Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace

All the data we can gather about a person can be used to create a map on the progression of debilitating diseases. 

How do we get genes to mutate for a positive benefit? How do we use machines to splice proteins and work on genetics? How can we improve our quality of life by removing the things that debilitate us, at the source code level?

While we don’t have the answers to these questions just yet, we do have the data and resources to start searching now. We need to create a world where genetic engineering is a possibility for the people who need it the most. Unfortunately, our data isn’t being utilized for these pursuits.

Stop Putting Profits Before Life

Your healthcare data is priceless and the fact that other companies are making you pay to submit it is absurd.

Imagine what you can do with your genome data if it’s in the right hands. Instead of being used for a one-time service, your personal information can be a part of research trials for the cure to cancer. 

Aside from that, these companies are taking your money and your data, turning around, and using it for their own profit. For example, you pay $99 or $149, whatever the amount is, to get a DNA swab done. Those companies are turning around and using your data to generate 6-digit, or even 7-digit profits.

In our current economic system, we’re letting the bigwigs get away with putting profit before people. And it’s time that we change how it works, while it’s not too late.

Make Data More Accessible

Even when scientists do make progress in the medical field, the effects are not always felt immediately. This is because we may not have adjusted our social infrastructures to accommodate these new technologies. 

One example is crime and justice from the 1980s to the 1990s. Since all the information on a certain location’s serial killers and murders existed in data silos, these criminals were free to just skip town once they started getting attention.

Data shouldn’t be someone else’s cash cow. It’s a reflection of who we are—our habits, preferences, and individual history.

Conclusion

TARTLE was created to allow people to share their data and earn from their hard work. You are free to choose how much information you put up for sale, and who gets to buy them from you. At every step of the process, you are in charge.

This is a stark difference from what you experience from big tech and genetics companies. We bet you never knew you could earn from the data you were giving them. It’s time to change how things operate.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

What possibilities can we explore in a world where everyone can get direct access to the technologies they need to go beyond? What if you could access a whole new dimension of analysis for your business?

In this episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby discuss how TARTLE’s API can benefit organizations, especially startups, all over the world.

Free, Accessible, and Flexible API

Alexander McCaig makes it very clear in the podcast: TARTLE has worked hard to create a public-facing API. The document is available for anybody who becomes a buyer on TARTLE; once they’ve signed up and had their accounts verified, they can come in and connect their servers to ours.

No paywall. No fuss. Just this chance to supercharge your startup.

This is an opportunity for people to enhance their work—regardless of whether it’s a product, service, or app—by having those direct conversations with TARTLE’s servers. It’s designed to be developer-friendly, and to encourage you to be creative. We give you the opportunity to get direct feedback into your target market.

So How Do You Get Started?

The first step is to head over to our website and sign up as a buyer. After that, you can take a look at our API documentation. It’s short and sweet, composed of only seven to 10 lines of code.

After that, you can pull it into your staging servers and run tests on the data you can pull down, to make sure it works.

You can contact us to obtain your API credentials for production and we’ll get back to you as fast as possible. Regardless of whether you are a startup in the United States or anywhere else around the world, TARTLE wants to empower you. We want you to supercharge your data sets, algorithms, and products and services through our API.

What makes us different is this: we do not charge you for calling on the API. Our platform is completely free. In status quo, other businesses would charge you for every single time you access the API. To make matters worse, everything is on a contract basis—so it’s all out of control.

The New Normal, and More

Remote work? Flexible working hours? These new trends aren’t just a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic (although it’s definitely helped companies adopt these practices faster). Even before these practices became widespread, companies have expressed interest in changing. In putting people first before profits. And they need technology that can do the same thing.

We are driven to do better and be better for the next generation. We’ve seen one too many tech companies growing into big, amalgamous entities that just grab whatever data they can get from people, using it without getting any clear consent from the data source, and definitely not compensating everybody for its use.

We are all consumers, participating in a system that should also work for us. TARTLE is built to make this possibility a reality.

Closing Thoughts

The TARTLE buyer API will allow for powerful new features for buyers to request and collect data.  Providing a free and easy to use API empowers data buyers to build on top of the TARTLE platform, which in turn improves liquidity for data sellers.  

