Re: Biotech-> Bio-TYRANNY ?

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 13:21:41 -0400

At 12:35 AM 6/8/98, David C. Harris wrote:

>Ian, I think you cry "wolf" too quickly.

IAN: As I clearly stated, I posted
a review of what I read and requested
to see counter arguments before making
up my mind. I think it unwise to fail
to cite for review and consideration
any purported threat to liberty. As
is then most often the case, such
claims with respect to technology
turn out to be totally illogical
and thus serve as evidence of the
pro-liberty reality of technology.

Setting a precedent of Govt control
of technology should always be seen
as an explicit threat to liberty, and
most relevant to Extropians, so it's
wise that issues related to this be
raised and carefully considered.

>The granting of a patent does not grant the right to produce something,
>merely the right to prevent others from producing it for 20 years. If
>collectively we ban such a gene's sale, the patent holder has no right to
>sell it.

IAN: But even after 20 years you cannot grow
from dead seeds. It's not that seed companies
owe you seeds that will yield a crop next year,
it's that if such seeds eventually dominate the
market, there could be undesirable repercussions.

It all centers around monopoly. So long as there
are a wide variety of options available, the event
of universal mono-genetic "seed killing" crops and
subsequent dependence upon 1 company is less likely.

This issue does touch upon examples pertaining to
the anarco-libertarian case against patent monopoly.
Also the value of private initiatives to warehouse
seeds of all varieties of crops. If non-TT genes
cannot be wiped out, the market could be there
to bring them back when and if TT turns bad.

The wise "marketeer" might go out and start
building his own seed bank for the future.

>As to such a gene "escaping" into other crops.... If a gene makes a life
>form's descendants LESS likely to reproduce that gene, then the gene tends
>to die out in the evolutionary competition.

IAN: This occurred to me, and as such, that the
gene could be self-eliminating in the gene pool.
But constant cross pollination from neighboring
farms could (?) wreak havoc on farms that rely
upon seeds for next years crop. If true, I'd
define that as a property violation, not un-
like a nuclear power plant being next door.