Nanomachines manipulating DNA– and Grigory Perleman

Yesterday on Slashdot, a link to an article about nanomachines that can target individual genes — in this case to cure cancer. A long discussion follows in the comments (500+ comments) about implications of this technology, whether it might be used for ill as well as good.

I have not yet had the heart to read many of the comments. The technology described, and the implications thereof, are, of course, are pretty much the essence of my novel Acts of the Apostles, which I began writing 15 years ago and published more than ten years ago. Every time I see life imitating (my) art like this, I confess, my inner Grigory Perleman kinda starts to make rumbling noises deep in my bosom. Perleman’s the math genius & Howard-Hughes style recluse who refuses to accept $$ millions prizes for his solution of the Poincare conjecture because he’s evidently pissed off that his genius wasn’t recognized earlier. “You are disturbing me! I am picking mushrooms,” he hollers through the door to reporters who want to ask him about his mathematics and his opinion on prizes.

I did make a comment on Slashdot posting a link to this glowing Slashdot review of Acts by Slashdot co-founder Hemos. He at least recognized my genius. The other Slashdotters have probably modded by comment into oblivion by now. Such is the fate of us geniuses.

But just for the record, if anybody wants to give me a million dollar prize for writing Acts of the Apostles, I promise you I’ll accept. In fact, I’ll be happy if you just buy a copy.

Revolutions 2010: Booklife Unbound

So here it is January 1st, 2010 (at least according to my calendar–yours may vary by a day or two one way or the other), and by long standing tradition a time for New Year’s Revolutions. This is to be a big year for me –momentous, even–and hence a big year for all of us at Wetmachine– exalted Wetmechanics like me and mere lowly wetmachine readers like you alike. So pay attention. These revolutions could save your life.

Why is 2010 going to be so momentous, which is not to say (or is to say, depending on the definition you choose) portentous, you ask? Because 2010 is going to be the year that all my problems go away. Howso, you ask? First, during this year I will become a wildly successful writer. Achieving wild writerly success will make me financially solvent. Being financially solvent will reduce my worry and stress, and my health will improve as a consequence. Seeing that, the Fates will smile upon me and grant me a reprieve from all my other worries and problems.

Let me explain. Other than my own financial and physical health, I have only two other kinds of problems: (1) The world is going all to hell (global warming, Darfur, Wes Welker, etc), and; (2) people near to me have problems, and this causes me worry, which is a problem.

The first class of problem I solve by fiat, that is, by declaring the world’s going all to hell “not my problem”. That leaves only the second class, the problems by proxy. Because all problems stem from not having enough money, when I become financially unbound as a consequence of becoming a successful writer, I will give mass quantities of money to people close to me, and thus their problems will go away, which will make my problem of worrying about them evaporate, ipso facto. You see, I control my own fate! This is called New Age (or “Republican” or “magical”) thinking. It’s gonna work. Count on it.

So everything hinges on my becoming a successful writer. Very quickly. That may seem like an audacious goal, but thanks to Jeff Vandermeer’s “Booklife”, which I received as a Christmas present from Dear Wife (& to Booklife-related blog & web sites), I now have a plan by which to acheive such success as a writer (and person). See below for details. (You really should continue reading, by the way, since the more you read the closer you become to me, and thus more exigible for expiation of all your problems. As in tales of supplicants whose wishes were granted by touching Jesus’s robe. Not that I’m claiming divinity; just say’n.1)

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Newsom/Christie: Images to Sounds: Hear to There

Over on his other, “real” blog, neutrino/hadron-class Wetmachiner David Newsom tells this charming story about how his book of photographs, SKIP, inspired somebody he’d never met to write a song cycle:

So, a little while back, I got an inquiry from a woman named Holly Christie about one of my pieces, “Blue Truck”. Turns out she’d been looking over Perceval Press’ web site, and she’d come across my book SKIP.

Anyway, she liked it, bought it, and we struck up a dialogue. As fate would have it, Ms. Christie is a singer/songwriter. One year later, thanks to the seemingly infinite generosity of the folks at Perceval Press, Ms. Christie has released a small collection of beautifully produced songs, inspired by SKIP, titled, “To Hear From There”.

It’s kind of amazing. Most times, we put these things out there and they’re met with silence, sometimes a nod. But, man, when they inspire others to take the painstaking journey that, say, producing an EP requires, well, you’ve gotta feel good.

Definitely worth a look. And follow the links to Christie’s site to hear the songs. Definitely worth a listen.

The start of Wetmachine?

”Thus it is clear that the human race has at best a very limited capacity for solving even straightforward social problems. How then is it going to solve the far more difficult and subtle problem of reconciling freedom with technology? Technology presents clear-cut material advantages, whereas freedom is an abstraction that means different things to different people, and its loss is easily obscured by propaganda and fancy talk.”

Ted Kaczynsky, aka The UnAbomber, who was arrested on this date in 1996.

Happy birthday, Nick.

As fate would have it, another inpsiration had a child exactly two years later: Paris Michael Katherine Jackson