Re: Genome issues

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 02:04:34 MDT

Hal commented on his observations of Collins in the Rose interview.
Collins, is I believe one of the better people we could have in
his position at this time, since he tries to remain a rational
proponent of the advantages that the information will provide
to the living. It is difficult to critique someone for not having
a 50 or 100 year vision because even on my good days, I find it
difficult to go that far, presumably because of the singularity.

Hal's observations are pretty much correct in terms of the
consequeces of what the technologies and knowledge will bring.
I'm less concerned about issues of "mis-treatment" by insurance
companies due to knowledge of genome information because you
have to place it in the larger context of 'whether or not
it really matters'. For the individuals who understand the issues,
you simply plan to get frozen whether at 40 or 80. I generally
think the people will require the politicians to make misuse of
genetic information 'impossible'. In fact current laws regarding
'handicaps' may already exist to provide legal routes for the
misuse of medical information. It is worth noting that at the
current time, this is primarily a U.S. issue, and not of concern
to individuals on the list who live elsewhere. On balance, of
concern to those individuals, is whether national medical programs
will be as progressive about implementing genetic treatments for
various conditions.

The community of people who recognizes the potential for what is
coming and who openly engages in it is small, perhaps at most a
few thousand people on the planet. We stand now at the forefront
of the education of the masses as efforts like Kurzweil, Joy,
Max & Natasha, and myself in a very limited fashion, as well as
others begin to make the light bulb glow a bit brighter.

The LifeEx Tech seminar this weekend will be interesting because
it will be an intimate meeting where a small group (~15 people)
get to interact on a subject of common interest, where about half
of the people grok the concepts we regularly deal with and about
half of the people are uneducated. I think it will take hundreds
or thousands of such interactions before we get to the stage where
people like Dr. Collins begin to grasp the magnitude of wave that
is about to crash upon us.

Surfs up!

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:14:06 MDT