International terrorist group targets nanotech researchers

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61 Responses to “International terrorist group targets nanotech researchers”

  1. Gulliver says:

    When you carry out violent acts against non-combatants in an effort to
    scare a broad category of people or political entities into doing what
    you want, I think that counts as terrorism.

    Sounds spot on to me.

    Perhaps an opening shot in the reactionary movement against transhumanism which, let’s face it, stands a good chance of being the major existential conflict of the 21st century?

    Luckily I have already chosen my side.

    • EeyoreX says:

      “Perhaps an opening shot in the reactionary movement against transhumanism which, let’s face it, stands a good chance of being the major existential conflict of the 21st century?”

      Meh. “Transhumanists” are to hard science what furries are to zoology.

      That being said, the deluded weirdos who committed this heinous act DID evidently subscribe to the notion that there exists a real conflict, and sides to be chosen. So you do have that in common.

      • Gulliver says:

        Meh. “Transhumanists” are to hard science what furries are to zoology.

        Trans-humanism: literally the philosophical belief that it is not inherently immoral or sacrilegious to transcend the natural human condition. Perhaps you are conflating the general philosophy of transhumanism with a small subset thereof: singulatarians and/or extropians. Always fun to dismiss a whole philosophy by arguing against its most extreme examples. If, on the other hand, you are arguing that human beings are not developing the tools to alter their brains, bodies and available ways of interacting with their environment and each other, you should follow tech news more.

        That being said, the deluded weirdos who committed this heinous act DID
        evidently subscribe to the notion that there exists a real conflict, and
        sides to be chosen. So you do have that in common.

        Yes, there are. Some people will and do try to use violence and other coercive means to limit what others may do to their bodies and what types of human modification others may study. Those that wish to openly pursue such research and self-experimentation, or defend the right of others to do so, can either fight back or surrender. When someone points a gun (or bomb) at your head, you either do as they say or you resist. I intend to resist because my body belongs to me, your ridicule not withstanding. The deluded weirdos created the conflict when they choose violence. Others are likely to follow because when humans don’t get their way with other humans, many resort to terrorism and other means of coercion.

        • EeyoreX says:

          It seems we agree on the central point: that this thread is about assholes blowing people up because they’re pissed about science fiction.
          However, I maintain that “transhumanists” are at least as guilty as the rest of us in providing brain fodder for those assholes.

          You see, where I´m coming from, human beings have always been developing the tools to alter their brains, bodies and available ways of interacting with their environment and each other. There is absolutely nothing “trans-” or “-ism” about it. On the contrary, I’d say it’s a integral part of the “human condition”. 
          George Washington had prosthetic teeth. My great-grandfather had a pacemaker. Neither called it an ” -ism” or developed some silly holier-than-thou attitude because of it.
          So to get all excited because this year’s microchips are speedier than last year’s and use that to proclaim a new glorious era of “transcendens” or whatnot is really just creating a false dichotomy. And that dichotomy, albeit false, will provoke the stupid people who believe in it and feel excluded. And then they will do stupid shit to their fellow man who they now perceive as their enemy.

          • Gulliver says:

            You see, where I´m coming from, human beings have always been developing the tools to alter their brains, bodies and available ways of interacting with their environment and each other. There is absolutely nothing “trans-” or “-ism” about it. On the contrary, I’d say it’s a integral part of the “human condition”.

            I essentially agree. And the terminology is largely irrelevant, IMHO.

            George Washington had prosthetic teeth. My great-grandfather had a pacemaker. Neither called it an ” -ism” or developed some silly holier-than-thou attitude because of it. So to get all excited because this year’s microchips are speedier than last year’s and use that to proclaim a new glorious era of “transcendens” or whatnot is really just creating a false dichotomy. And that dichotomy, albeit false, will provoke the stupid people who believe in it and feel excluded. And then they will do stupid shit to their fellow man who they now perceive as their enemy.

            There have always been members of society who try to control how others choose to live. In the middle ages, medicine was widely considered sin and vilified as witchcraft. People don’t resort to coercion because they feel excluded; they do so because they fear the unknown and believe that they are justified in using violence to terrorize their fellow humans into not exploring it. They use force to control through fear. They are bullies.

