Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Peter Merel pete at extro.su.oz.au
Tue Feb 21 22:49:33 EST 1995


Patrick O'Neil <patrick at corona> writes:
>nanotech and what it COULD mean.  My problem is the idea of desiring to 
>coat the planet with TRILLIONS of people.  Not a chance and NOT 
>desireable.  In any case, I even recognize this figure as outrageous and 
>never a thing to happen.

The quote about trillions was not Perry's but mine. I certainly don't imagine 
that the planet could support anywhere near a trillion human bodies, or at 
least not human bodies as we know them. However it should be plain that 
nanotech will enable a dramatic reduction in the dimensions of a human body, 
as well as providing safe and comfortable travel into space via space
elevators and solar sails. These technologies will allow us to continue to 
expand our population while related technologies permit us to transform even
the most ecologically devastated regions into green and pleasant gardens.

>cannot prevent it.  You set up the conditions for a plague, and by damn, 
>you'll get one.  THAT is certain, and it wont require evil engineers to 
>act as creator.  AIDs is just a poor first taste and it is spread by 
>human behavior mixed with a good dose of technologically-provided rapid 
>travel and high population density.  I assure you, there is more to come, 

A couple of years ago I proposed a scheme to prevent _all_ existing viral 
diseases from using humans as a vector. The idea is fairly simple; we encrypt
human DNA with a computationally inexpensive cipher, and build the decryption
algorithm into the ribosome. Since viral DNA will not be replicated by such
a ribosome we should be able to give ourselves several million years breathing
space until new viruses are able to evolve.

How difficult would it be to introduce such a ribosomeinto the existing human
population? Whether it will be delivered by virus or by nanomachine, I can't
imagine why it should take longer than fifty years to implement. Can you?

>[flames and rhetoric deleted]

If you and Perry want to carry on like this, take it to a different
thread, or better, to a different group.

-- 
Internet:pete at extro.su.oz.au           |         Accept Everything.            |
http://www.usyd.edu.au/~pete           |         Reject Nothing.               |




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