Andi Freeman on Thu, 5 Feb 1998 13:21:23 +0100 (MET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Hype Time

Hype Time by Andi Freeman

A friend suggested I post this story as an illustration of how hype and
speculation work in the software and media industries. It has
particular relevance when you consider the statements made by Dr Richard
Seed over the last weeks about his intention to clone humans.

A few years ago I worked as a programmer for a start-up software company
who had designed and patented a sophisticated software technology to help
reduce piracy, it wasn't perfect but it made it such a hassle to get around
that it would effectively reduce piracy rates. He originally designed the
product as way of providing distribution channels for small developers who
were fed up of the percentages that large publishers were making on
software publication, of course his method soon attracted attention from
large companies interested in reducing piracy (WP software is pirated at
the ratio 3 pirated to 1 bought, and its 20 to 1 for games). Now a very
large company whose name I won't mention caught wind of this technology and
sent in a small team of engineers and marketing people under
non-disclosure. Within 6 days my friend had been offered a six figure sum
to sell the idea. He was tempted but as he had put several years of his
life into the idea and still felt that it would be good for small
developers to use for distribution so he was reluctant to let the idea go
at any price. He tried to negotiate with the larger company for some
control over the product or a partial buy out but they didn't seem
interested, they just wanted the whole thing or nothing. Eventually one of
the suits confessed to him why they were being so inflexible. They needed
full ownership of the idea so they could put in their labs for a couple of
months then annouce the intended release of this new anti piracy technology
that reduced the piracy rates on their product by half. This would be done
with quite a splash on Wall St and needless to say this publiclly listed
company would see its share price go through roof (as would anyones if they
annouced they could double their sales with hardly any extra effort) and
there would be some extremely happy shareholders and of course if a few
directors made a substantial windfall then that would be OK as well !!!
Unfortunately they had no plans of releasing a product or of developing the
idea further, they would let it languish in the lab and die as they were
quite happy with things the way they are now, thank you very much. He
should just take the money and go and live on an island somewhere.

Of course this has been going on for most of this century, look how long it
took Phillips to release long life bulbs even though they had them since
the 50's (and they are still overcharging for them rather than upset the
market)...there are many, many others... but you get the idea....

...and this leads us to the self confessed "worlds smartest man" Dr Dick

"... God made man in his own image. God intended for man to become one with
God. ...
Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one
with God."

"Clones are going to be fun. I can't wait to make two or three of my own

"New things of any kinds -- mechanical, biological, intellectual --
always tend to create fear and abhorrence,"

-Dr Dick Seed (quoted from CNEWS January 1998, search on 'Richard Seed')

The 69 year old Richard Seed, has lost millions in bad investments and last
year was forced out of his victiorian mansion into a more modest suburban
dwelling. Although clearly a gifted inventor, he likes to be a maverick and
create a stir. Now he wants US$2 million....

Richard Seed is a pathetic liar as is obvous from his outlined plans
described with *relish* by '' news, that skips over the thousands of
deformed aborted babies he will have to produce, the failures and pain he
may cause, but would  rather talk about the 10-20 cloning clinics he will
open around the country and happy smiling babies cloned from infertile
parents. And whilst the media misses the point, disinforms and does his
marketing for him, Dick Seed
waits by the phone for the venture capitalists to call...

....maybe a right-to-lifer will get to him first once they realise the man
is going to deliberately grow and kill several hundred deformed children in
the next few months...

If you would like to read more about transhumanism and cloning, further
information can be found at

Andi Freeman

#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: