Critical Section

Monday,  05/23/05  08:54 PM

According to, by 2050 you will be able to download your brain.  "Dr. Pearson thinks that today's younger generation will benefit from the advances in technology to the point that death will be effectively eliminated."  Very reassuring, I might still be alive in 2050.  This was the excellently executed premise behind Altered Carbon, the terrific sci-fi novel by Richard Morgan.  [ via Slashdot ]

This does of course have interesting consequences for Unnatural Selection!  When memes run the world, turnover among genes is no longer interesting or important.  In fact, immortality is the ultimate gene-stopping meme.

Allen Orr gives a terrific overview of "Intelligent Design", the latest in the long line of Creationist attempts at pseudo-science.  "The movement’s main positive claim is that there are things in the world, most notably life, that cannot be accounted for by known natural causes and show features that, in any other context, we would attribute to intelligence."  Perfect.  So it you can't explain something, you give up and postulate magic.  [ via Panda's Thumb ]

Chris Anderson wonders is the Long Tail full of crap?  Quick answer: Yes.  Slower answer: Yes, but, it is also full of stuff which is every bit as good as the popular stuff at the head.  Mass appeal does not equal "quality".  Consider Aston Martins, they are definitely targeting a niche, but they are definitely not crap.  Great point.

Slate on the Search for 100 Million Missing Women.  "While Oster found, for instance, that Hepatitis B can account for roughly 75 percent of the missing women in China, it can account for less than 20 percent of the boy-girl gap in Sen's native India."  This pretty much defies synopsis, please read it when you can.  Fascinating.

gas prices!YAUFGM - yet another use for Google maps: find the cheapest gas.  Wow, is that ever a market leveler!  [ via ]  Pretty soon those little cell phone apps which read UPC codes to do price checks in stores will have maps to show you were to go for a lower price :)

Microsoft is again fast-following; as Scoble reports on Channel 9, "Virtual Earth" is under construction (this link is to movie).  So be it.  Can't wait for v3 of Virtual Earth in 2008, when it works.

So, I am officially a non-participant in the great podcasting hype-a-thon of 2005.  I think blogging is the greatest thing since sliced bread, or maybe since Gutenberg, but podcasting is always going to have a narrower audience.  It just isn't possible to "fast forward" through audio to skim it, and that's the beauty of blogs.  I don't have the time to listen to anyone - no matter how interesting - for extended periods of time.  What about you?

Sigh, even Business Week is podcasting.  I predict this fad will indeed be a fad, and in two years will have gone the way of all fads.  It has its place, but it is not anywhere near as fundamental as the web or blogging.  Furthermore when video podcasting takes hold - coming soon - it won't get that big either (except maybe as a vehicle for amateur porn and other entertainment).

Jeff Atwood is blogging about blogging:

  • you have to want to write
  • you have to believe you have something to say
  • you have to have an interesting way of saying it
  • you have to be a decent (not great, but decent) writer
  • you have to enable blog comments

I agree with all but the last; my comment, left on Jeff's blog (since he does have comments):

"I agree with everything except 'you must have comments, period'.  I've had a blog for several years which doesn't have comments.  I do consider it a blog as [I think] do my subscribers and visitors and linkers.  People respond to me via email or by posting on their blogs, and we link back and forth.  I'm not opposed to comments but I've never felt I had the bandwidth to moderate comments; seems like you have to spend time weeding out spam and flames and stuff like that, and I haven't have it."

So what do you think, any comments?

USB lava lampFinally, continuing the great tradition of making everything USB-powered, here we have the USB lava lamp.  [ via Engadget ]  I am not making this up, and I want one :)



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Correlation vs. Causality
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Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
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IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
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On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
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Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
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your cat for my car
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electoral fail
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