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The Founder of Neuralink Says We Have the Technology to Build a Jurassic Park

Source - Max Hodak, the Neuralink cofounder who recently made headlines for suggesting a religion that incorporates drugs and that his company’s brain-computer interface would revolutionize gaming, is back — and now he’s calling for someone to build a real-world Jurassic Park.

“We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to,” Hodak tweeted on Saturday. “Wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs but [shrugging emoji]. Maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species.” ...

But it’s not all fun and games when you’re playing god and creating new dinosaurs. Hodak later added that de-extinction could be a valuable tool for increasing biodiversity, perhaps because we find ourselves in the midst of an era of mass extinction. 

“Biodiversity (antifragility) is definitely valuable; conservation is important and makes sense,” Hodak tweeted minutes later. “But why do we stop there? Why don’t we more intentionally try to generate novel diversity?” 

For years, conservationists have expressed concerns over resurrecting extinct species — a process called de-extinction — in part because the ecosystems those species lived in, for one reason or another, moved on without them. 

Far be it for any of us to question the wisdom of a guy who wants to bring hallucinogens into my Sunday Mass and can wire my brain into a car stealing psychopath in "Grand Theft Auto," but Max Hodak needs to stop right there. We need to quit this project while we're behind. 

I'm not questioning his motives. They're quite noble, in fact. Biodiversity is an important aim. Every time a species goes extinct, not only does it harm the ecosystem they once inhabited, it has a ripple effect on the balance of nature everywhere. 

Where Hodak is making a mistake is in thinking we'd stop there. We're human beings. Stupid, selfish, hairless monkeys who get bored easily. Does anyone really think that, if we could suddenly learn to de-extinct certain species of animals that we'd just stop at the good ones? That we'd be satisfied with dodos or snail darters or some frog that got wiped out when its swamp was drained to build condos? Maybe we'd start by saving some rare tiger that's dying out at the ends of gold leashes in drug kingpins' mansions or a rhino being killed because its horn can be used to make boner pills. And that would be amazing. But if you think that's as far as we'd go, you've got a lot to learn about human nature. 

Give humankind the chance to play god, and we're going to play god 100 times out of 100. It's only a matter of time before we're bored with bringing back the animals we wiped out and start de-extincting the really cool ones that the actual God crossed off His cosmic list 65 million years ago. "Look, let's just limit ourselves to the cute, harmless ones. Plant eaters like Triceratops and Iguanodon. We'll stick to the ones that are in "Land Before Time." Everyone loves those creatures? Right?"  We'll stick them in game preserves and tourists will pay to see them. And then in a year or so, when we grow bored and ticket sales drop, we'll start in on the big, menacing, dangerous ones that will spin the turnstyles. 

So no sale, Neuralink. If I may... Um, I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here, it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now [bangs on the table] you're selling it, you wanna sell it. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should

Go ahead and start resurrecting these species that were made extinct by us or by nature. But just don't say you haven't been warned. And remember that when The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists.