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Ayn Rand Was Wrong about Human Nature – Evonomics

Posted: December 4, 2016 at 11:30 pm

By Eric Michael Johnson

Every political philosophy has to begin with a theory of human nature, wrote Harvard evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin in his book Biology as Ideology. Thomas Hobbes, for example, believed that humans in a state of nature, or what today we would call hunter-gatherer societies, lived a life that was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short in which there existed a war of all against all. This led him to conclude, as many apologists for dictatorship have since, that a stable society required a single leader in order to control the rapacious violence that was inherent to human nature. Building off of this, advocates of state communism, such as Vladimir Lenin or Josef Stalin, believed that each of us was born tabula rasa, with a blank slate, and that human nature could be molded in the interests of those in power.

Ever since Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand has been gaining prominence among American conservatives as the leading voice for the political philosophy of laissez-faire capitalism, or the idea that private business should be unconstrained and that governments only concern should be protecting individual property rights. As I wrote in Slate with my piece Ayn Rand vs. the Pygmies, the Russian-born author believed that rational selfishness was the ultimate expression of human nature.

Collectivism, Rand wrote in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal is the tribal premise of primordial savages who, unable to conceive of individual rights, believed that the tribe is a supreme, omnipotent ruler, that it owns the lives of its members and may sacrifice them whenever it pleases. An objective understanding of mans nature and mans relationship to existence should inoculate society from the disease of altruistic morality and economic redistribution. Therefore, one must begin by identifying mans nature, i.e., those essential characteristics which distinguish him from all other living species.

As Rand further detailed in her book The Virtue of Selfishness, moral values are genetically dependent on the way living entities exist and function. Because each individual organism is primarily concerned with its own life, she therefore concludes that selfishness is the correct moral value of life. Its life is the standard of value directing its actions, Rand wrote, it acts automatically to further its life and cannot act for its own destruction. Because of this Rand insists altruism is a pernicious lie that is directly contrary to biological reality. Therefore, the only way to build a good society was to allow human nature, like capitalism, to remain unfettered by the meddling of a false ideology.

Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights, she continued. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal. She concludes that this conflict between human nature and the irrational morality of altruism is a lethal tension that tears society apart. Her mission was to free humanity from this conflict. Like Marx, she believed that her correct interpretation of how society should be organized would be the ultimate expression of human freedom.

Ayn Rand was wrong about altruism. But how she arrived at this conclusion is revealing both because it shows her thought process and offers a warning to those who would construct their own political philosophy on the back of an assumed human nature. Ironically, given her strong opposition to monarchy and state communism, Rand based her interpretation of human nature on the same premises as these previous systems while adding a crude evolutionary argument in order to connect them.

Rand assumed, as Hobbes did, that without a centralized authority human life would erupt into a chaos of violence. Warfarepermanent warfareis the hallmark of tribal existence, she wrote in The Return of the Primitive. Tribes subsist on the edge of starvation, at the mercy of natural disasters, less successfully than herds of animals. This, she reasoned, is why altruism is so pervasive among indigenous societies; prehistoric groups needed the tribe for protection. She argued that altruism is perpetuated as an ideal among the poor in modern societies for the same reason.

It is only the inferior men that have collective instinctsbecause they need them, Rand wrote in a journal entry dated February 22, 1937. This kind of primitive altruism doesnt exist in superior men, Rand continued, because social instincts serve merely as the weapon and protection of the inferior. She later expands on this idea by stating, We may still be in evolution, as a species, and living side by side with some missing links.

Rands view that social instincts only exist among inferior men should not be dismissed as something she unthinkingly jotted down in a private journal. In two of her subsequent booksFor the New Intellectual and Philosophy: Who Needs It?, where it even serves as a chapter headingRand quips that scientists may find the missing link between humans and animals in those people who fail to utilize their rational selfishness to its full potential. How then does Rand explain the persistence of altruistic morality if human nature is ultimately selfish? By invoking the tabula rasa as an integral feature of human nature in which individuals can advance from inferior to superior upwards along the chain of life.

Man is born tabula rasa, Rand wrote in her Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, all his knowledge is based on and derived from the evidence of his senses. To reach the distinctively human level of cognition, man must conceptualize his perceptual data (by which she means using logical deductions). This was her solution to the problem of prosocial behavior and altruism among hunter-gatherer societies.

