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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

The Future Is Last Week

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

The Future Is Last Week

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Every time I hear someone go, "Man was not meant to play God," I get this incredible urge to smack them in the face until their teeth shake loose. Who says? What the hell is playing God anyway? As miusheri put it- do planes count? After all, if we were meant to fly, wouldn't we have wings?

Now, this is an adjustment period whenever a technology is in an nacsent state. Look at the twentieth century and the fascination with robots taking over the world. A scenario that will never happen, yet so common to fiction. Now, the new one is genes.

I have a lot of problems with the GMO business model. Applying DRM to downloaded MP3s is bad, but applying the same thinking to food smacks of insanity. Big kickers, like you can't replant the seeds because you don't have permission from the company. Or other great things, like the monoculture- almost all of the GMO seed crops are a handful of genetic strains, leaving our food supply wide open to plague, environmental extremes, and things along this lines.

However, there is nothing wrong with genetic experimentation and improvement with foodstuffs- particularly this one, made more controversial because human DNA is involved. Liver DNA specifically, which means that this rice will be capable of filtering out pesticides, herbicides and pollutants. Cool stuff. Brilliant tactic. The only thing that I would add to that is sterilization- not because the company won't be able to profit off of future seeds, so we have to lock the buyers in to new seeds every year, like they do in that aforementioned business model from hell. No, we have to sterilize it because imagine what happens when these genes hit the regular population?

Superweed. It could be an environmental calamity on par with Cane Toads in Australia and Domestic Cats in the US. (In truth- both of these are actually fairly serious environmental issues)
  • Sterility... Right.

    To quote possibly the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century:

    "Life, will uhh, find a way"
    • Actually, there's a pretty long history of successful sterilization in GMO crops. The companies have every motivation to make it happen- if the crops are sterile, they don't produce viable seed, which means farmers have to buy more seed next year.

      Nothing is impossible when people are greedy enough.

      Besides- in Jurrasic Park, it was a plot device born out of bad science.
  • That's pretty much a summary of what I think too. :)
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