[LMB] We've been discussing gene engineering on people...

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Tue Oct 8 00:11:45 BST 2019

If something is valuable, then it should be worth paying for.

_Beyond This Horizon_ had some weird bits but it had a nice take on
eugenics.  Most people were selected/engineered -- I forget if by their
parents, with consultation, or by societal planners.  But the planners
did value diversity and not putting all their eggs in one basket, so
some people were 'wild-type'... and subsidized, to make up for their
greater health problems and other disadvantages.

And some people were experimental... whom I think also got state
supoort, to make up for the greater risk in their lives.

(Granted this book had Social Credit, so I think everyone got subsidized
a la basic income, but the wild-type naturals got more.)

So if parents start engineering left-handedness out of their children
(because even without abusive upbringings, having a different
orientation to common tools has a cost), and government feels something
is being lost... you can ban removing left-handedness, with the
resulting problems of genetic black markets and turning parents into
criminals[1], or you can offer a stipend to parents (and their
children) who choose left-handedness, amount balanced so that you get
some but not too many.

[1] Seriously, say you ban engineering children, but other countries
don't.  Rich parents go take a long vacation and come back pregnant, or
with a baby, are you going to investigate whether the child is
engineered, or if they had a selective abortion?  And if so, then what?
Imprison the parents and put the child in foster care?  That's not good.
Fine the parents?  That amounts to a tax on engineering, which you might
as well just go make explicit, the inverse of the incentive approach
above.  Of course, that will still make engineering the province of rich
families, even more than the cost of the procedure itself...

Or even without going overseas... say a mother gets her fetus analyzed
in one clinic, and then goes to a different one and says she happens to
want an abortion.

India apparently bans finding out the sex of your fetus, but
middle-class parents can just travel abroad for an ultrasound.

-xx- Damien X-)

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