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I'm just had my tooth out on the NHS. A few years ago, I had a… - Sally's Journal
August 8th, 2006
12:38 pm

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From:zebbiejohnson
Date:August 8th, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
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Your scheme would need to distinguish passing from chronic issues. For example, appendicitis requires hospitaliation and stops you working for a bit, but goes away if you apply welfare to it and so I would assume that wouldn't fall into your remit (or at least, not until near the end of the queue). On the other hand, it is a good example of something that you'd prolly die from without society intervening with the appropriate health divisions, far more so than for example being deaf.
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From:atreic
Date:August 8th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
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I think the whole scheme is fundamentally broken. But it's confusing.

For example, imagine if there was a head-exploding gene, and all with the gene would have their heads explode on their 16th birthday, unless a magic plaster was applied to them at some point before then. The magic plaster is, conveniently and hypothetically, incredably cheap to produce (but requires some exciting skills and technology).

So head exploding is a passing issue that requires less than 10p worth of magic plaster to cure. It looks like it shouldn't fall into the remit of mad eugenics. But if we allow all the head exploders to breed, maybe in a few generations time far more people will have the head exploding gene than they "ought" to, in some survival-of-the-fittist sort of sense. And _then_ if society falls and people can no longer make magic plasters, suddenly everyone dies.

Is this a problem?
From:wryelle
Date:August 8th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
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The problem with this is that there is no 'ought to survive' in Dawinism. If the head-exploders succeed in arranging their society in such a way as they are able to breed, then they have, in Dawinian terms, 'won'. They've seen of the competition, by whatever means, and bred. End of.

There's no 'referees perspective' from which you can say what is 'real fitness' and what is somehow 'cheating'!
From:wryelle
Date:August 8th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
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And _then_ if society falls and people can no longer make magic plasters, suddenly everyone dies. Is this a problem?

The head-exploders lost round two then. Never mind. From a purely biological perspective I don't see the problem...
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From:zebbiejohnson
Date:August 8th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
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It is a problem when the few non-head-exploders left crawl out of their bunkers after the war and realise that sadly they have skewed their population to be susceptible to balls-dropping-off-at-age-8 disease, immunity to which was linked to head-exploding tendencies, and now very few people can breed at all.
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From:flats
Date:August 8th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
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It's not a problem, because it's based on IF society fails in some drastic way. Which it quite probably won't. The likelihood is then, if you didn't cure all these exploding-head people even when you could, that the world'd keep on ticking over nicely and many people would be dead for no reason. Not saving their lives is similar to not rescuing someone who's drowning - it's a crime of inaction. Do the right thing now, and let the future take care of itself.

It's also fair to say that medical science will rather soon be able to take people with the head-explodey gene and modify their gametes or whathaveyou so that their offspring won't inherit the gene.
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From:pavanne
Date:August 9th, 2006 07:33 am (UTC)
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I don't share your optimism about society - pretty much every other one has fallen in less than a few thousand years (which is no reason not to be humane today).

The sensible response to such pessimism would be to not breed with someone with the head-explodey gene (assuming one doesn't oneself have it) so that one's descendants would be better suited to a post-magic plaster society. This would make it harder for head-explodey carriers to find mates and act as a form of selective pressure.

Unless they all breed with one another. Dividing into two subspecies is a decent way to preserve diversity.
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