban X, but they can require X is only available after filling in form 3940-subsection-C in triplicate and submitting to a federal agency which has an annual budget of $50 and a two-year backlog on processing the paperwork.

Proof in the pudding: the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Personal Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791181)

They were regretting everyone being allowed a gun hard enough in nevada the other day, I doubt the idea of the people having something to protect themselves from government drones is sitting too well with lawmakers right now.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

cusco (717999) | about 3 months ago | (#46792007)

Are you really stupid enough to think that the bozos in Nevada would have had a chance against a Hellfire missile? You really think that the reason the gov't didn't send in an attack drone is because the loonies were armed with popguns? Damn, the ACs are getting dumber all the time.

Re:Personal Drones (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 3 months ago | (#46792453)

I agree. Freedom is largely dangerous--and scary. We should seriously work to abolish it. Let's start by whittling away at family ties by associating government with fundamental welfare of individuals....then we can move on to legislating the minute details of people's lives and parlay that into an attack on education by nullifying personal responsibility. I have a website....whitehouse.gov

Better not ask them... (4, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | about 3 months ago | (#46790815)

... about replacing the baby-delivering storks with drones.

Re:Better not ask them... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#46791281)

That's not how they're made. See, you start with a blow-up doll...

Designer babies (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790835)

What if eugenics stopped involving depriving people of their right to reproduce, and instead just targeted the actual genes/gene combinations that are "bad"?

Could we get the best of both worlds? Or is eugenics always wrong, on account of pre-judging people on DNA? Regardless of the ethics, I find myself getting strongly behind genetic engineering of that sort being available, at least.

Re:Designer babies (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46790899)

What if eugenics stopped involving depriving people of their right to reproduce, and instead just targeted the actual genes/gene combinations that are "bad"?

Could we get the best of both worlds? Or is eugenics always wrong, on account of pre-judging people on DNA? Regardless of the ethics, I find myself getting strongly behind genetic engineering of that sort being available, at least.

Looking at the world today, and how those in power treat those who are not, do you honestly think humanity would be responsible with that kind of power? Or would powerful people try and manipulate the general public into supporting the elimination of "genetic abnormalities" that aren't directly detrimental to society at large, but rather represent a threat to their monopoly on power?

I.e., the oligarchs would absolutely love being able to stomp out dissent genetically.

Re:Designer babies (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790959)

And... what exactly is this means you're thinking they'll have? We're talking GATTACA kinds of manipulation of recombination, not complete genome rewrites, which are so far beyond our capacity as to still be sci-fi.

Re:Designer babies (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#46791031)

And... what exactly is this means you're thinking they'll have?

Well, one obvious way to do it would be to set up a pricing structure for designer babies such that the babies with the Politically Correct genome (whatever that is conceived to be) waaay cheaper than the non-PC genomes.

I mean, something as simple as "white babies 1/2 off this month only!" would be vile beyond belief, and almost certainly done if it were possbile.

You could also look for genetic defects common to [minority you despise] and offer to "fix" them, along with a "few other [unspecified] improvements" that might not be seen as "improvements" by the prospective parents....

Re:Designer babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791229)

A little stunting of the learning process here, and a little more reliance on the reptile brain there, and you've got exactly the kind of baby that makes a perfect future voter.

It's purely coincidence that out of a sense of fairness, the lawmakers own children are *accidentally* tailored differently!

Re:Designer babies (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46791431)

And... what exactly is this means you're thinking they'll have?

I'm sorry, what? That sentence makes no sense.

We're talking GATTACA kinds of manipulation of recombination, not complete genome rewrites, which are so far beyond our capacity as to still be sci-fi.

FWIW, 15 years ago we were saying that very thing about a lot of the technology that exists today - like drones, hypersonic aircraft, incredibly powerful computers that fit in a pocket, stem cells, government agencies with the ability to monitor every communication on the planet, rail guns, etc.

Re:Designer babies (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#46790949)

Just as the strongest argument against communism is to simply point at every attempt to implement it, likewise the strongest argument against Eugenics is to look at all the times we (US, Germany, etc) attempted it.

Its not a good path to go down. It invariably leads towards first/second class citizens, people whose ability to reproduce is considered detrimental to society, and a tyranny of the masses.

