3D printed, bioengineered faux rhino horns

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Yeah yeah, that’s nice. What I really want to know is when can I have demon goat horns (with my DNA) that I can implant on my face.




Interesting. But considering how rare the commodity is, aren’t the people who are in a position to demand authentic rhino horn also in a position to ensure the absolute authenticity of the rhino horn? Surely everyone else has been making due do with sawdust for some time now.

I can see how similar applications might conceivably be useful in curtailing the trade in shark fins. The legends of tiger penis soup also come to mind, but I would think the rarity of tigers has by now terminated that line of business.

So, they are introducing a lower cost artificial alternative to the market that can be mass produced? While that could redirect demand, don’t you also run the risk of increased demand overall should this alternative actually take off?

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The real benefits would come if it was hard to distinguish it from the “real thing”. Since they seem to be made out of the same stuff the real thing is, that’s promising.

Poached horns don’t generally come with certificates of authenticity.

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I don’t think you can 3d print the innate magic of this cure all bullshit product.

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I think these guys have miscalculated or misinterpreted the situation. The whole rhino horn thing comes from traditional Chinese medicine. Which is essentially magic. I don’t think it matters much to rhino horn consumers if his product is physically identical to the real thing or not (which it likely isn’t), or if its significantly cheaper than the real deal. The whole thought process is basically consume piece of big powerful animal. Get big powerful penis. If it wasn’t physically attached to a living rhino its going to lack that all important conceptual/mystic connection to a big powerful beast. So I expect the market for this is going to end up being cheaper imitation rhino products for the people who couldn’t afford it or wouldn’t use them otherwise. It it succeeds at all its only going to increase demand for real rhino. You’ve got a bunch more people using the cheaper, ethical option. But tons of people claiming the real thing is even better, and China’s recentish obsession with conspicuous consumption and displays of wealth.


I think the owner of the company making the fake rhino horn completely misses the point. I would say 99% of the people that purchase rhino horn, know it is illegal, wrong, destroys a natural resource - they just don’t care. I liken it to a naughty-ness factor - they like the feeling of possessing something that no one else has. Also, if the individual is such a strong believer in herbal/faith healing, they aren’t going to accept an artificial product.

Forgery has a long history of being used for crime. It’s kind of cool to see forgery turn over a new leaf and try out for crime-fighting. :smile:

If they can inject these horns into the supply chain right at the source (eg pretend to be poachers and sell to the local fence that deals with poachers, and who really doesn’t care if it’s from an animal or not - it’s still something he can sell if he keeps his suspicions to himself), it will be pretty much impossible for anyone much further down the supply chain to validate whether the horn came from an animal (other than devising a workable test/inspection), while at the same time the extra supply could potentially crash the prices the fence offers that tempt the poachers. I think Gutierrez is right though - adding supply has a risk of breathing life back into the market and keeping the terrible customs alive.


Which is essentially magic.

Magic can be technology, misinterpreted, and placed in the context of absurd ritual. From a Nova program on the Ulfberht sword…

NARRATOR: As part of their mystical practices, some medieval smiths might have used a different carbon source to strengthen their swords.

GUNNAR ANDERSSON: You can also use bone—burnt bone—together with coal in hardening the steel right. And assume, now, that you’re using burnt bones even from your ancestor or from a bear or something like that. And you hammer in the power of the animal or your ancestor into the weapon, in itself, together with charcoal, and you make a perfect steel blade, a very powerful steel blade, probably, as well.

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flood the market. How would the saps know?

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Sure but in that sort of Jack Kirby situation the “magic” has a rational, confirmable method of action. It’s just being misinterpreted and mislabeled by a speaker/user who does not know about that. TCM and a shocking amount of alt med is pure sympathetic magic. The sort with no plausible or testable mechanism behind it. Where an association, similarity or connection between two things lets one of those things utilize or transfer properties it does not have in itself. Because magic , energy, or hand waves.

I’m not familiar with his work-- I don’t read many comics.

It has been written that the world’s most powerful aphrodisiac, prostate-tonic, and boner-hardener is made by rendering the corpses of wealthy, elderly Asian men.


He was big on the advanced tech masquerading as magic and aliens/transdimentional/super powered beings standing in for God’s. Kind of the whole idea behind the Thor comics and the 4th world characters over at DC. Fun stuff, makes for great stories. Just not at all a decent way to explain any actual anomalies.

Also I suspect not an adequate arguement to overcome the issues associated with rhino horn. Unless you could plausably argue that real rhinos have been 3d printed all along and we lacked sufficient understanding to realize it till now.

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It’s just one of the fascinating ramifications of the holographic universe.


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