[LMB] Gene cleaning in real life

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Fri Nov 10 01:18:30 GMT 2017


Myself, if I could have my genes rewired (to eliminate my tendency to gain
weight will-I-nill-I, my vision problems, and whatever genetic tendency
there is toward alcoholism---I'm not one AFAIK but my parents both _were,_
which is why I avoid anything stronger than beer or wine) I'd do it in a
red-hot second.

On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 7:02 PM, Beatrice_Otter <
beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com> wrote:

>
> On Nov 9, 2017 1:24 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Excellent.  I'm a strong advocate of eugenics.
> >
> > Matt G.
>
> Given that there are, as I type this, people putting a lot of money and
> research time into trying to find a way to prevent people like me from ever
> being born, I am a strong advocate AGAINST eugenics.  Are there some
> particular cases where a particular gene has no possible good and lots of
> bad?  Yes.  Are there people who explicitly advocate using the same
> technology to get rid of entire groups of people, whether or not we think
> are lives are particularly tragic or bad?  Absolutely yes.  If the
> technology became commonplace, would parents be pressured to adjust the
> genetics of their children to make them more socially acceptable?  Hell yes.
>
> I am autistic.  Autism Speaks is the largest and most prominent autistic
> advocacy group in the United States.  But they are NOTORIOUS for excluding
> actual autistic people from their policy-making, instead being controlled
> by a group of parents of autistic children who are incredibly toxic.  As
> in, in 2013 they made a video about autism in which one of their top people
> said she fantasized about murdering her autistic daughter, WITH THE
> AUTISTIC DAUGHTER SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HER, and they were surprised that
> people objected.  Because, to them, autism is a HORRIBLE THING THAT STEALS
> CHILDREN AND DESTROYS FAMILIES and so OF COURSE any parent of an autistic
> child would fantasize about killing them.  This is why we need research
> into autism prevention and cure so that no parent will ever have to go
> through what they do!  (Meanwhile, people who actually ARE autistic were
> appalled because imagine the kind of hell that girl's life is, with a
> mother who wants her dead and thinks she should be praised for not
> murdering her yet.)  Anyway, all the money that Autism Speaks gives to
> research these days goes into trying to identify the genes that cause
> autism so that autistic fetuses can be aborted.
>
> For those of you who don't know much about autism, it's a developmental
> disorder that causes the brain to develop very differently from "normal."
> Which causes differences in executive function (i.e. how well our brain
> puts things together, regulates attention, etc.), sensory perception (we
> tend to be hypersensitive to some things and hyposensitive to others, but
> each autistic's set of what bothers us is different), social function (our
> body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions are different from
> other peoples', and we aren't terribly good naturally at interpreting the
> body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions of non-autistic
> people, causing misunderstandings in both directions), and a few other
> areas.
>
> In order to "cure" someone's autism, you would have to completely take
> their brain apart cell by cell and rewire it into a different
> configuration.  And you would have a completely different person when you
> were done.  You would have killed the original person just as surely as a
> clone brain transplant kills the clone.  And most of the world thinks this
> is a good thing.  Most of the world wants us "cured" and cheers on the
> people trying to do it.
>
> There are bits and pieces of my autism that I would tweak or get rid of if
> I could, sure.  But I would fight to the death any attempt to "cure" all of
> it, because it would kill me even if my body was still walking around
> afterwards.
>
> The problem with pro-eugenics arguments is that in my experience they take
> the simplest examples--Tay Sachs, for example--where a condition causes
> extreme amounts of harm and nothing that's even neutral, much less good,
> and where removing that condition would not affect the core of a person at
> all.  And then they say "look at this, isn't it awesome, wouldn't this be
> good for these poor people suffering from this condition, think of all the
> OTHER stuff we could fix!"  And then they advocate that same "solution" for
> cases (such as autism, or deafness) where there ARE positives to the
> condition they want to eradicate, and it WOULD affect the core of who a
> person is.  And THEN they ignore or attack any person who actually HAS that
> condition when they try to point out the problems.
>
> I'm pretty terrified, actually, because we're starting to get to a point
> where we can actually put our money where our mouth is ... and our society
> does not listen to those of us who would be personally affected by it.
>
> By the way, this seems an apropros time to rec my favorite Star Trek
> fanfic.  It's called "Stubborn Mouths: Humans In Translation," and it's by
> Hannah.  http://archiveofourown.org/works/2150601   You may not remember
> this, but late in DS9 it was revealed that Dr. Bashir had had some
> neurological differences and that his parents had had him illegally
> genetically modified to "fix" it.  Stubborn Mouths is about what would have
> happened if the condition was autism, and they were caught before they
> could go through with it, and Dr. Bashir ended up on DS9 anyway.  It's one
> of the best and most nuanced portrayals of autism I've seen in fiction, pro
> or fan.
>
> Beatrice Otter
> --
> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to ravenclaweric at gmail.com
> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold
>


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list