Re:Designer babies (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790985)

But previous attempts at eugenics all attempted to operate at the "can reproduce" stage, it could be very different to do so at the "How you reproduce" stage.

Re:Designer babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46790953)

The rich people would have their baby's "bad" genes fixed and their "good" genes maxed out. The poor people would be unable to do any of the above. You end up with a natural ruling class of the kinds of worthless shits we already have, except the working class will be stuck. Imagine the return of slavery, except this time the slaves truly are inferior for anything but work.

I actually favor sterilization with children being ONLY of the modified variety, at least the playing field will be level.

Re:Designer babies (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790971)

That's a bizarre assertion. The rich already have generational power transfer, and genes have very little to do with it.

Re:Designer babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791301)

Yes but we rely on the generation of spoiled brats to eventually return the resources to the system via less fortunate but very clever poor people.

Re:Designer babies (1)

Lazere (2809091) | about 3 months ago | (#46791355)

They do, but in most western countries, there's this idea that anybody can make it rich, if they're good enough. If it gets to the point where the rich kids are inherently smarter/better than the poor kids, no amount of work will be able to lift a person up. They'll be stuck where they're born and that's it.

Re:Designer babies (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 3 months ago | (#46791105)

At this point I view eugenics as nearly always bad. With most "improvement" we'll most likely reduce our diversity, and that's pretty bad. Then there is what we view as good for us, and what is good for us is sometimes two different things. There does seem to be a form of what I'll say is epieuginics coming about were instead of tampering with the DNA in a way that removes diversity that it just turns off the currently undesired gene, but could later be turned back on in a future generation. What I've read of it being used for treating down syndrome looks promising, but we'll have to wait, and see.

@medv4380 - Re:Designer babies (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 3 months ago | (#46792017)

At this point I view eugenics as nearly always bad. With most "improvement" we'll most likely reduce our diversity, and that's pretty bad.

I'm inclined to ask why that's bad. Sounds like it would solve race hate problems.

Anyway, I think the problem is likely to be the opposite. More likely that whacky people - the sort that currently name their children things like "Pilot Inspektor" and "Crime Fighter", are also the sort of people who would think it fun to opt for a green baby, one who will grow to 8 ft high, or one with four arms.

Re:@medv4380 - Re:Designer babies (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 3 months ago | (#46792365)

I, for one, welcome our 4-armed, 8ft tall, green babes!

Re:Designer babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791709)

Planned Parenthood was started for eugenics by Margaret Sanger, and it has become one of the greatest organizations in the world. They protect women's rights more than any other thing ever in the history of humanity. No one can argue against eugenics without also attacking women.

Re:Designer babies (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 3 months ago | (#46792515)

On of the problems is that some very positive features may be associated with some very negative ones. Is compulsive behavior linked to high productivity in some jobs? Great leaders and great revolutionaries may have similar traits. Is artistic ability linked to depression?

I fear creating a world full of "ordinary" people, because we don't want a Cesar.

Commie State called USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46790837)

Commies states like North Korea and USA need to have control over people 24 hours a day
That's why you see so many security forces on US streets, drones and totalitarian STASI style control.

Welcome to Communist USA

Re:Commie State called USA (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790851)

Literally nothing in common with Marxs' philosophy= communism. Who cares if the actual ideas you're describing go back more clearly to Machiavelli and Hobbes? Might as well call it communism, since those were the bad guys.

Re:Commie State called USA (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#46791065)

That's why you see so many security forces on US streets

Hmm, I've seen two cops this week. One traffic stop, one driving through the neighborhood. Hardly "so many security forces on US streets"....

Re:Commie State called USA (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 3 months ago | (#46792243)

Your sarcasm is noted, but misplaced.

It's true that America doesn't yet have a police state to rival the gestapo. Nevertheless there are many troubling developments that have created observable similarities. Furthermore the march of technology has allowed much less visibility of the same degree of surveillance.

The gestapo couldn't have dreamed of a quickly searchable list of every phone call in Italy, its time, related phone numbers, and numbers called by those other numbers. They couldn't have dreamed of being able to know every time a person looked at a map. Yet with modern phone networks, smart phones, connected GPS's, and the internet these things are a reality in today's America.

