Freedom, Survival, and CRISPR

in #lifelast year

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One of my favorite rabble rousers here on Steem posted his daily rant, today 'Crisper-Babies', and my reply grew into this post. @freebornangel is well able to inspire my best ideas and writing, and I feel strongly that this reply he drew out of me really represents my best thoughts on why our freedom and our kid's futures depend on our taking advantage of recent tech advance. It follows below.

"I, personally, am conflicted about letting this technology out into the wild."

The truth is that every human capability has benefits and drawbacks. To point out the ubiquity of this fact I will provide a ludicrous example: every breath every individual draws consumes O2, which decreases the O2 available to us. While this is of utterly negligible impact, it is a negative impact, and proves the principle.

"It's not like the genie will get back in the bottle"

Besides, as you point out, it's in the wild now.

In regards to more relevant human capabilities, such as bearing personal arms, or this example of ability to bioengineer living organisms, including themselves, it is important to recognize that there are also benefits that accompany the drawbacks.

"...better we have folks ready to go in the event of another escape from the biolabs of the world."

You clearly understand that benefit in regards to this human capability, and this reflects your intelligence and breadth of understanding. The essential signature feature of humanity is the ability to solve problems with technological advance, or meet our challenges innovatively. Certainly this is as important today as it has been since the greatest advance in technology was sharpening sticks, chipping rocks, or starting fires.

Insofar as individuals are prevented from adopting the current level of technological advance, they are subject to oppression by persons and entities that do have access to that technology, and today the technology that most empowers people to meet challenges and solve their problems is undoubtedly bioengineering. Little could have more import to people than the control of their genetics.

Presently our societies are very strictly controlled in significant ways by overlords that use their economic power to influence institutions and actors able to deploy force and violence to compel obedience in order to increase, improve, and maintain their power. This oppression is applied variably, and the response of individuals to such pressure is variable, with some people far more willing to comply than others, who may find oppression others find acceptable utterly intolerable.

Across every class and group of society, the degree of control exercised over people is essentially identical to that undertaken during the domestication of livestock, and includes mechanisms for culling the individuals that are less suitable for profitable husbandry, such as executions, imprisonment, and economic deprivation. Unless you believe that people should be cash cows for banksters, this situation is utterly insuperable.

But it's also compulsory. One aspect of domestication is reducing aggression. No farmer wants a bull that attacks farmhands or destroys stalls, and no overlord wants serfs that resist in any way their depredations. In addition to evolutionary force, such as culling to remove those genetics from the herd, institutional controls are also deployed, and these include disarming populations, chemical/pharmaceutical treatment, such as flouride and endocrine disruption, and armed thugs like cops.

Finally, we are heavily trained to submit to our husbandmen. Public education is primarily indoctrination to submit to domestication, and it is often noted that preventing learning is the chief function of public education.

For folks that grasp how these factors reduce our prosperity and felicity, and who consider that unacceptable, those that have less interest or comprehension of these effects are frustrating, to say the least, and those that cause them are highly offensive. Some assert they are evil, and there is research that shows empathy is not the strongest feature of CEOs and other socially powerful individuals, supporting the theories of those that claim psychopaths tend to seize social power.

These circumstances are therefore intolerable to people that want to realize their full potential to enjoy the felicity of expressing their sovereign right to conduct their affairs and live their lives to the fullest, and it is appropriate to consider how to best mitigate, or even end their impact on our lives.

As human beings, using modern technology is our signature human trait, and insofar as our felicity and prosperity is actually utterly dependent on our own acts and competence, it is critical that we recover from our indoctrinations that most of us have suffered in childhood and undertake to become well and functionally educated regarding modern technology. We also need to ensure our kids are not domesticated as were we, but appropriately educated from the outset.

We also need to well understand the institutional controls inflicted on us to prevent our self service, and both implement nominal measures available to us individually, and mutually support and aid our fellows. Clubs and societies that focus on technologies and services that are insufficiently available to serfs, such as self defense, health, investment, and lifestyle tech are one potential mechanism whereby we can mutually prosper.

