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« Printable Robots | Main | Poorer and Uglier Every Day »

June 30, 2006


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Anyone ever read Sheri Tepper's "The Gate to Women's Country"?

James Green

The solution to this problem is really quite simple...

Anyone seeking a position of power should be scrutinized using state-of-the-art technologies; such as:

*Polygraph platforms that monitor minute (unconscious)facial movements, pupil responce, voice-stress, rectal tension, as well as the galvanic skin responce, heart rate, etc..

*Genetic profiling to determine the presents of any psychopathological predispositions.

Follow these up with the standard FBI background check and your in business. ;)

Simple solution, impossible to implement. So...

Perhaps we should vote for the issues we would like to see addressed instead of voting for people who may or may not have our best interests in mind.

Chris Phoenix, CRN

AndrewS: Yes, it's one of my favorites--read it quite a few times. Also Raising the Stones. Some of Tepper's are too preachy, but when she's good, she's really good. I also like Octavia Butler (almost everything) and Samuel R. Delany (especially Triton and Stars In My Pocket). All three authors do very rich explorations of alien or unfamiliar societies.

James: I sometimes think that the best solution is to apply neurotech to a group of volunteers to make them 1) effective; 2) cooperative; 3) trustworthy; 4) humanitarian. Create a structure for the group, based on confidence that everyone involved has these attributes. I'd expect this group to be extremely "fit" and to make the world a much better and safer place.

How to get people to volunteer? Just add 5) thin to the mix. :-) Seriously, I wouldn't expect everyone to volunteer, and I hope that wouldn't be necessary. Consider how much effect e.g. the Quakers had on the way we do business; they introduced fixed pricing for goods, and it's now standard for most commercial transactions. A good idea, once invented and incubated, can spread.


michael vassar

Great comments. For once, full agreement on everything.
Sadly, the study under consideration, like so MANY psychological studies, is really not very good science. Far too much is being read into noise. Tests for "narcissism" are themselves weak in predictive power and were already known to show a gender correlation. The difference between self-ranking at 70th percentile and 62nd percentile is almost surely WAY below statistical significance. Finally, we can calmly and fairly call anyone who denies that men are more aggressive and warlike than women an idiot, and could do so with no "scientific" evidence even if a silly video-game "experiment" like this one showed the opposite. Sure, it's possible that you could be wrong if you did so, after all, you wouldn't have any evidence to back your case, but I will also calmly ab-hominum anyone who claims that leather is stronger than steel or that rap improves self-discipline without bothering to investigate. If they show very strong evidence, I will of course back down, but one does not start with a 50% prior for every proposition and keep priors at 50% until you have seen a relevant scientific paper.

James Green

@ chris: That's a great idea Chris. It's that type of thinking that will see us through the mess we're in now. I'd love to see your idea (and mine for that matter.) fleshed-out. Good work!

And let's not forget that genetic enhancements for intelligence, memory, etc., are just around the corner - only 15-20 years out now! (Incidentally, I don't think we'll achieve Molecular Manufacturing 'till we're gentically modified either. maybe I'm wrong.)

@Michael: This study doesn't convince me either. Some of the most vicious people I've ever known have been women! And what about Hillary Clinton? The way she talks she would gladly turn Iran into a sheet of glass just to get elected!

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