Not having a person physically looking on doesn't make a surveilled act more private. I would argue that the average member of the public being unaware of these things makes their acts LESS private: The American public doesn't have the luxury of realizing its being watched.

As for the presence of police technology allows much more effective police. Where the Gestapo would have needed a dozen men the FBI needs one. So where there were 12 police stations in Italy here is needed 1 to surveil to the same degree. This leads to less apparent police with the same effect.

You could argue that police don't harass every citizen every morning, that one doesn't encounter a road block every mile. But with the "papers please" automatically mechanized that's not necessary.

And in actual encounters with police a more and more prevalent attitude exists among local, state, and federal police that every citizen is an enemy. It's become very common for police to use intimidation and as much force as they can legally get away with to accomplish their aims.

The constitution is seen as an obstruction by police and citizens who exercise their rights are given the worst possible legal treatment. Furthermore it's well known that even "good" cops lie in court to cover up for bad cops. An "us against them" attitude prevails and gets worse every time an internal affairs cop covers something up to save paperwork.

And what is legal is getting more and more broadly defined as the supreme court chips away at the constitution with ruling after ruling.

Finally, don't confuse prosperity with freedom. If I get into a nice car every morning that doesn't negate the fact that three pictures of the license plate are uploaded before I arrive.

The rights we sell today will be purchased tomorrow by our children -- in blood.

Plenty of speculative finction to consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46790861)

cautious about future uses of DNA, robots, drones and always-on implants,

My focus on the last part: "always-on implants"

If you've played any Deus Ex game, you would know that regardless of how awesome your selection of cyber/nano augmentation is, you have no way to refuse a phone call. Everyone on earth can find the Dentons' head-phones with probably less effort than doing a Google search and the same holds true for their predecessor Adam Jensen. They get 2 rings and then they've got no choice but to have their inner monologue heading out to the cell towers and on to whoever it was who called.

You can argue about other features, like the GPL implants that let your boss know exactly where you are at all times, but I stand firmly opposed to the always-on, automatic answer cyberphones!

Re:Plenty of speculative finction to consider (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46790923)

Fiction isn't reality.

Re:Plenty of speculative finction to consider (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46791073)

Fiction isn't reality.

Heh, tell that to the 39% of survey respondents who apparently believe teleportation will be "solved" by 2064.

Re:Plenty of speculative finction to consider (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#46791211)

Heh, tell that to the 39% of survey respondents who apparently believe teleportation will be "solved" by 2064.

And tell that to Jules Verne and his whacky idea that people could to to the moon, or to the nitwit who came up with the fictional idea of "waldoes".

Re:Plenty of speculative finction to consider (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46791381)

I see your point. And much though I admire Verne and his visionary imagination... I was under the impression that he was extrapolating from contemporary science and engineering.

Now, perhaps I'm just hopelessly out of touch, but I'm not aware of any current work, not even any out-of-box blue sky imagineering (eew), toward actual teleportation.

Would love to be wrong though!

GOV drones scare me (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 3 months ago | (#46790939)

I don't give a fuck about personal ones - but the government use of drones will lead to more intrusion on our lives, more spying, more death and destruction.

Paranoia (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#46791287)

This is the kind of blatant generalizations that cause unnecessary fear of government drones.
FEMA is a government agency and could use drones to quickly survey disaster areas and send help where it is need.
The Forest Service is a government agency that could use drones to spot for water bombers and keep pilots out of dangerous situations.
The Forest Service can also use drones to survey the health of the forests.
There are many very good uses for government drones.

more death and destruction.

The most government drones that will be authorized for use in US airspace will be surveillance drones. How can surveillance drones lead to death and destruction? The only exception to this I can see would be in cases like the armored bulldozer rampage [wikipedia.org] . Sorry but drones are not going to be shooting Hellfires at speeders.

Re:Paranoia (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46791477)

The most government drones that will be authorized for use in US airspace will be surveillance drones. How can surveillance drones lead to death and destruction?

They don't. They lead to more spying, which is what GP said but was omitted in your quote. And sooner or later they'll be armed, let's not kid our selves.