            Again, transhumanism is just a word, albeit a word different from transcendence. Singulatarians have made a cottage industry out of predicting, as you say, a new glorious era of transcendence. Not all transhumanists by a long shot share that outlook and, if you want them to heed you, it is unconstructive to dismiss them out of hand on the basis of an outlook to which they do not subscribe. I think the singulatarians are almost certainly wrong, but time alone will tell decisively.

            We have, as you noted, been reinventing the human condition since at least the invention of language. You speak of transhumanists having a holier-than-thou attitude, but from where I’m sitting it’s the people who oppose science and technology and, in particular, who regard the natural state of my and your bodies as sacrosanct and use that as a moral argument for taking ownership of it from us, who have a holier-than-thou attitude.

          • Daen de Leon says:

            As far as I understand it, Transhumanism is as much about an attitude as the technology.  That attitude is one of inclusiveness, and it encapsulates George Washington’s teeth and your great-grandad’s dicky ticker.  It’s a relatively new attitude, one which Washington would have found slight resonance with, your great-grandfather rather more, and you, hopefully, very much so.  It’s one of absolute inclusiveness, irrespective of race, colour, creed, religion, physical or mental ability.  It’s the opposite of eugenics, the opposite of discrimination, and I find that admirable.  You’re absolutely right, it is an integral part of the human condition, our ability to augment, through culture and technology, our biological legacy.

          • Gulliver says:

            Thank you for stating it better than I could have.

            Transhumanism – or for those who find that term unsatisfactory or sanctimonious, bright humanism – is a philosophy for empowering human beings to use science and technology to have a quality and style of life of their choosing. If someone feels excluded because their neighbors choose to live in a way they find intolerable, I will be happy to discuss why diversity benefits everyone. But the gay and lesbian marriage debate has taught me that the intolerant are infrequently (though, thankfully, not never) open to listening to what their opponents have to say.

    • truthsculpture says:

      We’re tackling just that existential issue in our film, “A City to Make Me.”  I couldn’t agree more. Transhumanism will become THE big question polarizing society, at least on the techno-front.

      htttp://acitytomakeme.com

  2. professor says:

    Methinks somebody has been reading WAY too much Michael Crichton!

  3. egocentrik says:

    ” … researchers who work with animal models” like “_chefs who collaborate with animal to prepare dishes”?

    • Thank you for this. For the record the fact of the matter is that the ALF, despite the perpetuation of a few urban myths, specifically does not target either people or other animals for attacks, but they have – and no, I don’t condone this, either – carried out property damage.

      • However, the ARM (Animal Rights Militia) and a variety of similar groups have and do target people for attacks. Practically speaking, the ARM and ALF share much of the same membership – they’re just banners for activists to work under, choosing the appropriate banner depending on what acts they are perpetrating. Furthermore, while the ALF may not target people deliberately, many of their acts do put people (and often other animals) at substantial risk.

        Also, “animal model” is the term used to describe an organism being used as a model for a living system (typically a model of a human system). I don’t get how that’s a euphemism – it describes exactly what is going on.

        • I don’t know what to tell you. ALF doesn’t target people or other animals, has done only property damage, and while I know of stories out there about how the misguided – what? hippies or some such? – do more damage to the animals they seek to protect than good, but I have consistently discovered these to be untrue. Mere urban myths. Tales to let people know how crazy someone must be to oppose any sort of animal experimentation, however unnecessary.

          Generally, in my experience, it’s a way for people who are hostile to animal protection issues to point at those they disagree with and yell “FREAKS!”

          In that way, I don’t see how it can possibly be part of a productive discussion.

          • I wanted to add that the only reason I’m arguing the terminology at all here, which was where this started, is because typically this is typically the beginning of an argument to insinuate that anyone who does anything for animal well-being is anti-science. And that is simply bullshit.

