Luciferase is not Satanism in biotech

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I made a video about luciferase. Some conspiracy theorists think they THEY are putting LUCIFER-ase in the vaccines. I think it’s just a misunderstanding of a paper like Schlake et al. (“Developing MRNA-Vaccine Technologies.” RNA Biology 9.11 (2012): 1319–1330. I have been trying to end videos with some kind of call to action, but in this case I’ve been coming up blank. There are people who apparently believe the name luciferase means bioscientists are satanists and are dropping little “hiding-in-plain-sight” hints about it. What can we do about people who are that deep into conspiracy-theory cult-think?

I suppose you could donate to the Satanic Temple just to spite the conspiracy theorists. They are a (mostly?) joke religion that takes a stand against overzealous religious politicians. Sometimes legislatures defy the constitution and put up religious statues in front of government buildings. The Satanic Temple gave a Baphomet statue to stand across from a 10 commandments monument. If the legislature accepts the one and not the other, they are – de facto – establishing a state religion. Hilarious.

I think of them as the canary in the coal mine: if a theocracy really does get rolling, the Satanic Temple people will be stoned to death first, and at that point it’s probably time to leave the country.

But, as fun as they are, it’s probably better to just donate to wikipedia or They are doing what they can on the front lines to combat misinformation.


DeepMind Has Trained an AI to Control Nuclear Fusion
More about fusion! Fusion is one thing that would put a lot of those anxieties to rest. Can we get there? Maybe Google AI can help. Controlling a hot plasma is like trying to corral an angry python made of fire with nothing but a few dozen rubber bands. A robot with some good control software seems like a good thing to have.

When the Rage Came for Me
Quote from the article that boils down the point: “The truckers disgust me because they believe lies and want to force their lies on the rest of the country. They disgust me because they are not playing by the rules and represent a threat to decent, orderly citizens. If I’m being honest, in some part of my Canadian soul they disgust me because they’re making a scene. Ultimately, they disgust me because they are so disgusted, and their anger and loathing have now provoked a mirroring anger and loathing in myself.”

Televangelist Paul Oebel didn’t think COVID was real. COVID disagreed
Hey, you know what makes me feel better? This ‘pastor’ shepherded his flock toward dangerous and stupid antivax beliefs… and then he died of COVID. Faith is important and good. This guy didn’t have it. He had stupid, ugly, self-righteous superstition. I fell sorry for the people he misled. I feel utter contempt for him. May he be unmourned, his memory lost.


Lucifer is not a name for Satan, actually
Go figure. According to this guy. I dunno.

Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs
This is amazing. FoldingIdeas covers NFTs and the implications to our collective understanding of the economy and our places in it. NFTs are in the news a lot. I’m pretty skeptical about crypto in general and NFTs in particular. Things that don’t have intrinsic value (i.e., I can eat them) need to have a really good value proposition for me to care. These things don’t.

An Honest Conversation On The Problem With NFTs & Cryptocurrency, with @Folding Ideas
Continues from the previous, here’s a personal finance take on the phenomena.

Libertarians are making a country for NFTs now | The Cringe Corner ft. Sophie from Mars
More! Hilarious! A deeper dive into the fever dream that is the cryptobro reality.

How Covid Destroyed Time
Oof. The brief discussion of the upstairs neighbor hit home with me. I’ve had loud upstairs neighbors and terrible roommates. Imagine doing creative work from home and having that situation. Sometimes I imagine a utopian community for simple living, access to nature, creative people, and meaningful work. Then I think about living next to bad roommates and I’m like: “yeah, naah.”