Meanwhile…

No religious doctrine has ever supplanted a scientific discovery

Rawgod said, “A bit pedagogic, don’t you think, Jim. Nothing is ever always something.” Isn’t that also a statement of always, btw? But isn’t this true, that no religious doctrine has ever supplanted a scientific discovery?

As much of the world continues to chase its theological tail, more and more are ignoring what can’t be understood to discover things that 100 years ago would be miracles.

Imagine permanent, fully integrated prosthetic limbs and bionic implants being widespread. Scientists are also experimenting with various brain implants that might help restore hearing for the deaf and restore sight for some blind people. All ingenuity being extensions of human consciousness—our extended phenotypes?

The first images from ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter are now available to the public, including the closest pictures ever taken of the Sun. (1) Yes, we’re taking a closer look at the sun—the creator, the god of this world.

As we dig our way into the past we are finding humans have been here longer and longer, farther and farther back than we ever imagined.

These contributions all can fuel the betterment of humanity. To reach for understanding that all things are possible, and there is no need to believe anything outside of our own ingenuity.

Thank you to the farmers who have geniusly devised ways to feed this mob with less and less land. Instead of attacking them as co-conspirators poisoning the world with gmo’s, try thanking them for the extra yields that feed your offspring. They are the real miracle workers of the park. Now if we could just get that food to the children…

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

50 thoughts on “Meanwhile…”

  1. Right. About 10 days ago I was the recipient of a prosthetic device from medical science advancement. By entering my system through a vein in my leg, snaking up to my abdomen, poking an exit hole in said vein, then poking (burning) an entry into my aorta, then snaking into my beating heart, and placing a new aortic valve, about 7 or so medical staff professions ensured I will be here to annoy you for a bit longer. To them, my gratitude. 🙂

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  2. I’d caution against singing the praises of GMOs, because they weren’t developed by beneficent farmers seeking to feed the world’s hungry: they were created by monopolistically-motivated biotech companies (like Dow, Dupont and Monsanto) whose primary objective was that of inducing producers to make contractual commitments to their exclusive product lines. And while it’s true that product yields increased substantially, it’s equally true that the new crop production practices are unsustainable over the long haul and that the drawbacks will eventually outweigh the benefits, if they haven’t already.

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    1. These companies sometimes have highly questionable practices, it’s true, but without genetically modifying our food we would have regular bouts of mass starvation.

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      1. Temporarily. To paraphrase Gandhi: “There’s more to farming than increasing its yields”. And to paraphrase your Prime Minister: “Biodiversity is our strength”. Devoting huge tracts of land to the production of patented monocultures requiring large quantities of synthetic inputs is unsustainable in the long run because it destroys the natural ecosystem and makes us reluctant prisoners to corporate interests.

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        1. Yes, monocultures in food production of all kinds have inherent problems. But this is only one part of GMOs where the massive yields especially in grains and corn are highly productive and profitable. But exactly the same problems of monocultures also exists in forestry that has nothing to do with GMOs. Genetically modifying foods is a human farming practice as old as humanity itself. That’s why we have bananas and broccoli and almond milk as well as enough rice to feed massive population expansion. But what is happening is that these significant breakthroughs in GMOs are being misrepresented – especially by the ‘natural’ food crazies – as immoral. Right there with this same categorization constantly used by pecksniffs everywhere is the red flag that arguments and reason are not on the side of those who chronically misrepresent GMOs this way. Unquestionably, GMOs as the central pillar of farming practices AND fishing is the ONLY way forward to secure our food supply especially in a world undergoing rapid climate change and anyone who tries to tell you differently is not operating by knowledge but repackaging manipulated emotion. There is absolutely no reason why we cannot also dedicate large tracts of land to ensure maintaining biodiversity. GMOs are not the reason why we don’t, can’t, or won’t do this.

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          1. Again, my issue is not with the GMO foods themselves, but with the poor farming practices they promote. The seeds are not engineered to increase their nutritional value so much as they’re modified to withstand the chemical onslaughts they’ll endure throughout the growing season — chemicals which destroy the natural soil biota, drift into adjoining non-GMO fields, contaminate natural streams and aquafers and eventually foster the development of “superweeds” resistant to the very chemicals intended to control them. In focusing on only one part of the equation (high yields) the biochemists have ignored the chain reaction of unintended consequences resulting in the destruction of delicate ecosystems millions of years in the making. The way to a sustainable future is to grow and eat locally-grown foods.

