Posted by: Barry Bickmore | January 12, 2012

Please, Not the Super-Intelligent Reptiles!

First we find out that global warming will cut into my chocolate, and now we find out that it’s going to produce super-intelligent reptiles.  Can we PLEASE do something about this?


  1. Barry, feel free to remove this comment or post it elsewhere.

    You use wordpress to blog. Even if you didn’t, would you mind looking at this (and generally skimming the website which covers fresh news on this and related fronts) . Wikipedia (and others) are looking into making a statement at some point because of the threat these bills pose to any website that accepts comments from the public (I think they might go offline for a whole day).

    Please feel free to bring this issue up and consider some sort of action if possible. Free speech and Internet blogging are very powerful things to preserve.

    Note, as apparently N Pelosi and D Issa agree SOPA has problems (see snapshot of a tweet here ), one would think Congress will patch things up, but apparently there are a number of different bills that have problems (eg, PIPA) and all the noise that some cause still makes it possible for other bills to be adopted. Many Senators apparently think some of these bills are largely OK and that few people are complaining.

    Some other major supporters have made letters public.

    Legitimate sites should oppose significant threats to online discussions and publishing. I tend to think that when so many sites make noise, the rest of us don’t have to worry, but enough people really dislike key items in these bills and voting by making a statement of some sort in unison is one way to have citizens be more involved in crafting legislation and be heard above the lobbyists and big money.

    To wrap up, I decided to bring this up because apparently wordpress made an exception, and I would hate it if the problem became that not enough “little” people spoke out over something important, especially since the web has made it easy to share such information with others.

    [I respect if you think this will eventually settle itself, eg, once enough trouble is caused after the bills are passed. I tend to think this way if the problems were really that serious. ..and yet… and yet I worry that the large firms survive (and secretly even like these sorts of bills) but the smaller firms and bottom up grassroots efforts will be crippled with many not being the wiser this ever happened. Also, some of what has been written on these topics is outdated as the bills keep being adjusted.]

  2. Turns out reptiles are already smarter than we thought.

    Funnliy enough, when I first read this item a couple of weeks ago, I just focused on the issue of incorrect design of experiments. Never occurred to me to link to warming generally.

  3. We can live and work in environments (with some basic engineering.. like sweaters/jackets/parkas/cave-with-fire) for prolonged periods of time even in air temperatures 37 degrees K below our body temp (of around 37 degrees C). However, going above our body temp even a few degrees very quickly becomes unbearable and the engineering to block out such a high temperature is more costly and comes with a greater risk from possible failure.

    The point is we have more room to give from dropping temperatures than from rising temperatures. Humans aren’t likely to overcome this biological adaptation any time soon.

    [Fortunately, temp in K is 4th root of power flux. Fortunately, the poles would continue to be significantly cooler than the tropics, but it does have much less land for growing crops and holding humans and other species.]

    • There isn’t going to be any more sunlight above the arctic circle in a warmer world, Jose. Since there aren’t many crops that grow in the dark that we eat, even if it were a balmy 15-18C at the poles, we wouldn’t be able to feed people that don’t hibernate for the winter.

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