New Article up at Think+ about Bioethics

I have a new article up at Think+, the portal for a Parisian thinktank about bioethics.
The other contributions are great; too rarely am I in the company of people that are concerned or worried about the use of biotechnology. It’s good to get out of the comfort zone sometimes.

My take away quote:

“I want your self driving car. I mean, I don’t care about your car. I don’t drive. Cars don’t really fit into my worldview for the future. But I like it. It’s cool. I want your car so I can take it apart and build my future. Not yours.”

4 thoughts on “New Article up at Think+ about Bioethics”

  1. you talk a bit about legislation, but there are no pointers to actual laws passed by an arguably uninformed public/lawmakers or stories about “obviously” uninformed legislative pushes…
    the bigger problem is not that i can go find the evidence to support your points, it’s that i can go find the evidence to support any point i want. (cf. the righteous mind by jon haidt)

    1. That’s kind of the point of ethics debates in general, isn’t it? Mostly subjective and socio-cultural based.
      My point is that it won’t matter. Because you will be able to find evidence to support any point you want. At the end of the day though, history teaches us that you can’t legislate people out of doing things. Especially when there is so much ability for progress.

      Also, I just assumed that you follow the smallest amount of say, American politics. If I need to argue that our policy makers are uninformed, or that they’ve gone on record as stating that they are proud of being uninformed, well, that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

    2. I think you guys are on to something great. I my self am slightly night blind I can see enough but really have a hard time seeing when there are no street lights, worse is when I’m out with people who don’t realise how bad my vision is at night and have me drive them home or to a store I’ve never been before. I hate driving at because it’s easy for me to get lost, hit the curb, or even end up off the road. If this leads to getting people like help. I’m for it

  2. i think science gained (and gains) momentum as an attempt to ground ethics (and philosophy in general) debates in something more than subjective socio-cultural perspectives… are you saying “knowledge/facts” at the socio-cultural level are a lot more mutable, so we should be couching the argument in the only data we have, which is the history of trying to legislate science? galileo and canada were good enough examples for sure, but your argument considered none of the counterexamples (controlling nuclear research in certain foreign countries for example)…

    it sounds like your approach to all the ignorant legislation is basically to empower oneself with knowledge (in order to both in-/directly inform legislation and to some extent as an escape from the ignorant legislation), but there’s no cautionary word about how those factions you mentioned might turn against each other and lead to the same issue being decried… which is my understanding of the point of ethical debates: what is the best way to proceed and why?

    i think i’m misunderstanding how your approach solves the issue of ignorant legislation without recreating the same issues for those of us interested in empowering ourselves. you’re saying educate the legislators (at least by normalizing it), but who’s responsible for the curriculum? or put another way, who (which faction) gets to normalize their “biohacking” ideas/agenda, and how can we make that fair?
    the conflict of interest (i.e. power, with all its potential for abuse) has only been passed to the autodidacts (assuming they stand to gain at all via the legislation they inform in the same way that legislators have a conflict of interest in controlling so many resources without being required to undertake other considerations like educating themselves.)

    are you saying it’s atleast more fair that the scientists are fighting over it than the legislators? i think i’d agree if the scientists were forced to undertake similar considerations, i.e. why do we get to allocate these resources as we see fit and them not go to some other group?)

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