For instance, when discussing the social instinctdoes it matter whether it had existed in the early savages? Rand asks in her journal on May 9, 1934. Supposing men were born social (and even that is a question)does it mean that they have to remain so? If man started as a social animalisnt all progress and civilization directed toward making him an individual? Isnt that the only possible progress? If men are the highest of animals, isnt man the next step? Nearly a decade later, on September 6, 1943, she wrote, The process here, in effect, is this: man is raw material when he is born; nature tells him: Go ahead, create yourself. You can become the lord of existenceif you wishby understanding your own nature and by acting upon it. Or you can destroy yourself. The choice is yours.

While Rand states in Philosophy: Who Needs It? that I am not a student of the theory of evolution and, therefore, I am neither its supporter nor its opponent, she immediately goes on to make claims about how evolution functions. After aeons of physiological development, the evolutionary process altered its course, and the higher stages of development focused primarily on the consciousness of living species, not their bodies (italics mine). Rand further expands on her (incorrect) views about evolution in her journal:

It is precisely by observing nature that we discover that a living organism endowed with an attribute higher and more complex than the attributes possessed by the organisms below him in natures scale shares many functions with these lower organisms. But these functions are modified by his higher attribute and adapted to its functionnot the other way around. Journals of Ayn Rand, July 30, 1945.

One would have to go back to the 18th century (and Aristotle before that) to find a similar interpretation of nature. This concept of the great chain of being, brilliantly discussed by the historian Arthur Lovejoy, was the belief that a strict hierarchy exists in the natural world and species advance up natures scale as they get closer to God. This is an odd philosophy of nature for an avowed atheist, to say the least, and reflects Rands profound misunderstanding of the natural world.

To summarize, then, Rand believed in progressive evolutionary change up the ladder of nature from primitive to advanced. At the higher stages of this process (meaning humans) evolution changed course so that members of our species were born with a blank slate, though she provides no evidence to support this. Human beings therefore have no innate social instinctselsewhere she refers to it as a herd-instinctthat is, except for primordial savages and inferior men who could be considered missing links in the scale of nature. Never mind that these two groups are still technically human in her view. Selfishness is the ideal moral value because superior men are, by definition, higher up the scale of being.

Logic was essential to Ayn Rands political philosophy. A contradiction cannot exist, she has John Galt state in Atlas Shrugged. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in ones thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate ones mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality. I couldnt agree more. However, Rand may have had more personal reasons for her philosophy that can help explain her tortured logic. As she was first developing her political philosophy she mused in her journal about how she arrived at her conclusion that selfishness was a natural moral virtue.

It may be considered strange, and denying my own supremacy of reason, that I start with a set of ideas, then want to study in order to support them, and not vice versa, i.e., not study and derive my ideas from that. But these ideas, to a great extent, are the result of a subconscious instinct, which is a form of unrealized reason. All instincts are reason, essentially, or reason is instincts made conscious. The unreasonable instincts are diseased ones. Journals of Ayn Rand, May 15, 1934.

This can indeed be considered strange. Looking deep within yourself and concluding that your feelings are natural instincts that apply for the entire species isnt exactly what you would call objective. It is, in fact, the exact opposite of how science operates. However, she continues and illuminates her personal motivations for her ideas.

Some day Ill find out whether Im an unusual specimen of humanity in that my instincts and reason are so inseparably one, with the reason ruling the instincts. Am I unusual or merely normal and healthy? Am I trying to impose my own peculiarities as a philosophical system? Am I unusually intelligent or merely unusually honest? I think this last. Unlesshonesty is also a form of superior intelligence.

Through a close reading of her fictional characters, and other entries in her journal, it appears that Rand had an intuitive sense that selfishness was natural because thats how she saw the world. As John Galt said in his final climactic speech, Since childhood, you have been hiding the guilty secret that you feel no desire to bemoral, no desire to seek self-immolation, that you dread and hate your code, but dare not say it even to yourself, that youre devoid of those moral instincts which others profess to feel.

In Rands notes for an earlier, unpublished story she expresses nearly identical sentiments for the main character. He [Danny Renahan] is born with, she writes, the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling.

He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning or importance of other people. (One instance when it is blessed not to have an organ of understanding.) Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should. He knows himselfand that is enough. Other people have no right, no hold, no interest or influence on him. And this is not affected or chosenits inborn, absolute, it cant be changed, he has no organ to be otherwise. In this respect, he has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel other people. (Thats what I meant by thoughts as feelings, as part of your nature.) (It is wisdom to be dumb about certain things.)

