Saturday, March 1, 2008
Grab the nearest book~
In blogland there are memes-- fun, but a little like a chain email. Fun is relative, and I hesitate to impose it on others who experience fun differently.
But this, from Josie, is easy, interesting, and-- for me, anyway-- fun!
1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.
I just finished reading Susan Wicklund's The Common Secret for a review to be published in The Internet Review of Books March 15. I was tempted to pull from that. But I've moved on to The Best American Nonrequired Reading, an eclectic collection of essays and other bits that "defy classification" as the promo says. Good stuff, all, and I'm enjoying it.
Page 123 happens to be smack in the middle of a section where The Edge Foundation (www.edge.org) posed its 2006 question to scientists:
What is your dangerous idea?
Ray Kurzwell, inventor and technologist, expounds in "The Near-Term Inevitability of Radical Life Extension and Expansion:"
On the other hand, if we factor in the doubling of the power of these technologies each year, the prospect of radical life extension is only a couple of decades away.
In addition to reprogramming biology, we will be able to go substantially beyond biology with nanotechnology, in the form of computerized nanobots in the bloodstream. If the idea of programmable devices the size of blood cells performing therapeutic functions in the bloodstream sounds like far-off science fiction, I would point out that we are doing this already in animals. One scientist cured type I diabetes in rats with blood-cell sized devices containing seven nanometer pores that let insulin out in a controlled fashion and that block antibodies. If we factor in exponential advances in computation and communication (price-performance multiplying by a factor of a billion in twenty-five years, while at the same time shrinking in size by a factor of thousands), these scenarios are highly realistic.
Dangerous ideas. Interesting thoughts. All the essays are interesting and provocative.
I have tried to think of my own version of a dangerous idea since reading. Stay tuned. If I think of one, I'll post.
I'm passing the meme torch to:
Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends. ~Dawn Adams