Complexity and Ethics of Gene Editing

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?

Confronting Complexity

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.

Human Gene Manipulation: Screening

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?

What Is Money?

  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…

GLOBAL FERTILITY

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.

A FISH STORY

This video tells a story, a parable rather, about abundance of water and the consequences of abundant water. The setting is Pensacola, Florida. This video is part of the Abundance Project in which citizens are invited to participate in critical thinking to create tools for policy makers.

Finding Lost Children

The very first obstacle that must be overcome to reunite the children with the families is to remove the parents from detention. This can be done with a bond. A bond releases the parents from detention. Once free, they are allowed to seek out their children, which is another set of hurdles.

Mr. Trump and the Global Circus

Just what is the crazy-like-a-fox President-elect of the U.S. up to? His antics would make P.T. Barnum blush with admiration. Mr. Trump has created a spectacle of showmanship on a scale unequaled at any place and at any time in the past. His millions of voters are more Pavlovian than a 50-dog act. And his detractors are as puzzled as they are livid. Let’s step back and take a look at the history leading up to this circus. Perhaps this can provide us with some hint on what to do next, before the lions are released into the cage with us.

The Decline and Fall of Globalization

To understand what happened in the recent US Presidential election, we have to go back to the early 1980s. At that time the overall global social mood shot upward, probably as a consequence of growing international financial integration that tended to undermine the age-old paradigm of “international diversification”. As the social mood became ever more positive, feelings that “everyone is a potential friend” grew stronger and drove events toward increasing interdependence, trade, and cooperation. It’s no accident that the European Union was formed during this period, along with the World Economic Forum in Davos. This story is graphically shown in the diagram below, where we see globalization totally flat until the mid ‘80s, where it exploded until around 2008.