Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
My life as a Git (github.com)
87 points by gawenr 1850 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 49 comments



I'm concerned about the DNA opensourcing (searching by the preamble, others have published their DNA, too) - it's not computer code, more eyeballs on it won't make it better.

Now cloning from raw DNA data is probably far enough off for now but couldn't the DNA be used to find vulnerabilities, for example, allergies or diseases with a genetic component? What about an insurance company looking at the DNA and denying insurance because of preexisting conditions?


>What about an insurance company looking at the DNA and denying insurance because of preexisting conditions?

Assuming the recent law changes survive coming challenges, such shenanigans will be illegal, at least in the USA.


It's difficult to prove why a decision was made, though, because there are generally lots of excuses. Similarly, hiring employers can't discriminate based on a lot of things, but it's still best to avoid mentioning them because you can't prove why they didn't hire you.


It is already illegal for insurance companies to base coverage decisions on genomic information under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which became law in 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_Information_Nondiscrimi...


I don't follow politics, what are the arguments against allowing insurance companies to make such decisions?


In the United States, the medical industry is allowed to vary prices significantly based on the method of payment, and the cost of buying care without insurance is much higher than the cost of buying care with insurance. This is true unless you can't pay, in which case you will still be treated and the taxpayer will foot the bill under EMTALA.

So the argument goes that, given that the taxpayer is already responsible for unbounded medical expenses for everyone, it would be reasonable to compel everyone to buy prepaid health plans. In order to compel people to buy these, they must be available to everyone, so the government must also prevent insurance companies from refusing to sell prepaid health plans to people who are certain to use them. I use the phrase "prepaid health plan" rather than "insurance," because insurance is purchased to protect against future risk, but a prepaid health plan will cover things that occurred in the past and things that are not risks but certainties.

It's a pretty sound argument as long as you don't ask "Why is the taxpayer responsible for unbounded medical expenses for everyone?"


This is true unless you can't pay, in which case you will still be treated and the taxpayer will foot the bill under EMTALA.

Note that this only works for emergency room care. Emergency rooms don't provide cancer treatment or dental surgery or lots of other things we consider to be medical problems. And even for problems that the ER will treat, they will only get you stable: so, if you have a heart attack, they'll stabilize you, but they won't put in stents or do any of the followup care that a good cardiologist would do in the weeks after your heart attack.


"Why is the taxpayer responsible for unbounded medical expenses for everyone?"

The answer to that is another question: do you want first responders checking to see if you can pay your bills before treating you, when literally moments can make the difference between life and death?


> do you want first responders checking to see if you can pay your bills before treating you, when literally moments can make the difference between life and death?

You know, for some people, the answer to that is "Actions have consequences. If you were more responsible, you wouldn't be in that mess in the first place. Not my problem."


"Actions have consequences. If you were more responsible, you wouldn't be in that mess in the first place. Not my problem."

"Oh, you got old and need medical assistance? Sorry, not my problem."

"You've been shot? Maybe you shouldn't have looked so suspicious to that cop. Not my problem."

"You have cancer from all the pollutants in the air and water that my company produces, but you can't afford health care because we laid you off? Not my problem."


The point isn't (just) that people should get lifesaving treatment even if they can't afford it, it's (also) that people in life-threatening situations can have a hard time proving that they're capable of paying even when they are. For example:

A man's been hit by a car. The driver calls 911. Do you send an ambulance?

An ambulance arrives. The medical team springs into action, and one of their number looks through the stricken man's wallet for proof of insurance. He doesn't find any. Do you discontinue care?

Suppose instead that he finds an insurance card, but it's stained with blood; a reasonable person couldn't use it to tell whether the injured man's insurance was up to date. Do you discontinue care?

A little imagination should supply you with many similar scenarios. One could invent a method of proving insurance (or assets) both quick and powerful enough to address them all (a universal database keyed to DNA, perhaps), but certainly nothing like that exists today.


All of that's correct and I agree with it. My point was that not everyone would, and those are their arguments.


Then those people wont mind if they're denied treatment after irresponsibly allowing themselves to be hit by a drunk driver.


> Actions have consequences.

So, assuming I'm born with genetic defect that escalates into brain tumors, I shouldn't have been conceived since the my genes gave me 15% higher chance of developing spontaneous brain tumors.

That sounds like a wonderful society.

As correct as it sounds (to quantum theorists at least), some consequences, don't have actions, other than "being born" or "happening".


Right. I actually agree with you, but sarcasm doesn't translate well to every reader.


