How to use genomic information for evil

racialscreening

The combination of access to genetic data and computer programming must be an irresistible temptation to racists. Someone tried to distribute a code fragment that would allow a program to look up gene data on 23andMe and use it to limit who would be allowed to use the program.

Dubbed Genetic Access Control, the program—which was posted to GitHub on Monday—would act as a login for sites and scan the genetic information of 23andMe users who make their data available, much like how websites currently request access to your Facebook profile prior to entry. The coder in question cited a few “possible uses” for Genetic Access Control, ranging from “Groups defined by ethnic background, e.g. Black Panthers or NAACP members,” to “Safer online dating sites that only partner people with a low likelihood of offspring with two recessive genes for congenital diseases.”

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I didn’t do it, and he isn’t even my dentist

cecil

OK, everyone who has written to me to tell me about Walter Palmer, Minnesota dentist and butcher of wildlife, 5½ million people live in this state. Don’t know him, never met him, and if he were my dentist, I’d be dropping him instantly.

Walter Palmer, a trophy hunter who operates River Bluffs Dental in Bloomington, is believed to have paid about $55,000 to bribe wildlife guards July 1 at Hwange National Park, reported The Telegraph.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force confirmed that Palmer — who has been previously fined for illegal hunts — spotted Cecil the lion at night and tied a dead animal to his vehicle to lure the famed cat out of the park.

That tactic is known as “baiting” and is used by big-game hunters to justify their killings as legal.

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Techno-lust

This 1925 Bugatti Brescia was found in a state of profound neglect in a garage, and was auctioned off for almost a million dollars. It’s a beautiful work of art. It doesn’t run, but still…that would be a fine vehicle for a Sunday drive, once it’s restored.

bugatticar

But it’s the wrong model! Way, way back in high school, I was really into technical drafting, and I ran across this one legendary Bugatti, and I made it the subject of my class project: drawing scale 3-views, engine diagrams, isometric projections, all that kind of stuff, for a portfolio which, sadly, I no longer have. It’s been a while.

But for a while there, I was in nerd love with the Bugatti Model 100.

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Maybe he’s unhappy that a traveling exhibit is more informative than his whole “museum”

crying

The Smithsonian has a traveling exhibit based on the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. It’s going to be put up at libraries all across the country (but nowhere in Minnesota!), so lots of people will get a look at some of the evidence for human evolution. Can you guess who is not happy about this? Of course you can. Ken Ham has declared it a propaganda campaign for atheism.

This is nothing but a propaganda campaign attempting to indoctrinate people to believe they are nothing but animals evolved from ape-like ancestors! To the Smithsonian, that’s what it means to be human! And what they are doing in reality is trying to impose their religion of naturalism (atheism) on the culture. Interestingly, in complementing community events, they also plan to have some people (who come from liberal backgrounds) supposedly representing the religious community. Of course, the entire exhibit is religious—it is promoting the religion of atheism using evolutionary beliefs. And for this exhibit, there are special invitations for clergy to try to influence them!

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Between me and my mind

jubal

A blog is a lousy social medium; heck, social media are lousy social media. I think lately that I’ve been wrestling far too much with the problem of community on the web, and I have become disillusioned. That this particular community has been under siege by trolls and slimers and shit-stirrers hasn’t helped, either, or that there is far too much cliquishness of a painfully artificial sort.

I must also say that I find the wider community we tried to build at Freethoughtblogs is less a unified group than a disparate collection of loosely affiliated blogs that have found a convenient hosting service, which doesn’t help my mood much, either. We are all objects in space, drifting, occasionally bouncing off each other or tugging gently at each other’s masses. And that’s about it.

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