Developer-focused tools for buyers represent a mature evolution of TARTLE toward a fair and equitable meeting place for exchange of personal data.  It is our goal to place the tools into the hands of data buyers to create things beyond our own imagination, and we look forward to the interesting uses which will be built on top of our platform.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

What is the main reason you decided to invest in a smartphone or a laptop?

For many of us, it’s the utility and convenience that comes with being able to connect with multiple people in just a few taps that seals the deal for us. For others, it's a hobby to follow the latest tech developments and invest in new releases.

Regardless of why you choose to invest in new gadgets, technology has definitely enhanced our quality of living and made it easier to network. But we question: at what cost?

Covert Surveillance and Data Collection

In this episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby use an analogy of a gold bar to drive their point home. 

Let’s say that you’ve been storing one for years. You saved up for it and you know that it’s yours, it’s a property that you’ve worked hard to obtain. But what if someone just grabs it and claims it as theirs?

This is what big tech does to you every day. Big data has become the automation of oppression.

We are being farmed for our information, which in turn is being analyzed and used for a variety of purposes. For example, we give social media companies the power to control our perspective of the world when they have the data to refine the algorithms used in deciding top posts in our feed. 

We give away our location, consumer preferences, and contact details, and connections without understanding the full impact of our inaction. It’s not just a lost opportunity to profit off of what is rightfully ours. It is an infringement on our basic human rights and freedom.

Bring Back Big Tech to You

With TARTLE, we want to bring the focus back to your rights. Our platform is an effort to remind you that technology is supposed to be a tool for empowerment and emancipation. It is designed for that evolution, for that upbringing, uplifting of the human being.

To be clear, big tech is not the enemy. We’ve only been placed in a difficult situation because for years, corporations have had free reign over the development of technologies—and the regulations that come with it. We did not have the perception, tools, and resources that could engineer a solution against exploiting the data sharing features.

That changes with TARTLE. You can opt out of being Big Brother’s cash cow by investing your time and effort into our Marketplace. You can sign up for free, submit your data for bidding, and take the full amount that your data packet is worth. 

Closing Thoughts

This is an opportunity to discover how much you’ve been missing out. Access the full potential of your personal information and allow these insights to go directly to organizations that can support causes you are passionate about. 

We have the links you need to establish a direct relationship with these entities. In exchange, your participation gives these organizations and researchers a repository of ethically sourced data that they can use for the collective good.

Because you deserve that opportunity.

Big brother can’t grow if you don’t feed it data. Cut off their supply today by supporting a platform that puts YOU at the center of technological innovation.

What’s your data worth?

Research and data are paramount if we want to improve physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing across the board. These not only concern those who are already struggling with illness; healthcare should also focus on being preventive, rather than waiting for people to get sick.

However, the longstanding institutions that we rely on actually create a roadblock for researchers to do their job. Instead of keeping the population healthy, institutions are merely waiting for the people to get sick. In such a set-up, are we truly maximizing the capabilities and technologies that we have developed for the good of humanity?

In today’s episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby talk about exchanging healthcare data and its importance to the world. Join them as they listen to comments made by Lex Fridman and David Sinclair on bioinformatics and more.

Challenging the Data Barrier in Bioinformatics

To gain research info regarding healthcare, companies must first collect data. Data collection gives us the opportunity to detect certain diseases, their properties, and how the human body reacts to these.

Perhaps the biggest obstruction that bioinformaticians face are the privacy and ethical concerns when collecting data. Because health institutions aren’t able to disclose and share data regarding their patients, research slows down.

With TARTLE, you have the chance to purchase datasets to help your bioinformatics research or any study for that matter. Data that is being collected by TARTLE is consensually gathered, as users share their information for financial incentives. 

Data collection through TARTLE is also ethical because companies are buying ownership from consenting owners. Through this, the privacy and ethical barrier brought on by HIPAA is no longer an issue.

TARTLE benefits everybody. It gives users the power and knowledge on selling their data while paying them for doing so. It also offers companies massive amounts of datasets that they’re able to use, like medical research. 

Insurance Companies and Their Impact on Data Collection

In the podcast, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby listen to a video of David Sinclair discussing his checkup with a doctor. Through this, we discover that proactively collecting data about one’s self gives doctors better insight into your health, more than they ever could with a simple consultation.

In addition to this, we find out that doctors may opt to not perform lab tests that are not immediately needed, or if you do not have a family history for a particular disease. They are disallowed by insurance companies who do not want to spend on anything preventive. Insurance companies only shell out money when someone is already sick.