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            1. What you’re arguing is similar to assuming all medication is somehow inherently bad because it’s not ‘natural’ and then selecting certain problematic drugs with some terrible affects as if they represented the inherent problem with medication that makes it bad, saying you have no problem with the medications themselves but with poor medical practice that prescribes the worst of them. You are damning a vital farming technology for the wrong reasons and suggesting ‘nature’ knows best when it comes to producing farmed food. This is as wrong a notion as presuming ‘nature’ knows best how to provide for human health. In the same way there’s a technological reason we can produce enough food for 8 billion people, there’s a reason why humans are living longer with lower rates of infant death and the suppression and even eradication of many ‘natural’ killers. Nature doesn’t mean ‘good’; it’s indifferent. And replacing some of its mechanisms with targeted and technologically advanced practices – although linked with some particular bad effects in some circumstances – is not automatically ‘bad’. But this is as much the common message from alternative therapies and ‘naturo-pathic medicine’ who sell pseudo-medicine as it is the ‘natural’ organic farming who sell pseudo-farming practices.

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            2. I do think that hacking nature and engineering genes that produce hybrid, non heirloom, non reproducing nature resistant plants will turn out to be a mistake. Humans are not clever enough to account for all the variables and will put continue to put bandaids on bandaids. There is a better way, but impatience rules.

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            3. Somewhat ironically, I’m reminded of that verse from Romans 1:22

              “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” 🙂

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            4. And I am seeing the Dunning Kruger (link here) effect played out right here. There is a 51% gap between the scientific consensus and public awareness regarding GMOs, a greater disparity in fact than between believers of creationism and people who understand evolution. You have been sold disinformation to think GMOs are somehow bad (because they introduce and support poor farming practices when in fact they do not) but think anyone who doesn’t at the very least distrust GMOs are ‘fools’. The opposite is true. And billions of people eat today because your opposition is not endorsed by the vast majority of farmers.

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            5. Your linked study addresses concerns about food safety I’ve explicitly stated I don’t have — twice — while ignoring the ones I do have (i.e. ecological impact of farming methods used to raise those crops).

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            6. The point of the study was to show the tremendous disconnect between what consumers think they know about GMOs and the scientific community. That was the ENTIRE point I was raising. Your concerns specifically are an extreme outlier of GMO use. This doesn’t make them less concerning in specific cases but it plays no part in recognizing why GMOs are a vast, vast benefit to humanity and the vast majority of farmers around the world. You seem convinced this isn’t the case by selecting only examples where a very specific kind of GMO practice is abused. That’s why I made the comparison to medicine, in that you can’t paint the whole field based on a few examples of negative consequences or abuses. Those examples are ALWAYS going to be with us and should be addressed by regulation specifically but to suggest a specific farming practice undermines the profound net benefits of GMOs is equivalent to trying to argue that a bad drug undermines the profound net benefits medicine. It’s a terrible argument because it’s a gross misrepresentation of what’s true.

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            7. Still doesn’t answer my question. What’s the point of introducing a study that addresses concerns I haven’t raised and explicitly rejected? Seems like a red herring to me.

              As to my concerns being an extreme outlier, the USGS begs to differ:

              https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/phosphorus-and-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

              And so does the crop specialist cited in this Canadian Trade Publication:

              https://www.manitobacooperator.ca/crops/the-phosphorus-conundrum-low-soil-levels-meet-lake-winnipeg-pressures

              So while you may not care about the issue, those living near the lakes may have a different perspective.

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            8. Okay. One more kick at the can.

              You equate the OVERUSE of fertilizer with GMOs. That’s a red herring. To stop these algae blooms, fertilizer like nitrogen needs to be turned over after application. This stops runoff and excessive leaching. The PROBLEM is that many farmers fertilize fields perhaps with this intention but runoff from rain takes it into the streams and lakes in accumulated quantities to cause these blooms. It has NOTHING to do with GMOs and everything to do with poor or inefficient farming practices.

