The Accidental Eugenicists

This article is about 1) how a taboo against incestuous reproduction could be used to make the political mainstream comfortable with (explicit) eugenics, and 2) other ethical considerations surrounding human genetic enhancement – in that order.

One must differentiate what I call implicit and explicit eugenics. The implicit version encompasses those things which all people do in the interest of “good genes” but without actually thinking of it in those terms, such as mate selection.

An explicit, or more explicit, example is the outlawing of incest. The case for doing so is easy to make. Incest can lead to inbred children, and this is probably, in part, responsible for the neuroses that afflict the Islamic world, for theirs is a hyper-consanguineous culture. In recent times, I have come to think that the only chapter in the history of the European Church that one can praise without a dozen or more extensive caveats was their prohibition of inbreeding. As HBD Chick has discussed, this was instrumental in the evolutionary trajectory of (especially north-western) Europeans and the development of uniquely European traits such as individualism.

But how much difference do anti-incest laws make now? I would wager not much. Consanguineous breeding among Europeans is a highly marginal phenomenon even in places where it is legal, and I do not see how criminalising it could be any more effective than anti-drug laws. But Westerners have negative reactions to both incest and explicit eugenics. This could be seized upon, in theory: allow the consensually incestuous adults to have children, but make it mandatory for them to go through screening of the embryo’s genome first once the technology is widespread. The procedure could then be extended to, for example, mothers of advanced age, and then beyond.

The word eugenics is also a problem. Trying to revive it is pointless. A far better strategy would be to adopt a term which is descriptively accurate but with none of the nasty connotations, such as “directed evolution”. Saying “eugenics” purely to inflame people is childish.

I am sceptical of the reflexive libertarian position on human enhancement with respect to traits such as IQ, neuroticism, and all diseases with a genetic basis. Note: abortion-related concerns are moot since this is mostly about pre-implantation embryo selection. I do not see how refusing to use this technology when it is available is morally superior to child abuse. “You may allow a car to be built with a sub-optimal design, but you may not damage it once it is built” seems like the position of people who would condemn the latter but endorse the former of these. Allowing nature to take its course is now a choice, not an inevitability. Why should people be free to make that choice? Again, this is specifically with respect to the traits I mentioned.

Many mainstream leftists who balk at these possibilities are happy to accept that vaccinating one’s children be mandatory. So am I. So why not: increasing children’s genotypic IQ above a certain threshold (whatever it may be), or reducing their genetic propensity to experience negative emotion? Again this is a morally inconsistent position: “You are allowed to improve your car once it is built, but you may not just make better cars or, heaven forbid, mandate that better cars be built.” These mainstream leftists should just accept the moral salience of willfully increasing potential for future harm to their children by either refusing to have them vaccinated or refusing to genetically enhance them.

People will make excuses for why the analogy with vaccination is not a comparable situation, but people only come up with these post hoc. It is like when libertarians whine about the government’s taking away all their money but have no problem with huge global corporations’ outsourcing jobs to foreigners, either home or abroad. The net result is the same: fewer job opportunities – and therefore less money.

Neuroticism and low IQ are things that we happen to not give disease-like names to, up to a point. Where and why is that point set? Well, with neuroticism it is where you are continuously anxious about everything and nothing (generalised anxiety disorder), because this impedes daily functioning. With IQ it is 70, because a person with an IQ below 70 seldom if ever has the wherewithal to perform basic tasks. That threshold will go up, however, when society is technologically complex enough that even those of us between 100 and 135 are rendered useless. As for neuroticism, people are shit-scared of jumping out of planes even though skydiving is, statistically, probably less dangerous than a whole lot of other things they do without a second thought, such as driving. People’s brains are not equipped to assess risk in a technified society such as ours, and neuroticism is strongly anti-correlated with about a thousand negative life outcomes. Some people argue that there is a trade-off to be made with it for “creativity”, but one does not need an anxiety disorder to be creative, and I doubt that whatever difference it makes is worth it in QALYs.

“Everything is allowed unless it is explicitly forbidden. Something is only explicitly forbidden if it can be shown empirically to be harmful.” I do not literally think of those words every time I am pondering solutions to some social problem, but if you reverse-engineer my ideas about society, you will end up with some formula similar to this. I believe this is quite close to the mentality of the typical libertarian, except the primary difference is that most self-identified libertarians would never countenance forbidding inaction, e.g. not vaccinating one’s children. Luckily, I am not so arrogant as to assume the point of view of the universe. Not everyone agrees with me about what should or should not be mandatory. That is fine. They should not have to live around me, nor I them.

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Hooked on Animatronics

My recent trip to The Rainforest Cafe got me to thinking about how animatronics should feature more heavily in a hypothetical society. Lacking sentience, animatronics offers humans the potential for an interactive experience with nature, yet without the elements of cruelty and exploitation commonly associated with keeping “live” animals in captivity. Imagine how parks like Sea World could flourish if they made the transition to housing mechanical dolphins and Orcas. This could even finally allow them to display versions animals like great whites, which do not seem to survive in captivity. It would also put an end to the senseless park deaths that occur (or at least further minimize them as accidents can always happen). Dinosaurs like the Wooly Mammoth could be resurrected to roam again, all without having to grapple with the ethical considerations. I suppose, if these animatronic creatures were to become high tech enough to develop something of a consciousness, that might be a game changer. It should be go without saying though that even without the ability to feel or reason, these beings should be treated with respect, empathy and decency as if they were as “real” as any other creature. You just never know, and it doesn’t hurt to be kind in this scenario.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

Interview With Anthony Hamilton on The Stark Truth

I first heard about Anthony Hamilton when I stumbled onto one of his videos a couple years ago called, “Secret to Time Travel: Your Mind as a Time Machine.” I’ve been intrigued by the idea of mental time travel ever since seeing the film, “Somewhere in Time” back on TNT’s Monstervision (which included some memorably hilarious, biting commentary from host, Joe Bob Briggs about the film) back in 1999.

