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    • CommentAuthorIan_M
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2009
    I tend to agree. Immortality will probably never really be practical. Not so much because of the 'life hurts, then you die horribly' argument. More of the 'entropy will crush you slowly, without even noticing' idea.

    But people will try it anyways. If I live long enough, I plan to mock their hideously prolonged sufferings.
  1.  (5582.22)
    To me this isn't just about replacing limbs and the like, it's about allowing the idea of being modular to coincide to the idea of being human. Small steps, otherwise we'll squick ourselves out of doing something that will save us from actual certain doom.
  2.  (5582.23)
    Yeah, I come off too ass-hole sometimes about medicine. I'm ok with the research, as a small part of the whole of human endeavor: science should cover all bases. Just bugs me, the glamour of these ideas, the fake ethical debates of growing organ clones or what fucking ever that have been going on since bad 70s sci-fi films, while the world's still half-full of wars and bullshit laws and poverty and impending doom.
    • CommentAuthorIan_M
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2009
    Brian, I recommend you have a drink. Or two. Alcohol makes everything fuzzy and good. I'm going to get drunk tonight myself.

    Medical technology will continue to develop, and people will continue to butcher each other with machetes. We will not become As One, living in harmony with one another. But we will be able to fix more of our self-inflicted wounds. It doesn't really balance out, but it's the best we can do. Debating medical ethics and trying to help one another out of war or poverty are not mutually exclusive.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2009
    "Medical technology will continue to develop, and people will continue to butcher each other with machetes."

    And medical technology will make us better at patching up the survivors so we can send them out the next day to do it all over again.

    It's all a rich tapestry.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2009
    As for why a head transplant rather than a brain transplant: head transplant means you just have to hook up the arteries in the neck and the spinal cord; brain transplant means you need to hook up all the sensory organs as well.
    • CommentAuthorENGINE
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2009
    That makes sense: whole body transplant makes the (correct) assumption that everything that makes you, well, you, is located in the brain, and the body can be considered one large organ dedicated largely to keeping the brain alive.

    If I recall correctly, the structure of the neck isn't all that complicated: a few sinews and such, the suturing of which won't be such a big deal because it's not going to be used anyway, the same deal with the peripheral nervous system, the connection of the oesophagus, carotid artery and jugular vein and...largely that's it, I guess. Whereas a brain transplant would involve getting YOUR neural tissue to connect with the donor body's neural tissue, which is...tricky, because the body's ability to recognise what does not have its DNA and reject it is notoriously excellent. It's why kidney transplant receivers have to take immunosuppressants.

    I wonder if a viral vector organism (hmm, iffy subject there: are viruses organisms?) that would reconfigure cellular DNA from donor to receiver, bit by bit, could be thrown into the mix as well. If it could do the reverse transcripting gradually, so that with each mitotical division, the donor body becomes more and more like the receiver's, genetically speaking. Of course, it'd have to work all the way down to the mitochondrial level as well, because the mitochondria has its own strands of DNA too. There are people who're born with genetic defects like that; mitochondrial DNA doesn't quite match nucleus DNA, and then they, uh, die.
  3.  (5582.28)
    LingeringShade: That was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. Fascinating, yes, but disturbing.

    Saint Dharma, patron saint of what cannot be unseen