Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Off-topic: extending life before being swallowed

Of red wine, robots and the Big Bang.

A hundred bottles of wine a day (or maybe just 35 - or even just 4 glasses) may extend your life. According to this New York Times article (free registration is a must for readers of this blog):
  • resveratrol (which is in red wine) may activate sirtuins,
  • which can trigger a reflex called caloric restriction,
  • which makes the (human) body's resources switch from fertility to tissue maintenance,
  • which cuts down on aging.

And when the body does start to fall apart, you may just download your consciousness into a computer. Rodney Brooks writes on the IEEE pages about a 'singularity period', rather than an event, possibly leading to a techno-utopia. He doesn't provide a timeline, but it won't happen before 2030. Fortunately, humans will always be a step ahead of the machine.

That is, if the earth isn't swallowed by a man-made black hole in the first place. A lot is being written about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The Guardian has now devoted a kind of a portal to the institute.

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