Tag: church

Secret meeting mulls creating plastic humans

1431613943_valeriya-lukyanova-467More than a hundred scientists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs gathered in secret to discuss the radical possibility of creating a synthetic human genome.

According to the New York Times attendees were told to keep a tight lip about what took place, but someone must have dropped a hint to the press.  Synthetic human genome is a big step up from gene editing – it uses chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes. It relies on the custom-designed base pair series and geneticists wouldn’t be bound by the two base pairs produced by nature.

They could, in theory build microbes, animals and humans. So a company could build the right human for the job.

Obviously this is ethically a minefield and the world of science appears to have not really got the hang of how to succeed in getting the public on its side.  It seems to think that if there is a public debate, then religious nutjobs will lean on politicians who will put the lid on the whole thing. However keeping the meeting secret though has created an internet conspiracy stir and reports of the meeting appear to be getting out of hand.

George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard medical school and a key organizer of the proposed project said that the meeting wasn’t really about synthetic human genomes, but rather it was about efforts to improve the ability to synthesize long strands of DNA, which geneticists could use to create all manner of animals, plants and microbes.

Yet the original name of the project was “HGP2: The Human Genome Synthesis Project”. What’s more, an invitation to the meeting clearly stated that the primary goal would be “to synthesise a complete human genome in a cell line within a period of ten years”.

Church said the meeting was secret because his team has submitted a paper to a scientific journal, and they’re not supposed to discuss the idea publicly before publication.

Church does want to build a complete human genome in a cell line within ten years. So far scientists have synthesized a simple bacterial cell.

Churches install face-tracking software

godChurches are installing face tracking software to sort out the sheep from the goats.

More than 24 churches installed a facial-recognition system to monitors which members of the flock have actually shown up for the Sunday sermon. The system is called Churchix and was ironically developed by Israeli software company, Face-six.

It continually scans the CCTV feed and matches congregation members to a pre-existing database of their faces — reportedly with 99 percent accuracy. Basically it means that if the priest meets someone in the street and tells you “I didn’t see you in church on Sunday”, it is because he has an app to tell him that.

Face-Six CEO Moshe Greenshpan told Churchmag said that church events are the church way to interact with its members, and naturally the attendance to those events is very important.

“Event attendance stats help the church to measure the success of each event, see what event types are more popular than others and also track the attendance of specific members.”

That way, church officials can monitor everything from the gender ratios of attendees at specific events to ensure that elderly or infirmed church-members haven’t suddenly stopped coming around.

Needless to say there are a few people who have a problem with this. Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, told the Mirror, “This is a clear example of completely over-the-top use of technology. Churches have managed to note who is in their congregation for hundreds of years without resorting to highly intrusive means.”

True but then they also relied on God rather than technology and he does tend to move in mysterious ways.

Church of England replaces paper with software

And it came to pass in the Land of Britain that the Church, which was founded by Henry VIII so that he didn’t have to keep asking someone else if it was ok to divorce his wife, decided that it was time to get rid of paper.

The CoE has hired Perceptive Software, to come up with some software to streamline the selection process, for candidates applying to join the Ordained Ministry.

The software will replace a tried and test paper based technique which has been around since the 16th century which has so far only had to cope with the inovation of the biro.

The idea is that the CeE’s Ministry Division will replace its paper-based processes with an electronic system, which is then integrated with its new HR and payroll systems.

Now the priests will be able to fill in their forms online and all supplementary information relating to the candidate, will be scanned, collated and securely stored in electronic applicant folders.

The Revd Stephen Ferns who oversees the ordination selection process at the Church of England said that every year the Ministry Division runs around 50 Bishops’ Advisory Panels and asseses 16 candidates at each Panel.

The way things are going, with recruitment slowing, particularly now that some male priests have a problem with working with women, it is really important to get priests processed quickly before they change their minds. 