This particularly includes CRISPR, and today we see that failing to seize our ability to well use this technology renders us vulnerable to nefarious actors that have it. Genocide is a potential consequence of our failure to have the ability to use CRISPR. That consequence is claimed by some to be happening today, as the Kung Flu.

Whether that is the case or not, it is demonstrable that overlords domesticating serfs will not provide suitable education and tooling to enable us to secure our own health. Big pharma wants to keep it's Big profits, and they don't want us to be secure from their oppressions. We not only have a right to be secure, we have the proven need today.

We also have the ability.

The only possible way sovereign people can secure their selves, families, and communities from bioweapons and natural plagues is by controlling their personal biome. That means all the biological inputs that affect our bodies, and the environment, both chemical and physical, that happens in. While most of us see gaining the requisite education to even understand that requirement daunting, or even laughably implausible, we are far more competent that we suspect. Our ancestors killed mammoths with pointy sticks, survived Toba, and every cataclysm in history. That's who we are, and it is only our indoctrination that leads us to doubt our capability.

Additionally, AI has produced the feasibility of automating many processes, and many biotech processes are conceivably rendered far less intellectually complex with appropriate artificial intelligence support. I see today that these technologies are continually being developed, and doubt using CRISPR in 20 years will be harder than using a smart phone today.

Frankly, even if it's hard. Even if it's scary. We need to do this to keep ourselves from being the victims of catastrophic plague, or genocide. History reveals that mass murder is not rare, and often is the price of weakness relative to aggressive and acquisitive institutional power.

This kind of decentralized tech directly reduces institutional power, and increases not only our own individual power to secure our lives, but our fellows as well. It may be scary to consider what the lazy kid that watches tv shows or listens to music we don't like might do with modern tech. It's a lot less scary than what the next Nazis, Bolsheviks, or smallpox might do. If instead of social division on trivial issues we engage with our communities substantively on security and economic mutually beneficial matters, we might find we are damn glad that clever geek that listens to crappy music is whipping up antibodies in his garden shed.

Every capability has benefits and drawbacks to having it, and not having it. The drawback of not having CRISPR is susceptibility to genocide or catastrophic plague, and the drawback of getting CRISPR is trusting our neighbors, and the learning curve. The benefit of not having CRISPR is having more time to serve our overlords, or watch TV. The benefit of having CRISPR is controlling our own security, prosperity, and felicity.

Somewhere in the Old Testament there's a verse along the lines of 'I offer you life or death, for you to choose.' CRISPR is life.

Choose life.

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I have a background in science and have a degree in biotechnology. Since I left school I've mostly worked in immunology labs, but when I was earning the degree I took a course in genetic engineering. One of the procedures we had to successfully perform for the class was to insert a foreign genetic sequence into an E. coli plasmid. It's been a long time since I performed it, but I do remember that I was able to do so successfully on my first attempt. I don't remember all of the details of the procedure today, but I can say that it is not out of the realm of possibility for a person of average intelligence to perform it. It's simply necessary to follow the prescribed recipe exactly. I would compare this to any other procedure I've performed in the laboratory over the years in that it's like baking. In fact, that's one of the slang terms we use for an incubation, "my plate is still cooking, give me a few more minutes and then we'll do lunch."

This analogy to cooking is relevant because it involves all of the same elements. Exact measurements of reagents, temperatures and times yields desired results. Experimentation yields successful "recipes" that must be followed exactly in order to make those results repeatable. People who lack the conscientiousness to do this will notice that they're not very good at baking or laboratory work, since you can't shortcut on any of the steps, you can't do them out of sequence and you can't change the ratios of the ingredients and expect to get a moist and fluffy cake.

Sorry for the ramble here, but it's to illustrate the point that any of these technologies shouldn't be out of reach for a passionate and intelligent layperson to master. I actually think the people who go through schooling are at a disadvantage in certain ways because they're limited by the pace of the classes. I had times that I was overwhelmed with information that I couldn't process quickly enough, and other times when I was bored out of my mind waiting for them to move on.

It took me the whole 4 years to complete my degree, but I remember post-college I got it in my head that I wanted to do more than just wrench on my own cars like I had done out of necessity over the years. I wanted to build a hot rod, and I wanted to do everything myself. I taught myself, in the period of about 6 months, what engineering students spend years mastering. I completely rebuilt the engine that made about 200 horsepower and rev'd to 4500 rpm in stock form and made it into something that made about 350 horsepower and rev'd to almost 8 grand. I manually modified the transmission by reprogramming the valve body circuits and installing heavy duty frictions, along with a higher stall torque converter to be able to launch the car at the appropriate RPM. I re-geared the rear end ratio to accommodate the new power curve of the engine. I even tinkered with the suspension and steering a bit to make that 1960's hunk of junk handle a bit better. Once i got everything dialed in, it ran like that for 40k miles of me beating the living snot out of it before the transmission let go. The engine still ran fine when I got rid of the car.

I never would have developed that skill if I had sought it out in school. I went to school for biotech and I have a professional background in it, but I'm better with the things that I'm self-taught in. At one time I did have a passion for biology and biotech, but schooling killed it for me.

I simply am incapable of tolerating institutionalization sufficiently to cope with formal education. However, I am incurably curious, and just figured out how to learn things I wanted to know. As a result of my personal experience, I am pretty confident that most people are far more competent than they think they are, and reckon their education successfully convinced them learning things sucks.

Your experience seems to confirm this. I feel fortunate that I haven't tainted my love of biology by associating it with institutions. While not everyone is as intolerant of such social control, most folks do find some aspects of it regrettable, and end up associating learning with those negatives. Some are capable of the necessary self reflection to recognize this in themselves, and it is them I hope to encourage to surmount that negative association and persuade to independently learn what is necessary to master modern decentralized means of production, such as CRISPR, 3d printing, and etc.

While not everyone, or even a majority of folks will, those that do are those that will benefit and prosper. For them, that victory over domestication will be meaningful and I believe history shows that whenever bottlenecks happen, it is those best prepared that rebuild what comes after.

Thanks!

I, personally, feel that the greatest hindrance to "education" is the term "you'll never be able" about anything.
The instant those words are uttered, it slams a door shut in a persons mind and future abilities.
So far, I am a fan!!!

3-D Printing, especially, is almost as ground-breaking as the invention of the printing press.

It is, but CRISPR is even moreso, and how those and other tech like mesh networks, AI, and much more will concatenate to create effects and abilities in combination that aren't even foreseeable from considering them in isolation, I think will be a far greater step for mankind.

Is CRISPR a good thing or a bad thing? Sounds kind of dangerous.

Let me give an analogy. Is 10 million tons of gold in your backyard a good thing or bad thing?

It depends on how fast it's moving. If it's just sitting there, you're golden. It it's traveling at 20 m/s you're over.

Tools are the same way. Is a shovel a good thing or bad thing? If you need to move a dog turd, it's just right. If you need to make a canal from Pennsylvania to New York, you're gonna need better tools. CRISPR is a tool. With appropriate knowledge and devices, you can make a change in an organisms DNA, by yourself, on your kitchen table.

Nothing that can conceivably be done could prevent that from remaining true for the rest of time, except exterminating humanity, because this knowledge has become known. Should you personally learn it? Others will. Psychopaths definitely will, so they can do bad things. Bad things will happen, and there's no way to stop them from happening, as we see today in Wuhan.

We cannot prove nCoV is a naturally occurring pathogen, or if it was made by scientists working for psychos in a Canadian BSL-4 lab, stolen by Chinese spies, and accidentally released by the Wuhan BSL-4 lab. If ACE 2 expression governs susceptibility to the virus, then people with the knowledge of CRISPR could conceivably alter their DNA to not express ACE 2 in their lung cells, and protect themselves from the pathogen.

So, is CRISPR dangerous? Sure, but so are shovels. Should we ban it? No. Bad people already have it, and won't obey laws, because they're bad people. Good people will obey laws, and if we ban it they can't use it to protect themselves from bad people. Banning it can only hurt good people.

If Kung Flu was made by bad people, those bad people are the government, either of Canada or China (or covert spies from wherever). Government is probably the worst psychopath that exists, and the theory that Kung Flu is bioengineered is based on that. Banning things is done by government. So, psychos won't obey government bans, and governments are psychos.

