HOW TO DEFLECT AN ASTEROID – AND OTHER HOPEFUL THOUGHTS
Freeman Dyson is one of those intellectual giants you’ve either heard about – like Buckminster Fuller or Robert Oppenheimer – or, well, you now have.
His remarkable daughter, Esther, grew up in Princeton and would occasionally run into family friend Albert Einstein. You may know her from her newsletter, books, or Huffington Post posts. This Fall, for reasons she explained in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, you will be able to access her medical records – and her genome – on the Internet.
And I haven’t mentioned Freeman Dyson’s father, who was a composer, or the son who is a historian of technology, or his ideas for colonizing space.
Michael Axelrod was kind enough to send along this interview, which he calls ‘a must read for every curious person about the way the universe works’ (which could be you, but The Simpsons opens today, and I know it’s hard to read while standing in line.)
If you do read the Dyson interview, you’ll find at the very end the right way to deflect an asteroid. (And here you were thinking we’d just nuke it.)
And then – if The Simpsons is sold out, or after you do see it – you might want to read Professor Dyson’s ‘Our Biotech Future,’ in last week’s New York Review of Books. (‘I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next fifty years at least as much as the domestication of computers has dominated our lives during the previous fifty years.’)
ONE OTHER THING TO DO THIS WEEKEND
Have you seen SiCKO? In early voting (what, were these all the production crew of the movie plus the studio employees?), The Simpson eclipses it with nine stars. But SiCKO still beats out everything else – and, unlike, The Simpsons, is subversive in a more practical way. (If it led to a more rational health care system, it could ultimately, for example, save your life, or save a loved one from bankruptcy.)
Quote of the Day
This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.~Western Union internal memo, 1876
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