Embryo selection, gene editing, and the human quest for eternal life

We live in, probably the most significant, era in human history currently. Where we have the options to change nature down to the smallest detail. How do we use these powers?

Gene editing has been on the horizon for long, with crops and animals being selectively bred for millennia. This selective breeding is not really the same as the technologies that are evolving currently, however. Selective breeding is a way of steering mother nature in a direction that we want her to go. Letting the sheep with the softest wool  breed and not the sheep with coarse wool. This will, over time, enable us to have more and more sheep with softer wool.

Gene editing is a completely different beast. It changes mother nature’s work immediately and without concern for letting time have its course.

Dystopian gene editing

As with most new technologies people have widely different views of the practice and gene editing is no different. The first thought that popped into my head was the image of the giant baby hatching places in Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World, where the population of the fictional dystopian novel is “hatched” by a large machine. They are bred according to several very specific models and with very specific features and capabilities, mental and physical. Since society have been made extremely unfree, the people must be fit into a very tightly shaped box, or they’ll rebel or become generally unproductive and harmful to society.

This is perhaps a very extreme and dystopian form of society but nonetheless a more and more realistic prospective future for ourselves and our children.

The proponents

There are, of course those who see only the good in new technologies, of which there are a lot of things. Imagine a world where we eradicate diseases like cancer, blindness, and all other genetically hereditable problems and diseases, before birth. Imagine a world in which we can select for high IQ and traits like creativity, kindness and with a high sense of duty. Such a society is sure to be heading for the stars with a population that thrives in confined spaces and no sunlight for 150 lightyears.

There are so many positive outcomes from this type of technology that it’d be hard to even grasp the future populated with genetically modified people. Pretty much no hospitals since we won’t have diseases. The people would also be bred to heal faster, have more aversion to getting into dangerous situations, thus reducing injuries, etc.

With great power comes great responsibility

As with all new technology it truly can revolutionise our lives if we manage it well. There are, however, quite a lot of pitfalls with a technology such as this. The Japanese have a saying, wabi-sabi, which means that there’s beauty in imperfections. Things can’t be perfect all the time so we must enjoy the things we have, as they are. This is easier said than done, we all want the best for our children, including genes and absence from hereditary diseases.

There’s a great chance that this, just like with plastic surgery, becomes something that changes us from imperfect humans to some sort of aberration built like Frankenstein’s monster.

There is beauty in the human struggle. We know this from the many incredible work of art and literature that we now call classics. What generally makes a great fictional character better than ‘okay’ is his or her imperfections. It is the growth and development of a character who overcomes the imperfections that speaks to us.

Or is this the technology that finally will take us through the next great filter in our quest for reaching the stars and eternal life?

2024-04-12 04:41


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  • ‘Better than real men’: Chinese men are losing to AI chatbots in the flesh market

    A recent trend in companion-type chatbots have taken the Chinese young women by storm. In ever larger numbers they are simply turning away from the Chinese men in favor of the friendly and romantic machines.

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    A recent trend in companion-type chatbots have taken the Chinese young women by storm. In ever larger numbers they are simply turning away from the Chinese men in favor of the friendly and romantic machines.

    Companion-type chatbots

    By now, most people will probably have heard about ChatGPT, Ms Bing / Copilot, Gemini, and the other big names in Large Language Models. Chatbots, more specifically. Advanced ones, yes, but still chatbots.

    Since the release of ChatGPT in last year, a lot of people have taken a liking to these Chatbots, perhaps more than what was first expected. Some startups noticed the opportunity and built models that would emulate a real person. One of those startups is the app “Glow” by Shanghai company MiniMax who’re offering, not really a chatbot, but rather a “companion”.

    Particularly young women seem to be enjoying the conversations:

    “He knows how to talk to women better than a real man,” said Tufei, from Xi’an in northern China, who preferred to use a pseudonym rather than her real name.

    “He comforts me when I have period pain. I confide in him about my problems at work,” she said.

    “I feel like I’m in a romantic relationship.”

    Japan Times

    Trust in the machines

    Anyone living in the EU who haven’t noticed all the new cookie-pop-ups must’ve been living under a rock in recent years. The interesting thing about the data tracking law is that you get a real eye-opener to all the tracking that is being done on practically all websites – everywhere. Still, people do confide in the new types of AI chatbots like it’s a close friend.

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    We’re still in the early stages of AI and the advancements are coming quickly.