Insurance companies are only incentivized to save money. Therefore, preventative healthcare becomes impossible for those of a lower socioeconomic profile, and thus cannot afford private lab results.

A Proactive vs. Reactive Approach on Healthcare Development

The TARTLE marketplace is one of the means for preventative healthcare to grow and develop. Because insurance companies aren’t incentivized from giving away data, nor are hospitals allowed to. 

Because hospitals are a reactive system, we are not able to act on someone or gather data until someone is already sick. That is why preventative care is so important. Sickness is better understood, and hopefully lessened, in a world where we are encouraged to actively look out and test  for our own health. 

Hospitals are part of a system that’s economically driven, forcing people into two-dimensional systems that prioritize money before the well-being of a person. The system views unique individuals not as people, but as numbers and statistics without uniqueness. 

The metric that medical institutions should focus on is the maintenance of a disease-free population. How long someone is being kept healthy or how long someone lives should be the defining statistic that healthcare systems should prioritize.

Not only this, but a deeper understanding of preventative measures is a must, that will not only lengthen the life expectancy of every individual, but empower those same individuals with the ability to sell their data. Through a higher volume of data acquisition, researchers and companies can better develop better ways to prevent sickness and disease.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

Insurance. No one likes it. No one really wants it. We definitely hate paying for it. And why wouldn’t we? Insurance companies are notorious for not wanting to pay out any money on a claim and sometimes dropping people if they do successfully collect on one. After all, insurance companies aren’t really about protecting you, they’re about making money. As the sniveling weasel in The Incredibles put it, “What about our shareholders? Who’s looking out for them, huh?” 

As one would expect, insurance companies are always looking to cut their costs. For that, they have turned to data collection and analysis. TARTLE is of course big on data and what we can learn from it. However, we are not fans of the way insurance companies and pretty much everyone else tends to make use of third party data for their purposes. Not only is the sourcing of the data unethical in itself, it can also wind up being discriminatory. Not intentionally, sometimes assumptions are made that are written into the algorithms that analyze the data. Those assumptions may seem like no big deal at first, but they can be processed in such a way that they exclude far more people than intended, people that seem to fit a given profile but in the end differ in certain important ways the algorithm isn’t meant to look for. That’s one of the dangers of completely automating everything. When an AI is running the show, it doesn’t care about any programmed biases, it just does what it is told and does it completely ruthlessly. That is why Connecticut recently reminded insurers in the tiny state that they need to be careful to avoid any sort of discrimination in their use of data. Easier said than done.

To illustrate that, let’s say the insurance company offered a discount to anyone who linked a Whoop or a Fitbit to their insurance account. That might seem innocuous. Certainly, they are sourcing data in a better than normal way since people have to opt in to share it. However, those things on your wrist cost money. Money that not everyone might be able to afford. Just a Whoop subscription runs around $30 a month. How many people are going to be paying that so they can opt into a discount program? Not many, especially since that discount will probably not defray the costs of the subscription. 

On one hand, it seems perfectly reasonable to grant a discount to people who are willing to share more of their health data. Why wouldn’t an insurance company want to incentivize that behavior? Of course they would. On the other hand, not everyone can afford it, as stated above. Which makes this a case of exclusion based on economics. Intentional? Probably not. Not too many people actually wake up in the morning and ask themselves how they can screw over poor people today. Not even people working for an insurance company. 

So, what is the solution? How can an insurance company reward customers for sharing their health data without excluding those who can’t afford the necessary devices? TARTLE has exactly the right solution. We offer these companies the chance to reach out directly to their customers. The company can ask its customers on TARTLE to share whatever data they would like and when someone chooses to do so, the company simply pays the person for the data. That is something that virtually anyone can take advantage of. Yes, there are people who can’t afford any sort of device to work with TARTLE on, but if we are being honest, they don’t have insurance anyway. The solutions to that problem are on a whole other level (though there are other ways other organizations can use us to tackle that one). What we offer is the chance for insurance and other companies to interact directly with their customers to get the information they need and for those people to be incentivized. It’s a win/win scenario for everyone willing to take advantage of it.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

Forests, Lasers, and Data. 

Time for another episode of cool things happening in the world of environmental research. Today, we have a project that is helping us better understand the forests. The tool being used for this project? Lasers!