I believe a strong case could be made that Ayn Rand was projecting her own sense of reality into the minds of her fictional protagonists. Does this mean that Rand was a sociopath? Diagnosing people in the past with modern understandings of science has many limitations (testing your hypothesis being chief among them). However, I think its clear that Ayn Rand did not have a strongly developed sense of empathy but did have a very high opinion of herself. When seen through this perspective, Rands philosophy of Objectivism and her belief in the virtue of selfishness look very different from how she presented it in her work. When someones theory of human nature is based on a sample size of 1 it raises doubts about just how objective they really were.

Update: A point that has been brought up repeatedly is that Ayn Rand used a different definition of altruism than what is standard in biology and so therefore what I wrote is invalid. This is incorrect. To clear up any confusion, Ayn Rand relied on Auguste Comtes definition from his Catchisme Positiviste (1852) where he advocates laltruisme sur lgosme (altruism over egoism) because, he writes, vivre pour autrui fournit le seul moyen de dvelopper librement toute lexistence humaine (to live for others provides the only means to develop freely throughout human existence). The biological definition of altruism is not only consistent with Comte, it subsumes his definition and makes it testable and, one would think, more objective.

2015 September 21

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Ayn Rand vs. Anthropology

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Ayn Rand – The New York Times

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Ayn Rand’s two most famous novels “The Fountainhead” (1943) and “Atlas Shrugged” (1957) are among the greatest word-of-mouth hits in American publishing. Both were scorned by the critics when they came out, went on to become enormous best-sellers, and to this day sell tens of thousands of copies annually. “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s magnum opus, is sometimes said to be the second-most influential book in American thought, next only to the Bible.

The reason for the books’ success probably has less to do with their novelistic merits, or lack of them, than with the way they package in fictional form a philosophy Rand called Objectivism, which in effect turned the Judeo-Christian system on its head. In Rand’s view, selfishness was good and altruism was evil, and the welfare of society was always subordinate to the self-interest of individuals, especially superior ones. In some ways, Objectivism is an extreme form of laissez-faire capitalism, a view that Rand came to naturally.

She was born in Russia in 1905, lived through the Russian Revolution, and by the time she emigrated to America, in 1926, determined to reinvent herself, she wanted no part of anything that resembled a state-run system. She sometimes wore a gold brooch shaped like a dollar sign, and the dollar sign is also the final image in “Atlas Shrugged,” a novel in which liberals and humanitarians are ruinously taking over the world while the intellectual elite, led by the genius industrialist John Galt, hunker down in Colorado.

For a while in the ’60s, Objectivism had almost cult status on some American campuses. Much of the fervor dwindled after Rands death in 1982, but the books continue to be rediscovered and passed from one initiate to another. Among the many people influenced by Rand are Camille Paglia, Hugh Hefner, Alan Greenspan and Angelina Jolie. — Charles McGrath, Sept. 13, 2007.

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Tile Map Service – Wikipedia

Posted: at 12:31 pm

Tile Map Service or TMS, is a specification for tiled web maps, developed by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. The definition generally requires a URI structure which attempts to fulfill REST principles. The TMS protocol fills a gap between the very simple standard used by OpenStreetMap and the complexity of the Web Map Service standard, providing simple urls to tiles while also supporting alternate spatial referencing system.

TMS is most widely supported by web mapping clients and servers; although there is some desktop support, the Web Map Service protocol is more widespread for enterprise mapping applications. The OpenLayers JavaScript library supports TMS natively, while the Google Maps API allows URL templating, which makes support possible for developers. TileCache is one of the most popular supporting servers, while other servers like mod_tile and TileLite focus on the de facto OpenStreetMap standard.

