Hi there, this is Tim Cannon from Grindhouse. I just want­ed to weigh in on this issue, and I didn’t want to kind of flood—write a giant dis­ser­ta­tion. So either way, I think when it comes to gene edit­ing and these sort of tech­nolo­gies, and that the bar­ri­er for entry kind of falling out— I think that this is a very good thing. I think that it depends on the con­text that we’re try­ing to imple­ment it. I think that when it comes to med­ical ther­a­pies and stuff, there are plen­ty of reg­u­la­tions there and I think that those are all per­fect­ly fine. And the rig­or­ous process­es that med­i­cine has to go through to be declared safe I think are absolute­ly fine.

That said, I think when you start using this tech­nol­o­gy for enhance­ment, that’s when you start to get into the domain of bio­hack­ing and kind of human aug­men­ta­tion. Well, I believe that this is a very fer­tile ground for peo­ple to explore, and I think that this involves will­ing par­tic­i­pants who are try­ing to find out more about the world around them and try­ing to enhance the human expe­ri­ence. And I think we need to allow that inno­va­tion to take place.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to reg­u­la­tion; I’m not say­ing just let it hap­pen. Some peo­ple in Grindhouse are very much against reg­u­la­tion. I’m not exact­ly against rea­son­able reg­u­la­tion. However, it needs to be under­stood that bio­hack­ing and human aug­men­ta­tion and going above and beyond are dif­fer­ent aca­d­e­m­ic dis­ci­plines, with some over­lap­ping con­cepts and some over­lap­ping toolsets. However they’re not the same thing. And there­fore we need to forge an eth­i­cal code of con­duct so that we can begin to talk about reg­u­la­tion. And we need to come to a con­sen­sus on what the eth­i­cal code of con­duct is in terms of begin­ning to research these ideas and how that research is imple­ment­ed, and how we can use the ben­e­fits of that research in med­i­cine, for exam­ple. Because you have will­ing par­tic­i­pants try­ing to learn more about the expe­ri­ence, but that data can then be applied to medicine.

So I think the hard­est thing to to tack­le is that we need to come to con­sen­sus on the eth­i­cal code of con­duct for the research into human aug­men­ta­tion, and from there we could talk about how to make rea­son­able leg­is­la­tion that doesn’t dis­cour­age inno­va­tion and doesn’t set the bar too high—or bar­ri­er for entry—for inno­va­tion in this sort of thing. I under­stand why that bar­ri­er exists for med­i­cine, but this is not med­i­cine. The things that I do are not med­i­cine. The things that peo­ple that are exper­i­ment­ing with genet­ic tech­nolo­gies, is not nec­es­sar­i­ly medicine.

So we need to kind of come to terms with that and kind of sep­a­rate this research into its own aca­d­e­m­ic dis­ci­pline, and begin to come up with a con­sen­sus for a code of con­duct before we can talk about any of the ways to leg­is­late it. Because if you ban it, it will just hap­pen in back alleys and oth­er coun­tries, and that’s not what we want. That’s not work­ing for the drug war, it won’t work for this. But we also don’t want to gov­ern it under med­i­cine, because that’s too restric­tive and it applies ethics that aren’t nec­es­sary, because you’re not prey­ing on sick or ill peo­ple, and you’re not talk­ing about restorative—quality of life issues don’t real­ly fac­tor in. If I was wor­ried about my qual­i­ty of life, I wouldn’t sew cir­cuits into my skin. People that are mak­ing these sorts of tests are not nec­es­sar­i­ly— That’s not their high­est pri­or­i­ty. Obviously I want a good qual­i­ty of life, but qual­i­ty of life is a much larg­er con­cern in med­i­cine than it is in say bio­hack­ing and human aug­men­ta­tion. So that’s just my two cents.


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