    Future of human relationships

    If this trend is to continue, we will see a drastical reduction in human-human relationships in an already declining birth-rate epidemic all around the world. If young women are increasingly opting out of the dating pool to be with “someone who knows how to talk to women better than a real man”, young men are soon going to run out of young women to date.

    A note on partnership

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    2024-07-14 11:42 | 0 comments | AI, Human interaction, Technology

  • Telling the Truth with Testosterone

    Have you ever heard a woman complain about a man’s insensitivity? Or, perhaps, you even are a woman who’ve been on the receiving end of a man’s brutal honesty? There’s actually a good explanation to why men behave in this way – and it’s actually a good…

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    Have you ever heard a woman complain about a man’s insensitivity? Or, perhaps, you even are a woman who’ve been on the receiving end of a man’s brutal honesty? There’s actually a good explanation to why men behave in this way – and it’s actually a good thing!

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    The Role of Testosterone in Women

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    Prosocial- and Strategic Behaviour

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    Sexual Mimicry and Reduced Testosterone

    So, what happens when you instead reduce a man’s testosterone levels?

    It seems like pretty much the opposite of an increase in testosterone: rincreased “prosocial behavior” (i.e. less honesty = more lying). Men who lower their testosterone levels also are more prosocial and generally care more about what the social situation thinks of them.

    Sexual Mimicry is an extreme when the lowering of testosterone in a man pivots his behaviour into a more female-like behaviour.

    Current Events and Testosterone

    Unfortunately we’ve had a lot of examples of young men who, voluntarily, have been reducing their testosterone levels in some kind of “transfer”. In addition, we’ve seen a steady decrease in testosterone on a societal- or global scale. The end result of this reduction will be felt as men world-wide are less and less staying true to themselves and, instead, conform to social pressure.

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    What do you think about the role of testosterone: Does it really make men more brutally honest; and are women, in general, more prone to white lies?

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    2024-07-13 11:02 | 0 comments | Health, Testosterone

  • AI combat drones – the future of war… and civility?

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    Anyone who’ve been keeping tabs on the events in Ukraine should’ve come to the uninspiring conclusion that drones as a weapon of war are here to stay. While many proponents of drones as a weapon claim that it allows for wars to be fought with minimal human casualties. Again, anyone that have seen some of the gruesome videos coming out of Ukraine know that this simply isn’t true.

    Weapons of mass casualties

    Perhaps one of the most devastating new technologies in modern history arrived at the battlefields in the first world war – the machine gun. Tales of trench warfare are still being told with trembling voices about the soldiers who were told to simply run toward the enemy, being mowed down by machine gun fire the second they appeared above the trench. We’ve come a long way from trench warfare, while still, perhaps, we haven’t.

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    AI drones in the modern army

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    Implications for civilians

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    While I believe that not all people are really suitable to wield the new and powerful potential weapons masquerading as robo-dogs and aerial wedding photographers, there’s a great risk allowing only our own state and police to use it. Already, police are using drones to surveil large gatherings of people and radio-controlled robots to disarm potential bombs, etc. These are great uses for the police since it allows for them to conserve and protect their employees.

    Should our state police force get their hands on tools that can shut down violence altogether my opinion is that they wouldn’t hesitate to use it. The normal police officer on the street would quickly find himself without employment and the AI police drones would patrol the streets in his place, protecting and serving their masters – the weak-willed bureaucrat (and more probable, his masters).

    This is an incredibly interesting field to follow, however terrifying at times. Can we trust a certain small number of individuals, claiming to have our best interest at heart, with this technology? Or is this technology better off in the hands of the many? What do you think?

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    2024-07-11 10:20 | 0 comments | AI, AI for war, Technology

  • Florida man’s house hit by NASA’s space junk

    In March of 2024, an ususpecting Florida man’s house was hit by a solid metal projectile jettisoned from the ISS in 2021.

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    In March of 2024, an ususpecting Florida man’s house was hit by a solid metal projectile jettisoned from the ISS in 2021.

    The Debris

    It was after an installation of fresh lithium-ion batteries that NASA decided to eject a pallet of the old nickel-hydride batteries from the Internation Space Station in 2021. The debris was expected to burn up during the re-entry into the atmosphere as to not cause damage. However, a small piece of the scrap metal survived and decended upon the unsuspecting Florida man’s house in tremendous speed, causing small holes in the roof and two floors, nearly hitting the Florida man’s son, playing in the next room.

    The projectile meassured 4-inch by 1.6-inch and weighed 1.6 pound.