TMS served as the basis for the OpenGIS Web Map Tile Service OGC standard. [1]

Free software server implementation of the TMS specification:

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Tile Map Service – Wikipedia

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Johns Hopkins University | Coursera

Posted: at 12:31 pm

Statistics for Genomic Data Science

Starts Dec 19, 2016

Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Principles of fMRI 2

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Systems Thinking In Public Health

Starts Dec 12, 2016

Advanced Linear Models for Data Science 1: Least Squares

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Introduction to Neurohacking In R

Starts Dec 12, 2016

Building Data Visualization Tools

Starting December 12th, 2016

Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Ruby on Rails Web Services and Integration with MongoDB

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Rails with Active Record and Action Pack

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Introduction to Genomic Technologies

Starts Dec 19, 2016

Genomic Data Science Capstone

Starts Dec 05, 2016

R Programming Capstone

Starting January 18th, 2016

Training and Learning Programs for Volunteer Community Health Workers

Starts Jan 16, 2017

Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp 2

Starts Dec 19, 2016

Reproducible Research

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Statistical Inference

Starts Nov 28, 2016

The Data Scientists Toolbox

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Single Page Web Applications with AngularJS

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Exploratory Data Analysis

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Health for All Through Primary Health Care

Starts Dec 25, 2016

Developing Data Products

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Getting and Cleaning Data

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Ruby on Rails: An Introduction

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Introduction to the Biology of Cancer

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Data Science in Real Life

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Statistical Reasoning for Public Health 2: Regression Methods

Starts Nov 28, 2016

HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Statistical Reasoning for Public Health 1: Estimation, Inference, & Interpretation

Starts Jan 16, 2017

Understanding Cancer Metastasis

Starts Dec 12, 2016

Systems Science and Obesity

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Data Science Capstone

Starts Feb 06, 2017

Command Line Tools for Genomic Data Science

Starts Dec 19, 2016

The R Programming Environment

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Psychological First Aid

Starts Dec 12, 2016

Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp 1

Starts Dec 19, 2016

R Programming

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Building R Packages

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Capstone: Photo Tourist Web Application

Starting January 17, 2017

Confronting Gender Based Violence: Global Lessons for Healthcare Workers

Starts Jan 09, 2017

Community Change in Public Health

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Managing Data Analysis

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Principles of fMRI 1

Starts Dec 19, 2016

Advanced R Programming

Starts Nov 28, 2016

Chemicals and Health

Starts Dec 26, 2016

Python for Genomic Data Science

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Advanced Linear Models for Data Science 2: Statistical Linear Models

Starts Dec 05, 2016

Algorithms for DNA Sequencing

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Practical Machine Learning

Starts Nov 28, 2016

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Paradox of hedonism – Wikipedia

Posted: at 12:25 pm

The paradox of hedonism, also called the pleasure paradox, refers to the practical difficulties encountered in the pursuit of pleasure. Unfortunately for the hedonist, constant pleasure-seeking may not yield the most actual pleasure or happiness in the long runor even in the short run, when consciously pursuing pleasure interferes with experiencing it.

The philosopher Henry Sidgwick was first to note in The Methods of Ethics that the paradox of hedonism is that pleasure cannot be acquired directly.[1] Variations on this theme appear in the realms of ethics, philosophy, psychology, and economics.

It is often said that we fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them. This has been described variously, by many:

But I now thought that this end [one’s happiness] was only to be attained by not making it the direct end. Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness[….] Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness along the way[….] Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.[2]

Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

The more a man tries to demonstrate his sexual potency or a woman her ability to experience orgasm, the less they are able to succeed. Pleasure is, and must remain, a side-effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself.[3]

What is good? Everything that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself.

What is bad? Everything that is born of weakness.

[…] it is significantly enlightening to substitute for the individual ‘happiness’ (for which every living being is supposed to strive) power […] joy is only a symptom of the feeling of attained power […] (one does not strive for joy […] joy accompanies; joy does not move)[5]

Nietzsche’s “will to power” and “will to seem” embrace many of our views, which again resemble in some respects the views of Fr and the older writers, according to whom the sensation of pleasure originates in a feeling of power, that of pain in a feeling of feebleness.[6]

The love of praise, howe’er concealed by art,

Reigns more or less supreme in every heart; The Proud to gain it, toils on toils endure;

Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap.[8][9]

Happiness is found only in little moments of inattention.[10]

Suppose Paul likes to collect stamps. According to most models of behavior, including not only utilitarianism, but most economic, psychological and social conceptions of behavior, it is believed that Paul collects stamps because he gets pleasure from it. Stamp collecting is an avenue towards acquiring pleasure. However, if you tell Paul this, he will likely disagree. He does get pleasure from collecting stamps, but this is not the process that explains why he collects stamps. It is not as though he says, “I must collect stamps so I, Paul, can obtain pleasure”. Collecting stamps is not just a means toward pleasure. He simply likes collecting stamps, therefore acquiring pleasure indirectly.

