Whatever hubris I posses should not be replaced with a group hubris to be invoked by specialists of all kinds merely because they are specialists. That is incredibly dangerous, speaks more to monopoly than civic virtue and communication, and is particularly vexing where it applies to the law, moral obligations, and how we wish to develop as a society.
I believe the general thrust of your argument here is that you don't trust specialists, and this lack of trust is based largely on your personal objections to the status quo in many areas of modern life such as the law and morality. Is that a fair assessment? If so, that is fair enough. The people of a society must make value judgements collectively about the type of society they want to be. However, those value judgements really should be based on the best available evidence. That evidence is going to need to be generated, usually by someone specializing in that field of study, and interpreted so that society can be reasonably sure that their value judgement will have the intended consequence. Specialists should be an integral part of that process, and the non-specialists should at least have an open mind when discussing these issues with them. My intent is not to denegrate the non-specialist for being interested and wanting a say in how their society evolves. Far from it! My intention is to point out closeminded rhetoric that is divorced from reality so that those willing can better equip themselves to make those decisions.
Incidentally, the common law certainly expects you to interpret it, since the "average" mechanic you just mentioned has to follow it, and the "average" police officer must enforce it, and it's clear that you have a form of hubris in referring to an "average" mechanic
I am not sure what your point is here, or why you keep quoting the word "average". The topic under discussion is, for most observers, a rather esoteric section of patent and contract law. These are complicated issues, arguably more complicated than they need to be, but I don't personally believe that you or I have the necessary understanding to say what the appropriate fixes are. What we ARE qualified to do is to tell the experts (Lawyers and Legislators primarily) what we believe the problem to be, and ask them to suggest ways to address our concerns. However, they should also give us their best approximation of what the ancillary effects of any recommended change will be so that we can try to ensure that the "fix" does not cause more or worse problems.
That we have devolved this to a political and lawyer class who have made a set of ivory towers, is a problem to be fixed, and yet your post appeals to its acceleration, to allow the very laws which govern us to be set by the unjust in pursuit of selfish goals.
I don't know that I made any appeals to accelerate anything, or allow anything of the sort. I made a plea to the uninformed to seek better information before passing (usually vocal) judgement on a complicated issue requiring specialized information to truely understand. I don't think that is an unreasonable request.
The idea that anyone needs to devote their life to a field before being able to reason about it is preposterous - after all, are you not a lawyer specialising in Agricultural Law either. Many fields are subject to some understanding of at least where the issues come from, and even experts can communicate the basis of their thinking.
I never claimed that they needed to, only that they should consult those who had before passing judgment. Agriculture is different from many other professions becuase everyone's life is affected by agriculture, but most don't know anyone directly involved in it. I knew many engineers, construction workers, medical professionals, lawyers, mechanics, and even a few physicist growing up, but I didn't meet my first member of the agriculture profession until I was in college. I know many people who's only direct connection to agriculture is ME. This is very serious disconnect and (I say this with no hyperbole) it breeds misunderstandings that can literally spell the difference between life and death for some people.
Putting experts on a pedestal also ignores where they will fall short - for example, how well versed in statistics are researchers across different fields?
This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Much medical research is conducted by MD's only, with no formal training in research. Formal training which would included several courses in statistical analysis. The solution here would be to require a statistician (a specialist) be involved in the design, analysis and interpretation of all trial data. However, MD's are frequently so ignorant of statistics that they are fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger Delusion, and concluded that a statistician is unnecessary. BTW, this is a good example of why we SHOULD consult specialists.
Specialism does not override the fact that banning seed replanting, and introducing a new patented variant years before the patent expiry can be construed as a wilful attempt to subvert the goal of having patent law in the first place, and that a condition of granting the patent in the first place should have been that a seed bank be made available to the public on its expiry
Monsanto's patent on round-up ready corn expires next year. Gene patents are not subject to the patent-continuation creep of drug patents. The gene is what it is, well characterized, and easily sequenced from any seeds bought on the open market. Even if Monsanto handn't licensed the technology far and wide, taking their patent and developing your own round-up ready seeds would be trivially simple after 30 years on the market.
At the end of 2014 anyone will be able to incorporate their technology for free. I'd argue that this is EXACTLY the scenario that patent law was designed to foster. They developed a truely novel technology, marketed it, made back their investment and subsidized further investment, and now in about a year the technology will enter the public domain for the benefit of all.
Specialism does not override that the formation and maintenance of companies that seek only to intermediate themselves rather than add value year-on-year, is classic rent-seeking behavior.
Here is an example of your own Dunning-Kruger Dilusion. Monsanto DOES add value year-on-year. Ask anyone who buys their seeds. Since Monsanto has licensed glyphosate resistance technology to just about anyone interested, for a fee of course, you don't need Monsanto brand seeds to get that trait. Therefore, Monsanto must make the same annual improvements in other, non-GM traits that producers use to decide which seeds to buy every year.