An intellectual argument.

I have a failing.

If I like a video enough, especially if it’s a video about science or technology, I can’t help but read a few of the peanut gallery responses to the video.

That last video I posted up… you know, the one from TED? yeah, I read some responses.

Like this one.

Mar 16 2009: If you look at the progression of the human race in the last 100 years, with every major advancement in technology, it seems to be accompanied with even greater stories of crime, paedophilia, drug misuse, man-made disasters, and climate change. I’m not saying that technology is bad — far from it — but major advancements need to be watched carefully because the misuse of power can wreck people’s lives, even disrupt entire nations!

If you could biologically enhance yourself or reconfigure your genome, imagine how people might misuse such power? It is a sad fact that most people are naturally selfish, motivated by their own lusts.

Since I disagree wholeheartedly with his statement,  for obvious and logical reasons, I *sigh* created an account and posted up a reply.

And since the reply was lengthy, and I sweated a little over my phraseology, I figured I’d share it wit’ youse guys, since I’m basically lazy/morally bankrupt. ^^

My response:

“Less than 5 minutes ago:

I’d like to see your statistics for those statements about crime. From what I can remember of my history and sociology classes, crime rates are (and have been for the last hundred years or so) on a comparative downswing, with an illusory upswing as crime detection technology improves. For example, while pedophilia was certainly just as rampant in Victorian England as today, there were comparatively few trials, and very little public acknowledgment that such things were even possible.
In other words, the reason we see so much more crime is because we catch it much more effectively now than a hundred years ago.
Of course I could be wrong. However, whether or not crime is on an upswing, it’s extremely unlikely technology has anything to do with it.
As any economics student can tell you, drawing a causal link between two isolated data sets borders on hubris if done without strong outside evidence.”


CIA…. they did what?!

You know, I never thought even for the slightest moment that the Bond movies were an accurate representation of spy work.

I thought the days would be filled with tension and boredom, and the nights with bad dreams about what ‘they’ would do when (not if) they caught me.

I was wrong. But Bond is too cool of an analogy for the truth. The truth is far more ‘Get Smart’ than James Bond.

Check it out, Here.

And for illustrations, Here.

A look back at a look forward

1967\’s predictions about what home computing will look like

This is what we thought home computers would look like in the future. I have to say I don’t see it as too far off the mark. Sure, our modern computers are far more compact, diverse, and adaptable, but I think it’s really rather nifty that even back in 1967 people were dreaming of online banking, amazon, e-mail, web-cams, net-linked security cameras, etc.