          • Yes, I realise that the ALF generally doesn’t deliberately target humans or animals for physical attack, as I said in my initial reply. The ARM, however, does. This isn’t a wild assertion or urban myth; their crimes are documented on “Bite Back”, a “direct-action” website (http://www.directaction.info/). A list of particularly heinous crimes perpetrated by these people is available on the ARM wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Rights_Militia) with particularly unpleasant acts including fire-bombing cars and shops, attempted murders of researchers and their families, exhuming a corpse, and poisoning bottles of juice.

            While, as I said before, the ALF claims not to support these acts, the membership of the ALF consists of many of the same people as the ARM. These are not well-defined organisations, they are terrorist groups (I do not use the term lightly) whose names are used when convenient by extremist members of the animal rights movement.

            Note that I have not claimed that all animal rights supporters are fire-bombing, hate-mail-writing nutjobs. I’ve been involved in many debates/discussions with animal rights activists across the spectrum and the majority of them are fairly reasonable (if misguided) individuals. It’s undeniable, however, that there’s a small group of them who are dedicated to causing criminal damage, threatening people, and even directly causing harm to people, in the name of their cause.

  4. Daen de Leon says:

    In order to dispel any remaining doubt that this is real, I wish to note that the brother of Armando Herrera Corral wrote a World View column in last week’s “Nature” (25 August 2011, vol 476, p 373), here describing what happened when the adhesive tape was pulled, and the box exploded:

    My brother, director at the technology park at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, was standing at the time, and suffered burns to his legs and a perforated eardrum.  More severely injured by the blast was his friend and colleague Alejandro Aceves Lopez … [who] was sitting down when my brother opened the package; he took the brunt of the explosion in his chest, and shrapnel pierced one of his lungs.Both scientists are now recovering from their injuries, but they were extremely fortunate to survive.  The bomb failed to go off properly, and only a fraction of the 20-centimetre-long cylinder of dynamite ignited.  The police estimate that the package contained enough explosive to take down part of the building, had it worked as intended.

  5. Acts of terror are very uncool. Having said that, I understand the fears surrounding nanotech – this topic was the first political disagreement I’d had a very good friend of mine, with whom I’d sat in trees protesting against logging in SE Australia, and with whom I’d attended anti GM rallies. 

    I think it was because I was from the cold sciences (math, compsci) to her warmer sciences (bio), but also, let’s face it, Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. 

    But it did give me pause to think. And when butting up against her arguments, the best I could come up with is that I can’t see nanotech being a freedom expanding science unless it’s free and open source – that we can all look deep into the science and ask hard questions that a large company with $$$ on the line might just look over in an effort to get to market first. 

    Ah, idealism. So many shades of grey. So many unrealistic demands. But terrorism is that step too far into the black.

  6. phisrow says:

    I’m afraid that I have some very bad news for enemies of the grey goo: They, and their targets, are all late-stage manifestations of grey goo colony intelligence behavior.

    • anansi133 says:

      Yeah, once you adjust your sense of scale, it’s pretty obvious that grey goo has already happened. Levittown has flooded our borders and now even China has got into the madness.

      If terror could have stopped it, it would have by now. Humans are quick, though, to go from terror to numbness.

  7. Fear of technology has been with us since the first wheel and the discovery of fire.  This story demonstrates the lengths people will go to in order to display their ignorance to the public.  The fact that these people resort to bombing academics instead of joining in the discussion about nanotech further displays the paucity of their ideas.

  8. ridestowe says:

    deus ex is becoming reality already!

  9. smallteam says:

    Terrorism, I’d say, is a form of crime. But word choice rarely changes behaviors of dudes with bombs. Here’s hoping we can keep both the Unabombers and gray goo at bay for at least a few more years….

  10. This is really stupid behavior. First of all, grey goo is not a likely scenario full stop. If one talks to people actually working in nanotech it is very clear that they even if grey goo is possible that we’re decades or more away from such technology. Furthermore, it isn’t like anyone is actively trying to make grey goo and self-replicating nanobots aren’t something you make accidentally.

    Sending bombs at researchers also has the primary result of researchers being less open and transparent about their research which meas fewer safeguards rather than more.