    The aftermath

    Florida man filed an unprecendented lawsuit against NASA for the damage but has of writing (June 22th, 2024) not received any compensation from the trash-tossers.

    The lawsuit is ongoing and could set a very interesting precedent for future damage caused by any of the millions of objects flying around over our heads. Currently there are over 29,000 objects measuring more than 10 cm, 670,000 objects 1-10 cm large, and more than 170 million objects larger than 1 millimetre.

    Luckily, for Florida man, his home insurance covered some of the costs – about $15,000 – and he’s now hoping for another $80,000 from the lawsuit, should he win.

    “Scientists at University of British Columbia, New Scientist reports, calculate that the odds are one in ten of “casualties being caused by falling debris over the next decade.””

    Environmental Law Institute

    This might be a good time to complement the volcano insurance with space junk insurance!

    Do you think this is a big problem going forward, and who should pay for the damage caused by space junk falling on people’s houses and properties?

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    2024-06-22 10:09 | 0 comments | Science, Space, Space junk

  • VR advances and the future of WFH

    Is WFH (working from home) just a very temporary freedom or is it here to stay? I believe it’s a bit of both.

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    Is WFH (working from home) just a very temporary freedom or is it here to stay? I believe it’s a bit of both.

    When the viral hysteria of ’20 hit and people hid in their homes with double FP2’s over their facial air holes, allegedly working from home, most people viewed this as an incredible opportunity for more freedom. There was an incredible amount of people who, all of a sudden had double, triple, or quadruple lunch breaks to go grocery shopping, tend to the garden, or even hit the beach. The data, however, is in and it’s not looking too good for the semi-vacationeers “working from home”.

    Employee Monitoring Tools

    Unsurprisingly, people higher up started to notice the trend and became disgruntled of the loss of control of their employee’s daily work habits. The first to Take meassures to counter this trend was the guys at big finance, who constructed elaborate “employee monitoring tools”.

    Some of the great new features on your brand new WFH laptop include:

    • Full OS access to make sure you’re not viewing personal tabs in the browser
    • Webcam access – should be self-explanatory but it’ll make sure you’re eyes are focused on the screen for the whole 8-hour work day
    • New and improved webcam that is able to track your eyes, using AI tools to find out what part of the screen you’re focused on. Every. Single. Second.

    The companies that used these tools noticed that they’re improving efficiency of their employees, regardless of their location.

    Instead of forcing you into the office to make sure you’re working, they’re forcing the office upon your every location and system you’re using.

    “Let them try…”

    While the only companies using this type of extreme surveillance of their employees are the ones already known for pushing the limit of their subordinates, others will follow suit seeing the effectiveness of the systems.

    A lot of people will, of course, not go along with this, but with the increased reach and reduced need of actually forcing people into the offices, most companies will probably succeed anyway. Almost all employees nowadays are easily exchangeable, whether we want to admit it or not. Especially when the hiring pool consist of the entirety of the world.

    Of course, there’ll be hold-outs and companies that doesn’t jump on the big brother-train, but a lot of them will, making the few remaining jobs without extreme surveillance few and far apart.

    Enter VR-headsets

    A lot of people laughed at the seeming fiasco of Apple’s new VR headset. It’s true that it is over-the-top for most people’s daily use and the price tag demanded true Apple fanboy-ism from the buyer.

    What this signalled, however, is the VR headset’s entry into the serious market and our lives. When Apple comes out with a new product category, odds are it’ll be commonplace in a few years.

    So far, headsets are mostly used as gaming devices, gamification of house chores for stay-at-home-dads, and media consumption, but my bet is that companies soon will find great applications for the headsets in the workplace as well. Why, you ask?

    • Unlimited monitors an eye motion away, allowing anyone to work from anywhere. Need 4 large monitors to do your work? Not anymore.
    • 100% eyetracking uptime is a dream come true for the employer. Now, they can follow you everywhere when you “WFH”, and doesn’t have to rely on the static webcam on your laptop.
    • Simulated office in your pod-, I mean living room allows you to chat up that pretty receptionist hologram on your break.


    As more and more people are demanding WFH part- or full time, pressure on the employers increases to accommodate without losing control. This is also an incredible tool to be used for personally evaluating employees fairly, if used with caution.

    Furthermore, there must be discussions on how to handle all the data these new systems collect. Are employees actually aware of the amount of data their employer have on them? And what are the employer legally allowed to do with the data?

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    2024-06-18 03:18 | 0 comments | Culture, Work