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This says more about “bioethicists” than genetic testing
Dec 31st, 2013 by Ken Hagler

From the New York Times: Another Tiresomely Misleading Bioethical Attack on Personalized Genetic Testing. Today, the New York Times has published yet another article aiming to prove to readers that genetic testing, especially direct to consumer testing, is useless and perhaps even misleading. [Reason.com]

On reading this article, my first thought was to wonder whether there’s even such a thing as a “bioethicist” who doesn’t want people to live short, miserable, disease-ridden lives. Then I read this comment, which seems to sum up what they’re about pretty well:

Bioethics, the love child of eugenics and socialist planning to create false scarcities for the purpose of controlling resources is about systemically killing as many people as you can medically justify.

Cops are good at victim selection
Dec 16th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Riverside Cops Pretend To Be High Schoolers, Arrest 25 Students For Pot. Riverside County cops — the same guys responsible for tricking an autistic teenager into buying marijuana as part of a drug sting last year — are back on high school campuses. Apparently undeterred by the media firestorm surrounding last year’s arrests and a lawsuit charging the department with negligence, the Riverside County Sherriff’s Department of Riverside County, Calif., has decided to continue its controversial undercover drug investigation program. Under this program, officers spend their days in local high schools pretending to be students. Over a semester, the officers try to build their underaged “classmates'” trust, then arrange drug deals with a few dozen students and ultimately arrest them. [Reason]

Perris is one of the poorer areas of Riverside County. The cops clearly chose that city to target because they knew they wouldn’t have to worry about their victims’ parents being able to afford competent lawyers to defend them.

Interesting game
Dec 1st, 2013 by Ken Hagler

As it’s been getting too cold to spend much time outside, I’ve been trying out some new online roleplaying games. One of them, The Secret World, has an interesting story with voice-acted cutscenes, similar to Star Wars: The Old Republic. One of its unusual features is puzzle quests, where you have to figure out something from clues. For example, one I just did involved breaking into a doctor’s files on his computer. The password hint was “music of the seasons,” and there is a framed photograph on the floor next to the computer with a handwritten note about “listening to music by our favorite composer.” As it happens, I know that The Four Seasons was written by a composer named Vivaldi, so I tried that as the password–and sure enough, it worked.

Note all of the puzzles are things I can figure out, though. One of them required extensive knowledge of Christian mythology, and I had to Google the answer to that one.

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