    There have also been claims that nanotech will only benefit the privileged rich. But this is true for almost every technology when it first shows up: the technology is first used by a handful of people and only then becomes ubiquitous enough for others to use it. Moreover, even if this weren’t the case this wouldn’t be an argument against nanotech. If people a lot richer than I are going to have more cool toys that doesn’t somehow make less well off. 

    So aside from the basic moral repugnance of such actions, this just doesn’t make any sense. 

    • Chlodwig Alois Rotwang says:

       If one talks to people actually working in nanotech it is very clear that they even if grey goo is possible that we’re decades or more away from such technology. [...]

      So, even if that evil was possible we’re decades or more away. Seriously dude, that sounds like the British policy towards Germany after WWI… 

      Was laughing off the entire ‘grey goo’ concept till I read this. Will channel my newly found, mild concern through reasonable and peaceful means, though.

      • Not the same sort of thing at all. The point is that it doesn’t look like such technology is possible but we won’t even know for sure for decades. At that point we still won’t have the technology we’ll just have a decent understanding whether or not it is at all plausible. 

  11. An analyst who helped identify the Unabomber—who turned out to be a
    former professor—says the posts show signs of someone well-educated who
    could be affiliated with a college.

    Well duh. How many poorly-educated people know what nanotechnology is in enough detail to find it worrisome? I CAN HAS ANALIST JOB NAO PLS?

    • Lobster says:

      How many poorly educated people are afraid of The Singularity, whether they know to call it that or not?  It’s not like you needed to bring your diploma with you to get into The Terminator.

    • Artor says:

      Anyone who saw The Day The Earth Stood Still? Not the original, but the recent remake, which I understand used “grey goo” nanobots in a scary way. For some people, that’s all nanotech is; they don’t understand that it involves so much more, many applications already being used in routine technology.

  12. EvilSpirit says:

    egocentrik: Only if you happen to be reading the first phrase with entirely the wrong parsing, treating “animal” as an object of the relative clause instead of the modifier noun that it is. Which is to say, it’s not “researchers who work with animals” but “researchers who work with models.”

    How you feel about the fact that the animal itself is basically only an adjective in that sentence is a legitimate topic, but at least get it right, or your whole point falls apart.

    • egocentrik says:

      _ so US researchers face violent attacks, cause they use animal as an adjective.

    • Don’t you mean ” .. an object,” rather than “a object object”?

      And no, “animal model” is the euphemism for the use of animals as experimental subjects, not some cool simulation of an animal.

      • Mark Dow says:

        “Animal model” is used euphemistically, but when Maggie and most scientists use the term they are referring to specific relationships between the animals and (often) humans.

        From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_model

        “An animal model is a living, non-human animal used during the research and investigation of human disease, for the purpose of better understanding the disease without the added risk of causing harm to an actual human being during the process. The animal chosen will usually meet a determined taxonomic equivalency to humans, so as to react to disease or its treatment in a way that resembles human physiology as needed. Many drugs, treatments and cures for human diseases have been developed with the use of animal models.”

        • Jonathan Badger says:

          In short, there isn’t any euphemism there. While creationists may have trouble understanding why mice can serve as models for humans, their evolutionary relationship (or “taxonomic equivalency” to avoid the e-word) explains it.

        • egocentrik says:

          First of all, Jonathan Lyons is a great man. He alone saved the world from the belief that animals are adjectives. He alone combated the rogue villain, Object-Object.

          Degrading sentient beings into mere objects, by calling them animal models, is bad enough. Describing the hurting + killing of them as a near-wellness-experience is a wee bit perverse, a kind of scientific vomit. If they could, they would run _ run away from scientists.

          • Hilarious – and I mean that.
            But yes, calling an animal an animal model gave rise to an argument based on the mistaken notion that an animal model is a simulation of some sort – a snide and inaccurate manifestation of that mistaken notion.

            Calling an animal an animal model is a bit like calling Mengele’s victims human “models,” isn’t it? (And no, before someone else exaggerates what I have actually said, I am not equating animals and humans – we’re still discussing terminology here. Inthis thread, anyway.)

