Tuesday, November 30, 2021


2022 is slowly coming to a close. When I was a kid, I was amazed that my paternal grandfather was born in the 1800s. I wonder if little kids will look at those of us born in the 1900s with the same wonder.

For this is the future! No flying cars or jetpacks, but we all have miniature computers in our pockets, and can communicate with anyone in the world for pennies. We have all the information at our fingertips, which, due to human nature, has depressingly caused us to become more entrenched in our division than bringing us together as I had - in my Pollyanna-like fashion - foolishly assumed it would, but we can discuss things things which drive me to drink another time.

Because this is the future, and now, we have what may be the first true artificial lifeform.

Xenobots - named after the South African Xenopus laevis frog from which they get their stem cells - are computer-designed biological robots. Less than a millimeter wide, these little self-healing buggers could - conceptually - clean plaque from arteries, deliver medicine to specific areas of the body, clean up the oceans, form a parasitic skin over our bodies to turn us into Shai-Hulud, the God-Emperor of Dune... the possibilities are endless.

And now, they can also reproduce on their own! The holy AI that designed them has figured out a form that can gather stem cells, and build them into new Xenobots of their own. So yay, the little swarm sent to clean out your arteries may go rogue, and devour the stem cells in your bone marrow or fat cells, replicating more and more until they take over your body, and you pop like the meaty water balloon you are.

That sounds kind of cool, when you think about it.

It would be nice if they could eat our fat cells.

Would PETA rant and rave about their slavery? What if they achieve sentience? If a 3D printer builds more 3D printers, than can it be said to be alive?

The more I wonder about whether our universe is just a computer simulation or not, the more massive extinctions make sense. The God-computer can only handle so many life forms at once. Every processor on the planet is something else the simulation has to take into account. This would also explain the push towards cloud computing. It just helps make the Olympian game of Civ-Infinity run faster.

Here's hoping someone is going for the science victory.


(Written while riding the R train and listening to Goblin's awesome 70s Suspiria soundtrack.)

No comments: