Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Ride in My Way Way Back Machine... & Back Again

Its been a busy couple of weeks around here, between spring and spring stuff needing to be done and my wife's work I discovered that my pacemaker of 14 years finely died. Its not something that just suddenly happened. It had probably been slowly dying over the last several months probably, any rate it finely quit completely. Of course it then needed to be changed.
I have a very usual heart condition that I was born with, called transportation of the great vassals, which in in simple terms means that the blood wasn't flowing through my heart the way it dose in everyone Else's heart. In in 1961 there was very little that could be done. They went in and opened up the hole that was supposed to close when I was born, didn't thus allowing blood to back flow into the body and give me oxygenated blood, When I was about 6 weeks old or so they went in and made it bigger and sent me home. There wasn't anything more that they could do so they sent me home. I was what was called back then a blue-baby, due to the lack of oxygenated blood in my system. Several years later a surgery called the Mustard Procedure was developed and I was the first in the us to have it and survive. Fast forward many years which the many folks didn't know exactly what to do with me, and I did many things which I was never supposed to to do: .Like graduating high school with a regular diploma. I have since married and have four kids the oldest of which is now 20. There are still limitations on what I can do and how much I can do especially as I get older.
I am very glad to say that everything went better then expected I was in and out the same day. and so far have had no problems.

I have said all of this as a way of say that technology has imported itself into out lives in so many ways that we don't even realize it anymore. from the watch that we wear, that tell us not not only the time, date month, timer, countdown timer, I've seen some with calculators and even heartbeat monitors and have mp3 players and thumb drives all on your wrist, the countless little toys you can put in your pocket,

While I was busy with my pacemaker and other spring projects I kept a eye on all things tech..I followed the proposed merger of Microsoft and Yahoo. while I not a fan of either I really wasn't thrilled with the idea of Microsoft and Yahoo joining at the hip, so to speak, I for one,and glad it went south. I also see that Echostar lost the suit with Tivio and while the final results aren't in yet the principle is set and it doesn't bode well for the future of in general and other recording devices in general.

The discussion of DRM is a hot button, that most folks don't know enough or care about enough to know about. I have tried recently to start discussions with folks about this type of subject and they look at me like I've lost my mind or an talking about a scientific principle they never heard of before. The only time I get any response is when I'm "preaching to the choir" so to speak. Regular folks don't understand whats at stake, and by the time they figure out what DRM is its have their media all locked down and they wouldn't know what to do to get around the locks or even care to.

I have also been reading about the resurgence of LP, remember them?, the big flat round disc you played music on, years ago..? True audiophile say they sound better in many ways then a CD, I can't tell personally, they all sound good. Whats interesting is the number of turntables being issued that have usb capabilities, allowing you to easily convert you collection of oldies to mp3 or whatever your favorite format is and play it on your Portable MP3 player. So its safe to say that the LP isn't dead yet. With new ways to make the music that on them playable in many more places and formats. This is whole niche market that the record companies can't get their hooks into, the LPs were bought and paid for years ago and any royalties have been payed years ago they're a dead issue as far a the labels are concerned, However, the number or artist releasing new material in both a digital format and also offering a LP version is increasing . I just saw that Amazon has come up with a way to offer out of print albums back on the market by doing a print to order type of model, something which has been done for books for several years.
Some other items that caught my attention was the proposed Microsoft/ Yahoo merger, which fizzled out as I had hoped it would. I have no love for either MS or Yahoo and the idea of them merging was rather unsettling. Ms has too much power on the desktop, and has it hands full trying to keep Vista alive and keep anyone who can from either staying with XP or completely jumping ship to either Linux or Mac. Not to mention it other projects,ie, Xbox/360 and the 2nd generation Zune. Yahoo has its own set of problems such as loosing the search competition from Google. While the the Yahoo mail dose offer many of the same productivity features Google dose, just not with Google's interface and style and simplicity.
Face it, Saying you a Gmail address just sounds better then

