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Saturday, 02 April 2016

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Imagine babies who when they grow up are much more likely to be worried by such things as the official line on climate change because they have been "ethically modified" at a genetic level. What could possibly go wrong?

Eugenics has always been an idea just under the level of acceptable political discourse. I vividly remember being in the audience at Essex University in the late 1970s when Sir Keith Joseph spoke out against allowing people from "certain socio-economic groups" to breed. Compulsory sterilisations. He ended up covered with eggs and flour, and the clip is often shown when modern historians wish to illustrate '70s student radicalism.

Personally, I'm against it. We may carry the "messy inheritance of our ancestors", but they were the guys that hunted mammoths, drained the swamps, and had the common sense to get along with their fellows. The undesirable traits of today might stand us in good stead tomorrow. If qualities that are beneficial are eliminated, I would rather blame God, nature, or blind chance than think that we destroyed ourselves through one almighty exemplification of the law of unintended consequences.

But it will happen. The genie is out of the bottle, and if kids grow up knowing that something is a fait accompli, they will have few scruples about developing its implications. And, of course, money speaks, so some rich bloke in San Diego or wherever is probably streets ahead of the Francis Crick Institute. It would be nice to think that we could adopt a "middle way", eliminating horrendous childhood diseases while leaving the propensities for oddness, bolshiness, sadness, and quirks that make us human. But the rich want their children to be supermen and women, and governments want us to be gullible docile types, so I think we can all see where this is going.

I'm all for it.

And the first gene to be eradicated from the gene pool is the power gene.

You know the type: Takes a pay cut just to get the boss job; incompetent in any competitive environment, so seeks monopoly and licence; claims self sacrifice to cover their tracks "I could've earned much more outside of politics, but chose to serve", etc. etc.

As I've said before, a final solution applied to them doesn't work, because it would take a politician to do it, and they would be unlikely to step into the gas chamber and pull the door to behind them. And so the power gene would still be in the gene pool.

Eugenics would sort it good and proper - or the Libertarian revolution, whichever comes first.

SoD

Also, one observes the strange contradiction in certain people who claim not to be materialists - broadly those saying there is more to life and man than carbon, water, and minerals twisted into form by DNA - as follows: -

If what manifests itself of us in the perceptible, material, "bang your fist on the table and that's real" world is only a fraction of the actual real us, like a tortoise head poking into the "tables" world but knowing there's something much more behind it, what's the matter with tinkering with the bit in the tables world? If the tortoise head is twisted and uncomfortable in the socket, adjust the fucker for God's sake (literally and metaphorically!).

SoD

And finally, here's the only Olympics I'd ever be interested in watching:-

Every drug, surgical enhancement, and eugenics adaption possible is available to all competitors! The sort of "Formula One" Olympics. We'd have to hold the inaugural event at Nuremberg's stadium as a v-sign to the nob who put eugenics onto humanity's backburner for decades.

Imagine watching someone do 100m in 3 seconds! Or jumping over a building (and that's not the pole vaulters!).

SoD

Doctors at least British ones give all the indication that they would welcome with open arms eugenics and gene editing even more. As the latter has less of a moral stigma attached to it. They do not like having to treat people who do not conform too what they consider to be the ideal human being which is a great many of us. We who do not follow their advice on life style or cost them too much I am sure they would be happy to terminate or failing that breed us out.

The former they already practice with their indifferent care for those who do not practice that which they preach. The elderly well there is the Liverpool pathway and leaving them in their beds covered in excrement and not given food or water.

As for the ethical considerations concerning eugenics and gene editing who is to say. Until we practice it we have no idea how beneficial it is or not. If we mess with nature how perilous is it? Nature is for experimentation it does it all the time that is how evolution works. Is it for humans doing the same thing? Only time will tell but even then we cannot be sure because being one of natures experiments and if we fail and destroy ourselves because of it will nature just shrug it's shoulders and move onto other experiments. If we are going to do ourselves in AI will do that before eugenics or gene editing will.

Eugenics was one of the first areas that we as a species decided that we could not have a rational discussion about so anyone who tries is executed immediately and publicly. It is an area like the latest additions, black IQs, muslims and climate change that many discuss although it is one that there is no real answer too. Eugenics was around a long time before Hitler and is still taking place today. look at Darfur for example. We just don't talk about it because it means we have to recognise another of our forbidden subjects.

