Archive for In praise of biocide

The Viral Vasectomy: Covid’s Silver Lining.

“May we live long and die out.”—Motto of the Voluntary Extinction Movement We begin the new year with a glimmer of hope: Covid remains ascendant, and it might have ecological impacts far beyond what we first thought. I’m not talking about the obvious drop in carbon emissions. That was nothing, a mere blip: it didn’t […]

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Weird Al Yankovic and the Global Phase Shift

“We’re living by science and data, not our constitution.That’s wrong. We are not safe if we are not free.”—Darwin Award contender, protesting in Pennsylvania The target won’t stop moving. Not so long ago the WHO came out with a mortality rate of 3.4%; country specific rates span the range from almost 10% to virtually zero […]

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Revenge of the Pangolins
(Or, The Epidemiology of Understatement)

I’ll admit I didn’t really see it coming. I mean, sure: I’ve been harping on Dan Brooks’s epidemiological musings (and, as it turns out, those of the US DOD) for years now. I’ve written articles both magazine- and ‘crawl-based; ranted on panels from Sofia to Tel Aviv (and possibly Berlin, assuming international flights are still […]

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DeHumanize

Back before Christmas, Bakka-Phoenix hosted a launch for Sentient Tumor. In  the course of that event—during the traditional Reading Of The Excerpts— I revisited a 2015 scenario in which gut flora reprogram the brain’s anger and image-recognition macros via the Vagus Nerve. People thus weaponized could be driven into a violent rage at the site […]

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Extinction and the Reset Button

I’ve just finished reading The Re-origin of Species, by Torill Kornfeldt (2016 in the original Swedish). The English translation is just barely out in Australia and the UK; here in North America it’s slated for a November release. (I scored an early copy from a publisher eager for blurbs.) Re-origin is about the burgeoning de-extinction— […]

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Riding the Tiger: or, Flirting with the Antivaxxers.

[PreProda: Yeah, after some really enlightening discussion in the Comments section, I’m walking back about 90% of this post. But I’m leaving it posted both because the comments are so interesting, and as a kind of historical artefact to remind me of what happens when I don’t take the time to think things through.] [Proda: […]

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Denying Dystopia: The Hope Police in Fact and Fiction

I recently read Terri Favro’s upcoming book on the history and future of robotics, sent to me by a publisher hungry for blurbs. It’s a fun read— I had no trouble obliging them—  but I couldn’t avoid an almost oppressive sense of— well, of optimism hanging over the whole thing. Favro states outright, for example, […]

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The Cygnus Solution.

I think Ontario Power Generation is trying to sell us on the idea of feeding nuclear waste to swans.  At least, that seem to be the subtext of this ad I just got focus-tested on (click to embiggen)… Probit seemed curious as to my reaction… Then they asked some questions to assess my Tree-Hugger Quotient: […]

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Last Rites, Lost Rights

Take Roger Bradbury very seriously.  He’s no crank: coral reef specialist, heavy background in mathematical ecology, published repeatedly in Science. Chief and director of more scientific panels than you could roll a raccoon over.  So when he says the coral reef ecosystem is already effectively extinct — not the Florida Keys, not the Great Barrier […]

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The Feel-Good Spill of the Decade

Dead zones suffocating 20,000 square kilometers of ocean. Endangered wetlands, disappearing at the rate of over 300 Ha/day. Clouds of black viscous poison soiling the coastlines of four states. And then the Deepwater Horizon blew up. What, you thought those apocalyptic descriptions were of the spill? You thought the Gulf of Mexico was some pristine […]

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