This month marks the 10 year of the passing Frank Sinatra. Long lauded as one of this Century's greatest crooners and performers. While his presence was felt through most of his life, it seems to be coming back, again. I have always appreciated his music, there are certain songs of his that I love. I've seen many of the movie,and understand why he has the following he did and still dose. Many of his movies and much of his music is being reissued on dvd/cd in anniverisesary collections . All of this is well and good, and should be done. It should be remember that off stage he had a life and left 3 kids who have to live with his legacy and being children of a icon. The next question is, is there someone today preforming that people will release 10th anniversary collection of his 50+ year old work, 10 years after their death? To my mind, the answer is no.
Granted the entrainment business has always been a commercialized business, object being to make money, however, in the last 30+ years the business has been putting the dollar above making and promoting artist expression and making movies that push people to think. a classic example is. "In The Heat of The Night" when the White Plantation owner slapped Virgil Tibbs and Tibbs slapped him right back , and the Sheriff sat there and watched and didn't say a word. recently I heard a story that Nelson Mandel saw that movie while he was in exiled in South America, and he noticed there was a cut, but it wasn't until years later when we found out what was in that cut,; it was that scene,. In recent years there has been more in the way of indie film making and distributing, Because big movie houses don't want to back anything that's different, and now with the Internet and other distributing means a writer producer can bypass the MPIAA, and if he's lucky have them come knocking on his door.
Well, I hope that you have found my ideas worth waiting for and interstring reading if you like to comment please feel free to,,


1 comment:

Ollie said...

Thanks for the comments about Ye Olde Pacemaker. This always makes me wonder about Cloning.

When folks have talked about Cloning and denounced it as a God-like Act or tampering with nature, I think both sides miss another far more important target.

"What's the purpose of Gloning? What's the end result going to be?"

For the arguments against God-Like Scientific Achievements, I'd argue that God gave us the brain and our refusal to use it could be a slap in God's Face. After all, we don't have wings but our brain showed us how to fly.

But what's the goal of Cloning? Do we want replacement parts for harvesting and re-insertion into the original body?

And how long will it take for My Clone to deliver My Parts to me? Will Clones grow twice as fast - 2 days for every 1 of my own natural growth? 4 days? 10? 100?

And do we then think a replacement heart will last 70 years or 7 years or 7 days?

Will the Clone Parts come with a Regulator Switch from "High Growth" to "Natural"?

There MUST be some incubation period. So... what's that going to be like?

Will there be giant storage warehouses where you can store your clone? $20 a month. If you don't pay up promptly, what? They auction off your clone?

Who's running those warehouses? Minimum wage employees? High school kids during the summer? Just imagine... in Hollywood's storage warehouses, some 17-year-old boy finds some celebrity clone hanging there. "I don't have a hot date - I'll give this clone some Go Juice and whee, I've got a GREAT date, then I can press and clean her, and hang her back up."

Has ANY clone discussion mentioned the storage possibilities of clones?

The big issue remains: "What's the goal?" I think "Full Body Replacement" is the only goal.

What if your heart could keep beating for 200-300 years? But your joints and skin and muscles would be doing - uh - what?

And what about brain aneurysms? Eventually, THAT organ must be replaced, too. Or else nothing else matters. "Well, we've kept his heart beating for 300 years but his brain crapped out 230 years ago. Great great granddad Ollie makes a great conversation piece, though!"

I don't want just body replacement parts. Eventually, people will want Full Body Replacement. A full knowledge & experience brain-data transfer. I want a cable to take all of my memories and feelings, and load them onto a brand new me.

I mean, if I can't do a Full Replacement, then the "Me" I know doesn't exist at some point. How happy will anyone be dying but knowing their body walks around with a completely different set of experiences and requirements to learn everything all over again? I mean - I JUST learned VHS Tape Deck programming after 20 years!!

Uh, and what age of clone would I select?

Oh wait - that doesn't matter. Face it, if you can transfer yourself into one clone, why not a second and third? A tenth?

So pick any variety of ages. "This time, I'll come back at 22..." "Next time, at age 14..."

So... one time, I'm SURE I'll think, "This time, I'll come back as a 6-year-old..."

Oh boy, could you imagine letting ME sit in First Grade all over again? With REALLY young girls? Putting me in high school woulda been bad enough!!

Or, what if I've got a professional degree - a doctor, or a pharmacist. And I'm on my 5th Body. But my Degree Program was - uh - 200 years ago?!! You want ME to be your surgeon?!!

If I came back in a Child's Clone, would Child Labor Laws affect me? After all, a child's body STILL has nutritional and health issues quite different from an Adult's body.

And who pays for that existence in "the next body"? Me? What if I can't, and Clones all over the world don't have 300 years' worth of savings stored up?

I think the Clone Issue has a lot of other problems beyond worries about God-Like issues.

Pacemakers and replacement knees are interesting to me, but it always makes me think, "If I could find Heather Locklear's clone when she's about 19 or so... hubba hubba..."