Great post over at acculturated. And I always appreciated when my quotes are recycled.
Our collective back-patting about anti-consumerist self-criticism is in fact classist condescension. Our society has no qualms about consumerism, provided it is genteel consumerism. But when some people have the bad manners to be indiscreet about their appetite for consumption, our defense mechanisms spring into action.
In a New York Times column that cements Michio Kaku’s status as the Joel Osteen of science, the celebrity physicist and irrational optimist happily predicts that “in a few decades, parents may be able to choose many genetic characteristics of their children.” (His one sentence throwaway about a “vigorous ethical debate” hardly inspires confidence.) Of course just as assisted reproduction is today a procedure available only to the affluent, we can expect that designer children will only be available to affluent consumers of the products of conception.