Monday, October 23, 2006


I'm officially fascinated.

Not committed or anything, but fascinated. What a weird idea. And oddly enough not that far away from conventional diet methods: cut calories, replace foods that are "empty" nutritionally speaking with foods that are packed with benefits (fiber, antioxidants, omega-3, etc.). Any fitness magazine will tell you to measure portions, keep a food diary, and count calories for weight loss - and this is only a few steps beyond.

Interestingly enough, I saw Ray Kurtzweil (seventh page of article) speak last spring at Stanford. He struck me as a little beyond belief.

“Kurzweil thinks we will reach actuarial escape velocity pretty soon,” says Don. “What do you think, Michael?”

Michael pauses to collect his thoughts, and while he does, let’s fill in a blank or two. Ray Kurzweil is an occasionally best-selling futurist, given to flamboyant but well-researched predictions about the “transhumanist” century ahead of us, in which hyperbrainy artificial intelligence, fiendishly intricate nanorobotry, genome-twiddling Frankentech, and other incipient techno-marvels combine to reinvent humanity in the image of the machine. Swirling in the midst of it all is the key concept of “actuarial escape velocity,” a transhumanist term for that moment in the acceleration of biomedical progress when, for every year you live, technology adds another year or more to your maximum life span. It’s a tipping point that, theoretically at least, never stops tipping.

Anyway, you won't find me on the CR diet anytime soon. But it certainly is interesting to know it's there.


Anonymous said...

emily! i fucking love you! and also, kurzweil! his writing has had a profound effect on me. i totally bought into the whole transhumanist thing. i can't believe you saw him speak! that's so cool. his technological singularity ideas are so totally mind-warping. i look forward with the utmost of passion to the day when his "prophecies" are fulfilled. oh, emily, how i fucking love you!

B said...

how does beer fit into this? as far a I can see, thats the main drawback.