[LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 5 07:02:33 BST 2019

From: Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net>

One fun issue is how good genetic control actually is.  We talk about
"genes for" things, but right now our knowledge is probabilistic at best
for most things, and it's possible that elements of intelligence and
personality come in good part from randomness in how our neurons wire
themselves together.  So you're not buying a child who'll be a brilliant
bisexual musician, but a child who is *more likely* to be brilliant,
bisexual, and a musician... but might be a moderate straight
mathematician.  Hope you didn't pay too much! ...and that you won't take
your disappointment out on the child.

Gwynne: We're assuming this is in the Nexus, when they have a much
better knowledge of genes and their interactions. If this is being applied
to our society, you're very right that, apart from a few well-researched
disorders, we're pretty much flying blind.

I suppose that could even be a reason to ban improvements, if too many
families go toxic when the improvements aren't what they dreamed of.

Gwynne: Again very true. In the abortion debate (we've just changed the
laws in this country, so it's very topical right now) there's a ban on
sex selection, as there is in most countries. And I totally agree with that.
But I wonder about the life of the poor child who is the 'wrong' gender,
and has a pretty miserable childhood because of it. Some parents can
be unpleasant if they dont' get what they want.

Separate issue: with stuff like uterine replicators, you have the power
to interfere directly in development.  Hormone mixes and tweaking parts
of the fetus to grow faster than others and such.

Gwynne: I wonder if they record parents singing, talking and reading
stories to play in the replicator. And play the parents' favourite music,
so that the baby will respond well to those sounds.

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