Wednesday, November 06, 2002

interesting ignorance, life and death

(originally posted at

Just a couple of selections from Drexler's "Engines of Creation":
In recent decades, the very quality of our remaining ignorance has changed. Once, biologists looked at the process of life and asked "How can this be?" But today they understand the general principles of life and when they study a specific living process they commonly ask, "Of the many ways this could be, which has nature chosen?"
Physicians once declared patients dead when the heart stopped; they now declare patients dead when they despair of restoring brain activity. Advances in cardiac medicine changed the definition once; advances in brain medicine will change it again.
Interesting, no?

I started the day off with a thought experiment from Changesurfer's James Hughes, who wrote to the WTA discussion list about a panel he's on to supervise a show on the next 1000 years. His specific topic was the human body, and what it'd be like after 1000 years. Of course, everyone was quick to point out the futility of guesswork - but to think about it, the question should be whether humans even have bodies that far into the future...

If you're really interested, parse through the WTA thread on the yahoo board to find my reply.

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