Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Future Imperfect is Now Webbed

I have just put up on my web site the HTML version of the final draft of my new book, Future Imperfect, replacing the late draft that has been there for some time.

Well, sort of final. I'm inviting readers to email me corrections, additional information, links to relevant material online, so that I can keep updating the book as new material comes in.


At 1:51 AM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is mirroring allowed?

At 10:26 AM, October 15, 2008, Blogger David Friedman said...

Mirroring is allowed, although linking is probably easier--I doubt I'm going to have enough traffic to need mirrors.

At 1:31 PM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the section on human reproduction under "Biotechnologies" :

My development from a fertilized ovum to an adult was made possible by cell division, starting with a single cell. So is the process of healing wounds by building new tissue to replace the old. Once I reach my full size, most of those cells must stop dividing, since otherwise I will keep growing. Cells are provided with mechanisms to make them divide – oncogenes – which get turned off when division is no longer necessary. They are provided with additional mechanisms to stop them dividing, in case the oncogene gets somehow stuck on “divide.” And, just to play safe, they have a third mechanism to make the cell self-destruct if the first two fail.

You're correct, insofar as cells do have mechanisms that instruct them to divide, but that normal process has nothing, per se, to do with oncogenes. Likewise, cells are programmed to die given a certain set of signals in their environment, and this process is called apoptosis. All normal cells have both mechanisms. For instance, skin cells continually divide and die (turnover) during your entire life, as do the epithelial cells of most of your organs. There are many other examples.

Oncogenes are particular genes that, when mutated or the gene product (protein) becomes dysregulated, allow the cell to side-step the normal apoptotic program, so they effectively become immortal, and the dysregulated growth leads to a tumor.


There were a couple other things that I saw in this section when I briefly read it that struck me as sketchy, but pointing them out is probably beyond the scope of a comment.

Some of the book appeared interesting, maybe I'll get time to read more, and more carefully.

At 3:02 AM, October 16, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody knows about the future.

At 8:34 AM, October 16, 2008, Blogger P475ExpertQ&AGroup said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:45 AM, October 16, 2008, Blogger Renato C. Drumond said...

David, it's possible to make the same with "Machinery of Freedom"?

At 11:04 AM, October 16, 2008, Blogger David Friedman said...

Renato asks about webbing Machinery of Freedom. I would be delighted to do so, but I don't own the online rights, and my publisher was only willing to let me web a few bits of it when I asked some years ago.

For Future Imperfect, my agent got me the online rights.

At 1:28 PM, October 16, 2008, Blogger Richard said...

Hi David,

Will you be bringing hard copies to London a week on Saturday? I am coming to the LA conference and would love a signed copy.

At 12:11 PM, October 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the chapter on aging. I cannot find a reference but I recall reading another theory that made sense to me. Evolution selects a lifespan that is a tradeoff between being long enough to allow a more complex being to develop, reproduce, educate children, and be productive, while yet being short enough to allow faster adaptation by selection. (Some meta selection there, I guess.)

As an example, we try to be careful with antibiotics because bacteria evolves much faster than we humans do because it has such a shorter lifespan and thus can evolve in less than one human lifetime to be resistant to some antibiotic.


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