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Possibly if by "come in contact" we mean like ingesting or injecting or something. That's the going theory for how the Kuru epidemic started - consumption of the brain of a person with sporadic (randomly-naturally-occuring) CJD. Fortunately cannibalism isn't too common so this isn't a usual means of transmission. I think if anything less intensive (say, skin or saliva contact) made CJD transmissible, we would know by now. See also brain contact with contaminated materials e.g. iatrogenic CJD, or Alzheimers which I mention briefly in this piece.

it's possible that FFI genes cause the patient's body to create prions,

Yep! That's how it works. Real brutal.

Thank you!

Yeah, I mention one or two studies in the article that have to do with altering the host range. There aren't a lot of prion specialists, of course, but there's been quite a bit of interest in understanding how they work and spread, so there is some weird stuff out there.

Unless the meaning is something akin to "kills within X years of contracting the disease", it can only mean "kills the victim if they don't die of something else first."

The latter is true of every fatal disease, yes? Alzheimer's also has a long fuse til death but people don't recover from it. I'm also told there was a very popular recent television show about a man with terminal cancer who died from other causes.

Wikipedia lists fatal familial insomnia, and two others.

"Infectious" means "transmissible between people". As the name suggests, fatal familial insomnia is a genetic condition. (FFI and the others listed are also prion diseases - the prion just emerges on its own without a source prion and no part of the disease is contagious. This is an interesting trait of prions that could not happen with, say, a disease caused by a virus.)

Scrapie, in sheep, has been known since at least 1732, and isn't thought to spread to humans.

True! I could have talked about scrapie more in this article and didn't for two reasons- 

First, because I looked at some similar transmission tests and it seems to be even less able to convert human PrP. 

Second, because as you mention, it's been around for centuries - if it was going to have spilled over, it probably would have happened by now. CWD, meanwhile, is only a few decades old and has only spread a lot recently- it has more room to explore, so to speak, and some of its possible nearby mutations have never existed around humans before but might now. 

As I say in the piece, I think the risk from CWD is in fact low - but this line of reasoning is why human-disease epidemiologists tend to be more concerned about emerging animal diseases than animal diseases that have been around and stable for ages.

There are a bunch of coffee-tasting substitutes made from roasted grain or other stuff! Coffee beans or anything caffeine-producing don't enter the equation at all (as opposed to decaf coffee which is derived from coffee beans), the roasted plant taste is just similar. Chicory or dandelion roots are pretty well-known plant for this. Inka is another grain brand that's good and easy to make, you do it like instant coffee. I've seen others at large natural/health/hippie food type stores.

I get that we all want understanding in a situation like this but let's not go after people's appearances, cripes. Most people look weird in one way or another and are gonna be fine to sit next to on a bus. Come on.

I don't think there's much crossover. I hope you know that there are lots and lots of incentives for active deception and responding to deception in various parts of the natural world and evolutionary psychology - if you're interested in the workings of and responses to deception, definitely read more about it. Like, the argument you make for females being interested in "people over things" could also explain the reverse - males are incentivized to deceive females, which you can do better the better you model people, right? I think you are observing something real about relevant preferences, but if that's the extent of your understanding, I'd learn more about evolution and alternate explanations e.g. cultural pressure towards taking on emotional labor.

Anyhow, this example is narrow and specific to a human problem. As you say, the concern about AGI is mainly about intelligence significantly past humans, that do not share a basic substrate or set of biological imperatives. Like, even a person who I think might be lying to me can be modeled as fundamentally human - having limited amounts of information, limited physical strength, needing to eat, fearing death, etc. Heck, if I'm looking for a partner and am concerned that the partner is going to try to deceive me to get sex or whatever from me, I'm already aware of the threat!

The current environment you're asking about people's experience in is also pretty damn different from the ancestral environment evolved for - in as far as resource constraints, information ability, and I guess most other things - so I doubt that this example applies much.

Gosh! Thank you, this is an unexpected boon.

Heheh, thanks. Are you talking about AGI?

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