Anyway, while on the surface Anthony Hamilton seems like another self-help marketing guru and motivational seminar speaker type, he actually incorporates a rather bizarre and interesting theory on time travel into his advice. He posits the idea that when you think about events in the past and the future, your mind actually connects to that place and time, much like computers connecting to websites on the internet.

“The new model of the mind that neuro-scientists are using now to understand consciousness, is that the mind is really a kind of time machine, that has the ability to gather information from the past, gather information from the future and to use this information, and this is in fact what thinking is, now traditionally we have this view of time that says that there is the past, present and the future and Newton in his writings talked about a river; a time like a river that flows from the past into the future, but Einstein in 1904 with his theory of relativity was written described time as the field.
Now the difference between a river and the field, a river carries things along with it , with the field you can move around in it like a field of gravity.”

I’m of course somewhat skeptical of this theory, as I think the mind acts as a kind of computer simulator that attempts to create simulations and recreate scenarios, attempting to calculate how they could possibly or potentially play out. Hamilton does make a great point about memories though, and how they’re much more complex than the mere “recordings” most people think of them as being.

..if you remember some situation that happened to you for example maybe you are attending a party sometime in the past you can remember that party as though you were remembering it from your own perspective or you can remember it as though you’re looking down on it from 10 to 15 feet above where you can remember, so you’re fifty feet away from it watching it like a movie, so the fact that you’re memory is flexible like this indicates what’s going on something different that simply playing a recording,

I would be curious to know more about his sources or the studies he references for these ideas on “future memory” and the mind as a sort of time machine, which he discusses briefly in the interview with Stark. You can also check out Hamilton’s book, Mind, Time and Power.

Click here to listen.

Topics include:

Background in linguistics; linguistics as a cognitive science
The unconscious thought process and how to better utilize it
The Functional MRI
Neuroplasticity; the science of changing the mind
The Law of Attraction
Mental Time Travel
Future Memory
Quantum Consciousness
Dealing with past traumas, fears, and negative thoughts
Goal setting and successfully utilizing future memory
Visualization
Meditation and mindfulness

The Far Side of the Mooncoin

One night a few years ago I met up with one of my old friends at Chili’s, and he told me I should get into bitcoin. He tried to convince me to purchase a bunch of computing machines and turn my condo into some kind of improvised bitcoin mining facility. I entertained the idea, but in the back of my mind it seemed preposterous and the whole time I was thinking, “Yeah there’s no way I’m going to do that.” It piqued my interest though, so that evening I went home and figured I might buy a few bitcoins just for the heck of it. After doing some research, I soon discovered they were like 50 or 100 dollars each and ultimately decided it would be a huge waste of money. Fast forward four years, and here we are with the price of a single bitcoin being over $4000. I’m not going to beat myself up about it though. As my grandpa used to always say in response to any “woulda shoulda coulda” talk, “If the dog wouldn’t have stopped to shit he would’ve caught rabbit.”

Anyway, I never wanted to get into this cryptocurrency business as I never really saw any point to it, until now. Recent developments have caused making monetary transactions more difficult online, as conducting any kind of business (even just for boring stuff) has become tied to having politically correct beliefs. So whether or not one believes that cryptocurrencies have any intrinsic value, it’s become clear to many of us that they have “utilitarian value” if nothing else and a role to play in building an AltTech sanctuary, where we can interact as humans of leisure outside the reach of corporate busybodies and their swarms of bugmen.

On a lighter note, trading in cryptocurrency and using it for donations and micropayments is just plain fun. Bitcoin is so expensive that it doesn’t really seem like a good option for micropayments anymore, because you’re dealing in tiny fractions of them at this point (ie sending someone .00001 bitcoin.) So I’ve decided to go with mooncoin instead. It’s much better suited for this purpose and it’s cheap and abundant. The technology behind it seems to work well enough and the transactions go through quickly and smoothly across wallets from what I can tell. While there are a lot of altcoins out there, mooncoin has one of the best aesthetics and seems to me to be a perfect fit for the futurist community. I don’t recommend that people buy large amounts of mooncoin with any intent to get rich, nor do I advocate buying it because you think it will be the “next big thing or whatever.” There is a good chance that most of these altcoins will fail and you may be stuck with a pile of worthless coins. They are not always easy to sell on the exchanges anyway.

Make it a Mooncoin tonight!

So I plan on using mooncoin for tips, donations and micropayments. These coins will be better served by people that incorporate them into everyday usage rather than just the speculators and vultures who engage in pump and dumps for a quick buck.

To obtain mooncoins, I recommend Bleutrade or CoinExchage.io. The mooncoin wallet can be downloaded here. If you enjoyed this article and want to send a few mooncoins my way, you can send them to this address:
2SjmT8hSzvqd6AJTXDCSbxq8oKaXsU3NCA

That’s all for now. I’ll be mining on far side if you need me.

For more info:
https://www.reddit.com/r/MoonCoin/