Evolution of a Go program

About the development of Moyo Go Studio, software to (help) play the Oriental game of Go. Go is a two-player zero-sum game of perfect information. It is considered much harder than Chess. Currently, in spite of enormous effort expended, no computer program plays it above the level of a beginner.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Ethics" Witchhunts in Comp. Go also in Cloning, Cold Fusion

Hwang Woo-Suk made impressive progress in cloning, something that will make Big Pharma loose Big Money, because when you can cure diseases by injecting the affected organ with cloned stem cells, many cash-cow symptom relievers become obsolete.

Upon the breaking of the news, some corporations and competing scientists launched an all-out attack: They said his research was unethical because one of his colleagues (voluntarily!) donated eggs for the experiments (for which she received proper credit). Nevertheless, that colleague was influenced into doing a 180-degree turn and quit her job in South Korea and returned to her native country, the United States.

Not just spokespeople of Big Pharma and the Religious Right shouted "unethical": Mr. Hwang Woo-Suk's scientific competitors were most vociferous as well. No wonder, with their potential Nobel Prizes - and funding - at stake. Nobody cares that Mr. Hwang Woo-Suk is a veterinarian, and that veterinarians are not instructed on the PC notion that donating an egg for common fame and the progress of science is "unethical".

Meanwhile, press releases of dubious origin, shamelessly promulgated by Western media, spreaded FUD about his research with only flimsy circumstantial evidence of any wrongdoing, let alone that there was anything wrong with the cultures themselves. Hwang Woo-Suk, after allegedly attempting suicide due to being accused of having besmirched the honor of his nation, was recently released from hospital. In spite of thoroughly peer-reviewed publications in Nature and other respected scientific media, allegations of "fabricated results" persist. Meanwhile, independent tests on his cloned puppy "Snuppy" confirmed that indeed he had succeeded to clone the world's hardest-to-clone dog breed.

Not the slightest evidence remains to suggest that he ever fabricated results or acted unethically, but the harm to his reputation has been done. He denied the allegations of fraud, and said his basic research was sound. Dr. Hwang said his research team made 11 patient-specific embryonic stem cells, and that they still have the technology to produce them. Unfortunately, while he was in hospital, they closed his lab and contaminated some of his cultures, making it hard to prove his innocence.

1-0 for Big Pharma, the Established Order and the Powers That Be. However, Hwang Woo-Suk, after release from hospital, vowed to fight back via the courts. Let's hope the Rifkin-Kristol petition won't pass: It would make cloning human cells a criminal offense - punishable by up to 10 years in prison - effectively denying us to modify our body at the genetical or cellular level.

Massive FUD campaigns lauched by multinational corporations or even government institutions are nothing new. Remember the cold fusion "hoax"? For the past two decades, they made us think that cold fusion was a lie and the discoverers (Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons) were publicly disgraced. But nowadays cold fusion has become so reproducable that some US universities hand out cold fusion kits to students, to prove, with a calorimeter, that the phenomenon of cold fusion indeed exists.

Most scientists who discover something important see their work - at least initially - being viciously discredited, and the most interesting bona-fide inventions are getting "exposed" as "hoaxes". Examples that come to mind are the increased half time of Tritium in a Titanium crystal matrix (my theory is that this works similarly as why cold fusion in a metal matrix works, by "conduction" of neutrons from one nucleus to the other) , the ballotechnic material commonly referred to as "Red Mercury" and the discovery that 95% of stomach ulcers are caused by Heliobacter Pylorii. Interesting aside: Due to the taboo on antibiotics in the West, it took ages and courage for this to be discovered. Antibiotics are my favorite interest. Recently, two dozen Norwegians died from Legionaire's Disease. An ID specialist told me that Clarithromycin and Azithromycin are "not used" here. Sadly, those are exactly the most effective against Legionella.. I can go on: Amongst the real experts, there is no more doubt that ME, MS and Fibromyalgia are of bacteriological etiology (spiroplasma / mycoplasma), but the PTB want to hear nothing of it. Of course not, because cheap generic antibiotics work at least as well as costly, patented symptom relievers.