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rigelkitty pointed me towards this clip from Presto, the short that'll apparently accompany Wall-E. Bunneh!

Should be worth checking out the transcript when it appears: transhumanist sci-fi author Charles Stross was the guest at Sophrosyne's Special Salon in Extropia Core on Saturday. "Charlie will discuss the Singluarity in fiction, cutting-edge technologies, his Hugo-Award finalist novel Halting State, about virtual worlds and augmented reality, and his upcoming novel Saturn's Children."

On that note, if you're in the mood for an unconventional anime centered on the themes of memory preservation, body swapping, being able to explore other people's memories, and so forth, check out Kaiba. Six episodes in, it's certainly not disappointing. (Be prepared for an artwork style that's somewhat sketchier than you might be used to. ^_^) It's a Madhouse production - they've been responsible for quite a few innovative anime in their time, including the recent Paprika.

A set of freebies not to be missed! The Garden of NPIRL Delights is closing on the 23rd, and "several of the very gifted content creators have decided that their work should not disappear. Hurry hurry!" Follow the link to see some of the best that people are coming up with in SL visual art; visit to bring back copies to place on your own land. Maybe you also have ideas that could be brought to virtual life? (Being a wintry sort, four Yip's Elevator Angels is an installation that particularly appeals to me)

Dashed good: Sporto Kantes. Awkward to describe, going by just the two tracks presented - it's sort of electronica, inasmuch as The Pinker Tones are, but with quite a large natural input as well.

Scientific American reports on researchers at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle: "Cassian Yee, an immunologist, says that he and his team removed so-called CD4+ T cells (a type of infection-fighting white blood cell) from a 52-year-old man with stage IV (the most advanced) melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer; it had spread to a lung and a groin lymph node. The researchers grew T cells (that target a specific protein, or antigen, on the tumor cells) in the lab until they had a population they believed was large enough to destroy the cancer. They infused five billion of the cloned cells into the patient. Two months later, PET (positron emission tomography) and CT (computed tomography) scans did not reveal any tumors—and the patient has remained disease-free for two years, Yee says." They do caution this is only a single result so far, with the next step to try the process with ten to twenty more people; if that works out, they hope it "could be a viable treatment option within five years".

Apparently, the long-delayed Whovian spinoff show starring K-9 is underway, having finally entered pre-production. The writing pedigree looks good, with his co-creator, Bob Baker, also having been a writer for Bergerac and Shoestring, and responsible for the screenplay for Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

There's an MST3K group that meets for weekly in-world viewings, 7pm Fridays. ^_^

Of course, it was only a matter of time until someone (probably many someones) had to create a certain dragon in Spore..

Well, we survived the trade show. ^_^ Apparently, quite a lot better than that, though there's still a packed month or two ahead to get the project completely wrapped up, with the next week or two dedicated to getting the first batch committed to manufacturing, which, amongst other things, relies on my bootloader being absolutely solid - so there's some tough testing in the works; I certainly wouldn't want to sign off on code that isn't perfectly reliable. (More people would help, but, even if we could find the right people, it'd take time to bring anyone up to speed with the code and hardware, so it's basically up to the coworker and myself, at this point)

So, maybe I'll be able to actually reply to everyone's replies again. If not, I do apologise - it's not out of ignoring anyone.
Nice to hear about the progress on the cancer front. :) Of course, it does make you wonder - just generally speaking - what the implications will be if humans live longer and longer; cancer, so far, seems to be one of the leading causes of death, so with that (mostly) removed (which I think WILL happen eventually), the ages we reach will just continue to rise. At the same time, though, people will likely not be willing to work longer (quite the opposite) - if they'd even be able to, which isn't a given even with a longer life, either.

Ah well.

Hmmm, which dragon is that?
I tend to think people would want to stick around for much longer, assuming they remained fully cogent and physically able, for as long as we're talking purely organic, essentially natural bodies. Assuming a lack of actual disease, it seems we're already at the point where it's more a matter of gradual deterioration in DNA, and the telomeres having been "used up", leading to increasingly impaired cell division and lowered organ function. Remove that, and I could easily see "retirement" being just the early phase of life - gaining enough to be able to enjoy some real freedom for the remaining centuries.

Would people want to continue to work? Absolutely. A life of leisure sounds a whole lot more appealing than it is, as anyone who's been unemployed will know, even if that does add the grim facet of a lack of money to actually do very much.

Ultimately, I imagine people might become bored, but how long would that take? I know I'd love to see every part of the world, and preferably enjoy all that interstellar travel would have to offer - that'd take quite some time. What for the end? Given how far ahead we're looking, perhaps one could sign off on one's body, and let someone else take it over; perhaps it'd be common to be able to merge personalities, creating something new in the process.

That's Trogdor. ^_^
Ah, OK. ^^

Mmm, and I'm not convinced that people would want to continue to work. Of course, you're right insofar as that they wouldn't want to just sit home alone and wait for the phone to ring, but they also wouldn't want to work nine to five with the boss man giving them hell. :P

I'm also not sure that getting rid of diseases and allowing people to live (much) longer will actually allow them to still maintain a decent quality of life. Even today, it seems that many people waste away many years in nursing homes etc. before they finally die - we know enough to cure them when they get sick, but we aren't able to keep their bodies from deteriorating to the point of uselessness.

And of course, there's the problem of how you'd actually pay your bills if you really lived for a long time. Right now, our system (in Germany, anyway) is built on the assumption that there's (many) more people working than there's pensioners and that therefore, those who work can pay for those who're already retired. The fact that people get older and older has proven to be a very real and very big problem there, and I don't see how it could be solved except for by (financially) requiring people to work longer to compensate for this.

The only alternative would appear to be a different form of society, one where money and work do not play the same role as they do now anymore, but short of managing to build robots or so that will take care of all menial tasks and allow us a life of leisure (not one where we wouldn't do anything, but where we'd do the things we want to do because we WANT to rather than because we HAVE to), I don't see that happening.

And of course, I also am not sure that it'd all just work out even then - I'm cynical enough to believe that those in power would not be interested in giving up their power, wealth and influence for the greater good, for example.