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Zarathinius Auditor | joined 14 March 2006 | 83 posts


Transhumanism and Genetic Engineering posted 22 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionTranshumanism and Genetic Engineering by Zarathinius, Auditor

Obviously I am very much in favor of using genetic engineering to help those who are somehow genetically disadvantaged, but I also think the implications are many and varied, especially considering the fact that genetic engineering is still in its infancy. Will genetic engineering be reliable? Will there perhaps be subtle flaws or mutations that result from human tinkering, things that may not become apparent until after many years, posibly even many generations, of modified humans? We really have no way of knowing until genetic engineering reaches a point where anybody with enough money has the capability to change their children in innumerable ways. And when that happens, it might be too late to prevent social revolution. view post


Transhumanism and Genetic Engineering posted 22 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionTranshumanism and Genetic Engineering by Zarathinius, Auditor

The bottom line is that there are definitely risks involved in genetic engineering, as there is in any other new technology. We should certainly do our utmost to test these things and make them safe. But we cannot let the fear of possible future dangers cripple us into inaction.


Yes, I agree that most problems that are discovered after people have died of it can be rectified to prevent future damage, but there is a difference with publicly available genetic modification. Widespread genetic engineering of humans may have the potential to create a social division; one that really would be determined by virtue of birth rather than the superficial "noble blood" believed to exist in the past. When people would be born with a literal genetic legacy other than that of their ancestors, there could arise either a class of superhumans, or a class of degenerates. The extent, availabilty, and possible future implications of genetic engineering are largely unknown. This does not mean, of course, that it should be avoided or shunned, but it does mean that great care must be taken in its development. It also means that people who have something to gain from its distribution - medical corporations and commercial labratories - must be kept under close supervision. Capitalism does not favor long-term caution; it favors short-term profit. Despite the possible benefits, problems, or whatever else associated with genetic engineering, we must be careful not to jump into a situation without foresight. Vague references to the possible benefits are only speculation (think of nuclear fission energy), and the doomsayers are paranoids who fear change.

In short, we should allow further study and development of genetic engineering (humans have never been very good at witholding progress), but we can't make any permanent decisions when we still have so far to go. view post


Transhumanism and Genetic Engineering posted 25 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionTranshumanism and Genetic Engineering by Zarathinius, Auditor

Fair enough. I suppose my point about the gap beteen the elite and the poor was that, in our modern world, the general attitude is: "If I can pay for it, I have a right to it." Although this seems fair as long as people stay within the realm of the law, it tends to perpetuate the division between the elite and everybody else. view post


Transhumanism and Genetic Engineering posted 27 March 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionTranshumanism and Genetic Engineering by Zarathinius, Auditor

Then again, the division between the rich and the poor is much bigger in some places than in others. Here in Europe, things aren't so bad. Are you from the states? If so, that would go some way towards explaining our different outlooks as regarding this subject, I suspect.


Yeah, I'm from the US. Here we have capitalistic healthcare, a corrupted, entrenched government, and the Kansas board of Education (i.e. intelligent design). I suppose the problems we are discussing seem larger to me because of it; the U.S. has a greater ignoramus-per-square-mile count than all of Europe combined, I think. view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 02 April 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Zarathinius, Auditor

Nudge view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 05 April 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Zarathinius, Auditor

emotion view post


Words You Like or Don't Like posted 05 April 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionWords You Like or Don't Like by Zarathinius, Auditor

"Sangfroid" is a very annoying word when used in English.
"Incredulous" becomes annoying when used more than three times in one written work.

"Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis", however, is a wonderful word, albiet one that I fear I may never learn to pronounce quickly.

(That's a real word, by the way.) view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 09 April 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Zarathinius, Auditor

old view post


hobbies? posted 09 April 2006 in Off-Topic Discussionhobbies? by Zarathinius, Auditor

I recently joined the track team at my school, and I enjoy it because I'm getting exercise for the first time in years. I jump hurdles as my main event, which means I am occasionally in pain. But it's all good.

I have an unhealthy addiction to strategy-based computer games. This is ironic because I am not a very good strategist.

One of my main interests is architecture. I'm very intrigued by the design elements that make houses enjoyable to live in versus the weird designs that are popular with many high-end architects. Honestly, a vaulted ceiling seems to serve no purpose other than to be impressive and awkward.

I'm very much into fantasy and have an incredible amount of stuff because of that. Costumes, staves, necklaces and pendants, rings, and even a pair goblets carved from stone.


re: Edge of Certainty

I've mastered 9 different forms of Northern Chinese Gung-Fu, 6 different Japanese arts, and I am the last practitioner of the Chinese Martial art Kwon Gung Tsu in the world.

