I grew up in the Upper Midwest. It’s a place where people love to talk about dominant ethnic traits (usually German or Scandinavian). I’d guess that it’s a habit that has to do with the agriculture of the area. In any case, I also grew up half way between Minnesota’s wheat and Wisconsin’s corn breeding labs. Given my personal geography, it was probably only a matter of time before my own multi-flavored ethnic background would be described as a likely recipe for “hyperzygotic vigor.”
Even before I was biologically enlightened in this way, though, I had what is probably an overly developed appreciation for blurring boundaries, mixing things up, crossing lines. My sense has long been that doing so is a cheap and easy way to try something new. Crossing things for hybrid vigor doesn’t always work. Sometimes you get the worst of both sides, and the “plant” dies. But cross-fertilizing types is a lot easier than inventing new ones; it can even be easier than refining old ones.
A possible case in point: IF’s sanctuary discussions and public discussions. Despite family similarities, they are distinct, as currently conducted. But what if they were crossed, with the aim of producing a form of discussion that displayed the most desirable traits of each? What would the hybrid look like?
- The basic IF exploratory discussion process would be similar, if not the same (it is the “difference within a species” that creates the possibility of crossing the two types in the first place)
- Time spent per discussion would be less than sanctuary discussions, more than current public discussions
- Overall quality of the discussions would fall somewhere between current sanctuary discussions and public discussions (how close to which end of the spectrum would be a function of time spent)
- Quality of Reports, as judged by present standards, would go down (they would be neither as broad nor as deep)
Then again, these are perhaps less predictions than parameters. Like any breeders, we’d be trying to improve the good traits of each side of the mix while diminishing the bad. And since the IF Process is a complex organic process, it’ll take some prolonged field work.