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114

Yes, sadly but for a good reason Rascism is a sub-type of in-group bias, where a person will favor someone mentally labeled as "in my group" over someone "out of my group". Other examples of this type of bias show up in politics, text editor choice, religion, sports team preference and most any other instance where some characteristic can define a group. ...


70

Greg is clearly brain damaged, we know that selectively damaging certain areas of the brain causes drastic and "interesting" changes in behaviour. For example damage to area 24 of the anterior cingulate cortex can divorce people from their normal emotional responses to being in pain; they still feel pain normally but they don't get upset by it or feel the ...


53

There are some great technical and political reasons laid out in existing answers, but there's also a very human answer which has been overlooked: They're creepy. It's the uncanny valley writ large - they're very human-like, but they're not really human. Not like us. That makes most people very uncomfortable, even afraid. And they're substantially more ...


41

Inside 1.5 million robotic whales A blue whale has a volume of around 220 cubic metres. Assuming a cubic brain jar with sides of 25cm, you can comfortably fit 32 brains in one cubic metre. If you built an aquatic robot about the size of a blue whale you could fit 7,040 human brains inside it. The robotic whale could swim through the oceans, capturing ...


41

There are real-life examples of this. The example that first comes to mind is that of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese monk who poured gasoline on himself, and set himself on fire while sitting still and meditating as he burnt to death, as a protest of the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. You don't need Greg to take drugs; and you ...


39

It just takes one disaster. Early on when the Caspar technology was still new and people hadn't figured out the quirks yet, a Caspar unit was put into a new ship without the proper therapy and retraining. They went crazy, crashed their ship into a population center and killed thousands of innocent people. Panic ensued. People learned that the Caspars can ...


31

This idea that people with eternal youth would be constantly reproducing is not necessarily accurate; nor is the idea that producing any more than 2 children per couple going to result in population growth. Additionally, China's one child policy has had massive repercussions for the State that are only just now starting to bite. In reality, population sizes ...


28

If you have read 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', you may recall the henchman with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP), which does exactly what it says on the label - the henchman is literally incapable of feeling pain. According to Wikipedia, the mostly likely causes of this condition are 1) an increased production of endorphins in the brain, or 2) ...


25

Yes, there will be As long as there is free thought, there exists the ability to prejudice against others. Racism is defined as abuse toward a particular race and culture, so if the culture still exists, there will be people to oppose it.


25

Caspar Units are independent in the truest meaning of the word. Their ship bodies need absolutely nothing that they cannot provide on their own. When they need repairs, their nanites create and install replacement parts out of asteroids and interstellar dust. When they need energy, they can harvest plasma from the upper layers of the nearest star. ...and ...


22

It would not be a good idea to have just one facility. That's just asking for an asteroid strike, freak weather, or an "impossible" series of equipment failures to wipe it out. On the other hand, dispersing into too many facilities will be inefficient. Also, while brains in jars probably need less resources in an absolute sense than people in bodies - less ...


19

Channeling the words of Charlie Stross humans basically aren't built for space. We're human beings. We evolved to flourish in a very specific environment that covers perhaps 10% of our home planet's surface area. (Earth is 70% ocean, and while we can survive, with assistance, in extremely inhospitable terrain, be it arctic or desert or mountain, we aren't ...


19

I started this as a comment, but then it developed into an oblique answer to the question, so I'm posting it as such: Everyone has unlimited willpower. Most choose not to exercise it. Also: No skeptic can have it proven to them that Greg has unlimited willpower. Because he can simply decide that convincing some silly skeptic is not worth his time. ...


18

Greg has more 'volition' in his head A relatively famous study from Baumeister, et al., 1998. The study concerns ego depletion, which is temporary reduction in the self's capacity or willingness to engage in volitional action (including controlling the environment, controlling the self, making choices, and initiating action) caused by prior ...


17

Why would you be allowed to mess with other people's data? We don't do that now: you visit web sites and customize them within the scope of their design, and could make one from scratch or even own your own server. But you don't change up a public site beyond your own account or beyond its custimizability. Likewise, you can create VR spaces and invite ...


17

Enlarging or increasing the integration of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex – the prosocial part of the human brain – would reward generosity and empathy and might even eliminate depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Combined this could make for a happier and more charitable society.


