One of my favourite online magazines is OZY.
Perhaps it is because I love that Australian spirit and here in South Africa that land is much spoken about due to our cricket and rugby rivalry among other things, and its slang pronunciation in our South African speak spells itself out phonetically as ‘ozy’.
Or perhaps it is that it reminds of Ozymandias which ended up under a pile of desert sand and is a methaphor for the impermanence of everything, of how ephemeral it all is, how ephemeral we all are, and how we should be grateful and appreciative for every moment of joy we can eke out in our infinitely limited span of time on Earth.
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem by the same name is of course something that should ring a bell from high school poetry classes – if we were paying attention …
OZY as a magazine has a maverick character that appeals to all those who love the maverick.
Not every article that arises is necessarily one that resonates with me but mavericks and the maverick minded or maverick loving need not agree with each other.
That after all is a denial of the self renovating force of the maverick!
This OZY article on a teen prodigy appeals to me because it is so free spirited and intrinsically Green – and by now it will be clear to any reader of these articles that Green features uppermost in our ethos.
This teen prodigy is proposing an innovative principle whereby tomatoes and other crops could be engineered to boost their resistance – which is GMO of course and a dirty word for many Green activists.
She seems however to be driven by not only a brilliance of lateral thinking but also by a sincere desire to do good, namely in reducing the potential of famine.
So we had this debate (between family and friends … ) about the rightness or wrongness of GMOs.
Among the friends the father of two (yes, not one but two) environmental scientists!
Among the pros of GMOs is the lesser or non use of pesticides – a major environmental benefit!
Here I think is the thing – the rightness or wrongness of GMOs is akin to the difference between say usury and a ‘moral’ interest rate!
Usury is the malicious (yes, malicious to call a spade a spade) desire to drive up returns that are perverse – Nietzsche had something to say about this.
Interest, on the other hand, in a sustainability promoting sense, is a sufficient return on risk to capital, sufficient to make it worthwhile.
Usury will end up in revolution, slaughter, massacre, human right abuses of extreme proportions and therefore is not and will never ever be sustainable!
Whether it fazes them or not, those who wish to enslave us through usury will never be able to perpetuate that power for ever through their generations – what they will cause though is a world that continues to burn in flames, somewhere (in many concurrent instances) and repeatedly everywhere else at some time or another.
Free marketeers will roll their eyes up in horror at these statements but much of the economic wealth that is in the hands of an elitist few has not arisen through free market practice.
I read somewhere that a recent study by some global institute indicated that about half of the wealth of the world is owned by a mere hundred or so powerful interests, and that 99% of the world is owned by about 1% of the world’s population!
There is an ‘un-Sustainability’ powder keg about to explode in that mix that perhaps should make all the current global conflict be unsurprising!
GMO is fine – provided it does not mitigate against global Sustainability either by damaging the environment (free marketeers should note by the standards of many of their champions that those responsible for damage to the natural state of the environment should be held accountable for the subsequent damage to property and person!) … or by enslaving the masses by negating them food security through patent laws that have become perverse!
Ultimately, it will be mavericks like this teen prodigy and their disruptive innovations that will mitigate against elitism becoming a Black Hole of Economic Vampires that sucks us dry, including the very marrow of our Souls.
In that sense the disruptive ideas of this teen prodigy are both delightful and hopeful for a future that could be more benevolent and sustainable for the vast majority of us all.
Copyright G. Rigotti 2015