Friday Ethics Wars, 9/17/21: More Harvard Craziness, Woolly Mammoth Ethics, And The Importance Of Hiring A Competent Hitman

Death Star2

1. Fair Harvard, you continue to be an embarrassment. This is a candidate to make it into my “why I’m boycotting my reunion” note for the Class book: Giang Nguyen, executive director of Harvard University Health Services, sent a campus-wide memo telling students to follow these rules while eating and socializing in the dining halls. (I learned more eating in the dining halls and in late night snack sessions than I did in my classes):

“Eating and drinking together are a cornerstone of human social interaction, but there are ways to interact that minimize the time spent unmasked and in close proximity,” Nguyen wrote.

Among his requests to students:

  • Follow the “Quick Sip Rule” when drinking. Lower your mask, take a sip, and then promptly cover your mouth and nose. A straw can make this more efficient.
  • Do not linger with your mask down. If you wish to slowly savor a hot beverage, do it away from others.
  • Consume and cover! Consume your meal and immediately mask up when done.
  • Conversation, checking your phone, and other activities should be masked, even when you are in a designated indoor dining area.
  • If you are taking your time between bites (for conversation, for example), put your mask back on.
  • Dine in small parties of 2-to-4 people.
  • Avoid table-hopping.
  • Consider dining consistently with the same small group of people rather than a different group at every meal of the day.
  • Keep your close contacts to a minimum.
  • Limit each interaction to under 15 minutes.
  • Plan events that don’t involve eating, drinking, or removal of masks

My advice to the author of such a “request” were I a student today: “Bite me. Then put your mask on.” Harvard has a 94 percent vaccination rate among its students. As of this week, its test positivity rate is 0.18 percent.

2. Fake Woolly Mammoth ethics. This article managed to go on at great length about how a new company is planning to “de-extinctify” Wooly Mammoths and start new herds in Siberia as if it all made perfect sense. They’ve fooled private investors into giving them $15 million for the project: this is a scam, whether they know it or not. As far as the Times piece goes, it rates an ethics foul for never once mentioning “Jurassic Park.” Come to think of it, the article should have mentioned “The Producers.” Jerry A. Coyne, Ph.D, and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, explains just how absurd the project is:

“What they are doing is making a genetically modified Asian elephant by inserting into its genome a maximum of sixty mammoth genes that they think differentiate the modern species from the extinct one: genes that involve hairiness, cold tolerance, amount of fat, and so on. What they’d get would be a genetic chimera, an almost entirely Asian elephant but one that is hairier, chunkier, and more tolerant of cold. That is NOT a woolly mammoth, nor would it behave like a woolly mammoth, for they’re not inserting behavior genes…Further, a lot of other genes differ between a mammoth and an Asian elephant. What guarantee is there that the inserted mammoth genes would be expressed correctly, or even work at all in concert with the Asian elephant developmental system? But it gets worse. Since you can’t implant a transgenic embryo into an elephant mom (we don’t know how to do that, and we would get just one or two chances), [the group] has this bright idea…’make an artificial mammoth uterus lined with uterine tissue grown from stem cells.’

An artificial mammoth uterus? Seriously? If you think that’s gonna work, I have some land in Florida I’d like to sell you. Of course, if you’re going to breed these things, you’d have to make two of them of opposite sexes. Could they even do that? And beside this, there are all the ethical questions about releasing a large number of chimeric elephants into Siberia. That, itself, is unethical; Lord knows what they’d do to the ecosystem (my view is that, if they even succeeded in creating these things, they’d die off within a generation or so).

Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) couldn’t have said it better himself.

3. Masks are for the little people...Mayor London Breed of San Francisco was videoed unmasked, singing, and dancing with a largely unmasked crowd, inside a jazz club in the Tenderloin this week. Her maskless moments, as the drifters would call them, contradicted what Mayor Breed has been telling San Franciscans throughout the pandemic. A San Francisco Department of public health order, clearly states: “Everyone, including people who are fully vaccinated, must wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings at all times except,” the order continues, “people may remove their well-fitted mask while actively eating or drinking.”

How can the news media and Democrats continue to insult, threaten and disparage citizens who don’t trust the various (and constantly changing) edicts regarding vaccinations and masks when Democratic elected officials (and health officials) have periodically behaved like Breed for a year or more?

4. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that this lawyer will lose his license. South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh arranged for another man to kill him earlier this month so that his son could collect on a $10 million life insurance policy, authorities announced this week. Murdaugh isn’t denying it. He survived the September 4 shooting—boy, it’s so hard to get good hit men these days!–which occurred after the unsolved slayings of his wife and adult son this year, making the ruse plausible. Murdaugh told 911 that he was shot in the head while changing a flat tire. His attorney says that his client had become addicted to opioids after the death of his son and wife and was suffering from depression. Because his insurance policy had a suicide clause, Murdaugh hired a man to kill him during a “fake car breakdown.” The scheme was an “attempt on his part to do something to protect his child,” Murduagh’s attorney explained. Oh! It’s all right, then! The guy’s a hero; after all, it’s only insurance fraud.

5. Welcome to my world! If anyone can explain what this attempted commenter is trying to say and why in response to this post, which for some reason flushed out more idiots than usual, please let me know:

“You have a narrative, obviously you posted about trump and his impeachment, clearly a vendetta against whatever belief you have. Our current President is an absolute piece of shit. If you believe otherwise, I feel for you.”

8 thoughts on “Friday Ethics Wars, 9/17/21: More Harvard Craziness, Woolly Mammoth Ethics, And The Importance Of Hiring A Competent Hitman

  1. 5) It’s a poem:
    Musings of an Idiot
    by Unknown
    You have a narrative, obviously
    you posted about trump and his impeachment,
    clearly a vendetta against whatever belief you have.
    Our current President
    is an absolute piece of shit.
    If you believe otherwise, I feel for you.

  2. The SF mayor, London Breed, is a “she”.

    Maybe this is why the good folks of Boston made the primary choices they did in the mayoral primary.

  3. 4.) Wow, read the linked article and the family is a complete disaster. I thought at first that Mr. Murdaugh was likely involved in the murder of his wife and son, but it turns out the son was involved in a probable drunk boating accident that resulted in the death of a 19-year-old woman, so other scenarios are easy to imagine.

    It is often a curse to be born into the 2nd (and later) generation of a rich and powerful family.

    Note to self: do not hire your drug dealer to shoot you in the head.

  4. My advice to the author of such a “request” were I a student today: “Bite me. Then put your mask on.” Harvard has a 94 percent vaccination rate among its students. As of this week, its test positivity rate is 0.18 percent.

    Brown University shut down in-person schooling even though 98% of the student body are vaccinated. They only capitulated when students complained.

    Truly, institutions that behave as if the vaccines do not work do much more to undermine confidence in the vaccine than Nicky Minaj ever did.

  5. The cloned-mammoth grift gets even better. These scammers have hit on the idea that introducing these hybrid elephants to the Arctic can…wait for it…you know it’s coming…reverse climate change! Of course. That’ll be worth another $5 million in funding at least, maybe even some of it will be tax dollars…

    https://www.kut.org/science/2021-09-15/scientists-say-they-could-bring-back-woolly-mammoths-but-maybe-they-shouldnt

    Personally, I wonder what the environmental impact of 15-ton animals bashing into Arctic oil pipelines and infrastructure will be…

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