Tim Tyler writes a dry ironic piece titled «Destroy the Entertainment Industry» (warning: contains 2 tits). I can’t tell if he’s being genuinely serious or not. His arguments canter along at a nice pace, until suddenly he nukes himself in the foot, by suggesting germ-line manipulation as a solution. Specifically, “If humans exhibit variation in their susceptability to entertainment-induced pathologies, maybe a human can be constructed that is less prone to this type of malfunction”.
Of course, I’m not denying that there is a gene for “susceptability to entertainment-induced pathlogies” (pedants: “a gene for X” is used in the same sense as Dawkins uses it in «The Selfish Gene») (true pedants: “susceptability” is incorrectly spelled in the original source); it may even be possible to manipulate the gene or its hosting population. The problem with this argument is that it’s so universally applicable. So universally applicable that it’s useless. Germ-line manipulation now becomes the crucial new tool in solving any public policy problem (or in fact, any problem at all). People blow each other up too much, that’s a problem. How do we solve it? Germ-line manipulation, simply eliminate the gene for “blowing each other up” from the population.
This turns into a rather amusing game, where when anyone poses a problem, you simply reply with your mantra of germ-line manipulation. Let’s see how it’s played:
People abuse the disabled parking spots in public car parks? Germ-line manipulation solves the problem by removing the gene for “being an asshole” from the population. Too much dog poop on the streets? Germ-line manipulation. Too many stupid blog articles? Germ-line manipulation.