What does gene editing mean for society? How complex is the procedure? What is the likelihood that mistakes will be made in the process? What happens to discarded embryos?
The book you are seeing on your screen may look like a normal book; it is not. It is a conversation in which you are a participant. The book does not offer pat answers to hard questions. In fact, it barely even gives definition to hard questions. Rather, this book presents that stage in which science is most challenging and, arguably, most interesting—the period of identifying just what the problems and issues are. That is why we solicit your help in writing this story—the story of extreme events in social systems.
The participants in this book-writing enterprise are independent thinkers who wish to understand the forces impinging on social systems and the systems’ often dramatic and extreme responses to those forces. Extreme events, the sudden and discontinuous response of social systems to these forces, are what we for shorthand term X-Events. X-events We imagine the reader to be a person who wants to intelligently manage his or her actions and behaviors in the midst of an X-event—in short, to manage an organization in chaos. And not only manage, but be a beneficiary of that event. Explicitly, we understand that there are no simple answers to social questions. But but there is at least a gestalt that can help an individual anticipate and manage X-events. The program outlined here is to build the gestalt by total immersion in the topic—by examining the issues from many perspectives.
Suppose you are a prospective parent. Can you and do you want to affect the properties of your baby. Would you like it to be disease free? How about athletic or intelligent? What is the science? What are the ethics?
The news is full of commentary on gene editing of humans. What is gene editing? How is it different from GMOs and other types of genetic engineering? What are the ethics? How is the course of human evolution being changed?
Touch the country [of New Mexico] and you will never be the same again. — D. H. Lawrence, c. 1917
A slight interlude in the Crescent City.
Hello. My name is Roger Jones and I am coming to you from beautiful downtown Lisbon, Portugal. Last week I met in France with a number of thought leaders from around the world. It was a high-altitude environment, and when I left my head was swimming with new thoughts. I would like to combine…
The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is about 1/50 of what it was in 1850. This is a tremendous drop in the number of children dying. This drop in child deaths led to the greatest social upheaval in history, the demographic transition.