Joan Slonczewski

Joan Slonczewski

  • Commented on The Northern Wild: How to Save New York?
    Do you think there will ever be "virtual cities"? If someday we can upload our brains into the cloud, why not a city? Could we map all the connections of a Tokyo or New York into a virtual cityspace?...
  • Commented on The Northern Wild: How to Save New York?
    Hm, tell Mayor Bloomberg. What do you think of the flood plans he announced today?...
  • Commented on Neptune's Brood: an excerpt
    Inhuman rights. I can't wait to read it!...
  • Commented on The Northern Wild: How to Save New York?
    Just checking in from my morning run in Seattle. Let's save this city too! Wall around the continent? Trash heap still winning I think....
  • Commented on The Northern Wild: How to Save New York?
    Interesting ideas from Andy and Rhyolite.I'm sure future archeologists will appreciate the trash solution. Any calculations?...
  • Posted The Northern Wild: How to Save New York? to Charlie's Diary
    Your perennial Ohio-exiled New Yorker returns, on an urgent mission: To save our beloved New York City. For decades, somebody or other has been out to destroy New York. From King Kong to The Day after Tomorrow, the aim has...
  • Commented on PSA: Ignore the news
    Personally I feel proud of the coverage so far. The crowd response was first-class, and the news media were restrained. They pointed out that anybody can read how to make a bomb on the internet. Obama's response was "terror but...
  • Commented on The Fumes of Mordor & Other World Building Models
    What do you think of the original Lilo and Stitch? I thought the first one was an above-average story, for the genre, and the Hawaiian background seemed believable; I've been curious as to what Hawaiians thought. The experience of all...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    Alex, that's an interesting question. Does our high-pressure evolving-on-steroids society succumb to error? By the mitochondrial analogy: Mitochondria have a ten-fold higher error rate than nuclear genomes; but their worst errors go out quickly, because a cell that can't respire...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    MjD: Yes, the Barres case is a fascinating "natural experiment." Also suggests ideas for science fiction. Some say "We're better now, I passed the test, sexism is on its way out." And some say "It's still a problem, it's in...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    #8 Expose people to the idea that they have ingrained biases Yes, this is helpful thinking. If we can all see this as an essential part of our thinking, to reveal our own biases on sex and/or race, and account...
  • Commented on Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction
    That is a beautiful cover....
  • Posted Off the Map: Women in Science and Science Fiction to Charlie's Diary
    While Charlie's away, Joan and Stina appreciate the chance to fill in. Picking up on Elizabeth's thread: So where "on the map" are women in science and science fiction? A startling study in PNAS tests how male and female lab...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    Alex: Sorry, the idea of Margulis that multicellular organisms that metamorphose have merged genomes from different organisms does not hold up. It's a neat idea, but all the evidence points the other way. For instance, the imaginal disks of a...
  • Commented on The map is not the territory.
    Color vision depends entirely on the peak wavelength of each type of photoreceptor (red, green, and blue). So if our photoreceptor genes differ a little bit from the "norm," then we see different color ratios than "most" people. Occasionally, a...
  • Commented on The map is not the territory.
    In fact, there are dogs trained to recognize the smell of cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy. A trained dog can detect when you're about to have a seizure and warn you in time to prepare....
  • Commented on The map is not the territory.
    It is certainly true that the media--including literature--paints our map of the world. For example, we "think" more people die of plane crashes than car crashes (becaue plane crashes get more press). We think the way people look in films...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    Ryan, I agree with your assessment of current work on aging. In general, though, isn't a "mature field" one that's awaiting the next unexpected breakthrough? Perhaps the unexpected breakthrough, in this case, would be the mapping of human brains onto...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    Are the mitochondria "successful"--that is an interesting question. You could argue they are among the most successful reproductive entities on Earth, in that they populate nearly all eukaryotes. But the same could be said of a retrovirus (HIV/AIDS). Retroviruses are...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    From a comment posted on Ultraphyte: In my mind, the pinnacle of intelligence as we understand it is the ability to produce AND to consume pieces of art. People worry about how computers and robots will take over their jobs...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    Nix, "mitochondria" are defined by having DNA, but some protozoa have mitosomes or hydrogenosomes for which convincing evidence suggests they evolved by reduction from mitochondria (with no DNA left). So it can go all the way. That is interesting about...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    The dogs have certainly undergone natural selection to live with humans; even their digestion does better with carbohydrate scraps(!) Reminds me of Tricky Woo in the Herriot stories. As for mitochondria, I think they're small enough that we would see...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    Heteromeles, if you prefer the term evolutionary "reduction" in terms of reduction of gene content, that does happen, and did for the mitochondrial genome proper. It is driven by energy efficiency, not teleologically, but by natural selection; the proto-mitochondria that...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    If you look at memory research, it's scary. We don't really "remember;" we create memories. It's easy to erase our chip and implant things. And we've certainly lost the ability to "remember" the way the Medievals did. Only with intensive...
  • Commented on Mitochondrial Singularity
    You're right, "three parents" is a misnomer. But interestingly, if people get used to that idea, will it be a "gateway" to more extreme genetic modifications, where you actually borrow somebody else's chromosome....
  • Posted Mitochondrial Singularity to Charlie's Diary
    So the Salt Being is back. Bwa-ha-ha! More microbiology. As Charlie points out, there are lots of ifs and buts about the coming singularity, the day when machine intelligence finally overtakes the human mind. But what if the singularity is...
  • Commented on The permanent revolution
    You're talking huge timelines here. The Renaissance is the shortest of them, but even that was about 400 years. Technological innovation? Sure. Rapid tech change? Not at all. The Chinese and Egyptians, likewise, developed tech over thousands of years. We...
  • Commented on The permanent revolution
    it's only since roughly 1800 that you couldn't live your entire life using only knowledge and practices known to your mother and father. Yes, and that period roughly coincides with the birth of science fiction (Jules Verne etc.) But human...
  • Commented on Fang Fuckers: some reflections (in a mirror)
    Another view of vampires: Men secretly longing to return to the infantile milk-sucking stage? Blood and milk mixed together is actually pretty good food; ask the Masai. Great vampire dissertation; I'll definitely bookmark this one!...
  • Commented on Where's Charlie?
    Charlie, I'll look forward to getting eaten by the monster again at Boskone. What do you think of the new Martian meteorite?...
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