What about a thread for good news?

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Mongrel
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:28 pm

Kid gets falsely convicted of rape, studies law and uses the Innocence Project to get his case overturned. Once freed, he goes to law school and gets hired by the Innocence Project to free other falsely convicted prisoners.

Attorney Jarrett Adams recently helped overturn an innocent man's conviction — in the same state that, years ago, had sentenced him to prison for a crime he did not commit.

The case was Adams' first professional win. But it was also deeply personal for the 36-year-old, who spent nearly 10 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted of sexual assault in a case that Adams, who is black, believes was tainted by racism.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/de ... er-n788886
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mharr
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby mharr » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:33 am

If indefinite lifespan is possible for humans, the first 'immortals' are probably already here, from a combination of good luck, genetics, wealth, and medical tech progressing just fast enough to cure them of various traditional bluescreen crashes at the last minute. Those of us already on the downhill slope and still renting our homes will just have to compete for wiki entries as 'Last recorded death to <X>'.

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Mongrel
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:08 am

mharr wrote:If indefinite lifespan is possible for humans, the first 'immortals' are probably already here, from a combination of good luck, genetics, wealth, and medical tech progressing just fast enough to cure them of various traditional bluescreen crashes at the last minute. Those of us already on the downhill slope and still renting our homes will just have to compete for wiki entries as 'Last recorded death to <X>'.


No need for mad medical science. There is at least one documented case of a woman whose cells were genuinely, truly immortal due to a spontaneous mutation. These cells continue to fascinate scientists and, as the article explains, are a heavily used and currently irreplaceable resource for medical research and, notably, the first human cells ever cloned.

The problem of course was that having immortal cells actually caused massive cancer throughout her body. I have little scientific basis for this assumption, but my suspicion is that there are way too many potential and severe side effects of attempting to engineer a truly immortal human from birth. At least not anytime soon.

As for immortal by treatment, there's really only so much we can do. At some point, if not killed by other causes, people simply just die of old age for reasons unknown.

Finally, I could only imagine immortality as nothing short of the worst social catastrophe to ever befall the species. I'm sure many sci-fi authors have already explored potential for immortal humans to cause human society to slow to a permanent stasis from which me might never recover.

However as I mentioned, I'd still be pretty happy with any moderate extensions, and - much more importantly - quality of life improvements in old age.
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:06 am

Mongrel wrote:As for immortal by treatment, there's really only so much we can do. At some point, if not killed by other causes, people simply just die of old age for reasons unknown.

When your DNA replicates, it clips a couple of molecules off the end, due to the mechanics of how the replication happens. There's a cluster of enzymes that untwist the two helices and go down each strand like a zipper matching each molecule, and that enzyme cluster -- the zipper -- has to grab onto a little bit that it can't replicate in order to start the job.

You have a bunch of junk DNA at the start of every strand for exactly this purpose, it can be clipped off without any averse effects. But the clipping happens every time a cell divides, so eventually it chews into the stuff you need to code proteins, and your body stops working like it should.

I've read -- on the Internet, can't cite sources -- that one of the reasons lobsters are effectively unaging is that they have better DNA telomerase than humans do, so all of that junk DNA gets repaired and it never interferes with the functional DNA further down the line.

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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:13 am

That and every time your tissues are damaged they're replaced by cellulose, so eventually you're such a walking mass of scar tissue that your other tissues can't do their jobs. F'rinstance, hardening of the arteries isn't an issue with the muscle tissue that your blood vessels are made of, it's that high blood pressure forces your body to reinforce those tissues with cellulose. Eventually there's so much scar tissue around your arteries that they can't flex and pump properly, so some of the body's normal healing functions end up killing you via infarction.

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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:14 am

tl;dr why would you ever bother to evolve systems that can last forever just have a couple kids and then die that's how this stuff is supposed to work

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zaratustra
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby zaratustra » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:15 am

Mongrel wrote:human society to slow to a permanent stasis from which me might never recover.


oh yes imagine a future world full of nazis and people that think we might still be pulled into heaven by jesus ANY MINUTE NOW

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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:39 pm

nosimpleway wrote:tl;dr why would you ever bother to evolve systems that can last forever just have a couple kids and then die that's how this stuff is supposed to work

Death is in fact one of the oldest evolutionary adaptations. The very first forms of life were indeed immortal, and that being bad is one of the first things nature ever figured out.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as scared of death as the next guy and I sure wouldn't mind living longer, especially given how slowly I seem to do everything as compared to everyone else. But I think at some point you need to get the fuck off the stage, you know?
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:59 pm

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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Yoji » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Mongrel wrote:Finally, I could only imagine immortality as nothing short of the worst social catastrophe to ever befall the species. I'm sure many sci-fi authors have already explored potential for immortal humans to cause human society to slow to a permanent stasis from which me might never recover.

*closes Tanith Lee's Biting the Sun* Oh hey guys, what are we talking about again?
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beatbandito
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby beatbandito » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:14 pm

I'm not saying humanity should be immortal. Just me.
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 pm

On the plus side, India legalized homosexuality yesterday.

As many Indian observers have mentioned, this is actually an overdue change, overturning a relic of Victorian British rule to resurrect one of the more positive facets of India's precolonial societies.
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Bal » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:55 pm

Homophobia and anti-gay laws are one of the most enduring relics of colonialism. Uganda is a particularly tragic example in recent memory.

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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:26 pm



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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:27 pm

Could use a little good news today.

The Guardian: Spain to close most coalmines in €250m transition deal

Agreement with unions includes early retirement for miners, re-skilling and environmental restoration


Spain is to shut down most of its coalmines by the end of the year after government and unions struck a deal that will mean €250m (£221m) will be invested in mining regions over the next decade.

Pedro Sánchez’s new leftwing administration has moved quickly on environmental policy, abolishing a controversial “sunshine tax” on the solar industry, and announcing the launch of Spain’s long-delayed national climate plan next month.

Unions hailed the mining deal – which covers Spain’s privately owned pits – as a model agreement. It mixes early retirement schemes for miners over 48, with environmental restoration work in pit communities and re-skilling schemes for cutting-edge green industries.

...

About 600 workers in Spain’s northern mining regions – Asturias, Aragón, and Castilla y León – are set to benefit from social aid under the scheme, while about 60% of the miners will be able to opt for early retirement.
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:32 pm

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An ancient wise man once said, "Real gangstas don't flex nuts, 'cos real gangstas know they got 'em."
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mharr
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby mharr » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:11 pm

I'm suddenly wondering how Vegas would respond to a Nazi rally. The retired Mob still hang out there, right?

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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:18 pm

The Yakuza are similar to many mafias around the world, but they have a few peculiarly Japanese qualities which are not found elsewhere.

One of these is the ability to present in public as actual (retired) gangsters.
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Brentai » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:47 am

Whatever mob remains in Vegas is purely capitalist cretins, and quite a few deep red cowboy types (yes there's a Texas mafia, and yes it's exactly as violently racist as you'd expect). They wouldn't object to the Nazis based on principles but it'd definitely be bad for business, especially with all the ethnically homogeneous communities scattered around the city with no qualms about breaking stuff if they really need to.
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Re: What about a thread for good news?

Postby Defenestration » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:01 am

mharr wrote:I'm suddenly wondering how Vegas would respond to a Nazi rally. The retired Mob still hang out there, right?

I assure you, it would be very disappointing. NV is a swing state that leans red.
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