              Now, algae blooms are a very real problem. Nowhere have I suggested this concern is an outlier. What I’ve said is that relating certain problems you are selecting – like algae blooms – and then arbitrarily ATTRIBUTING them to GMOs as the ‘culprit’ here is the kind of misinformation intentionally selected by the organic food industry lobbyists to pretend organic food is somehow ‘better’. It’s not. It’s WAY more inefficient and polluting on a meter by meter measure in the aggregate although I’m sure there are many practices that are not.

              This is the tactic you are using over and over again to paint GMOs as a ‘culprit’. That’s the big lie. You’ve done it again with fertilizer. Using this tactic repeatedly is based entirely on ignoring what role GMOs actually play in our food supply – especially from a global perspective – ignoring what role they actually play in improving food supply and turning marginal land into productive land for food, ignoring any and all kinds of pollution and poor practices from those farmer involved with the organic industry – and presenting a false picture as negatively as you can regarding GMOs. It would be like me insisting either a starving baby to represent the entirety of the ‘organic’ food industry or only Monsanto seed to represent a stable food supply. That’s not true and neither are your assertions that GMOs are the culprit.

              The truth is that GMOs are an ESSENTIAL aspect of our global food supply and pretending as you continue to do that this aspect is responsible for all or most or many of the ills poor farming practices bring about is simply false. The ‘organic’ food industry also has significant problems, not least of which is an increased use of fertilizers and pesticides and carbon when fairly compared – per unit of food produced – with GMO food. That’s simply a fact. That’s why farmers choose GMOs because it offers more benefits than costs in a variety of ways. You just ignore all the local benefits and wave away the global effect as if these play no role whatsoever. Well, they do.

              So by all means criticize practices that deserve criticism. But stop with the gross mischaracterization that GMO food is somehow the main culprit here. That’s simply not true.

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            9. It appears you’re more interested in pursuing the conversation you’d like to have than engaging in the one you’re actually having. I made a simple opening comment advising that the production of GMO crops promotes poor farming practices and locks farmers into restrictive covenants. Neither of those points has been, or can be, refuted because it is an irrefutable fact that the entire business model is based on locking the producer into an exclusive contract to buy seeds and crop inputs from one supplier. So that “eco-friendly” spin the corporate websites put on their home page is just that: corporate spin. Their bottom line is profit maximization, not ecological stewardship. And I know this because I used to work in the industry.

              But their motives have always been out in the open. What I find much more disturbing is your attempt to denigrate those who have actually made the effort to move forward towards more sustainable farming. What’s in it for you?

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            10. “the production of GMO crops promotes poor farming practices and locks farmers into restrictive covenants.”

              That isn’t you talking, Ron. That’s a prepackaged caricature that is a gross misrepresentation and been widely and successfully sold to a gullible, knowledge-lacking public for a reason. It is intended to get believers to discredit GMOs and then offer a substitute. It is science-denialism in action. You don’t believe that, of course, because you already think you know more than you actually do. Hence, I raised the well known and expected Dunning Kruger effect now part of the typical response to this technology and its ongoing vilification by vested organic industries because you quoted the bible as if anyone who disagreed with you and your opinion in this matter was a fool, that only you had the facts (when you so obviously don’t), and that those who disagreed were the ones to distrust. All of that is most disagreeable to me. I am responding because this typical use of anti-scientific denialism is so rampant these days and perhaps I can reveal it here. Except to the True Believers, of course.

              This is a much better description of what GMOs really are and helps to bolster my claim that you are misrepresenting the entire field of GMOs by selecting only questionable practices as if they alone represented the technology, which they don’t. These examples you keep on supplying do not address the fact that a technology that genetically modifies plants to increase our food supply, and reduce our overall use of fertilizers and pesticides and carbon compared to any other method of farming including organic IN THE AGGREGATE is a tremendous benefit. You pay this FACT no heed other than more handwaving scientific denialism. That’s why I KEEP saying and you KEEP ignoring that these examples you raise are at best only one small part of the entire industry that modifies organisms. Again, you keep doing the same thing, using the same tactic, namely tom MISREPRESENT the technology we use to genetically modify all kinds of things that have brought about a global benefit in the stability and safety of our food supply. And it is IDENTICAL to the same technique used by anti-vaxers, used by climate deniers, used by tobacco lobbyists, used by the alternative medicine lobby. Why you can’t see this is s amystery to me but it shows the power of belief when it comes to denying facts. It can happen to the best of us unless we’re willing to put aside our belief-fueled opinions and evaluate their claims honestly against reality. If you do that, you will this ongoing vilification of GMOs serves only one master and it’s not us.