  13. Lobster says:

    Don’t worry, we’ll just get Adam Jensen on the case.  He’s usually pretty good with this kind of thing, as long as the conversation can only go in four or fewer directions.

  14. Guido says:

    What a real and absolute dumbfuck. Scaring Mexican scientists only means that Mexico might lag behind more than it would, as far as nanotech is concerned. And this is the kind of disruptive technology that could allow low income countries to leapfrog their way to better living standards.

    This kind of thing really pisses me off, as also the arguments about forbidding a technology because there rich people will be better or because corporations like it. Fuck, you do not renounce a technology because it can be misused or might be dangerous. Should we get rid of fire and knives? To give up the power of genetic engineering because Monsanto are bastards is pretty much like not watching TV or reading newspapers, and refusing to write for newspapers and appear on TV because Murdoch uses newspapers, TV and the Internet to spread lies against the poor, liberals and minorities. If the progressive side is going to stop using technology because it might be dangerous, we might as well just wait and get screwed.
    Hell, you do not wait for them to abandon technology. You take it, modify it and beat them on their own game. Computers were used for nuclear tests, now we have Anonymous. 

    • Artor says:

      These are not progressives bombing nanotech researchers, they are regressives and Luddites and close-minded idiots.

      • Guido says:

        We do not know. Many progressives support a total ban on GM, for instance. 

        • Artor says:

          I’m not talking about political lobbying or peaceful protests, I’m referring to sending mail bombs to scientists working on something that in a fantasy scenario might lead to a bad end.

      • strangefriend says:

        Calling someone a ‘Luddite’  makes me laugh at the user of the term.  The Luddites didn’t attack factories because newness scared them; they attacked factories because they were villagers who had been making a living by weaving textiles for generations & suddenly they were losing their way of life to cheaper & more shoddily made products.  Go read The Rape of the Rose by Glyn Hughes.

        • Artor says:

          Point to you. Historically, you are absolutely right, but in common usage, it applies to anyone against technological advances, for whatever reason. That was the meaning I was using the term for.

    • Gulliver says:

      Computers were used for nuclear tests, now we have Anonymous.

      Only DARPA could shoot itself in the collective foot from thirty years in the past.

  15. edthehippie says:

    confusing reality with science Fiction is one thing , if i did not have a green thumb , i would sometimes pay good money for this ~ however , acting on such confusion , and specifically acting violently , is definitionally insane and also unseemly ~  violence should be used sparingly , and only in case of imminent danger ~ self replicating nano machinery is maybe not impossible , but , due to both engineering and laws of physics type of restraints , not at all likely anytime soon ~

  16. Blaze Curry says:

    Seriously? gray goo?  what are they, retarded? “Why yes they are, Blaze. Pipe bombs and all that in place of rational discourse.”
    The problem with the gray goo hypothesis is that it would be insanely difficult to make a nanomachine that could convert every element and material into copies of itself. Not only that, but environmental factors (such as UV and temperature shifts) would annihilate too many nanomachines to allow this thing to become a credible threat.
    But I suppose these people have been told this at some point.
    And what’s wrong with becoming a self regulating, self reproducing nano-cyborg?

  17. egocentrik says:

    To escape velocity + more about bombers vs. scientists or why Ted Kacynski is a cyberpunk here a fine piece of writing from the 21 century digital boy , Mark Dery.
    Link is:

    http://www.21cmagazine.com/filter/Mark-Dery#332589/Mark-Dery-on-Wild-Nature

    Industrial-gov-complex funded scientists, who try to put AI into nanobot-enhanced-selfreplicating-artificial structures by using the heuristic trial + error procedure without risc assessment are _ _ _ ( use your own cement here ).

  18. teapot says:

    Threatening people who test on animals (esp. consumer products such as makeup): Absolutely acceptable. The animals can’t send threats themselves, you see.

    Threatening people who are working on technology your frail little mind is scared of: Absolutely fucked.

    Why don’t these assholes ever take down someone who deserves it?

