December 2008
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Day December 4, 2008

The Blue Band

You haven’t really lived until a little blue cat starts ranting at you. Elsewhere, it’s tea time!

Almost finished the up-sizing of Somewhere There Is a Home For Me last night.

While so engaged, I listened through the latest Seminars About Long-term Thinking podcast — featuring an excellent debate on the promises and dangers of synthetic biology. I perceived problems with the arguments of both sides. Jim Thomas wants to ensure the technology can’t be used for harm — and his suggestion is that we monitor its uses very closely. Drew Endy wants to ensure the technology can’t be used for harm — and his suggestion is that we create a culture which regulates itself. Both proposals strike me as somewhat naive.

If this technology follows the course of other ‘dangerous’ technologies, the decision to use it for good or ill will ultimately be determined by the benefits to the user and the ease of employment in one direction or another. Full control of this technology seems impossible — whether through a regulatory body or by the users themselves. However, we may be able to stack the deck in favor of the good uses by promoting all civil work in that direction and sharing the benefits widely.

Bookmarks for December 4th

  • Vladimir Nikolic, autoportraits – In which the artist juxtaposes photographs of cars with fitting expressions.
  • How Helvetica Took Over the Subway – Jennifer Lee takes a tour of the 104-year old New York City subway with Paul Shaw, sign historian.
  • jQuery sIFR Plugin – The jQuery sIFR Plugin is an addon for jQuery that makes it easy to replace text in a web page with flash text (sIFR). Check the link for some lovely examples of its employment.