Awesome. You should find a few students, there's money to be made there. Not to mention the value of keeping obscure traditions alive. view post


Now Reading... posted 09 April 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Zarathinius, Auditor

Just finished Them by Jon Ronson. Friggin' hilarious. view post


Just wrong, I tell you. posted 02 June 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionJust wrong, I tell you. by Zarathinius, Auditor

Hehe, that would be quite a sight. I think an aspiring Sci-fi/Fantasy lit fan would probably be intrigued by the title, surprised by the thickness of the spine, and melt their brain if they tried to read it.

Brain-melting is NOT a good way to start a hobby <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Then again, anybody would be confused if they started with The Warrior-Prophet.

But getting back on topic, how the heck did you manage to give a brief description? I can't even begin describing the book to anyone without trying to cram every major plot device in. view post


truth glistens posted 02 June 2006 in Philosophy Discussiontruth glistens by Zarathinius, Auditor

Truthfully, I agree.

--
For the Vulgar Man reads the Truth, and, upon Knowing it, claims to know what Truth is.

The Wise Man reads the Truth, and, upon Knowing it, reveals it to be False by using fancy Philosophical rhetoric he read in a book.

However, those who walk conditioned ground realize that they are walking upon said ground without shoes, which is very uncomfortable, because they know that shoes can only cause their feet to stink.

It is enough, they know, that they can know the Truth by looking it up on the Internet....they ask Scott Bakker.
--

Here I shall beg forgiveness for making a pathetic joke out of a much better joke. view post


truth glistens posted 08 June 2006 in Philosophy Discussiontruth glistens by Zarathinius, Auditor

Congratulations, JustifiedHeretic.

You just caused my brain to melt. Well done. view post


Victory! posted 14 June 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionVictory! by Zarathinius, Auditor

I've told plenty of people about it, but I don't know if any of them have actually picked it up. Now that I think about it, the reasons I like the series so much are the same reasons most of my peer group (ages 15-17) avoids books.

Anything requiring more than 60 seconds of thought seems to give most teenagers hives. Curse their tiny attention spans... <!-- s:x --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mad.gif" alt=":x" title="Mad" /><!-- s:x -->

&lt;/bitterness towards peers&gt;

But anyway, I can't wait until the United Spades of Amerika lightens up about &quot;mature themes&quot; in school. Then they'll put the PoN on every school's reading list...Bwahahaha... <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: -->

Or maybe not. view post


First Scott, then the rest of us... posted 14 June 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Scott, then the rest of us... by Zarathinius, Auditor

*Forms cult devoted to Kellhus in futile attempt to appease him*

Crap, that won't work, will it? Okay, okay, just stay calm....AARRGHH! view post


truth glistens posted 14 June 2006 in Philosophy Discussiontruth glistens by Zarathinius, Auditor

And then Aristotle, the bartender, comes up with a scientific theory stating that French poeple dissapear when slapped by Greeks. This is the only theory for which he ever had any evidence.

Machiavelli, sitting near the back, points out that the ends justify the means. Since the end was the dissapearence of a drunken French philosopher, it justified allowing an angry Greek philosopher into the bar.

Socrates was going to say something, but his drink was spiked with Water Hemlock. He dies.

Confucius sits nearby, chatting with Lao-Tzu (in Chinese, of course). In keeping with their philosophies, neither disrupts the natural Tao of The Bar.

Then Kellhus comes in and pwns them all with his Thousandfold Thought. He is then evicted from the bar for making a ruckus. view post


Victory! posted 25 June 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionVictory! by Zarathinius, Auditor

I'd prefer not to study the PoN, even given the chance. I enjoy it, and enjoy discussing it. Having some dumbass teacher tell me that it's actually about Jesus would kill me inside.


Good point. If somebody tries to pass it off as an allegory to any religion, they deserve a good flogging. Anybody who declares it to be blasphemous, however, should be heartily laughed at and made fun of in public. view post


Any Webmasters out there? posted 25 June 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionAny Webmasters out there? by Zarathinius, Auditor

Uhh, I can sort of make stuff with Dreamweaver, and I know (or could re-learn) basic HTML. Haven't actually done anything yet. view post


Who is most offensive. posted 25 June 2006 in Literature DiscussionWho is most offensive. by Zarathinius, Auditor

rape should always be offensive. But that's the point of putting such things into fiction: elements in the story are meant to offend and that is part of the aesthetic experience.


Yes, I agree with you completely. The unpleasant parts of the story are what make it worth reading; a mushy, sentimental story without moral conflict isn't even a story. Its the characters' struggle through seemingly hopeless circumstances that makes you want to keep reading.

But I think people who find the whole series distasteful because they are prudes and can't handle a story with a little grit ARE most useful as cannon fodder. (I assume that's what Virus was talking about). view post


Gaming? posted 21 July 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionGaming? by Zarathinius, Auditor

I used to play D&amp;D but then I moved. Didn't find any gamers there at all, but now that I've moved again (to Hawai'i), I hope I'll find some people.