  19. Mark Dow says:

    There are many shades of gray goo. If it got up our noses, would we know it?

    Who do we ask about the fantastic progress in new techniques? See for example Science, July 22 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6041.toc What are the right questions? Do you have access to the articles in Science? Is there someone you trust who can give a solid answer in language you understand?

    More people should be learning and writing about related topics. There should be someone to ask. It is worthwhile reducing fear.

  20. Marc Mielke says:

    They chose the wrong target. They should have gone after the terrorist responsible for the ongoing PINK goo infestation threatening this planet. 

  21. Mitch_M says:

    How could anyone possibly object to experiments being done on models of animals?

    I worked for a breeder of actual animals to be used for experiments and it was very common to find animals drowned or starved to death in their cages.

    Using “animal models” instead of actual animals will prevent a lot of suffering.

  22. noderunner n54 says:

    I would like to think that attacks like these are part of what Eric Drexler wanted to avoid with the original (not current) Foresight Institute and what now ought to be more precisely termed nanoengineering (“plenty of room at the bottom” Feynman- and O’Neill-inspired nano-scale assembly and engineering) rather than “nanotechnology” (“recently” redefined as smaller than usual chemistry).

    It boils down to the Cautionary Principle at simultaneously extremely small and extremely big scales and is __not__ “science fiction” or “impossible” considering all existing biological systems have (and always have had) working mechanisms at this nano scale.

    Nor is this very existence in biology any legit cop-out: those systems evolved and fought since the very first spark of life on this planet millions of years ago (or possibly billions including panspermia), together they’ve reached the dynamic equilibrium that is our biosphere Earth, the changes were relatively gradual in kind due to how mutations work (and usually they don’t work to any advantage and thus die); they all filled whatever niche they could in the existing environment.

    None of them were to anyones actual knowledge anything like human ideas of problem-solving, task-specific, machines (even if generalized) built to precise preconceived specifications that might actually be flawed with serious unintended consequences in construction or instruction.

    The notion of “grey goo” came about as an warning example of the ultimately worst possible unintended consequence or human natural error and if memory serves it was Eric Drexler himself (/the/ nanoengineer) who phrased it __and__ the need for hitherto unrealized levels of ___foresight___ to avoid such outcomes in nanotechnology/nanoengineering.

    So we shouldn’t laugh at and ridicule people like the Unabomber and now the “Nanobombers”; their worries are reasonable no matter what one thinks of their methods (what choice are they have when the “debate” consists of their ridicule by people who seldom even understand how they arrived at their conclusion?).

    Nobody knows whether they or those they attack are wrong or right as far as arguments go; nobody knows the future but damn few humans want to admit to that fact :| (and that goes for just about all topics).

    P.S. People don’t get grants for being flawlessly ethical and risk-averse.
    P.P.S. In case people don’t know or realize it: fully realized nanoengineering is the manipulation at will of any/all individual atoms* and is in its potential consequences a far more powerful technology/science than smashing atoms together/apart.

    * with habitual efficiency on a grand scale rather than the cute (and at the time impressive) arrangements of Xeon atoms into company logos as happened in the 1980ies…

    Fools to the left of me, jokers to the right: I must learn to care less because tomorrow I might not be here :)

    • Gulliver says:

      So to summarize: These poor idealistic idiots resort to bombing reckless scientists – who apparently don’t realize that knowledge is forbidden fruit with apocalypse just around a blind corner of evil Clarketech that magically circumvents the hurdles against robust grey goo – because BoingBoing/internet commenters ridicule their fearmongering like the fools they and everyone except you are. Did I miss anything?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNJj-PA8lKU

      Caution is great. This thread is about assholes blowing people up because they’re pissed about science fiction.

      • noderunner n54 says:

        You missed everything and then in addition you managed to miss things I didn’t say and which I don’t hold as opinions :)

        • Gulliver says:

          This little rhetorical question is what stands out:

          So we shouldn’t laugh at and ridicule people like the Unabomber and now the “Nanobombers”; their worries are reasonable no matter what one thinks of their methods (what choice are they have when the “debate” consists of their ridicule by people who seldom even understand how they arrived at their conclusion?).

