Jennifer Doudna has been among the most vocal of those calling for caution on what she sees as the inevitable march toward editing human genes. “It’s going to happen,” she told me the first time we met, in her office at Berkeley. […] … Her eyes narrowed, and she lowered her voice almost to a whisper. “I have never said this in public, but it will show you where my psyche is,” she said. “I had a dream recently, and in my dream” — she mentioned the name of a leading scientific researcher — “had come to see me and said, ‘I have somebody very powerful with me who I want you to meet, and I want you to explain to him how this technology functions.’ So I said, Sure, who is it? It was Adolf Hitler. I was really horrified, but I went into a room and there was Hitler. He had a pig face and I could only see him from behind and he was taking notes and he said, ‘I want to understand the uses and implications of this amazing technology.’ I woke up in a cold sweat. …
Struggling here not to read this as a horror story:
Kim Ung-yong is a 48-year-old former child-prodigy who pushed the envelope on IQ at 210, getting a mention on the Guinness Book of World Records. But his life has been anything but “genius”. He’s had a pretty ordinary life. Still, he considers himself a success despite the lack of telltale (extraordinary) material or academic trappings.
He displayed amazing feats of intelligence shortly after his birth: speaking at four months, conversing fluently by six months, reading Korean, Japanese, German and English by 24 months. And by the time he was at the pre-school age of four, he was a celebrity solving complex calculus problems on Japanese television. Even in early childhood, he began to write poetry and was an amazing painter. Kim was a guest student of physics at Hanyang University from the age of three until he was six. […] At the age of eight, the child was invited by America’s NASA and conducted research work for 10 years. He also received a Ph.D in physics at Colorado State University. But by 1978, he was burnt out and returned to his homeland. He surprised everyone by switching to civil engineering and later chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation.
The Korean media soon denounced him a “failed genius”. […] But for so-called failed genius Kim Ung-yong, his life is anything but a failure. He’s happy to be an ordinary company worker, he said. He’s happy with his station in life and exactly the way he is. […] “Apparently, the media belittled the fact that I chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation,” Kim said regrettably. …
210 (!) — An intellect like that squandered just to make a qabbalistic point?
How exactly do you program a robot to think through its orders and overrule them if it decides they’re wrong or dangerous to either a human or itself? […] This is what researchers at Tufts University’s Human-Robot Interaction Lab are tackling, and they’ve come up with at least one strategy for intelligently rejecting human orders. …
The Black Pear‘s …
… natural poison is much too potent and complex to be fully separated from the nectar in which it dwells. It can be broken down further through fermentation, making the resultant wine much more popular to consume than the pear itself. It becomes entirely nonlethal after several years of aging, yet those drunk on the finished product still experience elaborate fever dreams and vivid hallucinations. […] This completes a curious ontological circuit. The black pear tree does not actually exist, and can only be perceived in the mind’s eye of those who are already drunk on black pear wine …
(This might be TSP’s favorite from Uel Aramchek so far.)
(They spelled ‘occult cosmic tentacles’ wrong.)
Some classic erotically-crazed religious fanaticism from Nicola Masciandaro.
Hell, as we know too well, is only getting whatever one wants, the eternal unasked opportunity to be you — the form of desire — forever. Hell is the minimum of paradise and paradise is the maximum of hell. Says Julian: “Synne is behovabil, but al shal be wel, and al shal be wel, and al maner of thing shal be wele.” For all is hell. So beware of love: “She kissed me … From that moment – my fate was sealed! … I also sucked a sweet from Her lips … Oh, but it felt like I had kissed death – and my love was replaced by horror … This has been the theme of my life ever since: love – horror, horror – love: one worse than the other.”
(See the original for citation sources.)
Paper presented at Tuning Speculation III, Toronto, November 22, 2015, which seems to have pitched lunacy beyond all previously imagined dimensions.
There’s a range, in other words. You don’t need anywhere near a complete brain to function in modern society (in fact, there are many obvious cases in which having a complete brain seems to be an actual disadvantage). And in a basic survival sense, the ability to write and appreciate the music of Jethro Tull and do other “civilised” things aren’t really that important anyway. […] So now I’m thinking, tewwowist virus: something engineered to take out higher brain functions while leaving the primitive stuff intact. Something that eats away at your cognitive faculties and lets your inner reptile off the leash, something that strips your topheavy mind down to its essentials, something that speeds your reflexes and cranks your vision even as it takes the light from your eyes. […] I’m thinking zombies. …
(The lead in is just as ‘good’.)