Researchers from the University of Gottingen have been looking into the many different kinds of structures that exist in forests around the world. Using 3D laser scanners, they went all over the globe, recording 3D models of the forests they visited over the span of two years. One of the things they specifically focused on was primeval forests; those that haven’t had their development affected by humans. Believe it or not that is still about 30% of the world’s forests. One of the things these researchers hope to accomplish by doing this is to better understand how humans affect forest development by comparing and contrasting the different structures to be found in ancient forests and those that have been altered by human activity.

This looks to be very good research. For maybe the first time, scientists are doing a study into how humans affect forest development using an actual control group. Before, we had really only been comparing past information on a given forest with what is happening now. There is nothing wrong with that and it can still be very useful, but it can be very difficult to say with certainty how things might have been different. Now, with these 3D models that have been created, being used in conjunction with satellite data, researchers can find two areas of a similar forest structure and climate, one that has been affected by people and one that has not. Then they can be tracked over a period of time to observe how their development diverges. For perhaps the first time ever, they will be able to track two similar forest structures over a period of time, providing us with excellent information on the environment and our impact on it. 

Is that really possible? Isn’t most of the primeval forest actually rainforest in the south of the world and the human influenced stuff the boreal forests in the north? Not as much as you would think. There is plenty of rainforest in Brazil that has been affected by commercial development and there are other rainforests in North America in the states of Washington and Alaska that a person could wander in for days and not find a trace of humanity. There is plenty of boreal forest in the North American and Northern Asia that is also untouched by humans. People don’t realize how many millions of acres are actually protected from any kind of development. 

There are of course different levels of development as well. Some areas of forest are surrounded by heavy human development, some have small towns scattered within them. Others have been logged and replanted while others are crisscrossed with trails for various off road vehicles. Some of these forests have been developed in some way for decades, others for just a few years. 

This new study is valuable precisely because using the researchers’ methods, it will be possible to track these various stages and types of development to actually see what the long term effects are. The results will be a huge help to understanding human impact on the environment and helping us learn the best ways to minimize it while still making it possible for people to have homes to live in as well get out and enjoy some of that nature we are talking about. 

TARTLE would also like to commend the researchers on their use of our basic philosophy. They didn’t just rely on satellites and or reports from others. Instead, they did the hard work of going to the source and getting the primary data they needed to get the best possible results. 

What’s your data worth?

Digitainability and the Power of Data

Digitainability is a bit of an odd term. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. So what is it? It’s the idea of using our digital technology to get to a more sustainable economy. We talked a lot about that last time without explicitly using the term. It will involve making use of our ability to collect and analyze data in order to identify places where we can be more efficient, to recycle more, places where policy can be refined to help promote greater sustainability. 

One of the key uses of AI will be in working in phases to get from where we are now to where we want to be. Imagine a giant ocean liner trying to make a turn. It doesn’t exactly happen on a dime. Trying to force that ship to turn too tightly risks literally breaking the ship apart and killing everyone aboard. The global, or even your local economic system isn’t terribly different. Trying to change everything all at once will cause massive damage that will do far more harm than good. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to change. Too often, the fact that changing too much too fast is risky has too often been used as an excuse for not changing at all. So, change we must, but without losing sight of the fact that we have to be careful with how we do it. Business as usual may not be able to continue but business completely upended won’t help much either. 

One way that AI would be of immense help is if we could take all the information we have about how certain changes have affected an area over a certain period of time. That can provide a lot of data for an AI to process in order to determine the effect similar changes will have in a given area. What’s even better is if the people working on such a problem made use of TARTLE and our resources in order to do this. By making use of our data marketplace, they can get real time data from people who are being directly affected by policy changes as they happen. That can then lead to near real time refinements on the ground as well as improving the model with better data. This can lead to determining how best to transition to a sustainable economy in a way that won’t completely upset the apple cart.

There is a strong and growing demand for this kind of shift. You see this in the drive for renewable energy, the tiny house movement, and even in boycotts. People will often boycott a product if they think the product is being produced through unethical means, such as palm oil boycotts in Europe. Critics will point out that the company will just shift to a different market that doesn’t care about how the palm oil was produced. The business might go so far as to treat their employees in third world countries even worse in order to make up for lost profits.