          Ted Kaczynski’s “manifesto” is very well written, very carefully thought through. Until you get to the part where he justifies his triple murder by saying what amounts to: it’ll make me famous so people read this manifesto and smash our technological civilization. Now, I think he’s wrong on several points, but I definitely support his, and even these fuckwits’, right to voice their concerns. I absolutely, unequivocally do not support their “marketing” campaigns, even if they stood a snowball’s chance in hell of working, which they don’t.

          When you insult the intelligence of people merely for disagreeing with these anti-technology extremists (or their peaceful counterparts), you yourself contribute to the breakdown in communication you claim to value. Calling all your opponents fools and jokers helps absolutely no one, even when you append the insult with a :)

          • noderunner n54 says:

            It is not a rhetorical question. Why do you read it as one?

            It is a question with two “obvious” answers people tend to give/first arrive at that are actually the same:
            - Ostracize views and bar them from debate which renders debate impossible. (Targets POV).
            - Use violence because debate is considered impossible. (Attackers POV).

            Those two are for all purposes the same choice with the same result.

            It can’t be rhetorical because I don’t have an easy answer. Even the third option; inclusive debate, is no panacea unless one lives in a private world of unicorns and rainbows.

            But maybe it would help if more people were aware that there aren’t any good or simple and straightforward answers to the question?

            I can’t help it if you or anyone else find my opinion insulting (an opinion that has nothing to do with you or anyone else in particular, I don’t know you or anyone else among the commentators and I was responding to the article).

            I realize you didn’t recognize the lyrics that start with “fools to the left of me, jokers to the right”, it continues with “stuck in the middle with you” but instead I commented on how I need to care less about things because life is brief –guess I should have stuck with the original considering how i seem to be stuck in the middle with you :D

            And please note: when I use a smiley it is to indicate different varieties of levity, small smiles and big smiles. It implies happiness and cheerfulness, a twinkle in the eye or humerus self-deprecation and if you read it to mean anything else then you’re reading me wrong.

            See you around, I’m not going to check back on this page (because life is short and one should enjoy it) but if you’re not just trolling me (if so you got me) and if you’re actually as miserable in your life as you seem to be to me from the few words I’ve read from you, well then I hope maybe you’ve discovered a small part of why and how that is the case and that letting go of some of your assumptions would do you good.

            Smiles are not insults.

          • Gulliver says:

            I know smiles are not insults. The perceived insult was what you put the smiley after. You seemed, to someone (me) who is unaware of the song you referenced without quotation marks (which I humbly recommend using in the future to avoid unwarranted assumptions), to be saying you are all jokers and fools while smiling.

            Here is what it boils down to: I won’t endorse, as Maggie succinctly put it, carrying out violent acts against non-combatants in an effort to scare a broad category of people or political entities into doing what you want. If that came across as trolling, then perhaps we got off track.

            I’m quite happy, thank you, and glad you are too. I consider it a matter of good netiquette not to start a discussion then fail to reply. If I had no respect for you, I would have ignored you’re initial comment.

            I don’t take kindly to apologizing for terroristic acts, whether privately executed or state sponsored. If that wasn’t what you were doing, then you’re correct, I misunderstood your position.

            If you see this, good; if not, have a nice life anyway.

  23. algosome says:

    The anti-nanotechnology activists have already lost – they just don’t know it.  If they actually understood what they’re dealing with, they’d realize that this planet has been infested with solar-powered green goo and purple goo for billions of years already, not to mention the chemically powered black goo that is everywhere including the ocean depths.  In any case, the first artificial self-replicating microscopic chemical system has already been created: On May 6, 2010, J. Craig Venter Institute revealed a self-replicating encapsulated nanobot controlled by a chemically synthesized program, which they named “synthetic Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0”.  In the wake of all the human-caused extinctions, I welcome any and all new forms of life –it’s about time that we started adding to the richness of the biosphere rather than destroying habitats wholesale faster than unassisted nature can refill them.

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