Sunday, June 24, 2007

Greg Bear on the Daily Show

Greg Bear talks to Jon Stewart about working with Homeland Security and future bioterrorism.

Note: the video expires July 21, so watch while you can. If the video won't play for you try this link.

(via mom - thanks, mom!)

ETA: and thanks to mom again for pointing out that I originally embedded the wrong video and that it's "Jon," not "John." Good grief, I need an editor.

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Péter said...

I was told the other day that if I like reading about intelligent microscopcal beings like the microzooids/micromen is J. Slo's The Children Star or Brain Plague, I should read Blood Music by Bear (I don't know whether it is the English title, but we have it in Hungarian :) I might give it a try...
I have a very good friend in Silver Springs, Washington, who is a Hungarian biologist and sf writer; I've recommended him your blog, if you don't mind: I think he would be more than happy to read it.

Peggy said...

Hi Péter - Blood Music (the English title too!) is an excellent book. I haven't read Joan Slonczewski's The Children Star, but Brain Plague also has some interesting biology in it.

And please send your friend over here. The more the merrier!

Ford said...

The thing that annoys me about intelligent microbes, as in Blood Music or Vitals, is that they don't need to be intelligent to be interesting, as your post on parasites that manipulate hosts shows. Actually, I get even more annoyed by fictional microbes that act in ways that would have been eliminated by natural selection, such as a cell putting the interests of its species (or even other microbial species) ahead of its own. Is the Prisoner's Dilemma really that hard to understand?

Peggy said...

Aren't there instances where a cell might put the interest of its species before it's own? It sounds anthropomorphic when written that way, but what I mean is that natural selection might favor behavior that at least appears to be altruistic rather than purely selfish. That has been seen in Pseudomonas and slime molds. For me the problem is attributing intelligence to the microbes, which isn't at all necessary for them to exhibit that kind of behavior.