Few people have the skill to translate complex emotions and ideas into words that convey them properly. Next time you might want to try a "sarcasm" tag, otherwise people might assume you're a sociopath and just covering by claiming it's not you who said it . . .


If people are denied health insurance then they are treated as second class in hospitals that know they wont be able to pay for their care and people die. No matter who you are your right to free business practice is second to people's rights to live.


You don't need to clone a whole human being to do serious damage. You could synthesize the necessary chunks of someone's genome and use it to fake a bioassay. Imagine a disgruntled former lover using your genome to fake a paternity test—this kind of thing isn't very far away, and there are already services which let you upload a sequence and have DNA mailed to you.


The degree to which this is possible has been hugely exaggerated. Yes, you can have DNA mailed to you, but not DNA as its packaged in the human genome.

When you order from NEB or Sigma-Aldritch, what you get is a short DNA sequence (usually on the order of hundreds to thousands of basepairs) in a buffer solution. When forensic scientists do DNA preps of cellular samples from a crime scene or for a paternity test, they purify genomic DNA. This is millions of basepairs coiled around storage proteins to form a densely packed material called chromatin. The procedures used to purify chromosomal DNA would wash away any of the much smaller, synthesized fragments of the sort that you can order from a company, meaning that faking a paternity test in this manner is impossible.

Biotechnology is exciting, but not so exciting as University press offices might have us believe :(

Putting your genome online in this manner is more of a concern for insurance than anything else, I think— although as others have pointed out, discriminatory insurance practices based on preexisting conditions will soon be illegal in the U.S. . . . still, better not to take any chances.


Then wouldn't having a paper trail of your genome published on the internet provide reasonable doubt?

Plus, I can't imagine it would be too hard for a disgruntled former lover to get a DNA sequence done with an old toothbrush or comb. Not to mention you have the right to an independent paternity test.


This would be interesting, considering that there is often a window before disgruntled lovers/partners are actually out of the target's life.

How long does DNA "last" on something like a toothbrush?


I'm looking at open-sourcing my DNA at some point. Partially for my own curiosity but also because we are in a time where companies are patenting genes and I'd like to see the open-source community put down a body of prior art.


Did you ever see Gattaca? That great movie, all about eugenetics!


If you fork this repository... do you have to pay child support or get arrested for identity theft?


I was more interested about what sorts of pull requests he might accept.


Only DNA improvements.


"Don't fork with me"


See also: Memacs, doing a similar idea using org-mode in emacs:

http://github.com/novoid/Memacs


Wow, more crazy guys! (inside info: I'm more a MVim guy ;))


nice to see someone from ece on hn :)


That is very cool as a visualization of life milestones! Specially if you go to the "Network" area of the project (https://github.com/Gawen/life/network).


I feel like the I'm the only person who is totally confused by github. Are those little phrases in that graph supposed to be life milestones? They don't make any sense. Aside from this graph, all I'm seeing here is a readme, a resume, and a huge file presumably containing dna. How is this getting attention? I ask this not rhetorically, but I genuinely want to know how to use this/what's going on here.


He has basically modified the dates of each commit so they correspond to the actual date in his life the event occurred.


Another unexpected use of GitHub:

https://github.com/norinori2222/boyfriend_require/


For those not fluent in Japanese, and didn't notice otherwise:

https://github.com/norinori2222/boyfriend_require/blob/maste...


I must be missing something. Why is a versioned source code repository the ideal place for this?


It's not. It's just a novel, somewhat funny use of github.


Exactly :) It's just a hack, some fun.


Are you planning on crawling / parsing the repository to create a time line or something similar?

Seems like an orderly way of storing events, but a royal pain to view.


I don't think so. The point is to hack git <=> to use it in another purpose it had been done, not to build something new upon it. But I'm planning to manage my future blog content based on this repository though.


Github does that for you already. In the network section of the project.


You are like a god, created through spontaneous generation!

https://github.com/Gawen/life/commit/ca14573e9e4e9769b02e3e2...


You've sent the first signal that we are evolving from a facebook generation to a github generation, so from a numerical social generation to a programmable generation.

Thank you !


Call me when Github hits 1 billion users.

I mean, I'm all about creation vs. consumption and quality over quantity, but ... that's ... optimistic of you.


Neat, I did something similar a while back. https://github.com/icco/lifeline


Three friends and I have each did this, about a year ago:

github.com/itdaniher/itdaniher github.com/alxjrvs/alxjrvs github.com/sethwoodworth/sethwoodworth


Really cool :) May I borrow the idea? :)


Sure. Would you be interested in the code which generated this repository ? I'm going to clean it up then push it here https://github.com/Gawen/lifebuilder .


git is a homonym.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: