Council for Responsible Genetics
Tekno benefit for non-patenting of DNA in Melbourne, held 9 March 1999 AD.
Turnout was low but the event generated some publicity, absolutely superb performance theatre on the subject, and represents the start of a long-term process in Melbourne. Posters distributed, including CRG petition letter, approx. 1,500, in addition to many hundred over the last two years. Some funds generated for a newspaper advertisement but there will be delay due to lack of larger numbers attending.
To the Prime Minister of Australia
I the undersigned support the suspension of diplomatic relations with the United States of America and all other countries who patent the DNA of plants, animals and humans, and in particular patent longevity therapies such as telomere therapy.
Signature Name Address Date
To the Prime Minister of Australia
I the undersigned support legislation to prohibit the deliberate killing of animals, including birds, fish, and domesticated animals. Signature Name Address Date
The next benefit will be for Guaranteed Minimum Income (redistribution
of nanotechnological wealth through token amounts of money to all
citizens, escalating in nanoyear (estimated 2020) - see Eric Drexler,
Engines of Creation - nanoyear is the year of self-reproducing
WHY are we taking the two major thrusts of non-patenting of DNA and GMI, and also including the vegetarian issue? Bearing in mind that the CRG letter is being reprinted in full, with no extra commentary?
In fact, we believe even wider and weirder events are forthcoming, however we are separating our understanding of these developements from our assessments of the next 28 years.
Unfortunately since the 1960s America has demonstrated an obsession with money and corporate power and has not promoted democracy outside its own borders nor cared for the bottom fifth of its own population. Reinstituting legal ritual State killing of convicted criminals is seen by the rest of the western world as the action of barbarians. It has therefore demonstrated its moral and ethical decline. It has not come to terms with its own colonial history and racism and has not assisted the starving, despite storing massive amounts of grain for the event of a nuclear war. America has resorted to threatening Europe with trade war to push DNA patenting and it is no coincidence that Britain, which agreed to human patenting in the 1970s, is the focus of many human genome project scientists and "bioethicists". America is therefore unreliable and groups such as the CRG are likely to collapse in the face of apathy and the apparent monetary and legislative clout of the business cartels, many of which are elitist families and individuals masquerading as companies for the purposes of avoiding taxation, for example in countries such as Australia.
INTERACTION WITH NANOTECHNOLOGY
The existence of intra-cellular genetic nanotechnology extrapolated by Eric Drexler is a guarantee of long-term immortality for those who wish to receive it. It heralds the end of evolution in terms of random mutation and natural selection and its replacement by self-directed evolution. It also heralds the end of the concept of species as presently understood. THIS IS WHY THE CONCEPT OF PROHIBITING THE KILLING OF ANIMALS NOW IS A VALUABLE ONE.
POLITICAL DANGERS DURING THE NEXT 28 YEARS
The perceived future emergence of an undemocratic American elite controlling the productive capabilities of a leisure-rich world with nanotechnology and life-extension, an elite which assesses other species as having no rights and future artificial intelligences as having no rights.
POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE TECHNOSPHERE
See: Damien Broderick, The Spike, The Last Mortal Generation
Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation
Frank Tipler, The Physics of Immortality Transhumanist Internet sites, including quantum teleportation and spacetime manipulation possibilities (sites include book listings)
PERSONAL ASSESSMENT OF POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS
We are about to escalate in levels of ability to a point already reached by one third of the worlds containing life currently present within this universe, approximately one and a half billion years after this level was first achieved elsewhere in this universe (figures based on commonly available assessments). Assistance in rectifying any teething problems can therefore be expected from both burgeoning AI and human superintelligences as they develop (see Gaian theory) and also from other more advanced civilizations and groupings within this universe (once quarantine is broken by developing superintelligences).
IN THE MEANTIME
The following political positions will be of assistance in calming the general population (and some can be pushed by relatively cheap newspaper advertisements and street pamphlets):
-Not being distracted by issues of genetic food improvement and related
labelling (which are worthy but are pushed by corporate-controlled mass media to sideline the issue of DNA patenting). (For example, Friends of the Earth have been distracted by this, combined with their tendency towards total opposition to DNA and their lack of understanding of DNA splicing possibilities with adults - even though it is mentioned on South Park, for example.)
-Emphasising freedom of choice and the personal commitment of the CRG to
non-patenting of DNA and provision of longevity therapies (i.e. control of body form) for free or the cheapest possible price while debates occur (it is important to bear in mind that it may within decades be possible to manipulate physical space - in the meantime there is enough space on Earth and in the solar system to cater for all existing life on the planet). Also, there are many extra possibilities relating to more complicated bodily form, for example reversible meshing of two consciousnesses and reverting to childhood. THE CRG WOULD BE WELL ADVISED TO BEGIN HARDCORE DEBATE ON THE ETHICS OF GERON CORPORATION PATENTING TELOMERE THERAPY AND BLATANTLY PLANNING ITS SALE (I.E. EXTRA LIFESPAN) ON WALL STREET. ITS INVESTMENT IS REASONABLY SMALL. It should be borne in mind that under conditions of full nanotechnology in twenty years time and perhaps before such therapies could be designed and manufactured by individuals, including ultimately within their own bodies. SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ON THE PRICING ANTICIPATED BY GERON CORPORATION SHOULD BE SOUGHT.
-Emphasising those who wish to age or to ignore DNA splicing and
therapies or intra-cellular genetic nanotechnology (i.e. 10-100 molecular supercomputers within each cell incorporating memory maps of the genetic structure and capable or repairing or modifying or reverting DNA) can continue to do so. IT IS LEGITIMATE TO BE CONSERVATIVE.
-Emphasising the sanctity of life as a general principle.
-Emphasising the necessity for increased democracy and unified area
votes for serious decisions (e.g. citizen voting for our UN representatives, eventually by population - roughly one third European-descent, one third Asian, one third Indian, plus Africa - and citizen voting the UN Security Council, currently a nuclear weapons club). (I.e. local area rules by flexible unified plebiscites, one vote one being, with optout.)
-Emphasing freedom of expression, including new avenues for
-Investigating the numbers of the extremely wealthy ($250 million and
up), the percentages of total current wealth controlled by them and their exact investment in genetic therapies and allied nanotechnologies.
-Emphasising corporate electoral structures (voting reform) legislation.
(Very pertinent under fullblown nanotech when capital becomes irrelevant.)
-Emphasising priority funding to intensive human healthcare and
increased funding for animal hospitals.
-Emphasising public internet libraries and downloading facillitation
(including via computer paper and Internet books), freeware, giftware and cheapware, mind privacy legislation, freedom of sexual expression and rights to drugs legislation (including rights to genetic therapies).
Please excuse the apparently rambling nature of this letter but we are entering the era of 'Future Shock' including new issues of interactive technologies and bypass of systems development. As individuals we can find new ways to address complex issues forthrightly. For example, when faced with the common position that it is 'not possible' to prevent DNA patenting in Australia, I immediately retort that slavery was banned in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. If they can achieve that in an inequitable and sometimes ferocious world, we can achieve equally praiseworthy moral advances, no matter what temporary setbacks we suffer. We can adjust our perceptions to the new emerging patterns of consciousness and ability. Love and altruism can be the coinage of the future that we can generate.