While this is probably true, it’s also a total copout. It denies that the people running the business have any agency themselves, that they simply have to do things the way they do them in order to even exist. Obviously we at TARTLE completely reject such an idea. We have to be able to expect real change out of companies as well as individuals. Pretending that certain entities just aren’t capable of that change is remarkably unhelpful and will actually make changing to something better even harder.

That’s another one of the ways we can use AI to our benefit. Our data can be used to educate the recalcitrant, to show them the impact of different choices on the world as a whole. We can then hope that people will make the kinds of decisions needed to build a truly better world.

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.

Digital World and Sustainability

Digital sustainability and Artificial Intelligence is all the rage these days. There are universities doing research, op-eds in newspapers, and even several articles in this space talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning and how it will affect our lives in the years to come. Unfortunately, most of the focus has been on how it can be used to improve the bottom lines for businesses around the world. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not knocking the profit motive. However, we are knocking the idea that you have to keep on making more and more profit. That drive has a way of dehumanizing people (and frankly even the people with the drive) and making people lose focus on the things that really matter in the world. 

One of the effects of the constant drive for more profits is the drive to consume more things. More and more we look like Huxley’s Brave New World in which consumerism is promoted by the state, to the extent they put out slogans like “the less stitches, the more riches” to promote people buying new clothes instead of mending what they already have. Every economic ‘stimulus’ is given in the hopes that people use that money to go buy a bunch of stuff to keep things moving. Consumerism is a huge problem in the modern world. This is true both spiritually and materially, though for this article we’ll be focused on the material problems. 

Whether it is the government or business telling us that the way to happiness is the latest and greatest smartphone, TV, car, etc. this creates problems. All of that stuff requires resources to make. Minerals, trees, oils and who knows what are used every time something like that is purchased. And the old goes into landfills, which are gigantic, so gigantic in some places that people literally live on them in places like India, making a living off reselling some of the things in them. We’ve gotten better at reusing a lot of that stuff, being able to recycle things made of the rare minerals mined in Africa or melting down plastics so they can be remolded into something else. However, there is a finite amount of stuff on the planet and a growing population that will naturally keep using that stuff. We might well find ourselves able to get into space and use resources there before much longer, but it wouldn’t hurt to also reduce our dependency on the drive to constantly have more stuff as well. 

Which brings us back to our primary issue for this article, how can we use our digital technology to reduce that need? How can we use things like AI to make things more sustainable? Fortunately, our ability to collect and analyze data is just as unparalleled as our increased drive to consumerism. Improved analytics can be used for a variety of efforts that will make farming more efficient, enabling people to get the most food out of a plot of land while doing the least amount of harm to the environment. 

We can learn how to build safer, smaller, and lighter vehicles so that they use fewer resources, are more fuel efficient and still allow people to get from point A to point B. AI can be used to study the effects of different zoning laws. Would it be better to allow more mixing of business and residential areas so people don’t need to drive ten minutes whenever they need a gallon of milk? 

There is a lot of potential here. And a lot of ways that potential can be undermined. We’ll be exploring both of those a bit more next time.

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.

Reliable Data, Reliable Studies, and a Bright Future

Companies spend a ton of money on studies, both internal and from third parties. These studies are meant to evaluate their products and practices. What can they do better? What is the next thing people want to see? What do they never want to see again? All of these are important questions for any organization that exists to market any kind of product or service to others, whether it be baseball bats, rockets, or a homeless shelter. 

However, often the tools they use to conduct those studies and produce those reports discussed in meeting rooms around the nation are unreliable. Not dishonest necessarily, simply the wrong tool for the job. TARTLE is proposing a tool that will allow any organization to get the information they need to get truly reliable reports, reports that will accurately reflect where the organization is at and so help provide a more reliable guide for the future. You want every report to hit it out of the park and we want to help make that a reality. If that can be possible, then you will not only be successful, you’ll be so far ahead of the competition that they’ll be wondering how you managed to pull that off. 

What is it that makes those other tools so unreliable? After all, you’re spending plenty of cash for them, you would hope they would at least be reliable. The thing is, there is every incentive for these tools (other data and research companies) to make sure they get as much money out of you as they can. That means they may not always be producing the best product. Sometimes it just means they are producing a report that looks and sounds good. Be honest, a thick stack of paper with a glossy cover full of graphs and big words is impressive. While such things might be very impressive, they don’t necessarily make for good reports. Because at the end of the day what matters is not whether or not the report looks good, what matters is that it gives you the kind of information that will help your organization make effective decisions in the future. 

