Tag Archives: Biojam

Yeah, so about that hiatus…

28 Jan

Alright, here it is.

 

I’d like to apologise, as I have mentioned several times on twitter, for the sheer lack of activity on Biojammer since December.

Scawled notes like this, in which the baby actually represents dudes with robot eyes. Maybe.

Scawled notes like this, in which the baby actually represents dudes with robot eyes. Maybe.

All I can say, really, is that it has been a very busy time, in which researching articles and then translating my fevered scrawlings into legible and coherent prose just hasn’t really been feasible.

Which, I’m aware, sounds like a big ol’ excuse. And perhaps it is, to be honest.  The holiday season was upon us, and then I found myself, all of a sudden, with a whole lot of deadlines looming. I was given some exceedingly kind advice by members of SIBLE to rejig a paper and then try submitting it to a particular journal, who will for now remain nameless (because their submission process and referencing style guide was, to say the least, perplexing). That was a much longer process than it probably warranted, but how great would it be to get published?

I have also, in the last quarter of an hour, finally completed the process for submitting my PhD proposal in totality. Twitterites may have followed this saga over the last few weeks, but that too has been something of a labour, due to a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications.

I smell a sitcom!!

Still it’s done now, and in the lap of the gods. I had a meeting with a professor who was very encouraging, so let’s hope that it all works out and I can convince some rube wonderful organisation blessed with incisive foresight to throw me a grant. There have also been a variety of other projects I’ve been doing work for, some of which you might hear more about here soon; and some of which are moneymaking schemes, because I’m an impoverished wannabe academic and also I always wanted to swim in cash like Scrooge McDuck.

So, in short, it has been frantic times at Biojammer labs, and I sincerely apologise to the few of you who come here for my prattling. I genuinely appreciate every reader, and I always like having a banter about whatever gibberish I’m currently spouting. I’m just putting together something on morality and pharmaceuticals, which as it happens is mildly topical. Biojammer.com: your source for tangentially relevant polemics. Other than the Daily Mail, that is.

New post within the next 24 hours, I promise, and many more to come. I currently no longer have institutional access as the University of Sheffield has finally managed to shake me off its books, so the dense post style may have to change to accommodate my altered research circumstances, but I have one or two ideas I can work on for the moment.

Stay groovy.

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Review: Worst Case Bioethics- George Annas

10 Dec
Thought I’d have a stab at doing a proper academic book review while another over-analytical post gestates. Thing is, I’m skint, so it’s not a new book- instead it is from last year. I should give a disclaimer before you read- I’ve tried to do this properly, for once. That means I’ve boiled out my own opinions of some of Annas’ positions. The man is a rampant bioconservative when it comes to issues such as human enhancement and all the other neat stuff we love at Biojammer, and so obviously that gets my goat. He has, by other people, been called a ‘human racist (which isn’t necessarily perjorative in the same way as plain old ‘racist’, but I’d always argue against it as being wrong for a number of reasons which deserve their own post in the future)- perhaps better labelled as ‘speciesism‘- as he opposes any technology or idea which endangers the primacy of the ‘normal human’, which is a concept I have belittled elsewhere on this site.
 
This being said, he can write rather well, and the book is well worth a read whatever your own views.

George J. Annas, Worst Case Bioethics: Death, Disaster and Public Health, Oxford University Press, 2011, Paperback, 335 pp., £27.50 r.r.p.

WorstCaseBioEthics_591

  In Worst Case Bioethics, George Annas- a respected and well-known professor in health care, human rights and bioethics at Boston University- gives a broad account of the manner in which US public health policy has been and continues to be shaped over time by national responses to doomsday or worst-case scenarios, both real and posited. In doing so he aims to illustrate the manner in which ethically questionable practices and controversial decisions have been excused politically as defences against these often sensationalised eventualities. He also frames his discussion in the context of the American public’s fear of death as a concept, and their apparent unwillingness to accept it as an inexorable eventuality. Continue reading

The Incredible Enhancement-Man?

13 Oct

I love costumed characters with super-powers. I also believe in the potential of human enhancement. There’s a link there…

Superman was evidently intended to be a kind of anti-car terrorist when he debuted.

In the West, most children (admittedly generally male, but let’s leave gender politics out of it) grow up knowing about superheroes. It’s probably been this way since comic books came mainstream, in what, the forties? Superman made his first appearance in ’38, so let’s say a couple of years later his popularity and that of imitators had blossomed. Every kid has been exposed to them since Supes turned up, and it’s fair to say that most children lap it up. Not that it’s just children, either- I know plenty of adults who retain their love for superheroes well into their lives. My father, for instance, adores the Silver Age work even now. He gave me a Marvel annual when I was young which contained what remain some of his favourite stories- the origin of the Hulk, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four, and I know he still reads it.

Continue reading

Stop… biojam!

28 Sep

Welcome to biojammer.com, a blog about bioethics and the future, along with pop culture and vague philosophy. Take a look at the about and author pages to learn more, and follow me on twitter for constant updates about anything that takes my fancy in the world of biotech! I will be posting here as often as I can, and I hope it becomes a firm bookmark in your daily reads!