Christian schools snoop on students

Exclusive Christian schools in Australia have created a storm of biblical proportions by snooping on their students through their facebook accounts.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald swanky schools of the religious right are using internet monitoring companies to read what students are saying on social networking sites.

Stephen Harris, the principal of Northern Beaches Christian School, says it is really important for him to be on the blower to tell parents late at night if their children have posted something ungodly.

He said that his school policy now extends the concept of the school playground to any environment in the social media platform where a student of the school or a teacher is identified by “either name, image or inference”.  In short his powers are omnipotent, just like Jesus.   

After all, if God can see into a student’s heart, soul, and networking account, why shouldn’t the school which has been appointed by God do the same thing. 

So in other words if the school is mentioned by a kid on the web then Harris sees himself still in charge of their lives and can read the law, chapter and verse, at the parents.

While such schools have a belief that God has told them to intervene to save their students from hell, it seems that more Aussie State Schools are starting to believe that they are that important too.

Lila Mularczyk, the deputy president of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council, recently argued that cyber-bullying “connected with school” needed to be treated in the same way as ordinary bullying, no matter when it occurred.

She said that if the out-of-hours harassment is an extension of school relationships or a school event, that is considered part of the school day.

While it is a good thing that schools are doing all these things to prevent cyber bullying, why is it that kids are still topping themselves over good old fashioned “punch in the face” bullying which is rampant. A teacher would not dream of constantly monitoring Gnasher Suggs as he carries out his lunch money racket, but they are interested in looking at what kids say about teachers at home.

Booth said she did not want kids putting things on their social notworking sites that might put them in danger. We guess the danger she means is from the psychopathic PE teacher who might not like the child’s review of their lessons.

Cameron Murphy, the president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said that the monitoring was an ”outrageous invasion” of students’ privacy. He points out that if a kid says something to their mates on a phone at night, a school does not have the right to tap the phone.

Just because it happens to be a social networking site, it shouldn’t be any different,” he said. 

Filesharing could become a new religion

A group of P2P pirates want to get official recognition for filesharing as an official religion.

They have dubbed their “belief” the Missionary Kopimistsamfundet, or Missionary Church of Kopimism, and the central philosophy is that CTRL+C and CTRL+V are sacred symbols.

While the Muslims, Jews and Christians bang on about not stealing as one of their favourite commandments, next to the one about coveting your neighbour’s arse, the Church claims that sharing is everything.

The church has been dreamed up by a 19-year-old philosophy student, Isaac Gerson, who believes that copying and the sharing of information is the most beautiful thing in the world.

To copy and share is a token of appreciation, and a sign that people think you have done something good.

In 2010 the church applied to the authorities to be accepted as an official religion only to be denied on the grounds that its meetings did not constitute ‘worship’. Now the Church is finding out what is required in order to gain official acceptance.

They say that it is normal for various groups around the world to have been persecuted by oppressors. They have since taken refuge in religion with a desire for a peaceful coexistence. “Without threats and harassment,” the church explains.

Communication is sacred. Communication needs to be respected. It is a direct sin to monitor and eavesdrop on people. Absolute secrecy is holy in the Church of Kopimism, the outfit says. Although if it is secret then why are they making statements about it?

The commandments of the church are that reproduction of information and the flow of information is ethically right.

To remix information is a sacred kind of copying and a sign of respect to the originator, they say.

Obviously DRM and other methods of protecting or hiding code is the creation of an evil force. “To appropriate software (to keep source code hidden from others), is comparable to slavery, and should be banned.”

The church use the ‘Kopimi’ logo which is a pyramid with the letter K inside as their official symbol, and hold CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred.

If you want to join all you have to do is agree that everything should be copied and information should be free.

Then you have to magically load the church’s website  so that the ‘kopimi’ logo refreshes (or indeed draw it, or copy it in any way) and you’re in. We accidently became members by opening the site so we hope there is not any punishment on those who fall from the religion.