This paradox is often spun around backwards, to illustrate that pleasure and happiness cannot be reverse-engineered. If for example you heard that collecting stamps was very pleasurable, and began a stamp collection as a means towards this happiness, it would inevitably be in vain. To achieve happiness, you must not seek happiness directly, you must strangely motivate yourself towards things unrelated to happiness, like the collection of stamps.[1]

Happiness is often imprecisely equated with pleasure. If, for whatever reason, one does equate happiness with pleasure, then the paradox of hedonism arises. When one aims solely towards pleasure itself, one’s aim is frustrated. Henry Sidgwick comments on such frustration after a discussion of self-love in the above-mentioned work:

I should not, however, infer from this that the pursuit of pleasure is necessarily self-defeating and futile; but merely that the principle of Egoistic Hedonism, when applied with a due knowledge of the laws of human nature, is practically self-limiting; i.e., that a rational method of attaining the end at which it aims requires that we should to some extent put it out of sight and not directly aim at it.[11]

While not addressing the paradox directly, Aristotle commented on the futility of pursuing pleasure. Human beings are actors whose endeavors bring about consequences, and among these is pleasure. Aristotle then argues as follows:

How, then, is it that no one is continuously pleased? Is it that we grow weary? Certainly all human things are incapable of continuous activity. Therefore pleasure also is not continuous; for it accompanies activity.[12]

Sooner or later, finite beings will be unable to acquire and expend the resources necessary to maintain their sole goal of pleasure; thus, they find themselves in the company of misery. Evolutionary theory explains that humans evolved through natural selection and follow genetic imperatives that seek to maximize reproduction,[13] not happiness. As a result of these selection pressures, the extent of human happiness is limited biologically. David Pearce argues in his treatise The Hedonistic Imperative that humans might be able to use genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and neuroscience to eliminate suffering in all sentient life and allow for peak levels of happiness and pleasure that are currently unimaginable.

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Nootropics – Strong Supplement Shop

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

NOOTROPICS

It’s a competitive world and we need any edge we can get. One of the sharpest tools, if not the sharpest tool you can have to get ahead and reach many of your goals in life is a stronger brain. Without a prescription, Nootropics are filling the void for people looking to gain more focus, a stronger memory as well an overall good mood.

Nootropics are being called “smart drugs” due to their effects of increasing cognitive thinking, memory, as well as attention span. Nootropics are being associated with intelligence, mental energy, motivation and focus.

Nootropic basic translation is that of supplements made for neuro enhancement. All things considered nootropics are generally regarded as effective with little to zero side effects. Furthermore nootropics generally refer to cognitive boosting supplements with low toxicity that can be taken for long term. Inclusive of this understanding, nootropics are also non prescription.

Nootropics work by increasing brain function. They will not make you smarter or give you Einsteins IQ, but they can improve your fluid intelligence. Nootropics can increase your brains production of various neurotransmitters which in turn improve your focus and concentration. They also increase your memory, boost your mood and increase your attention span. They key with nootropics, is that they are designed for long term use, and they can alter your level of neurotransmitters permanently. This is HUGE long term benefit!

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UK teenager wins battle to have body cryogenically frozen – CNN

Posted: at 10:13 am

The girl — who can’t be identified and is referred to only as “JS” — suffered from a rare form of cancer and expressed a hope to be brought back to life and cured in the future.

She died on October 17 but details of the case at London’s High Court were not allowed to be made public until now.

In his judgment, obtained by CNN, Mr. Justice Peter Jackson said the girl had expressed her desire to be cryogenically frozen.

She wrote: “I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done. I’m only 14 years old and I don’t want to die, but I know I am going to. I think being cryo-preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up, even in hundreds of years’ time. I don’t want to be buried underground.

“I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they might find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”

According to the judgment, the girl’s parents are divorced and their relationship is “very bad.” Her mother was supportive of her wish, but her father — who had not seen his daughter face-to-face since 2008 — initially was not.

At the start of proceedings, the teenager’s father, who also has cancer, wrote: “Even if the treatment is successful and [JS] is brought back to life in let’s say 200 years, she may not find any relative and she might not remember things and she may be left in a desperate situation given that she is only 14 years old and will be in the United States of America.”

