From: Zenarchy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 08 December 1998 07:02
Subject: Re: The Education Function
>From: my inner geek <email@example.com>
>>How do you feel about a genetically engineered labor force?
>I think genetic engineering will probably happen. I think initially the
>impetus of genetic engineering will center on creating exceptional talent,
>high IQ, improved immune systems, increased longevity and the like. All
>aimed at the betterment of the whole human race.
Not at the betterment of individuals? Afterall, at least in the initial stages, hardly anyone will be able to afford genetic treatment.
>But then, naturally, the question will arise, "Who will do the dirty work?"
>This prompts me to recall Bob Black's book _The Abolition of Work_. Rather
>than engineer intellectually challenged workers, I think scientists will
>study ways to eliminate the need for labor.
Have been for hundreds of years. It's made it possible for all sorts of labour that wiould have been too labour intensive before to occur. There is _always_ more to be done.
>Sincerely, I feel very negative about a genetically engineered *labor
>force*. Instead of producing more workers, I think we should eliminate
>If we can't figure out how to eliminate work, then we should genetically
>engineer super-intelligent brains to figure it out for us.
What if they don't want to? We can hardly coerce them, can we?
>Would these super smarties constitute a labor force? No, no... they'd join
>the staff, they'd become part of the faculty, they'd rule rather than
Aren't you against ruling elites?
>I don't object at all to genetic engineering, Ken. But I think we ought to
>do all we can to eliminate the need for a labor force by eliminating labor.
We have already eliminated large chunks of necessary labour. Most work (from what I remember reading) is now done for non-survival ends. How much food did _you_ grow this week?
>With successful genetic engineering the world might raise itself to such a
>level that no one would any longer have the stupid desire to govern others.
Except that if offered the choice between engineering their children to be presidents or engineering their children to be slackers, most parents would want presidents.
>So genetic engineering could help to eliminate government as well as labor.
I hope not.
>Like the man said, "First kill all the lawyers."
>Then I'd feel much better about it, because then genetic engineering
>wouldn't fall into the wrong hands, namely government's. If politicians
>control the direction of genetic engineering, then we'll have robots coming
>out of the labs. If reasonable scientists have control, then we can expect
>sanity to reign.
You obviously know more reasonable scientists than I do. I wouldn't trust more than 2 of the 50 or so I know to run a piss-up in a brewery.