Re:Paranoia (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#46791945)

They lead to more spying, which is what GP said but was omitted in your quote.

I omitted it because it it is true. I question the part about "more death and destruction". I am allowed to question part of a statement without questioning every singe part.

And sooner or later they'll be armed, let's not kid our selves.

Spying does not inevitably lead to armed drones, lets not be paranoid. If armed drones are ever proposed then we can deal with the proposal. That is not happening now so lets just deal with surveillance drones.

My original statement still holds "Not all government drones are bad".

Re:Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792379)

If armed drones are ever proposed then we can deal with the proposal. That is not happening now so lets just deal with surveillance drones.

I think there WERE some people at a couple of Middle Eastern weddings who would disagree with you, if they weren't hit with a fucking missile from an automated drone.

Why fear designer babies? (1)

Stem_Cell_Brad (1847248) | about 3 months ago | (#46791035)

OK, I get that it is currently a bad idea to try to clone humans or modify an embryo's DNA. We essentially do not yet know how do it with an acceptable safety. So, the process is likely to cause harm to humans, and is wrong.

But eventually, it will be safe and probably fairly easy.

At that point, what is wrong with eliminating a mutation in an embryo to prevent a disease during subsequent adulthood. And if there is nothing wrong with that, then what is wrong with making a change to make the eventual adult a smarter person?

Re:Why fear designer babies? (1)

netsavior (627338) | about 3 months ago | (#46791177)

you have entirely too much logic. The skymonster will punish us all.

Re:Why fear designer babies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791221)

That's not the part people fear. It's more the choosing the kids height, eye, features. What if we could genetically boost potential intelligence or athleticism? Now think about who will actually be able to afford something like that? So the wealthy get genetically perfect genius' with perfect looks for the right price. What kind of new class barriers would arise? It is not such a simple topic. I can't say I'm 100% against it but I am cautious when thinking of the possibility.

GMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791273)

At that point, what is wrong with eliminating a mutation in an embryo to prevent a disease during subsequent adulthood. And if there is nothing wrong with that, then what is wrong with making a change to make the eventual adult a tastier more nutritious animal?

Oh you think GMO of us is okay, but not for the other animals?

Re:Why fear designer babies? (1)

Kuroji (990107) | about 3 months ago | (#46791721)

Because then any babies that are not designer babies will become second class citizens. For instance, the scenario posited by the movie Gattaca.

The real dangers here is that it could eventually cause the designer part of the species to form a new subspecies of homo sapiens. Or perhaps accidentally engineer out something that could (in theory) allow non-engineered humans to resist a disease or some other sort of thing that would cause them harm, though that is far less likely.

Re:Why fear designer babies? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 3 months ago | (#46792171)

I think you're looking at the issue wrong. There are already many second-class citizens in the world, and with depressing uniformity, they produce offspring who themselves grow up to be second class citizens. Having the option to genetically engineer traits that are highly correlated with success and satisfaction could be the very thing we need to beat this generational trap. Maybe the best way to see genetic engineering is to compare it with buying college for your children. Sure, that puts them "ahead" of some people who refuse to go, but the mere fact that college gives some people an advantage over others is surely no reason to oppose its availability. It's also a very important (though imperfect) tool for social mobility, maybe the best one we have. Genetic engineering might be many times better, especially when combined with the availability of college.

Re:Why fear designer babies? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 3 months ago | (#46791983)

I think you don't get how genetics works.

Various biochemical pathways are conserved, and are there to react to different environmental conditions.

Disease is a moving target. As we suppress one disease, another takes its niche.

In most cases we only know the primary biochemical pathway, have sparse information on the secondary biochemical pathway which kicks in when the primary pathway is disrupted, and have little to no information on the evolutionarily conserved tertiary biochemical pathway we inherited from fish or dinosaurs.

Making "designer" kids leads us to less genetic diversity, and less adaptive capacity as a species to stressors which will occur.

That plus in most cases we end up with too many males and not enough females when we let people "choose".

drones are brilliant fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791137)

when you have a 50W SDR and a directional Yagi, nothing comes close to the enjoyment of watching a 20-40yo male running as his $3000 toy disappears into dense woodland

We can already control the weather (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 3 months ago | (#46791141)

Seeding clouds to make it rain is 1950s technology and recently Moscow's mayor made it snow IIRC.

