ucim wrote:To whom would it be useful? That's the question that needs asking. If it's useful to those in charge of the technology, then it will be pursued. What are useful traits in other people, as seen by a large corporation or government that develops and markets genetic techniques? Docility, trust, and obedience come to mind. We'd be easier to govern, easier to market to, but perhaps we would not stand up as well in a fight (against The Enemy Of The Year).
That is, if it's that simple. Which it won't be.
That is just a touch melodramatic. I doubt such things will be at all coordinated. You'd have a thousand and one companies all trying to make their own gene patch.
There are a few failure modes I can think of in a zero regulation free for all.
1. Parents want children with specific behavioural traits. And then getting all sue happy when it turns out people personalities aren't deterministic.
2. Parents want children with traits that are considered undesirable by society. Eg. Children without the Westermark effect. Or in less 'evil genius' fashion, children who are docile or share some family disability. (What, you think everyone is going to want to improve their children? )
3. Private groups want children with specific traits. Eg military sponsoring gene patches increasing emotional detachment or increased loyalty.
Your hypothetical is most similar to number 3 but it doesn't exist in a vacuum.