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            11. As mentioned in my last comment, you are pursuing the conversation you’d prefer to have instead of the one you’re actually having. Because the article you linked to addresses concerns (i.e., fears about the genetic alteration) I simply do not possess. So you’re shadowboxing with your own straw man.

              And as I also mentioned in my previous comment, I worked in the industry and sat through the marketing meetings. The topic of discussion was always finding new ways to sell more product and sign up new customers. Environmental concerns — if discussed at all — were addressed only to the extent that they helped improve product promotions and public relations initiatives. It’s been many years since I left, but I imagine their PR concerns now also include issuing statements showing their support for social justice causes. But at the end of the day it’s purely windowdressing because the primary goal is and always will be maximizing shareholder profit.

              What did pop out at me, though, were the following two statements:

              “Crops by their very nature are not robust. They depend upon humans to provide optimal growing conditions for them, and to protect them from pests . . . In the wild, without humans to care for them, crops would mostly be frail.”

              Talk about Dunning-Kruger effect! Nature has survived — indeed thrived — just fine without human intervention. What the author really means to say is that plants grown using mass production farming methods need human protection because they’ve been stripped of the optimal environmental growing conditions to which they’ve become naturally adapted.

              Which is precisely the kind of thinking I was alluding to in recollection of the verse that says “professing themselves to be wise they became fools”. Being well-versed in plant genetics does not automatically translate to being functionally literate, because I’ve trained more than my fair share of “academic geniuses” who couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. And being scientifically sound doesn’t automatically equate to being morally sound. Developing weapons of mass destruction can be classified as a scientific endeavor, but deploying them on unsuspecting populations most certainly can not. Likewise with the “traditional” farming methods employed by both GMO and non-GMO producers: just because it doesn’t kill the consumer doesn’t mean it’s environmentally-friendly or sustainable over the long term.

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            12. No. What I’m saying is that’s it’s more prudent to work with nature than work against it. Nature is a delicate web of symbiotic relationships and interconnections, and to blithely assume you can jump in and disrupt that balance without incurring unfavorable consequences is a major error, because that “noxious weed” or bothersome bug or pesky rodent you deem a major nascence may very well turn out to play a vital role in maintaining that balance in ways you could never have imagined.

              As for medications, most are derived from plants. Did you know that the natural remedy for the itch caused by poison ivy, poison oak and stinging nettle grows in close proximity to the source of that itch? Or that a knowledgeable person can easily survive on the native plants growing within his/her particular geographic location?

              I encourage you to check out the countless YouTube channels devoted to foraging for wild edible/medicinal plants, as well as the channels demonstrating the success and viability of practicing permaculture.

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            13. I see. So you think increasing pesticide use and even more fertilizers delivered by carbon-based machinery is the way to go for farmers, do you? Because that’s what the ‘organic’ farming industry has done to compete.

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            14. I just wonder, if a bug or even a fungus won’t eat my food, should I eat it?
              Of course I do eat it because my current circumstances leave me no easy choice, but really, if no bugs will eat your food, doesn’t it concern you at all?

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            15. Wow. You actually believe GMOs are impervious to insects and fungi? What GMOs are we talking about? It’s your tomato. It’s your lettuce. It’s your onions. It’s your cucumber. It’s your pepper. It’s your romaine. It’s your sprouts. Where do you come up with this belief that none of these are susceptible to any ‘bugs’ and all fungus? That belief simply doesn’t align with reality. And you can test this yourself. Go ahead and leave these GMO ingredients exposed to decay and see what happens, see if any bugs or fungi come and feast.

