Better, Fitter, Happier

by Henry on August 8, 2003

“Glenn Reynolds”:http://techcentralstation.com/1051/techwrapper.jsp?PID=1051-250&CID=1051-080603B outs himself as a “Transhumanist”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000303.html – why am I not surprised?

bq. Would I like to be smarter? Yes, and I’d be willing to do it via a chip in my brain, or a direct computer interface. (Actually, that’s already prefigured a bit in ordinary life, too, as things like Google and wi-fi give us access to a degree of knowledge that would have seemed almost spooky not long ago, but that everyone takes for granted now). And I’d certainly like to be immune to cancer, or AIDS, or aging.

Fair enough if that’s what turns him on. What’s a little less impressive is his dismissal of skeptics as cheerleaders for AIDS, irritable bowel movement, and everyday stupidity. _Contra_ Reynolds, there are serious, principled reasons why you might want to disagree with transhumanism. And this argument has been going on for a long, long time.

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Habeas Corpus

by Maria on August 8, 2003

Statewatch has issued an alert about a proposal of the Italian Presidency under the Schengen accord to use plainclothes police and unmarked cars to deport expelled illegal immigrants. I’m often in agreement with Statewatch’s criticisms of undemocratic and often downright nasty decisions taken under the EU’s Third Pillar of Justice and Home Affairs, but this piece seems hyperbolic and unnecessarily shrill. If a migrant is unlucky enough to be deported, does it really matter if there is a police insignia on the van?

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California Note

by Jon Mandle on August 8, 2003

There has been much commentary in the blogosphere on the California recall election, but Crooked Timber has been surprisingly immune. Let me change that by making one brief note. Slate has an Explainer on the election and a link to a useful article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Maybe this is perfectly obvious to everyone, but to me, the most glaring anomaly in the election is that a scenario like this seems entirely plausible: Davis loses the recall election, 70%-30%. Arnold Schwarzenegger receives more votes than any of the other 350+ candidates with, say, 25% of the vote – see this New Republic article. Schwarzenegger becomes governor despite the fact that more people voted for Davis to remain. Of course, I seem to remember another election in which a candidate was declared the winner, despite not receiving a plurality of votes.