Genemod Human Dating and Matching Services

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Image from Bernd Helfert

"Dating and matching" services aimed specifically at genetically modified Humans arose around the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries AT. It was a response, unsurprising in retrospect, to the then-relatively recent appearance of Human-descendant bionts (Nebs in the modern terminology, also early Tweaks and Su, and later Rianths and more rarely Splices who incorporated significant Human content in their genomes, and those who hybridized with such) sporting heritable genetic modifications which diverged them from the baseline (i.e. previously unaltered) Human gene pool by more than the most trivial degree.

Having their prospective offspring genemodded was optional for the first baselines to do so. However, the offspring of those who so decided were often (quite often) unable to interbreed naturally with unmodified Humans, or with many others who didn't share the same specific mods (the same altered or added gene sequences, in the same places, in their respective genomes). What was optional for their parents was in effect mandatory for the products of these choices. They needed to rely on the same artificial techniques used to produce them if they wanted to have offspring themselves. This, of course, fed bio- Luddite contentions that the (Human) genemodding industry was nothing but a racket, intended to make people (in more sense than one, "make" people) forever dependent on their services if they wanted their genes (which their parents probably paid a lot of money for, this being the late 1st or early 2nd centuries AT) to live on in another generation. Indeed, more than one early Human Tweak is reputed to have asked eir parent(s) why eir parent(s) chose to saddle eir children with such unneeded complications in life. Bio-Luddites, in stark (and cynical) departure from their usual form, embraced these poor alienated souls as poster children for the bio-Luddite cause.

A partial, and at first highly informal and ad hoc solution to this grew up in the form of Tweak/genemod Human "dating and matching services." Such were already long used among baselines to find prospective mates who shared their interests and who had compatible personalities, not necessarily compatible (altered or otherwise) gene combinations. Partly due to the very informality and ad hoc nature of these early establishments, pinpointing the genesis of the first is quite impossible.

Dating and matching services for genemod Humans were often made fun of in the popular media of the time. One "late night, stand-up" host of a popular Web program seldom let a night, program, or public appearance pass without a riff aimed at "dating and matching services for lab animals" after hearing about them for the first time. These institutions were also derided by pundits and politicians, even those who weren't specifically bio-Luddite and didn't identify emselves as such, for being "base" and "materialistic" for fixating on genetic compatibility specifically. Comparisons were made with the "eugenics" movement of centuries past, being overly concerned with the genetic compatibility and "fitness" of prospective (though entirely baseline in the historic case) mating partners.

Supporters countered that it was the critics who were base and materialistic for using others' genemods as fodder for "garden-variety prejudice and thinly-veiled racism." Genemod Human dating and matching services in fact offered all the features of those intended specifically for unmodified baselines ("Unmods" in an occasionally used colloquialism of the time), in addition to whether applicants had gene sequence 16AXY inserted midway down the short arm of their 1st chromosomes.

Bio-Luddites, in an ironic (and again cynical) departure from their usual form, accused these services aimed specifically at modded Humans as being "racist" and "discriminatory" for excluding "unmods." Operators of these services were quick to counter, "You mean you'd like to commence an intimate relationship with a modded Human?"
 
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Development Notes
Text by Mike Parisi

Initially published on 05 May 2006.

page uploaded 2 May 2006, last modified 2 January 2008