Saturday, February 4, 2012

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Well, it's February already, and we're a little closer to finding out who the Republican candidate for president will be, and no closer to finding out who the season-starting left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers will be. It's either Romney or Gingrich, and both of these guys have as much chance of beating Obama as Ryan Braun has of beating his failed drug test.

Meanwhile, Groundhog Day came and went; that superstitious holiday where people go and pester an overgrown rodent on the principle that it knows better than NOAA, the NWS, numerous supercomputer simulations and at least half a dozen strategically orbiting weather satellites when spring will arrive.  And these are going to be the same people that will choose the next Leader of the Free World.  Eh, who knows?  Maybe Mr. Holy Underwear has a snowball's chance in Hades after all.  However, Mitt did come out of his hole, saw Newt Gingrich's shadow, and ran back inside, which means at least six more weeks of campaigning.

Meanwhile, the cherry blossoms in D.C. are in bloom.  Yeah.  In February.  No Snowmageddon this year.  (Not yet, anyway.)  In fact, people are wondering where the heck winter went.  Oh, don't get me wrong, we'll get a cold-snap at some point.  We always get at least two each year, and we're overdue for our second.  But now Europe is getting socked in with record lows and massive amounts of snow, all because the Jet Stream has blown it over to them this time.  I seem to recall, back when WE were getting all that snow last year, and global warming deniers were guffawing, how Europe was having unseasonably mild temperatures.  Who gets the warm spell next year, northeastern Siberia?

It's not global warming, necessarily.  We won't really feel the effects of that until the North Polar Cap is almost entirely gone, and that's a little ways off, yet.  No, when that happens, we'll ALL be feeling it.

I guess my point to all this, whether it be sports, or weather, or politics, is that we ain't seen nothin' yet.  Things are just getting (pardon the over-extended metaphor) warmed up.  In politics, we're just beginning to see the contentiousness that will happen, because as the religious right begins to lose, they will get ten times more shrill. As the polar cap vanishes, global warming will very suddenly become obvious.  And sports?  Just you wait!  Steroids are going to be the least of its problems.

We're on the cusp of producing artificial hemoglobin, which could transport so much oxygen throughout our bloodstream that someone could do wind-sprints for five hours and not break a sweat.  We're close to nanobots being able to rebuild broken bones and torn muscles, and viruses being able to rewrite our DNA.  If you think steroids are contentious, wait until an athlete's DNA is rewritten to produce more testosterone naturally -- beyond any possible detection.  Wait until life-spans are extended and 50 and even 60 year-old athletes glut the market, making it all but impossible for rookies to break in.  Wait until that classmate of Ryan Braun's, who rivaled him in high school, decides to retire from that engineering job he was forced to take after he broke his leg in college, and comes back to make a pro career at age 70.

Yes, it's all possible.  Because computers can put it all within reach.  A computer that filled a room in 1960 could fit into your pocket by 1980, and the computers that could fill a room in 1980 now ride on everyone's hips as smart phones.  By 2030, those computers will fit inside a blood cell!  Don't think so?  Computers have been getting twice as powerful and half as expensive every two years, but it's not a straight curve.  It's a logarithmic one -- meaning it's speeding up.  And before most of us reach 80, I think one of our super-sophisticated computers will get creative, sentient, and be able to invent new technologies itself.  It will built a better version of itself, which will build a better version, and so forth.  We humans will never need to invent things again.  And so many life-extending technologies will emerge that it will be hard to keep track of it all.  Imagine having a brain with its own external computer-drive so that you have photographic memory of everything, and will be able to do six-figure calculus in your head!  Imagine old age being conquered and living forever!  Imagine being able to give teenagers internal contraception which they can remove when they land a steady job in their 20's?  Let's see what the Catholic Church makes of teenage pregnancy becoming a thing of the past!

Now imagine if the rich get their way, and they are able to hoard all that new tech for themselves.  If lassez-faire economics gets its way, that will happen.  Oh, don't get me wrong, capitalism is fine, but it's not an absolute!  And if some government control isn't maintained over free enterprise, then what will happen when all this cool technology arrives is that YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Public, will die, and the rich will live forever!

Don't think so?  Just you wait.  Two years ago a medical team was able to manufacture a kidney from scratch.  Yes!  An actual kidney!  It's already here.  It's arriving just around the corner.  We'll be alive long enough to see it, I think.  And if we are, we might just live long enough to live forever.

So you'll understand why I'll vote for bad Liberals over good Conservatives in the meantime.  I have no intention of being one of the 99% who are denied an indefinite life-span!  As for all of you, all I can say is, eat right, exercise, and vote Democrat.  That way maybe I can see all of you looking like you did in your 30's, eighty years from now.

Am I way off?  Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet!


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