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            16. Your not familiar with genetic engineering of disease resistant crops? I never said impervious. I know that if you splice a fungus to a bean so the bugs won’t eat the bean, it makes me wonder if I should eat the bean. Sorry, it’s kind of a common sense that nothing is without repercussions.
              Your tone is complete confidence in the judgement of science moving forward. Your inability to question these things makes you as Hoffer would say, a true believer.

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            17. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been listening my whole life to my sister who is a crops science specialist – she was doing genetic work back in the 70s and ever since and is the poster child for an earth maiden. She has provided a stream of compare and contrast comments about almost every aspect of technological and organic practices over the past 50 years. She has worked with people around the world not just in labs and governments but farmers on 4 continents, and she knows how profoundly positive are the effects of GMOs globally and how constant is the misrepresentation and fear-mongering by the organic lobby in the opulent West that themselves use vastly more pesticides and fertilizers than most people have any clue because they couch their use of these toxic products in ‘green’ and ‘natural’ verbiage – as if this makes their widespread use acceptable and benign when they are neither. In addition, the carbon output by ‘organic’ farmers dwarfs ‘industrial’ use on an even meter-by-meter land use basis. She has developed zero tolerance for those who have been sold a bill a goods about organic practices as ‘good’ because, she says, they are spouting prepackaged talking points developed not by farmers who have a vested interest in the health and welfare of their land and so are firmly attached to best practices to ensure this but lobbyists of their competitors, namely highly expensive and very often lower quality organic foods (on a calorie by calorie basis) sold specifically to yuppies as their target consumers (she always adds “in their Birkenstocks”) who seem to have no clue about what they don’t know but are dedicated to believing they do… and presume they do because they believe the organic lobbyists have their best interests at heart versus those evil GMO producers. The fact is that GMOs have revolutionized many times over every positive effect that benefit both farmers and anyone who needs to eat food to survive. She points out that if we returned to pre-GMO food supply and relied instead only on organic farmers, not only would we lose a full third of productive land globally but face mass starvation while these yuppies continue to spend more and more on less and less nutritious food.

              So this is why I say that those who continue to pretend GMOs are somehow a negative influence in our food supply are demonstrating that they really have no clue what they’re talking about but think they do. That’s why I continue to point out that just about everything you eat that is nutritious has already been genetically altered. You just don’t know it because it is common practice, perfectly safe, and allows us to have a stable and affordable food supply. All the rest are quibbles, some egregious abuse it’s true, but it doesn’t alter the fact that GMOs are a tremendous benefit at least as profound in advancing the human condition as medicine.

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            18. It simply comes at a cost. Nobody really can determine what that cost is. I’m sure messing with the gene pool in this fashion is completely harmless —like bulldozing a hillside in California? What could possibly go wrong?
              The truth is we confront nature out of financial expediency and rarely take time to see there is a better way.

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            19. Of course it comes at a cost: everything in life comes at a cost. You cannot take a breath or a step or a swallow without it costing something to something. So knowing this fact, how would you determine whether the cost of genetically modifying wheat to grow in poor soil was a benefit to you as a subsistence farmer?

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            20. Exactly how will those GMO agri-businesses can vastly reduce or eliminate the use of the very inputs (pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers) they depend upon to produce their patented crops? It’s the equivalent of saying that only cigarette companies can vastly reduce and even eliminate the use of carcinogenic tobacco products.

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  3. damn, I somehow printed this before I checked for typos, and there were a lot of them. If you wouldn’t mind editing the above, I would be in your debt–but not forever, 2 or 3 seconds at best.
    Thanks.

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  4. Apparently I got so caught up in my own soapbox I never related any of my rant to your contention about science and religion. No, religion never did anything as useful compared to science, but isn’t that the point? (Boy, will I take a lot of flak, for that statement, but I stand by it.) The theists can say they are doing all kinds if good, but all they are doing is wanting to appear to be doing good, so I don’t think it has value. Charity work is supposed to be one of its big positives, but mostly it takes from the poor to give back from the poor, so how is that helping the poor? And they are doing it in the name of someone else, but they themselves are doing it to profit by buying their way into heaven by way of reward for their charity. In the current parlance, they are expecting quid for quo.

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  5. I am going to start this continuation with an old poem of mine, if I may. (Try and stop me, lol.) I titled it Dog Catcher.

