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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Monsanto and the Deathly Hallows
So, this is just amazing.

The first part sucks, though it seems like standard evil corporate contract sludge to me. But the second part, where farmers who use Monsanto seed cannot sell their farms to anyone who does not also use Monsanto seed?

Who even thought of that?

That is just straight up demonic lawful evil right there. That is so far beyond the bounds of what a contract to buy a fucking bag of seed should cover I can't even begin to imagine the board meeting involved in that decision. (I often imagine board meetings. In any movie I hate I imagine the pitch meeting. Currently I have been amusing myself by imagining the board meetings that resulted in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. "We need a new Final Fantasy game!" "All right, sure, but what if it had GOOFY in it? And Donald Duck screaming I'll kill you? "Wow, Bob, that's really thinking outside the box!" "But we'd also need to have some kind of disturbing message about how if only people's hearts were filled with nothing but light everything would be FINE, the fuckers. Which is, incidentally, how certain theocracies got started." "Get this man a raise.")

I mean, Wolfram and Hart couldn't come up with this. The board meeting had to be staffed by actual demons. With horns. Saying: "You know, I know we're destroying the entire planet and all, and shitting on the entire human history of agriculture, but I feel like we could stick it to the little guy just a bit more."

"Someone get Beezlebub another cup of coffee. He's really been putting in the hours and I think we all need to take a moment and recognize that."

You really gotta be on top of your shit to pull of that kind of evil. This Bud's for you, Monsanto.

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Monsanto couldn't get away with this sort of thing in a really free market.

But the problem is that -- given that there is so much fear about risks of GMO -- the barrier to entry is very high (since the regulations are so strict, and they are so strict because Congress responds to public fear), so only the biggest corporations can afford to do it; GMO startups tend not to make it. With the Internet, there was an 'era of startups' that was extremely successful. That's how new technologies are SUPPOSED to work. But fear-driven regulation has crushed this for GMO.

This is why the GMO technologies that have so much promise to help the poorer, hungrier countries get stuck in the US under draconian corporate setups like this. (The EU's regulations are even worse, to the point that they barely have GMO at all).

If we stripped away the excessive regulation, Monsanto wouldn't be able to compete. Unfortunately, the general public reaction to the evils of GMO corporations is to call for more regulation -- thus accidentally reinforcing the environment more favorable to big corporations.

As things stand now we won't get that GMO flowering, that 'age of startups', until it comes out of Latin America or maybe India.

As one of the folks who "fear about risks of GMO" I'm not looking forward to it flowering in South America, China, or India. I see the potential of feeding the poor, but I see the reality of destroying the ecosystem, contaminating the source crops, killing pollinators, overuse of pesticides, and depletion of the soil. Unfortunately you're right and it will likely take over in countries that care less about these long term effects than they do about the ability to cheaply grow food today.

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