16 May 2009

Funky quotes

"We're not playing"
-- Craig Venter on accusations of playing God, 2008

"We slaughter our finest impulses every day"
-- Henry Miller, 1949

"You should try the cheap substitute, it's pretty good"
-- Daniel Dennett on free will, 2008

"To be honest I hope we never get too good at this."
-- Neurosurgeon Patrik Blomstedt talking about deep brain stimulation, 2008

"the moral issues surrounding biotechnology are so primitive compared to the complexity of the phenomena"
-- Robert Harrison, 2005

"externally controlled shaping of appropriate behaviors might be accomplished through using pleasure-yielding stimulation as a positive reinforcement for wanted responses"
-- Robert Heath, 1972

"I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
-- Heather Whitestone (Miss Alabama 1994)

"The slippery slope I think is a very unhelpful metaphor. When you're thinking about slippery slopes you need to know how slippery they are, what the coefficient of friction is and indeed what way they're pointing."
-- Raymond Tallis on assisted dying

"See that thing in this image that looks like a Martian vehicle descending by parachute to the surface of Mars? That's the Phoenix lander, captured in mid-drop, still glowing from entry into the atmosphere, by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. How badass awesome is it to be a human? Super badass awesome."
-- Cory Doctorow, 26 May 2008

"This is really a profound challenge to the way most of us think about ourselves. I mean we we we think there is some core to who I am, to who you are, there is something essential that is continuous that kinda defines who we are. You're saying, from this scientific perspective you're mapping out, that that's an illusion."
-- Steve Paulson in conversation with James Hughes about transhumanism

"However odd or uncomfortable the idea of engineering the human brain might seem, if yours is broken enough, the philosophical arguments cease to hold any water: you just want it fixed." .. "What bit of themselves would each of us wish to control? Where would we direct our own transcranial magnetic stimulator, if we could? It's a terrible responsibility to shoulder. What is the mind that's choosing the shape of its own brain?"
-- Quinn Norton, 2009
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