However, he subsequently changed his position, saying he “respected the decisions” his daughter was making.

The judge said this fluctuation in his views was understandable, adding, “No other parent has ever been put in his position.”

But he emphasized he was not ruling on the science of cryonics, but rather on the dispute between her parents over who was responsible for the arrangements after her death.

The judge also said there was no doubt the girl — described as “a bright, intelligent young person who is able to articulate strongly held views on her current situation” — had the capacity to start legal action.

“Over recent months, JS has used the internet to investigate cryonics: the freezing of a dead body in the hope that resuscitation and a cure may be possible in the distant future,” he said.

“The scientific theory underlying cryonics is speculative and controversial, and there is considerable debate about its ethical implications.

“On the other hand, cryopreservation, the preservation of cells and tissues by freezing, is now a well-known process in certain branches of medicine, for example the preservation of sperm and embryos as part of fertility treatment.

“Cryonics is cryopreservation taken to its extreme.”

The judge ruled in favor of her mother and said the girl had died peacefully, knowing her wishes had been met.

But he cautioned that hospital officials had had “real misgivings” about the way the process was handled on the day she died.

The girl’s mother was said to have been preoccupied with the arrangements after her death, rather than being fully available to her child, he said, and the voluntary organization which helped get her body ready for preservation was disorganized.

The case was said by the judge to be the only one of its kind to have come before the courts in England and Wales, and probably anywhere else. “It is an example of the new questions that science poses to the law, perhaps most of all to family law,” he added.

The cost of the procedure in the United States — which the judge said was about 37,000 ($46,000) — is being met by her maternal grandparents, he said, although the family is not well off. They chose the most basic arrangement, he said, which “simply involves the freezing of the body in perpetuity.”

The Cryonics Institute, which is based in Michigan, said the body of a 14-year-old girl from London arrived at its facility, packed in dry ice, on October 25, about eight days after her death.

“The patient was then placed in the computer controlled cooling chamber to cool to liquid nitrogen temperature,” a statement posted on its website said.

“The human cooling program from dry ice was selected and the time needed to cool the patient to liquid nitrogen temperature was 24 hours. The patient was then placed in a cryostat for longterm cryonic storage.”

The Cryonics Institute said the girl was its 143rd patient.

Its website explains the process as “a technique intended to hopefully save lives and greatly extend lifespan. It involves cooling legally-dead people to liquid nitrogen temperature where physical decay essentially stops, in the hope that future scientific procedures will someday revive them and restore them to youth and good health.

“A person held in such a state is said to be a ‘cryopreserved patient’, because we do not regard the cryopreserved person as being inevitably ‘dead’.”

However, some skepticism remains about the science of cryogenics.

Barry Fuller, professor in Surgical Science and Low Temperature Medicine at University College London, said that cryopreservation “has many useful applications in day to day medicine, such as cryopreserving blood cells, sperm and embryos.”

But, he said, “cryopreservation has not yet been successfully applied to large structures, such as human kidneys for transplantation, because we have not yet adequately been able to produce suitable equipment to optimize all the steps.

“This is why we have to say that at the moment we have no objective evidence that a whole human body can survive cryopreservation with cells which will function after rearming.”

CNN’s Simon Cullen and Meera Senthilingam contributed to this report.

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Small Animal Food & Supplements – vet-n-pet DIRECT

Posted: at 10:13 am

Alfalfa King Alfalfa

Double compressed alfalfa hay for small animals and pets.

Double compressed mixture of oat, wheat and barley hays for small animals and pets.

Double compressed Timothy Hay for small animals and pets.

Biolac M100 milk formula is for use on furless marsupials until dense fur develops.

Biolac M150 is a transition milk.

Biolac M200 is a late lactation milk.

Natural Animal Solutions Goat Milk Powder for Pets is a 100% natural, filler free, dairy free nutritious treat.

Formula One is a low lactose emergency milk formula that can be used for a range of different species including puppies, kittens, lambs, piglets, calves foals, cria, marsupials and zoo animals.

Vetafarm Cavy Origins Guinea Pig Food is a fortified diet for guinea pigs designed to be fed in conjunction with high fibre hay, such as lucerne or fescue.

Formulated by veterinarians and made with fresh Australian ingredients, Vetafarm are proud to announce the release of the worlds first Complete Echidna Diet.

