Could we accidentally bestow human-style awareness into a pig?


Originally published at:


Do it. Wait til they find out about bacon.

Sure Doctor Who hinted something similar in this weekend’s episode…






I promise not to say more! Cross my heart, hope to regenerate.




Do you like intelligent pigs?

Then you’ll love “Beyond Lies the Wub” by Philip K. Dick.

Or, maybe you’ll hate it.


I mean, we’ve accidentally bestowed pig-style awareness on several humans, so why not?


It’s PKD, how could anyone hate it!


Just as an aside @beschizza this is a(nother) classic example of why one or other of the 2 suggestions below is needed.

  • put the poster’s name at the top of the post. When a post starts with “my new book” I’d kind of like to know who is writing what I am about to read. It gives it some context (whether or not I know the author). Am I the only one finding this less than optimal? (Especially as the post contains a lot of “my” and “I”. Who ARE you?)
  • ask your visiting contributors to stick closely to the ‘headline, short summary/teaser, link to click through to full post" format so we don’t have to scroll down many screens’ worth of text to find out who it is, and then scroll back up again to read the post. If they do this then ‘poster’s name at bottom’ is far less of an issue. Again, is it only me?

(Trivial first world problem I know. But hey, feedback is feedback…)


The ending. Some readers might buckle and fail under the weight of the ending.

Note to public: if it’s your first PKD trip, be cautious about your dosage. You might want to start with “Roog” before proceeding to “Beyond Lies the Wub”.

Update: removed link to “Roog” at Wikipedia (because spoilers).



EDIT: forgot link:



The real question is, could it be elected President?


Could we accidentally bestow human-style awareness into a pig?

Jebus! Not another piece about tRump…


It does sound like a fascinating book, but it is sold with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) applied.

I understand that authors do have some difficult decisions to make in this regard, but this has a strong effect on my decision to purchase. On the off chance that others who read this have similar opinions, I thought I’d comment and save a search or two.


I don’t think there’s much to do by accident in the way of giving pigs awareness. Didn’t it probably accidentally arise in a common ancestor of pigs and humans.

I’m honestly pretty baffled by this. What is it that differentiates “human style” and “pig style” awareness right now? I can’t think of any reason to think that pigs don’t experience the same kind of mental theater that we do. They aren’t as smart as us, they aren’t as good at remembering things as we are. But we have every reason to think they have roughly equivalent feelings.




Quick reminder of a reason why designer babies aren’t coming soon: the effects would be mostly random.
We currently know very little about what most genes do and less about the result of their interactions. This goes 100-fold for genes influencing mental abilities. To paraphrase Carl Sagan: it’s highly unlikely to improve a precision machine by making random changes to the plans.