We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The joy of genetic engineering

We’ve given this blog a “G for Guidance” rating, because it contains material which some libertarians might feel would be unsuitable for younger conservatives.

The blogger bash was great, great fun, but not, in my view, as significant to humanity as a whole as the magic mouthwash story concerning which I blogged on February 21st. (By the way, I omitted to include the link to the Ananova story.)

To recap a little. Tooth decay is caused not by sugar as such, but by bacteria which thrive on sugar and which are also responsible for tooth decay. The magic mouthwash replaces the tooth decaying bacteria with genetically engineered alternative bacteria who beat the crap out of original bacteria and steal all their sugar, but don’t cause tooth decay. They presumably just sit around discussing such things as bacterial nature and the essential sugarness of sugar. Like I said, amazing.

Now okay, I agree, when the historians write up the next thousand years, Samizdata as a whole will obviously loom far larger in their thoughts than the mere detail of exactly when, and exactly by whom, “tooth decay” was abolished. But humans now can surely be forgiven for not quite seeing the larger picture. People now are excited, even some of the Token Normal Women whom Our Great Leader had persuaded by some means or another to attend the Bash. Amazing, said one Normal Woman with whom I shared the magic mouthwash news, echoing my exact word in my first blog. And no less than two e-mails flooded in to OGL on the subject.

Andy Spring emailed thus:

“Something isn’t right here. If the new strain of Streptococcus mutans can take over an entire ecosystem, i.e., my mouth, from the old strain, then it’s all around genetically superior to the old strain. If that’s the case, why hasn’t some natural mutation of the old strain already made this evolutionary improvement? Is it just because the new strain is so genetically ‘distant’ from the old that it couldn’t have arisen from the usual sources of genetic variation (mutation, genetic drift, etc)?”

This is a strange email. Andy Spring (1) expresses doubts about the basic rightness of the universe, (2) asks the question that has caused him to have these doubts, but then (3) answers (2) with what I’m sure must the right answer. Where, Andy Spring, is point (4): “All right, relax everyone, the universe makes sense after all’?”

No matter. Andy Spring has advanced our understanding of the magic mouthwash, and I am grateful to him.

Gene 6-Pack takes the story a significant stage further by asking:

“Would the benevolent bacteria in the mouthwash also be spread by kissing?”

I instinctively feel that the answer to this question must be yes. Welcome to the world of Sexually Transmitted Cures (STCs).

The mouth will not be the only human orifice into which new and magically engineered fluids will be squirted in the years and decades to come. We need only factor in the greediness of state-monopoly doctors and of crypto-statist drug corporations lobbying for the perpetuation of their captive markets (nationalised monopoly not-free-any-more-at-the-point-of-use health “services”), and the general unhappiness of the medical profession about all their patients suddenly not being as ill as they might be, all of which we can confidently rely on, to see that the world is about to become a very different place.

Do you want some magic bugs, to cure whatever ailment ails you? You can either: go to a doctor, wait several months and part with several hundreds or even several thousands of pounds. Or: you can catch your cure from someone who has already acquired it, by obtaining the relevant bodily fluids from that person, perhaps parting with a far smaller sum of money to this person. The more sex you have and the more people you have sex with, and the more sex they had and the more people they had sex with, and so on, the less ill you will be.

The genetic engineers will unleash a General War of good new bugs against bad old bugs, fixing the odds in favour of the good bugs, who will destroy the old bugs and then either just sit about loafing and doing us no harm, or, even better, will buzz about inside us, doing good.

The contribution of non-medical persons to all this will be to create the globally unified fluid battlefield within which the bad old bugs will have no fluidically isolated human bodies in which to hide. An orgy of sexual abandonment in other words.

Parents will encourage their offspring to make-out and sleep around, early and often, if only so as not to interrupt their own wife-swapping parties.

“I don’t want to see you back home before midnight!”

“Remember not to use a condom!”

“From now on, you’re going to go out every night for a month, and with a different boy each night!”

“She seemed like a nice girl. So dump her and have a fling with that nymphomaniac in number 22.”

The ultimate super-bug -the Great White Whale of the genetically-engineered-bugger’s art – will be the all-purpose cure for everything: Acquired Immunity Sufficiency Syndrome, AISS.

At first there will be problems. Gays and Africans will find it much each to get AISS than the straight community, for reasons I’d rather not dwell on. For a few years, gays will be famously healthier than the rest of us – and apparently far more numerous, for the world will become heavily populated with men who are only passing as gay but are secretly straight. No self-respecting girl would dream of having sex with a man who’d never had sex with another man. But in due course, I feel sure, it will be possible to catch the latest version of AISS from a toilet seat.

Comments are closed.