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When cellphones kill December 4, 2006

Posted by dorigo in computers, news, science.

Milano, Italy. A bus whose driver is distracted by a phone call. A woman who carelessly crosses the road on the pedestrian strips while talking on her own phone. A collision. A death. Shock, sorrow, rage.

Cellphones do kill… And not through electromagnetic radiation: they do it by entertaining us too much. Our brain is not as multi-tasking as we would desire, in this age shaped by the boom of information technology.

Maybe one day we will all carry a co-processor installed in our brain which handles visual stimuli more quickly and effectively, leaving our main neuron-based CPU free to deal with other occupations…. Or maybe it will not be our main CPU by then.

Maybe we’ll all have a cellphone installed in our parietal lobes, and software dedicated to filter out calls from furniture sales…. Or maybe we won’t have our parietal lobes any longer.

The singularity is near. Will we live to see it ? Do we want to ?

I personally do – you cannot stop technological advancement, no more than you can stop preemptive wars or global warming. It’s all a sickening but unavoidable by-product of the built-in will to prevail and survive of our genes. Technological advancement is one of the most benign of these by-products…



1. Kea - December 6, 2006

Sorry to be off topic – but re that mag article on you and your bets: if there is no standard Higgs, but also no SUSY mumbo, does that count as Beyond the SM or not? I think it should, of course. If YES, then I would be happy to take up the bet, even though my views are quite opposed to those of Distler et al on what we will see…hmm…

2. dorigo - December 6, 2006

Hi Kea,

if no Higgs is found by LHC in 10 fb-1 of data, it does not mean it is not there! The bet has nothing to do with 95% CL limits on the existence of predicted or unpredicted particles… It would be quite unpractical.

Besides, my budget of $1000 is gone with Gordon and Jacques. However, there were others who were interested in betting along the lines I drew. Check the comments column of the original post (which, for your convenience, is linked in today’s post about Martin Griffiths’ article here).


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