Re:We can already control the weather (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#46791361)

The Moscow Mayer promised it would not snow in Moscow. He planned to do it by seeding the clouds before they got to Moscow so they would be depleted and not drop snow on Moscow. Cloud seeding is very minor and basically just changes where precipitation will fall.
To me weather control is much more broad such as disrupting hurricanes, redirecting systems to help with drought, significantly effecting temperatures, etc.

big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791175)

People already consciously and unconsciously select for certain traits when they pick mates. This is just a next step.

Mistakes will be made, but it is still evolution, which is chock full of what we'd consider 'mistakes'.

Re:big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791193)

The bigger implication is what this could mean for sex, dating, and marriage.

Who needs to pay for that expensive wife to procreate, when you can buy the eggs and select the traits you want turned on or off...for much much less.

We may have NO choice (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#46791259)

If other countries start creating "tiger kids" en mass, then the USA may be forced to accept the idea in order to economically compete.

Resistance is fu......oh sh8t!

Re:We may have NO choice (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 3 months ago | (#46791687)

the USA may be forced to accept the idea in order to economically compete.

"Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!"

Jews are uncomfortable with White Aryan babies (0)

Suiggy (1544213) | about 3 months ago | (#46791291)

Let's face it, everyone is going to want White children.

uncomfortable with drones and science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791325)

Stop getting high, spend more on books and time actually reading them end to end. Knowledge is power. If you watch TV give it up and study.

Want to just muddle along, being the high school football hero or hating the high school football hero. Well, get use to food stamps.

Don't complain, the American way is free enterprise. If you wasted your chance or your parents wasted theirs and you got sucked into the empty vortex of bad parenting, sucks for you. If your some Artist making no money and expect us to pay for you forget it.

Git (pun) a job and stop spending your money in study of the useless (History, English or Art) no one will buy your product and the rest of us are tired of supporting you.

Social Darwin awards

designer gentals (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791339)

"...66% thought parents altering the DNA of prospective children was a bad idea..."

Unfortunately, nearly half of Americans still have no problem surgically altering [youtube.com] the genitals of their sons in order to suit their own aesthetic and sexual preferences or to satisfy their own religious blood rituals.

Re:designer gentals (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792215)

None of our doctors advise against it, most will say there's a slight advantage to it. Of course the fathers weigh in here, and say "eh well it didn't hurt me, if the doctor says it's what you should do ... "

Re:designer gentals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792549)

None of our doctors advise against it, most will say there's a slight advantage to it. Of course the fathers weigh in here, and say "eh well it didn't hurt me, if the doctor says it's what you should do ... "

Look at places where Christianity is NOT the major religion, this kind of artificial genital alteration are NOT generally practiced.

Not to mention the firestorm the doctor can expect if he dared to go on record advising against circumcision in America.

Come on, this is insane (5, Insightful)

nobuddy (952985) | about 3 months ago | (#46791849)

A drone is just a remote controlled aircraft with a camera. I had several "drones" in the late 1980's as a teenager, for fuck's sake. Get over the knee-jerk raction equating "drone" with "terminator T-1000" and come back to sanity.

Re:Come on, this is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46792519)

If the internet has taught us anything it is that once a person separates their physical presence from an activity, their morals stay behind too.

If a drone is used to perpetrate a crime how do we even know who is controlling the drone?

Any method developed to register a drone will be bypassed ridiculously easily and/or near impossible to enforce.

Totally comfortable with drones (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 3 months ago | (#46791939)

More free skeet targets.

If you want your robot back, don't send it over my airspace.

ssh1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46791997)

keed to be Kreskin has steadily 4urposes *BSD is are Almost Going to continue,

Art (1)

sharknado (3217097) | about 3 months ago | (#46792015)

51% agree with the statement: "Computers will be able to create art as well as humans."

I wonder if people realize that this requires an AI so advanced that it's indistinguishable from the human brain, with fine motor skills to match. I see this as highly unlikely.

At least, it's far less likely than controlling the weather, which is something we can do already: http://www.geoengineeringwatch... [geoengineeringwatch.org]

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