The only people we can trust to do good with 10 million tons of gold, shovels, or CRISPR are we good people. We need to learn CRISPR, or we're going to get hurt by psychos who know it already.

I would rather that we not mess with the DNA to the extent we can't totally make it work, similar to the problems you might get with GMOs, etc. I agree with you that prohibitions has created elevated black markets. I don't like white bread to the extent that it extracts things from the bread that should be there. So, I'm ok with CRISPR to the extent that it does not make things worse. If CRISPR can help, then we should utilize it as much as we can.

Your writing is hard to understand, but it seems to point to the dangers of genetic manipulation. I wanted voting to Your writing , but I couldn't have voting power.

I appreciate your comments. They are more beneficial to me than your VP.

I would like to point out that tools are as dangerous as they are useful. I have personally killed rats with a shovel. Shovels are dangerous, and I could kill a person with a shovel. Does that mean I should not have a shovel? No, because I won't kill a person with a shovel unless I need to save people from that person. I do good things with shovels, and without a shovel those good things won't get done.

Genetic manipulation is a tool, like a shovel. We know that psychos already have CRISPR, and this is why there is speculation that Kung Flu came from a Canadian BSL-4 lab and was stolen by Chinese spies and accidentally released in Wuhan, by the BSL-4 lab there. Can you think of any way to keep bad people who we know have BSL-4 labs doing genetic manipulation from keeping that ability?

I can't. But I can think of ways that good people like you and me can use CRISPR to protect themselves from bad people. When bad people have tools that good people don't, terrible things can happen to good people. The current spread of disease in China is only possible because ordinary Chinese people do not know how to use CRISPR to protect themselves from it.

Ordinary, good people need to learn CRISPR immediately to protect themselves from nCoV. If they can't, they are unable to protect themselves with that tool, and they may die. Bad people that know how to use CRISPR want to kill people, so the good people need to protect themselves from the ways bad people will try to kill them.

We need to use CRISPR and no other tool can protect us in the same way.

I think there comes a point where the study of these things becomes an evil. Gene manipulation, in my estimation, is one of these areas. You mentioned in a post not long ago about the sterilization of men. This post regarding the shaping of the cattle is a huge part of the reason why. The labeling of toxic masculinity is the mind shaping to disarm those who would oppose the evils being done here, the chemicals altering our biology simply an attack on this toxicity to the overlords from a new angle. I suspect they have held and used much of this public information for many years before revealing it to us.

I would much rather it not be in the general publics hands, nor in the "masters" hands. Would prefer to see some toxicity like this

"I would much rather it not be in the general publics hands, nor in the "masters" hands."

We don't have that choice. Once a genie is out of the bottle, it's not going back in. CRISPR is in the wild. Every terrorist that wants to manufacture bioweapons already has it. Every overlord they work for already has it, and a team working on it.

The choice we have is whether we use it to defend ourselves or not.

Thanks!

Same thing with the fourth amendment in that governments, corporations, etc, have violated excessive amounts of privacy rights of individuals and some of that has to do with how the Internet works, how the CIA tries to monitor private emails, private messages, online, how groups are always trying to spy on everything in a variety of ways in order to then use it all to their advantage to manipulate the general population in a variety of ways. Privacy is good. But in the world we live in, we also need transparency to counter the violation of privacy which is like a mighty storm stirring our world. Privacy is more hypothetical now than it ever has been in the past like seven thousand years or whatever.

The biggest problem is not of the side effects of misused technology. I love technology. But the biggest problem may include the rise of tech cartels and specifically within the realm of corporatism through plutocracy. That is why we use the decentralization of Steemit, Bit Torrent, Bitcoin, IPFS, etc, to combat the centralization and tyranny and authoritarianism of globalism, etc.

You are exactly correct. By doing two things we can preclude overlords from imposing a technocracy, as they seem to intend. The first is adopting these technologies ourselves, rather than leaving them to institutional control, and the second is to adopt as many of them as we can, to enable us to meet not just this need or that one, but all of them, and render institutional power obsolete, and individual sovereignty supreme.

Freedom is necessary to prosperity, and decentralization is the critical step to freedom we can take today.

Exactly.

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