I remember the BSD daemonette. I guess I don't mind having my balls grabbed as much as you do Bruce.
Having either one of these two clowns as mayor.
OK now you are dismissive AND arrogant. Good work, I am more concerned about you and your field of endeavor than I was when this started.
The fact that genomic research HAS enabled the ability to engineer organisms that can be extremely dangerous, and can potentially be dangerous to only targetted groups is intensely intertwined with all the beneficial advances in the field. You simply can't separate the two and pretend the dark side isn't there.
Genomics is simply a very dangeorus field. Its given an ethically challenged species the ability to play god and tamper with life itself. Its just a matter of time until someone will tamper with it and it wont end well.
"Yes, I singled out rednecks and skinheadsâ¦"
There wasn't even a tinge of humor in it, not sure why you are claiming there was.
You are engaging in the very kind of stereotyping and targeting of groups you've been preaching against and dismissing.Â And to pile on you just added a bunch more groups you hold in contempt and would probably just as soon seen wiped off the face of the earth.
Its the kind of bigotry a well educated, probably liberal, affluent person such as yourself would refuse to accept as bigotry. It doesn't really bother me that you are doing it. It bothers me you don't seem to even realize you are doing it.
" What do *you* think should be done to address the problem(s) that concerns you? What is your contribution?"
Not really sure there is anything that can be done. The genie is already out of the bottle. You can pass laws and try to suppress it which will slow beneficial use and do nothing to hamper malevolent use.
There are already people actively trying to alter organisms in their garage and on kickstarter. I assure you there are nation states like North Korea who have the capacity to do malevolent work. It is also well with in the range of well funded extremist groups.
Probably the best thing I can contribute is the thing I did contribute. Remind everyone that this technology is extremely powerful, if you are going to dwell on the upside you should at least remain aware of the downside. Since you seem to be actively involved in the field your dismissive attitude towards the dangers makes me more concerned, not less.
Your assertion that no one will ever try eugenics again is delusional. There are groups and people who are fully committed to it today, all they need is the power to implement it. Hungary for example is already drifting towards an anti semitic neo nazi state in the heart of Europe. As Greece plunges in to an economic abyss, a fascist state is a highly possible outcome. Genomics would have been a boon to the final solution and breeding a master race.
Claiming your commitment to "wisdom of civilization and culture" while you sling epithets like "redneck" and "skinhead" doesn't put you or your cause in a positive light. Labeling people as "rednecks" indicates you have a tendency to stereotype people the same way eugenicists do.
"A. Are you saying just because a technology can be used for harm it should be abandoned or suppressed?"
Actually, no I didn't say anything remotely resembling that. I think I pointed out if you are going to tote up the upside you should probably at least keep it in your mind there is a down side to most technologies. Their cost can be extremely steep, especially when you whistle past the grave yard and ignore them.
Fossil fuels for example have been a boon to the energy input equation driving civilization, as long as they don't start a run away greenhouse effect and wipe out life as we know it.
You seem to be a poster child for "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
"Just because the technology makes it more feasible doesn't mean we are reckless enough to flirt with it again"
Keep telling yourself that, and hope you have good genes.
"this stuff is not so easy to do accidentally"
Yea, its so tough there are DIY home geneticists "using the Synthetic Biology Parts Registry to engineer yogurt bacteria to produce prozac"
Its a little one side to think genomics will be all upside. The flip side...
A. What will be the costs if someone designs genetically targetted weapons, i.e. biological weapons that only target certain races or even individual people. I read an article a while back that the Secret Service strives to minimize access to the President's DNA, for example skin cells left in sheets, to prevent someone from targetting his genome with a biological weapon.
B. What will the cost be when people or nation states try to genetically engineer for superior intelligence, strength and speed to create an actual master race. It might be a win for them if they succeed, not so much for everyone else.
C. What will the cost be if eugenics returns and people who are considered genetically inferior are sterilized and their genome is wiped out. Reference B.
D. What will be the cost be when someone tries to genetical engineer a virus, bacteria, plant or animal, it goes horribly wrong and results in a global threat.
Go through old books and papers - stuff going back to the victorian era is well represented.
Find the animal/plant that interests you and cut out the photos and grab test and curate them properly into the web.
That stuff could very easily go away. A lot of it already has.
I wouldn't pay much attention to copyright either. There's no point in protection of information that goes extinct.
Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine