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Athiest Dawkins Says ‘Eugenics Would Work’

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Don Arnold/Getty Images

“Facts ignore ideology”

In a set of rather bizarre tweets on Sunday, notorious atheist Richard Dawkins argued that eugenics, the practice of selective breeding supported by the Nazis, would work perfectly well if applied to humans, because it works on animals.

“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice,” Dawkins wrote.

“Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology,” he added.

Okaaaay, Mein Führer.

Sensing that his comments would generate immediate backlash and Hitler comparisons, Dawkins clarified that he wasn’t advocating for eugenics, merely acknowledging that it would be a very effective practice.

“For those determined to miss the point, I deplore the idea of a eugenic policy,” he said.

“I simply said deploring it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. Just as we breed cows to yield more milk, we could breed humans to run faster or jump higher. But heaven forbid that we should do it.” Dawkins explained.

Dawkins has previously made his thoughts on eugenics clear, writing that he suspects “that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolf Hitler is responsible for the change.”

“Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular.” Dawkins continued, adding “The spectre of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from “ought” to “is” and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible.”

“But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability? Objections such as ‘these are not one-dimensional abilities’ apply equally to cows, horses and dogs and never stopped anybody in practice.” Dawkins urged.

“In the 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous – though of course they would not have used that phrase.” Dawkins further asserted.

“I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler’s death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them. I can think of some answers, and they are good ones, which would probably end up persuading me. But hasn’t the time come when we should stop being frightened even to put the question?” the evolutionary biologist stated.

Dawkins’ latest considerations on eugenics quickly opened up a torrent of disbelief.

Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, was one of the first to respond:

Others joined in:

Science & Tech

Twitter Says It Will Remove Any Tweets ‘Claiming Victory Before Election Results Have Been Certified’

“Starting next week, we will label or remove false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence.”

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Steve Watson

Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Twitter further extended its censorship policy Thursday, announcing that it will label as ‘false information’ or remove any posts claiming an election victory before results have been officially certified.

In a blog post, Twitter wrote:

In recognition of the changing circumstances of how people will vote in 2020, and in line with our commitment to protecting the integrity of the election conversation, we’re expanding this existing framework. The goal is to further protect against content that could suppress the vote and help stop the spread of harmful misinformation that could compromise the integrity of an election or other civic process.

The post continued:

Starting next week, we will label or remove false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election or other civic process. This includes but is not limited to:

False or misleading information that causes confusion about the laws and regulations of a civic process, or officials and institutions executing those civic processes.
Disputed claims that could undermine faith in the process itself, e.g. unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results.
Misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process which calls for or could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of the process, e.g. claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.

The move is seemingly part of the ongoing narrative that Americans will have to wait weeks for the results of the election to be announced, as mail in ballots, which are speculated to be open to corruption, are tallied.

The move also means that any post by President Trump hinting that he has garnered enough votes to secure a second term could be removed by Twitter, which has censored Trump several times over the past few months.

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Government

Why Has Amazon Just Appointed The Former Director of The NSA To Its Board?

“Nothing nefarious about that at all”

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Steve Watson

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Amazon has appointed former NSA head General Keith Alexander to its board of directors, prompting privacy advocates to suggest the move could be connected to Alexander’s previous experience in overseeing mass surveillance operations.

“We’re thrilled to elect a new member to our Board of Directors this month. Welcome, General Keith Alexander!” Amazon announced in a tweet:

Alexander served as NSA director from 2005 until he retired in March 2014. He oversaw the agency’s monolithic program, encompassing illegal mass spying on Americans, which officials lied about.

Under Alexander, the NSA deployed the PRISM tool to sweep up vast amounts of data from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook to name a few.

Edward Snowden, who exposed the NSA activity, had some choice words about Amazon’s appointment:

Amazon hosts a massive amount of web traffic, so it figures:

Glen Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who reported exclusively on Snowden’s leaks, also chimed in:

Others speculated that Alexander’s hiring has more to do with Amazon going after lucrative Pentagon contracts:

Zero Hedge points out the deep state angle of all this, noting that last week, “Amazon literally accused Trump of unprecedented corruption in a public letter and less than a week later it effectively brings the NSA on board.”

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Science & Tech

The New Normal: UNC Develops “Health Greeter Kiosk” To Enforce Mask Wearing

Will also trigger if students fail to comply with social distancing.

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Steve Watson

Screenshot

In a story that flew under the radar last month, the University of North Carolina unveiled a system that will enforce the wearing of face masks by using facial recognition cameras to track all students entering campus facilities.

CBS News reported that the UNC developed the “Health Greeter Kiosk” to display an alert every time a student passed through without wearing a mask and ask them to comply with the mandate.

Steven King, an associate professor at the UNC School of Media and Journalism told CBS that the university teamed up with Hong Kong-based Lenovo’s artificial intelligence department to develop the system.

The system was also designed to trigger if students fail to comply with social distancing measures.

“It uses computer vision to see if there is a person there, and if that person is wearing a mask or not and if they are outside of six feet of another person,” King said.

King told the Daily Tar Heel that a trial of six kiosks will be placed in different schools and areas on campus.

“There will be a sign in 20 feet in front of each kiosk notifying students of its presence, and the kiosk will be placed in areas where students can take alternate routes to avoid them,” King said.

Campus Reform notes that UNC has since decided to shift exclusively to remote learning for the fall semester, so the Kiosk system is presumably technology to be used at a later time, yet another indication that mask mandates and social distancing rules are here to stay.

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