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 Thoughts on public perception and politics 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
Posts: 195
Location: Sweden
Post Thoughts on public perception and politics
I wrote this on the DIYbio.org board earlier today:

Quote:
Thoughts on public image

I think it's important that you get it right with the politicians from
the start.

I have a feeling that they like most people don't have a clue yet that
this is going on.

I don't think it's possible to stop bioDIY because it is a technology
but they can postpone it's development for a while.

The industrialist Jan Stenbeck once explained the dynamic as "Politics
beat money, but technology beats politics". It's just a matter of
time.

If the development is hindered in one country it will go on somewhere
else. The future Gates, Jobs and Ellisons will emerge there instead.
Momentum is lost.

Not participating doesn't make the risks disappear, it's a global
world. If anything it would just leave a population unprepared should
bad things happen.

That being said I think most people might be too paranoid about those
risks right now.

My 2c

-Splicer

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Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:09 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on public perception and politics
This is something that I have been thinking about for awhile. Excluding some unforeseen safety event (garbage pickup guy gets infected with improperly disposed whatever), I can't really imagine any government interference right now. Biopunk seems pretty fringe to me, which would keep it pretty far off the government's radar for awhile, as they have enough on their plate. I'm curious about the public though. People who aren't comfortable with their neighbor doing experiments with bacteria or who are against genetic engineering. At the same time there is a lot of good things being done with practical applications. I'm being too cynical perhaps. We'll see what the future brings.


Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:57 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Thoughts on public perception and politics
rallodc45 wrote:
This is something that I have been thinking about for awhile. Excluding some unforeseen safety event (garbage pickup guy gets infected with improperly disposed whatever), I can't really imagine any government interference right now. Biopunk seems pretty fringe to me, which would keep it pretty far off the government's radar for awhile, as they have enough on their plate. I'm curious about the public though. People who aren't comfortable with their neighbor doing experiments with bacteria or who are against genetic engineering. At the same time there is a lot of good things being done with practical applications. I'm being too cynical perhaps. We'll see what the future brings.


I think it will probably go something like this:

In the beginning there will be an overreaction from the general public and the authorities. A few more people will get Steve Kurtzed before this initial phase is over. It will be the evil hacker panic of the 80:ies all over again for a short while. Big in the news.

I think there will probably be some form of government control. Maybe registration, maybe some form of drivers license arrangement. Maybe rules for what organisms can be hacked and not. Maybe some classes that have to be taken or test to be passed... "don't eat in your wetlab"... that sort of thing.

The control part is annoying to me, but I have a feeling if the community doesn't accept it, it will be held back a few years. And it's probably a good idea for the community to take a proactive role in this. The same way academia did during the recombinant DNA scare. The community should aim for the control to be as unobtrusive as possible and make it easy and cheap to participate. It doesn't have to be a big deal.

After a few years biohacking won't have harmed anyone and people will be doing it unsupervised anyway.

How does this sound?

- Splicer

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Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:38 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:29 pm
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Location: Austin, TX
Post Re: Thoughts on public perception and politics
Hey,

You may want to consider suggesting to politicians that they promote the proactive strategies that can help us out in the event of any emergency due to genetic engineering, such as biological disasters involving contamination, viruses, and so on. What this means is that we should be teaching people how to track down microbes on their own, how to find ways to defeat diseases, who to talk to and who can help them out when they have their own emergency in their community, or in their own body, etc. There's a decreasing need for information to be promoted by the government on the internet; if politicians want to help out and make sure everything runs smoothly, they best help fix the instrumentation divide.

On fixing the instrumentation divide.

- Bryan


Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:58 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:09 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on public perception and politics
You can see the Pirate Party is a label adopted by political parties in different countries. Pirate parties support civil rights, direct democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, free sharing of knowledge (Open content), information privacy, transparency, and freedom of information. They advocate network neutrality and universal, unrestricted access to the Internet as indispensable conditions to some of this.

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Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:34 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Thoughts on public perception and politics
Biotechnology isn't really on the Pirate Party's radar other than the intellectual property rights of it.

Like Rallodc45 said(a while a go now), the legal roadblocks surrounding biohacking is still a fringe issue.

I do think there is a key difference between biohacking and defunct copyrights in that defunct copyright legislation is getting changed by grassroots(kids) protesting and/or ignoring non functional laws, while saner biotech legislation probably will come top down.

If you want your country to have a competitive biotech industry you need there to be biohackers and garage startups.

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:10 am
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