Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Harrison Bergeron CRISPR Babies

CRISPR babies! Oh no it's Gattaca! Oh no the rich will get a huge leg up! Oh no it is eugenics! These fears are actually horribly misplaced and reflect the poor politics of our time. These fears also completely misread the idea that technology and science is downstream of politics. What is our dominant ideology? Progressivism. How is it implemented? Managerialism. What is its unifying glue or pitch to its disparate factions? Egalitarianism. If CRISPR babies become a reality, one has to map this product or service to the progressive run territory.

This approach does not take into account the Chinese dabbling in this already. One can see the Chinese with their one child policy, recently loosened a bit, pushing parents to toy with their kids to bainsmax, looksmax, heightmax, etc. for their children. Rather than saving up to buy some crappy apartment in Shanghai, they can save up for a more perfect child. The Chinese have a less prog blinkered approach to hunting for the genes that control X or Y, and one can see how they could be more willing to take risks considering their past.

This is about America though and the American obsession with equality. Eugenics is a bad word for humans despite the American focus on breeding horses, dogs, roses, crops and every other artificial selection process to improve for a desired trait in some life form. The fear with eugenics is that the selection by parents will ultimately reveal what traits are desired and found more frequently elsewhere, which will reveal the inequality of nature that progs try so hard to suppress exists. Progs already play into this by stating 'thinness is whiteness' despite the fact that graduation photos from 1980 show plenty of thin black women.

What would be the problem of Gattaca kids? It would set some people up with a genetic benefit that they have to act upon. Look at the rich now. Some of their kids waste talents and gifts. Same could happen with CRISPR babies. What was wrong with Gattaca anyway? They could go to the stars because they had brainiacs that could calculate space trips and physically withstand space travel. Pianists with extra fingers for superior piano playing. It is a great film, and even ahead of its time with the future-vintage aesthetic. The problem was that what, some were given an edge when others were not, and even in the film, they cite how not everyone's designer kid pans out.

The rich could afford this at first. Not just the rich. The rich and those who saved and invested in this option. This market would grow and expand, driving down costs. We all know that with progressives in charge, there would be vouchers or mandatory requirements of designer baby firms to provide for disadvantaged parents. Anyone crying about access only has to look at any technology with early adopters. The poorest of Americans owns smartphones and has access to medical technology they cannot afford. The mandarins of our managerial system would find a way.

One is not even considering the Brahmin approach though to CRISPR kids. These people are born and bred in a victim culture. Everyone seeks their victim badge. Would it not make sense to apply this to CRISPR kids. Start thinking of these kids as the world of Harrison Bergeron would. A good prog parent duo would have a CRISPR kid that would be 6'2", chiseled, blue eyed, dark haired, a 160 IQ but also weekly debilitating migraines. Maybe the perfect daughter is designed, in their mind, smart, light haired, green eyed, .70 waist to hip ratio, but she has Crohn's disease. This is how progs would maimgeld their designer babies to deny privilege.

I cited Harrison Bergeron for a reason because there is a far darker application of CRISPR that would be more in line with the story. Why raise everyone up, when progs can mandate to eliminate every privilege and bring everyone down to a lowest common denominator. Vonnegut's short story had a society that harmed and limited individuals to take away their God given gifts. This is what privilege talk aims at from a financial perspective. In a progs' point of view, which is oddly supported by boots straps conservatives, why not start everyone at crap level and force the ol' A for effort race?

Apply it to genetics. Is this not what the mass immigration and miscegenation aims are for anyway? Meld everyone down into a beige humanity that cannot threaten the ruling oligarchy. There can be no threat to the elite if there is no new rising elite to challenge it. The CRISPR dream is a world of Mozarts, but a dose of cynicism is correct here. What amazing modern tech has reached mass audiences and not been turned into a darker application for more firm elite control?


Anonymous said...

20/20 vision and good teeth would save a person a good amount over a lifetime. Best bang for the buck.

Anonymous said...

But the whole point of progressivism is egalitarian swamp for *everyone else* while the holy white prog lives in a heavenly gated community.

Progs will absolutely max out their genetic modified babies, with no guilt.

Because the way you achieve progressive salvation is not to relinquish your own privilege. It is to force *other people* to relinquish their privilege, while all you have to do is say the right words at cocktail parties.

Progressives don't need to give their daughter Crohn's to avoid being hypocritical. Hypocrisy doesn't matter because Progressivism is not ruled by logic. Its a religion, so its ruled by faith and conformity. Just say the right words, and not only are you forgiven for your privilege, you have earned your privilege. Have as many CRISPR babies as you want, because you're willing to say ghetto dwellers are equal to them if only we give mo' funding for dem programs.

The only people you're allowed to say your CRISPR kids are better than? Why the racists who believe in genetics, of course.

Portlander said...

Top and bottom against the middle.

The really rich can afford their own privatized CRISPR.
The bottom is spared maimgeld on their free CRISPRs because oppression.
The middle has to choose between a state-subsidized, albeit gelded, CRISPR, which they can with considerable sacrifice afford, and nothing at all, which makes them categorically uncompetitive with the top.

August said...

Even among those interested in genetics, I still see resistance to basic ideas. This is based on my experiences in 23&me forums where in a simple thread about neanderthals dna & intelligence got shut down- mostly because I got tired of the idiots who would stop by and say racist. I started making fun of them and the community manager shut the thread down.

The community manager was a woman, who, if she were anywhere near child bearing age, ought to be very interested in who makes a good match. We should be well beyond a world where Steve King's name shows up in the news. Bethrothal ought to come back, since a mom could be figuring this stuff out long before her little ones hit puberty.

But then CRISPR puts engineering on top of genetics. More things to go wrong. Also more things to teach people. And there's a lot of research that sorely needs to be double checked, since a lot of people will check things against a computer model and not actual dna. I think a 30% error rate was mentioned. It is a set up for a spectacularly bad outcome.