Friday, August 27, 2004

My very first post

From my mother's home office, upstate New York, when I should be packing to go back to school, here is my very first post. The end of my blog virginity (I think I've gotten to the second base of commenting a few times).

Quick question I've been playing with, just to make this first post worth reading. Is the human mind capable of the changes in scale that technology poses? How do beings trained to live in three dimensional, concrete space, make sense of the webscape, as it renders location less and less meaningful? I'm not convinced we can. All of this inspired by the question of genetic material and bio-prospecting. It seems like local governments should have a right to a portion of the revenue from products earned that are based on genes found locally. But what is the ethical argument that supports that? Especially when, in the case of bacterial bio-prospecting, the environment is not harmed? Trying to find an analogy to this situation is difficult. I see the scale shrinking to the unbelievably small on one instance, and also growing ever larger (out further and further into space), while the inner space becomes ever more complex, with connections growing every which way.

All needs to be fleshed out more, thought on, sat on. Maybe some day when I have the time I'll give it a shot.


Blogger mike said...

I think you would have a hard time correlating genes to a particular geographic location. You're suggesting that some small town in Austria should be paid because Arnold Schwarzenegger was born there though he made all his money, and paid taxes, in the United States.


5:16 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I agree with you. But ask most liberals and their gut reaction seems to be: "Of course (insert third world nation) should collect royalties on commercialized genes from local bacteria!" Seems to me that, given the amount of investment required to derive a product from a source gene, the source itself is of little intrinsic value. Furthermore, it's not as if the company has depleted any resource, since the bacteria still remains in abundant supply, to be studied and used for other purposes. Lastly, bacteria are so omnipresent and adaptable that a bio-prospectors having found a bacteria in one place, even if it's a truly unique, natural place, like a hot spring, does not guarantee that a bacteria elsewhere has not adapted to live in a very similar environment. Anyway. I agree with you. Though Austria might want to start trying to collect royalties on Ahnold, especially if he's donated any sperm.

5:59 PM  
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