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Artificial Intelligence Course – Computer Science at CCSU

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Spring-2005 Classes: TR 5:15 pm – 6:30 pm, RVAC 107 Instructor: Dr. Zdravko Markov, MS 203, (860)-832-2711, http://www.cs.ccsu.edu/~markov/, e-mail: markovz@ccsu.edu Office hours: MW: 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm, TR: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, or by appointment Catalog Description Artificial Intelligence ~ Spring. ~ [c] ~ Prereq.: CS 253 or (for graduates) CS 501. ~ Presentation of artificial intelligence as a coherent body of ideas and methods to acquaint the student with the classic programs in the field and their underlying theory. Students will explore this through problem-solving paradigms, logic and theorem proving, language and image understanding, search and control methods, and learning. Course Goals

The letter grades will be calculated according to the following table:

Late assignments will be marked one letter grade down for each two classes they are late. It is expected that all students will conduct themselves in an honest manner and NEVER claim work which is not their own. Violating this policy will result in a substantial grade penalty or a final grade of F.

To do the semester projects students have to form teams of 3 people (2-people teams should consult the instructor first). Each team chooses one project to work on. The projects to choose from are the following:

To complete the project students are required to:

Documentation and submission: Write a report describing the solutions to all problems and answers to all questions and mail it as an attachment to my instructors account for the WebCT (available through Campus Pipeline/My Courses/Artificial Intelligence).

Documentation and submission: Write a report describing the solutions to all problems and answers to all questions and mail it as an attachment to my instructors account for the WebCT (available through Campus Pipeline/My Courses/Artificial Intelligence).

Use the weather (tennis) data in tennis.pland do the following:

Documentation and submission: Write a report describing the solutions to all problems and mail it as an attachment to my instructors account for the WebCT (available through Campus Pipeline/My Courses/Artificial Intelligence).

The test includes the following topics:

The test includes the following topics:

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Artificial Intelligence Course – Computer Science at CCSU

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An Introduction to LaVeyan Satanism and the Church of Satan

Posted: at 9:58 pm

By Catherine Beyer

Updated January 16, 2016.

LaVeyan Satanism is one of several distinct religions identifying itself as Satanic. Followers are atheists who stress dependence on the self rather than reliance on any outside power. It encourages individualism, hedonism, materialism, ego, personal initiative, self-worth and self-determinism.

To the LaVeyan Satanist, Satan is a myth, just like God and other deities. Satan is also, however, incredibly symbolic, representing all of those things within our natures that outsiders might tell us is dirty and unacceptable. The chant of Hail Satan! is really saying Hail me! It exults the self and rejects the self-denying lessons of society. Finally, Satan represents rebellion, just as Satan rebelled against God in Christianity. Identifying oneself as a Satanist is to go against expectations, cultural norms, and religious creeds.

Anton LaVey officially formed the church of Satan on the night of April 30-May 1, 1966 and published the Satanic Bible in 1969.

The Church of Satan admits that early rituals were mostly mockeries of Christian ritual and reenactments of Christian folklore concerning the supposed behavior of Satanists: upside down crosses, reading the Lords Prayer backward, using a nude woman as an altar, etc. However, as the Church of Satan evolved it solidified its own specific messages and tailored its rituals around those messages.

Because Satanism celebrates the self, ones own birthday in held as the most important holiday. Satanists also sometimes celebrate the nights of Walpurgisnacht (April 30-May 1) and Halloween (October 31-November 1), because these days have been traditionally associated with Satanists through witchcraft lore.

Satanism has been routinely accused of numerous onerous practices, generally without evidence. There is a common mistaken belief that because Satanists believe in serving themselves first that they become antisocial or even psychopathic. In truth, responsibility is a major tenet of Satanism. Humans have the right to do as they choose and should feel free to pursue their own happiness. However, this does not render them immune from consequences. Taking control of ones life includes being responsible about it. Among the things LaVey explicitly condemned:

In the 1980s, rumors and accusations abounded about supposedly Satanic individuals ritually abusing children. Many of those suspected worked as teachers or day care workers. After lengthy investigations, it was concluded that not only were the accused innocent, but that the abuses never even happened. In addition, suspects were not even associated with Satanic practice. The Satanic Panic is a modern day example of the power of mass hysteria.

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An Introduction to LaVeyan Satanism and the Church of Satan

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