Especially considering it would be a damned shame if all my rulebooks went to waste. Those books are expensive!

Still, I do have semi-funny gaming story: The adventure starts out with the entire group in a prison cell. I can't for the life of me remember why we were there. Anyway, this big bald guy (an NPC) gets thrown in with us, and informs us that we are all in big trouble. Now, none of us have any gear at all, not even a bit of wire for the thief (me) to pick the lock. So what do we do? Why, use good ol' baldy as a battering ram, of course! With the cell door smashed open, and only one of us is armed (with a rock). I really don't remember the rest of it, but I do recall that the guy who had the rock decided to keep it rather than get a real weapon. view post


What is your favorite sport? posted 21 July 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionWhat is your favorite sport? by Zarathinius, Auditor

I like fencing, and I ran track this past spring season. But really, I don't watch sports on TV. view post


Scott Bakker ruined it for me. posted 08 November 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionScott Bakker ruined it for me. by Zarathinius, Auditor

The DnD books lack something all right: Originality. Ever since The Lord of the Rings, fantasy writers have had a hell of a time thinking of a plot that does not center around a magical object. Then again, as a player of D&amp;D, I don't mind a little pulp fantasy now and then. view post


Help me understand posted 29 December 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionHelp me understand by Zarathinius, Auditor

Depression and world-weariness tend to appear during periods of prolonged, seemingly unescapeable stress. There's some science behind that, but I'm feeling too apathetic to look it up... view post


Any horror fans here? posted 10 January 2007 in Literature DiscussionAny horror fans here? by Zarathinius, Auditor

I agree with borfalkian; Poe is very good, and I would put H.P. Lovecraft in second place (as Lovecraft tended to think of himself). &quot;The Pit and the Pendulum&quot; was my favorite work by Poe, and &quot;The Colour Out of Space&quot; was my favorite of Lovecraft's. I'm not much into the horror genre otherwise, though; I've never read anything by Stephen King. view post


No more Elves. Innovative, Violent and Thought-provoking. posted 10 January 2007 in Literature DiscussionNo more Elves. Innovative, Violent and Thought-provoking. by Zarathinius, Auditor

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock; the concept alone is original and fantastic. The characters are believable, and the story flows well. In my humblest of opinions, one of the greatest and most underappreciated books ever written. Strangely enough, I didn't care too much for his other works. view post


Ok so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. posted 10 January 2007 in Literature DiscussionOk so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. by Zarathinius, Auditor

Steven Brust. Quirky sense of humor, that guy has. view post


Eragon posted 25 March 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionEragon by Zarathinius, Auditor

One of the critic's reviews said &quot;Lord help us, there's going to be a director's cut, isn't there?&quot;

I think I kinda-sorta liked them at the time because it sounded like something I might have written, being a young'un. The nagging feeling of &quot;that idea came from a different story&quot; persisted pretty much from cover to cover, though. I might not have minded if he took his ideas from more obscure sources, that way I mightn't have noticed.

In addition to names and plot devices being either stolen or lame creations, the very beginning of the book is yawn-inducing, with some babble about the bad guy shooting &quot;energy bolts&quot; out of his palm or some such nonsense. Not bolts of fire, nor flashes of red light, but &quot;red energy bolts.&quot; *snore* view post


Your First Time posted 25 March 2007 in Off-Topic DiscussionYour First Time by Zarathinius, Auditor

I was always a reader, but I was fixated on nerdy science stuff for the first several years of my life. I didn't move to fantasy until... shucks, was it Harry Potter or The Hobbit? One of those two.

edit:
Actually, now that I've thought about it, the book that really drew me in and fascinated me was Mythago Wood. I still use the term mythago to describe certain things. view post


Helll Ya!!!!! posted 25 March 2007 in ReviewsHelll Ya!!!!! by Zarathinius, Auditor

Join the club. We've seen the light, and it is one helluva bright light. If the PON's brilliant ending were compared to a light bulb, then it would be a 500 billion-watt light bulb.

Honestly Scott, what a way to force us to buy the sequel. view post


Ok so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. posted 25 March 2007 in Literature DiscussionOk so I feel like ive read every good author in existence. by Zarathinius, Auditor

Quote: &quot;dillinisgood&quot;:24ewxuh2
I've always heard that The Black Company novels are really good.[/quote:24ewxuh2]

Yeah, those are a good read. My dad tells me Glen Cook's other works aren't quite as great, though.

Patricia A. McKillip, I liked her Riddle-Master Trilogy very much.

I'll mention Steven Brust again, because I've read more of his books since the last time I posted. Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood is one of my absolute favorites.

So, dillinisgood: Cook, McKillip, Brust, and Holdstock. Four more authors to add to your repertoire. view post


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