    Where shall we run
    When civilization
    Runs
    To the end
    Of its tether
    And snaps!
    The leather?

    Who
    Is our
    Dog catcher?

    Will there be a dog catcher? Can there be a dog catcher? We would have to be very lucky indeed if there is one, because the dog that is us would probably be rabid. There needs to be some controls.
    At present we have put some controls in place, the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty–Pro-life not in the sense of protecting fetuses from abortion, but in the sense of saving us from self-destruction,–and the agreements against using human eugenics to build perfect people (but I am sure there are quacks out there ďoing just that.) If there are other such controls out there, I cannot think of them right now.
    What I can think of right now, I hesitate to write about, because I am not a conspiracy theorist, but as the following two paragraphs will show, things like this could be possible.
    The team leaving China today after investigating the Covid-19 coronavirus is hinting the virus was a natural animal-to-human virus mutation–they are not committing to anything definitive. But it seems at least one of the investigators is not convinced it was not created or intentionally mutated in a lab, and somehow escaped. There is some possibility this could have happened.
    Back in the 80s, there was a conspiracy theory that AIDS was created in a lab and spread in Africa aiming to do two things: kill male homosexuals, and/or kill black people–can we say the ultimate apartheid.
    If either one is true, which I hope not, this emphasizes the lesson learned with mustard gas in World War I, to watch what weapons you develop and try to use, because they are liable to turn on you. Once released, such dangerous things cannot be controlled.

    Can technology be controlled? Late 20th century philosophers were divided on that and one other question: Should technology be controlled? I hate using must or should statements (just like I hate using always statements, nudge nudge wink wink) but when it comes to technology I think both must and should are necessities.
    Technology itself is neutral, it cannot be good or bad in or of itself. But humanity can use it for either. The internet is a fantastic tool for good, but it is often used for nefarious purposes, such as putting potential criminals in touch with real criminals who will do absolutely anything if the price is right, including murder and spreading child pornography. Even child pornography could be considered harmless, though very sick, IF children were not harmed and abused in the process of its creation and distribution.
    And that is where I have to draw my line. When technology is used to harm living beings, it cannot be allowed to run willy-nilly. We need a dog catcher, but what we really need is to prevent the need for dog catchers.
    How do we do that? Pandora’s Box of Technology has already been opened. The internet provides too much good to too many people, I would not want to see it disappear, but I would give it up if I had to in order to stop all the harm it is abetting. This is my opinion.
    But technology is so much more. People can travel around the world in hours, but we pay for this by polluting our air. (Note how quickly the air is cleaning itself up by grounding so many planes during Covid. I wish all planes would be grounded. Why do we need to travel around the world in hours?) Medical technology is saving lives every day, but people are being killed or worse to harvest their organs. And on and on and on.
    I ask, Jim, which is more important, promoting the good, or allowing the bad? I’m betting the creatures of the sea whose bodies are becoming insufficient to maintaining life due to all the microplastics they ingest thanks to our plastics industries would opt for banning all plastics, not just single use plastics. The air is recovering on its own, for now. But the oceans cannot recover on their own. The microplastics are there until we so-called humans remove them. And I doubt we will ever have the technology to do that.
    I rest my ranting.