As a species we have evolved to become the most dominant life form on the planet, now we are in the process of wiping ourselves out because we cannot have rational discussion about things. By developing the tools that allow DNA modification we will inevitably have someone somewhere develop that DNA change that will stop them smoking, or something, for the public good. Then 200 years down the line we will discover that it makes all the men girly men.. Oh, maybe that has been released already then lets say increases the number of females born to 90% rather than roughly 50%. A feminists dream. Until we realise we will all be clones.

Controls need to be put in place and our scientists linked with people that have a minuscule bit of common sense. Sure it is OK to eradicate the gene that causes Parkinsons or something but it is not OK to modify the gene that gives us a hit from nicotine or booze to meet some puritans ideal.

Lord T, as a start point, isn't it up to me if I want to modify my genes or those of my unborn children?

SoD

"intellects of my readers". Lets me off the hook.

Wasn't the search for perfection tried once before and we - the smart ones - did for the neanderthals? That may have been some kind of developmental hiccup because looking around, "smart" really is relative.

SoD:

"as a start point, isn't it up to me if I want to modify my genes or those of my unborn children?"

Not if those with the "power gene" get there first, and they probably will...

What would we end up with?
A blue eyed, asiatic , athletic black who dies abruptly on pension day?
I suppose there will still be male and female.
More likely -it would be some Alxaner the great who personally would eventually decide what you could be.

Lord T,

If those with the "power gene" get there first we can only imagine the incompetent outcomes, as the least capable doer's attempt the most demanding do: Labourers with feeble muscles, scientists with peanut brains, blind watchmakers, porn stars with miniscule genitalia.

Maybe as many genetic engineering basket cases as there were economic engineering basket cases under their stewardship: Steel manufacturing (topical - who said we weren't heading back to the 70's if released from the EU's rules and regs?), coal mining, car manufacturing, gas, electricity, water, telco, health, education.

Since the pols have already had a go - the Nuremberg nob - for all to witness, perhaps the "power gene" peeps have shot their bolt slready, and the phase where humanity says "On this subject, you're off limits - we have the right to choose and do the doing". The "Genetic enlightenment"? To be known in the future as "21st Century geno-Liberalism"?

Viva the Libertarian revolution.

SoD

This conversation is at end 'cos it's giving me a headache! And, SoD, take your meds and go and lie down!

SoD,

Feel free to modify your own genes. I'll not stand in your way but what we usually end up with is people who want to modify your genes to fit their ideals.

That is where the issue is. Gene modification like everything major can be used for good and bad.

I just don't think as a species we are intelligent enough to play with this. You just have to look at how many people are supporting Socialism after all that it has done over the last 100 years.

"You just have to look at how many people are supporting Socialism after all that it has done over the last 100 years."

Very, deeply, true and frightening. Let's list them out (I think we've done this already, but what the heck): -

1. Scotland
2. The North of England
3. The public sector
4. The large corporates feeding off clientalist relations with the pols
5. The green blob
6.London
7. The student blob
8. The labour party (obviously)
9. UKIP / BNP (not so obviously, but then again, didn't someone say if you go far enough right you circle the political globe and join up with the left?)

That's more than 50% of the population. And we are a democracy. So the future's bleak.

And now aside from the reason I've already given for staying in the EU - namely the "bait-and-bleed neutralization of HMG pols and EU pols by maintaining the conflict with each other - we also have another good reason to stay in the EU: -

To be able to get the fuck outta dodge using EU freedom of movement rules and regs when the above history denying loons get their hands on the controls of the HMG train-set.

SoD

Jawohl, Herr Lawrence, keep your country in the EU but go further and join the euro - "you know it makes sense"! Well, it makes sense if you're German as John Redwood reminds us:

"Germany’s large trade surplus with much of the rest of the EU is doing much harm.

Countries in the Euro in deficit have to borrow from Germany. As countries borrow more from Germany so they become more dependent on the German view. Germany says that she will only lend to other countries in the Euro in return for their acceptance of EU/German discipline over budget deficits, public spending and general economic policy. Germany sees her loans as a way of extending control over the policies of the countries that are borrowing. It results in an EU view of benefits, pensions, general public spending, taxation and deficits becoming official policy in the debtor nations."

I keep telling you, it's all a German racket!

http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2016/04/04/the-german-surplus-is-creating-great-tensions-in-the-eu/

As I read this I thought of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Seed

"Space Seed" - my mind just re-boggled! Please don't tell me we will all end up looking like Spock!

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