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Free GE

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Free GE
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post Free GE

Discussion thread for the blog entry "Free GE" by Aught3.

Permalink: http://blog.theleagueofreason.co.uk/science/free-ge/
Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:34 am
doctormoUser avatarPosts: 11Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:18 pmLocation: Boston, MA Gender: Tree

Post Re: Free GE

I can not endorse a system of research that requires technological progress and natural discoveries by locked away by government instituted monopolies. Owning scientific breakthroughs in this method is as worse than institutionalised alchemy, at least alchemical secretes could be rediscovered, patented genetic breakthroughs do not even allow that.

I could not tell for sure where your thoughts lay on the subject of patents, but it didn't sound like you supported open engineering. Seeing no path other than to lock away powerful and useful arts in order to fund the research, I'd rather we just didn't bother and let natural economics take their course and research the use of these subjects in their own time.

While I support genetic engineering, I fully reject patenting of genetic research.

I also reject the creation of non-reproducible seeds, I won't even go into how despicable such commercialism is.
Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:01 pm
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Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Free GE

Well the point of my irritation was more on the hypocrisy of criticising these institutions for not producing commercial research while at the same time doing everything possible to prevent that research from occurring. You can read my misgivings about the patent process in science here, but ultimately I don't know what the solution is at the moment. Even if you just support your research with public money, the funding bodies always want to see a route to commercialisation. I'd prefer to see open research occurring, and applaud it when it happens, I just don't see a way for it to be the norm in science at the moment.

doctormo wrote:I also reject the creation of non-reproducible seeds, I won't even go into how despicable such commercialism is.
Yeah a lot of people objected to the idea of terminator seeds. Tbh, I saw this as even more hypocrisy from the anti-GE crowd. Their main concern was that genes would escape from the GE crops into wild populations. The companies came up with a mechanism to stop that from ever happening, and the protesters add it to the list of things they object to. A similar mechanism was already in place with hybrid crops. The farmers have to go back to the seed companies every year to get more hybrid seed. Yeah it's cynical and corporate but the farmers wouldn't keep buying if these seeds weren't substantially better than the freely available varieties.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:18 pm
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doctormoUser avatarPosts: 11Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:18 pmLocation: Boston, MA Gender: Tree

Post Re: Free GE

Aught3 wrote:I'd prefer to see open research occurring, and applaud it when it happens, I just don't see a way for it to be the norm in science at the moment.


Then prefer free markets over monopolies, research and engineering which builds on generations of researchers before them over privatisation of ideas and methods.

It's short thinking to believe that the research and funding would stop if the exponential profit potential were taken away and replaced by a simple linear model of being paid for what you do. What business is scared of (terrified of sometimes) is that their socially harmful governmental monopolies are taken away and they are then forced to compete on merits as businesses rather than on who has the most lawyers or biggest sack of money or government favour. Modern institutionalised corruption.

If you want a method, think of Linux. An intellectual property, the biggest active project in the world. Scores of companies work and pay billions collectively into a system of research and engineering where all results are guaranteed by it's nature to be open and available to all comers. Including their competition. These companies still invest very large sums and very large teams into the project because it is simply a thing which must be made for their company to thrive and the business can always find some other way of competing effectively.

Fear has made fools of us.

Yeah it's cynical and corporate but the farmers wouldn't keep buying if these seeds weren't substantially better than the freely available varieties.


'freely available varieties', it makes it sound like the commons is a fallow, to be used and then thrown away. One could also argue that the farmers are not educated enough to know the difference between freedom and serfdom by technological proxy and so why should they reject it? Not much is made of self sufficiency or self resiliency in this age; maybe we don't need it, but it's very likely we do and will.
Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:23 am
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