Re: SOC/BIO Re: George Will joins the Bioluddites

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 13:26:18 MST

At 1:32 PM -0500 1/25/01, John Clark wrote:
>Harvey Newstrom <> Wrote:
> > Synthetic organs need to be kept in a sterile, temperature-controlled
> > environment.
>Or a living body, and that's what we were talking about.

OK, but this does not change my answer to your question, "Why would
hiding a few pounds worth of synthetic organs be more difficult....?"
Maintaining live organs is more difficult than storing nonliving

> > More people get high than replace organs. A person can smoke
> > multiple joints per day, but will not replace multiple organs per day.
>And how much would you be willing to pay for one of those synthetic organs
>if you would die without it? I imagine you'd pay every last cent you
>had if needed.

OK, but this does not change my answer to your question, "Why would
the demand for synthetic organs be less than the demand for
marijuana?" There are simply more drug users than organ users. Each
drug user makes more drug transactions per week than an organ user is
likely to make in a year. Sheer volume of the drug trade outweighs
the organ trade.

> >It takes a higher caliber intellect to grow organs.
>So they'd be less likely to get caught.

OK, but this does not change my answer to your question ,"Why would
you find few people... when many thousand take similar risks in the
drug trade?" There are fewer high-caliber people capable of growing
organs than there are lower-caliber people capable of running drugs.
Common criminals, gang members, and unemployed people cannot be
recruited to grow organs as easily as they can be recruited to run

> > Highly skilled people in this field could probably get rich
>with less risky
> > jobs in bioengineering.
>Only if they're selling something consumers value more than their lives.

You seem to assume that medical doctors should be richer than
entertainment providers. The market does not work this way. Movie
stars and football players (and drug dealers) make more money than
surgeons. This is because total demand for movies and football games
(and drugs) outweigh life-saving organ replacements. Although the
individual might value their life more than entertainment, the total
profit margin on entertainment is more than on life-saving organs.

Harvey Newstrom <>

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