[Mono-list] Java, Mono, or C++.. by HP

Jonathan Pryor jonpryor@vt.edu
Thu, 18 Mar 2004 07:08:53 -0500

On Wed, 2004-03-17 at 22:53, Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> So at this point, you might want to consider a career switch.  Growing
> corn and pigs seems to be a fairly safe industry.

You would think so! :-)

But obviously, you'd be wrong if you've been paying any attention to
slashdot for the past few years.  Monseto (spelling?) has been trying to
patent genes, splicing them into plants, and selling plants *under
license*.  As a farmer, you are NOT allowed to follow the several
millennium-old practice of *saving the seeds from the previous years
crop to use in the following year*.  When using genetically-engineered
seeds, anyway.

Of course, nature knows nothing of patents, so the
genetically-engineered plants cross-pollinate with other plants in the
surrounding area, thus violating the patent.  And wind can spread the
seeds onto surrounding fields, causing *others* to violate the patent.

There has been a suite over this in Canada a few years ago, though I'm
not sure how it ended (or even if it has).

So growing plants isn't a safe practice anymore, either.

And as for pigs, big-business seems to have taken over, leading to
numerous environmental effects (giant shit-holes, horrible smell, etc.),
and there is little room for individual farmers anymore.  60-Minutes has
covered stores about this.

Though that's true for most farming now anyway.  The individual farmer
can't make a living anymore; it's all big-business.

Lots has been written about both these issues; Google should bring up
lots of articles.

The only safe industries are ones where (1) patent's can't apply, which
is hard to do since government keeps expanding the areas that patents
can apply to (business-method patents, anyone?), and (2) you don't need
to be gigantic to avoid fearing "death" via lawsuits.  All that comes to
mind for me are the legal-related (lawyers, politicians, police), taxes
(IRS and related), and death-related (coroners, undertakers, etc.).  And
education (teachers, etc.).  And...

 - Jon