Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 714, March 31, 2013

After sinking billions of dollars into “law-enforcement”
over the decades, what finally brought the violent crime
rate down—in double digits—was private gun ownership.

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The Future is Better than We Think
by Ian Titter

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

L Neil Smith's article "Separating Medicine and State" opposes the whole idea of 'Obamacare' as an example of the creeping Socialist agenda of our self-appointed 'Nomenclatura'.

I won't say he's wrong.

I will say that I worry less than he does.

Read Abundance, The Future is Better than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler { Barnes &, to find out why I take this position. I don't think we should work to overthrow the Nation State when we can develop the technology to make it irrelevant.

Medical care is currently expensive, and not terribly well done, but this is going to change as new technologies are developed.

Diamandis and Kotler point out that the digital age obeys 'Moore's Law,' and things get cheaper exponentially once you have them digitized. The prospect of a 'Lab-on-a-Chip' capable of performing hundreds of diagnostic pathology tests dropping in price per test by half every two or three years will cut medical expenses continually to the point where we can each run our own tests as often at we want.

Robotic surgery is in its infancy and is only going to get better and cheaper.

Expert systems such as IBM's Watson, will eventually get cheap enough for us to have our own, and what happens to most of the medical profession then? Researchers will still be needed, but they might consist of crowd-sourced internet communities instead of university, corporate or government funded laboratories.

The medical establishment, i.e. the current hierarchic bureaucracy, will defend their current monopoly with every tool at their disposal to maintain their status and income.

To begin with they will spread propaganda to demonize the unsupervised, unregulated use of these techniques, but whatever success they have in Europe and North America will be undercut as the third world adopts them on price-performance grounds.

We might then see Obamacare et al. relegate these 'cheap' options to the treatment of the poor while reserving the personal treatment by physicians to the more important taxpayers. (Until the technology starts to outperform the physicians.)

Other developments in genetic engineering are also mentioned by Diamandis and Kotler. A working laboratory to work on modifying single-celled organisms can be built for as little as ten thousand dollars. As the knowledge base ramps up and is held on the internet in the public domain or creative commons, the pharmaceutical companies intellectual property will become less relevant. They produce drugs for large populations. Individualized drugs for particular people aren't profitable if you use their methodology. But, suppose you have diagnostic systems that can tell you exactly what you need and any laboratory can brew a genetically engineered yeast to provide that exact substance cheaply. The consequence of the new paradigm being that tailored treatments become available and affordable. They also become difficult to regulate.

We will eventually have control of our own medical care without recourse to governments or their corporate minions and this is how we will really get to separate medicine from the state.

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