17

OK speaking up on this a bit late, I doubt I'll add much of value but below is my list of improvements to make humans natural capabilities a better fit for modern society. I will split them into two groups, fixes and improvements FIXES: Add a fix for the problem of how unhealthy sitting is for us Make the brain hardwired to accurately calculate how much ...


16

Morphine, a lot of morphine. I got hit by a car doing 80, and was pretty messed up and left altogether for a while. Once they got me to the hospital I was in a whole new world of pain. A shot of morphine in the thigh later I was quite possibly still in pain, but I didn't care. No need to worry about him getting addicted, he's just about to die anyway. Just ...


16

The superpowers might regard the Caspar Unit clones as being legal persons in their own right, and thus there is no legal way to restore a Caspar Unit as it would require the mental death of another Caspar Unit (which would be equated with murder). As this is something that is built into the concept of Caspar Units, it is easier to outlaw the entire concept ...


16

We already (in the western world) live in the post-scarcity economy as far as our ancestors would see it. We produce enough food and manufactured goods for everyone, and it takes only around 20% of the people of working age in order to do so. And yet it doesn’t feel that way, and we don’t all feel rich, because we have developed new wants and needs, mostly ...


15

I have a very simple answer for you. A drug, or tech that works like a drug. Versed. Pronounced Ver-said. Aka Midazolam. No matter how painful an experience is, if you can't remember it, isn't like it never happened? I have seen this drug in action. Although it is supposed to reduce pain, it also reduces inhibition. So the athlete stoically gritting ...


15

I could see this being a "great idea" some scientist has as a solution to the "problem" of pregnancy for those colonizing planets. The reasoning would be that the women would lay the egg, pop it into an incubator, and then get back to the important work of helping build a new colony. Plus, they wouldn't have to worry about the menstrual cycle anymore! (Or ...


14

We live in cities, this is a problem. Day to day we just couldn't care about the majority of people we're forced to deal with. The one thing that could make the biggest difference to our society is to massively increase Dunbar's Number. This would mean that people could and would care more about many of the people they dealt with day to day and were ...


14

Ursula K. Le Quin's The Lathe of Heaven describes the efforts of just such a wizard. Each night, as George Orr sleeps, his dreams reshape reality. He spends his days being exposed to the problems of the world and during each subsequent night, his dreams strive to address those problems. He awakens the next day to find the results made manifest in the real ...


14

Not all goods and services will be free. Real estate would still be limited. either it is sold for money, or some other means of rationing. In most settings, those replicators still require power which cannot be replicated directly. One can either replicate and operate a power plant or buy the services of someone who does it. If there is a market, the price ...


13

A culture is not a race, you can't be racist against an idea. With the option to choose any body of your liking, it would be hard to see how people would still hold beliefs about a certain look giving people certain inherent traits. Especially if it's such an established part of society that anyone can have access to, I don't see why anyone would care. ...


13

TL;DR: Greg's subconscious is weak, or is under control of the conscious mind. @kingledion is correct in pointing you to Baumeister's research. There is more in his popular-science book: https://www.amazon.com/Willpower-Rediscovering-Greatest-Human-Strength/dp/0143122231 Here are couple more books: https://www.amazon.com/Nudge-Improving-Decisions-Health-...


13

Space elevators do not have to sit above the equator. See, for example, Blaise Gassend, “Non-Equatorial Uniform-Stress Space Elevator”, 3rd Annual International Space Elevator Conference, Washington DC, June 20, 2004 (or his web page); or consider the "forked" design popularized in Kim Stanley Robinson Mars trilogy. You don't say what a "forest" means. Let's ...


12

Ok, brains in jars, we can do this! First, brains need to be safe and protected. This rules out leaving them in people's homes Second, brains can't maintain themselves. So let's not put them in space because the upkeep (realigning and repairs) is going to be exorbitant for the size we're talking about. So we're talking somewhere safe, on the earth.. let's ...


11

I'd say your premise is flawed, and the way it is flawed shows exactly what your answer should be. You start from the premise that "the most fundamental unit of society was somehow related to bloodline." However, this is true only in the most superficial of senses. From the perspective of a deconstruction of society, this superficial connection should be ...


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