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  6. I guess my question, Jim, though imperfectly presented, because technology is not something than can be directly questioned, is: What is the endgame of technology?
    Where will it take us? How will it ultimately affect us? And, in the end, will humanity be better off for it?
    I am not against technology. Without it you and I could not have this discussion. Without technology I could be alone in a sea of theists not knowing if I am insane or unsane. Truth to tell, to the best of my knowledge, I have never met another atheist in real life! I needed other atheists to talk to, though I did not know it, and technology made that possible. Without some kind of communication between us, how would we have refined our ideas.
    A bit off topic, but when I talk about First Life, it talk about it as an actual being of some kind. I have no other words with which to even think about it. Whether you have ever read my ideas on this topic, I don’t know. It is all very esoteric, even to me. But when my thoughts go back as far in time as I can possibly go, the very first living being cannot have known it was alive, because it had nothing to compare itself to. It could not even have had awareness of self, for what is self but differentiation from other. If there is no other, how would one know they are self?
    We know things, we discover things, only through how we act in a populated universe. Seeing other gives us the possibility to see ourselves as reflected by other. It is once we know we exist that we can go about existing.
    Even I am not sure how this ties into your post, but I was compelled to bring it up by something deep inside me, that thing I call spirit. It wants to have a voice in this conversation.
    But, back to technology. One of the biggest themes of many writers of Science Fiction in the 60s and 70s was runaway technology. This was one of Philip K. Dick’s main themes. What good is technology if it has no humanity behind it.
    For all the technological advances in the past 100 years, and there are way too many to count, the most important advance was the hydrogen bomb, including all its following variations. The atom bomb gave humanity the ability to wipe out not just human life on this planet, but virtually all life above the microscopic stage. It might not destroy all life, but it could set us back more billions of years than we can recover from before our sun goes nova. Evolution would have to restart, and who knows if anything like humanity would ever evolve again.
    If this were to actually happen, seeing as life is attached so intimately to survival, and if humanity did come that close to destroying all life, it would certainly not want to re-evolve the kind of life that could become genocidal, or, treating all life as one, suicidal, ever again,.
    When Trump was president, and hostilities with Iran were escalating, nuclear war, and nuclear winter, were but a button-push away, and I thanked our stars that Trump was not allowed to punch that button, though I am betting he tried. He was too insane not to.
    Where is all this going? Not sure yet.
    So I am going to end this here, and see if I can figure it out before I continue.

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  7. Not sure if you understood the context of my comment. “ Thank you to the farmers who have geniusly devised ways to feed this mob with less and less land. Instead of attacking them as co-conspirators poisoning the world with gmo’s, try thanking them for the extra yields that feed your offspring. They are the real miracle workers “. I was praising the ag industry and condemning the conspiracy nuts.

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  8. “poisoning the world with gmo’s”

    Wow. Such profound ignorance right there on display.

    What do you think the farmers are planting, Jim? Ancient seeds?

    I suspect every morsel of food you eat has been genetically modified by humans in one way or another, and this process of intentionally genetically modifying our entire food supply is the ONLY reason why 4 billion people are not starving to death right this minute. Sure, farmers play they part but they are one factor in a long causal chain. To vilify gmo’s is not just the height of hypocrisy but a demonstration of how an ideology assumed to be true is then used to claim absolutely false conclusions… with a straight and earnest face. Faith-based belief in action.

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      1. Yup. You’re right. I should be more careful in reading the complete section rather than doing what I did and taking something out of context. I am entirely at fault here, Jim, and I apologize. My bad.

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      2. And in all sincerity, that you for taking the time and effort correcting me. I’m not just saying that but mean it. It really is appreciated because now I’m aware I have to take better care of comprehending first rather than jumping the gun and presuming. Just another example of how easily one can be affected by the old dopamine hit and react rather than think. That’s what I did and you quite rightly called me on it. I’m certainly not immune but just a susceptible as anyone else. It’s a good reminder to be aware of that.

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  9. I think we already have extensions of the human mind, the internet and the tools it makes available. How many of us use Google, Wikipedia, etc. as a part of our memory? Even that stupid talking thing sitting on my workbench or kitchen table has become a kind of memory extension. While they aren’t directly wired to our brains, they have become a part of them in a way. Whether or not this is a “good thing” is something that remains to be seen, of course.

    but to get back to the main point, I am more than a little annoyed to see the amount of time, work, and resources that have been expended in the name of religion, resources that could have been much better used if applied to basic research on things that actually mattered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my area here about half of the kids homeschool (no school) and have no WiFi for religious reasons. Imagine that, though, if religious indoctrination’s were replaced by seeds of discovery! I’m certain the answers to clean energy and sustainable living are simple answers that have not yet been discovered, and likely will be by the imaginations a child. The pool is shallow here, but not everywhere.
      I do like the idea that technology is an extension of our minds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find the whole home schooling thing troubling, as well as the trend to pump more and more public funds into “private schools” which are really nothing more than propaganda factories for religious and political organizations.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I like the high school set up in Panama. You can select a school based on your interests, like ag, electronics, carpentry, medicine, tech, mechanics, etcetera. It’s also where it pays to have extended family because your school may not be in your town.

          Liked by 1 person

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