There is also the fact that those reports are going through a filter, someone else’s filter. Yes, you give them instructions and maybe even have some oversight, yet, everyone has a filter, an interpretative lens that is all but impossible to completely eradicate. Wouldn’t you rather the filter be yours? Wouldn’t you rather do the analysis in the way that you want it done so that you are getting the answers you need, not the answers someone else thinks you need?

The tool TARTLE offers lets you do exactly that. You are the one in full control of what data you get and how you analyze it. You also know exactly where it is coming from. We put you in direct contact with the individuals who are the sources for that data that gets aggregated by all those third parties. Would you or would not rather get the raw unfiltered data? Doing so lets you be flexible, lets you adjust things on the fly as needed so you are getting the information you need when you need it. That allows you to make much better, much more timely decisions than are possible when you are going with giant reports that take weeks or months and thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. 

Can it be risky to make a change? It can certainly seem that way. Changing the way things are done always implies some level of risk. Yet, no one ever got better, no one ever made a breakthrough or got out in front of the pack by not taking a risk. Do you want to be a Fortune 500 company or a Fortune 1 company? Take the risk and see what happens.

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.

Bio-Forks in the Road

Entertainment is full of examples of technology gone wrong. Every dystopian sci-fi movie makes use of this to some degree. Either technology runs amok and enslaves humanity as in The Terminator or The Matrix, or we become so enamored of a technology we enslave ourselves to it as in Gattaca. In still others, technology becomes a tool that is used to suppress humanity, most famously in the novels 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. And if we are honest, we can look to all of these examples and see parallels with technological development today.

That’s because there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything comes with some sort of trade off or a dark side. It will always be possible to take an objective good and pervert it to something destructive. The very real life development of nuclear power is a poignant example. Nuclear power, even the old school, brute force fission reactors that are still the most common produce tens of thousands of megawatts of electricity every hour. And they do this with no carbon emissions on the production end. The only thing stopping them from producing more is their relatively small number, with fewer than a hundred operating in the United States. 

However, with all that promise comes the proverbial dark side, which Hiroshima and Nagasaki experienced first-hand in 1945. While none have been used in war since then, the threat has loomed over the world like the Sword of Damocles. Trillions have been spent developing ever more powerful nuclear bombs and methods to deliver them. Trillions that could have been spent researching fusion reactors, an even more powerful energy source with a fraction of the radioactive waste of fission. Instead fusion research led to the hydrogen bomb, a type of nuke that makes Fat Man and Little Boy look like glorified fire crackers. 

We stand at a similar technological fork in the road today. As our knowledge of genetics and our ability to manipulate them grows, we will be faced with difficult choices on how to use this technology. The same technology that could eliminate genetic predispositions to various diseases could also lead to triggering those dispositions in others. Slowing down or eliminating aging could create a world of selfish would-be immortals actively preventing the birth and development of future generations. The same technology that creates a new vaccine could create a new virus to unleash on an unsuspecting world. 

Less dramatic is the idea that companies will simply use these advancements to control whole markets in new ways. Take the situation with genetically modified crops. While GMOs have been a great help in getting food to grow in environments that have typically been hostile, allowing more to be grown for and by those in challenging environments, there has also been a cost. Some, like Monsanto, control aspects of the GMO market with an iron grip. They do this either by engineering their seeds so they won’t germinate or in the case of a product that does, they have been known to sue farmers for their “intellectual property” because the GMO seeds germinated and spread into a neighboring field. That kind of action can kill a farmer’s business. In the case of the non-germinating seeds, a farmer is then forced to buy fresh seeds every year, instead of in the old days, growing this year’s crop from the last year’s seeds. That keeps prices artificially high and also puts farmers at risk should bad weather kill enough of their crop that they can’t afford to buy the new seeds. 

The point is that we have to be very careful with how we use our technology. It can often be used to destroy rather than help others. Not only that, the destructive option is usually the easier one in the short term. Just look at fusion again. We built a bomb with it decades ago but we still haven’t figured out how to make a commercially viable fusion reactor. 

Just as our choices with nuclear power defined much of the world for the latter half of the twentieth century, so our choices with genetic modification will define the world for what’s left of the twenty first. We must choose, and choose wisely.

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.

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