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Robert Hirsch
All your science belongs to me
All your science belongs to me

Robert's posts

My weird aquaponics system I'm building in a small space.

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«We cannot simply stop here and last it out—that won’t work. We need new advances. And my problem, philosophically, with that is that it means that the human cautionary instinct kicks in.” He went on, “We say if it’s risky we just shouldn’t do it. And that’s fine, so long as you’re standing on firm ground. But that’s the thing: we’re not standing on firm ground. And the greatest danger we could face is to assume that not doing anything to nature is the safest course.”»

Repeating for emphasis, not doing anything to nature is not the safest course. It has not been the the safest course for decades, if not longer. I firmly believe this.

«For Esvelt, though, those achievements seem almost like secondary benefits. “For a lot of people, the goal is to eradicate malaria, and I am behind that a hundred per cent,” he said. “The agricultural people have the New World screwworm”—a particularly destructive pest also known as the blowfly—“they’d love to get rid of in South America. Everyone has a thing he really wants to do. And it makes sense. But I would submit that the single most important application of gene drive is not to eradicate malaria or schistosomiasis or Lyme or any other specific project. It is to change the way we do science.”

That is the message that Esvelt has been selling in his talks throughout the world, and the initial response, on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard—even from people who attended the meetings in order to object to the proposal—has been overwhelmingly positive. “I came here thinking I would say, ‘Absolutely not,’ ” Danica Connors, an herbalist and shamanic practitioner who opposes genetically modified products, said at the Nantucket meeting. “I am the first person to say that, tinker with Mother Nature, we are going to break it.” But she told Esvelt that she loved “the fact that you are a young scientist saying, ‘I want this to be a non-corporate thing and I want this to be about the people.’ ” Seeming to surprise even herself, she said, “You know, I want to see where you go with this. I am actually very excited.”»

This I have a lot of trouble wrapping my brain around, an herbalist and shamanic practitioner seems like the epitome of crunchy granola woomeister who would never accept "GMOs". Here she is, contemplating that gene drives might be pretty cool and should be given a chance?

Maybe most people would disagree with me but I would maintain that no genetically engineered organism that has currently been commercially released has been problematic (at least not yet). However, when we talk about gene drives, we are definitely playing in the big leagues. We really need to think about what we are doing. How can one be opposed to almost all genetic engineering and yet have a neutral and almost accepting attitude about a gene drive proposal? Maybe it is really as simple as people being afraid when more than 25% of them have been exposed to Lyme disease?

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+Rep. Mike Honda keep trying to make armor illegal, we will still have it.

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This is how the first credit card looked like 60 years ago. The technology is fundamentally unchanged Today. We're still giving the keys to access our wallets every time we use our cards, and trust the merchant to take only as much as we owe and to keep the information safe in the future. No wonder fraud is huge in credit cards: trillions of stolen dollars every year. We, the consumers pay the price of these frauds in form of open or hidden fees built into the price of the products, which we have to pay even if we were to use cash.

It's time we transition to the crypto currency / #Bitcoin economy which uses the so called asymmetric key cryptography to store and transfer your money. You are not giving access to your wallet to a merchant or any third party, you're only sending the value you owe peer-to-peer to the merchant with your phone or computer. No trust required. If a hacker were to access the transaction details — unlike with credit cards — he would not be able to do anything with it. Crypto currencies are safer, cheaper and more user friendly.

Bitcoin is also more democratic. The benefits are most important for the less developed world where people can't afford the hefty price of credit cards or even bank accounts and thus excluded from the world economy.

The only thing required is wider merchant and user adoption. The technology is ready for us. Open a free Bitcoin account on your phone or computer to experience the system, and start accepting bitcoins for your services:

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Keynes is America's Lysenko.

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Arguing Ricardo's law of association with Trump folk who want to "get back at those other countries who are screwing us with Tariffs" is exhausting.

I like to break it down to brass tacks. The surgeon has great dexterity. I bet he could grow plants and knit sweaters better than anyone. What need has he for clothiers and farmers?

We don't specialize because we can't do for ourselves - we specialize because we can do EVEN BETTER by doing what we do best and trading. The process holds whether individually or as countries (though the reason it's even meaningful to talk about country levels is because of artificial restrictions on the movement of people and stuff - but given a world of countries, the case holds).

But somehow people are stuck in arguments of fairness of tariffs and tit-for-tat and trade deficits, as if shooting our residents in the foot (taxing them on foreign goods they buy) is somehow sticking it to the foreign folks. :/ 
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