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Open Source Food and Genetic Engineering - Michael Pollan

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/05/05/Michael_Pollan_Deep_Agriculture"The real key to genetic engineering is control of intellectual property of the f...

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Comment by Oskar Mikaelsson on April 13, 2010 at 2:19pm
open source is the best when it comes to almost all kinds of technology.
unfortunatly there are only a handfull of parties (individuals or companies) in each type of business who share new technology openly. Perhaps you can tell me why?
Comment by Nick Gogerty on April 13, 2010 at 2:50pm
Development costs time and money. In some circ**stances sharing makes a lot of sense and others less so. Luckily patents have limited time horizons, which incentivizes creation of new and novel business but then end the monopoly on the inventions. The time limited patent is a very good innovation. Its use in bio-tech and the proper duration is still a matter of conjecture and Copyright legislation is totally out of hand IMO.
Comment by Oskar Mikaelsson on April 13, 2010 at 3:12pm
good answer ;) time and money.
the most valuable things in the world? (certainly not if you ask me)
You praise the time limited patent, but even a time limited patent isn't good enough according to me.
Let's take an example. My company has invented a great new way of cleaning water (could be a better solarpanel or many other products/services aswell). My company get a patent for 6 years, we are the only ones who supply people with the product and of course our resources isn't infinite.
How many people will go thirsty, drink dirty water, get sick or die during these 6 years?
Wouldn't it be better if we ignored the fact that we need to make money and let anyone who wanted to create the water cleaner do so?
Comment by Nick Gogerty on April 13, 2010 at 3:24pm
Ironically I am actually working with a company right now that has a low energy water filtration process. To do their lab tests and prove the concept they need $750k for prototypes, materials and lab etc. equipment. Better to have a funded invention as opposed to one that never leaves the idea stage. It is a question of when vs. if. Better to have an eventual technology reach a market developed than to never have it realized at all. ideas aren't deployable technology. I used to be chief analyst for one of Europe's most advanced research institutes. Lots of great technology, but the path to market and human impact is costly and requires capital. I wish it wasn't true, but it is. You may be interested in the D project at MIT which is quite cool. http://d-lab.mit.edu/

interestingly much of the lack of clean water is due to bad policy at the govt. level, same with famine. Amarytya Sen and Hernando De Soto are great reads on this. The technology and resources are their. it is policy failure more than technology in the developing world. http://nickgogerty.typepad.com/designing_better_futures/2010/01/pro...

http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/s***-book-the-big-necessi...

this book above explains how the technology is their, but the end user beliefs and behaviour limit adoption. when those beliefs change through education wonderful things happen.

the story from Sen, on widespread Famines being political and not resource based.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_famine_of_1943
Comment by Oskar Mikaelsson on April 13, 2010 at 4:57pm
Thanks a lot for all information. The D project at MIT seems very interesting, I will investigate the possibilities to make it a part of my engineer exam.

An idea for speeding up the knowledge sharing could be a sort of loaning system.
If you have an idea or an invention, you can allow anyone to lend the idea from you.
Then you get paid from an international fund, that keeps statistics of to what extent you idea or invention are used. The more your idea or invention is applicated, the more money you get.
The fund could be financed by charity contributions and/or goverments.
Do you think such system could work?
Comment by Nick Gogerty on April 13, 2010 at 5:08pm
The "application" or measure of value would be difficult. The closest approximation would be a collective patent pool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_pool These are used for co-related patents or industries. The more simplistic and direct the approach the better. Typically patent are of limited value, it is the know how around a technology, that converts it into a usable application (design) for a problem within a context that reflects value.

IP/patents typically reflect a small portion of the value in the wh*** process of delivering a benefit to a person. it is like food in the developed world. The cost of the cereal in the box is only worth marginally more than the box. Branding, distribution, overheads, processing etc. are all value adds. yet cereal is still a remarkbly cheap food and everyone seems satisfied in the developed world. Value delivery to the poor is more about open systems and less about patents or withheld technology. Here is a great story about that http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1487583

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