You gotta love O’Reilly. Not only are they one of the major publishers of computer and technical publications around (if not the most major), they are also one of the most open and progressive. Therefore, the very forward thinking, detailed and encouraging So You Want to Write a Book? guide for new authors section at their site should come as no surprise. That still doesn’t diminish the fact that it is very cool and a good primer for all aspiring writers.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a great interest in the intersection of science and spirituality.
I was listening to a podcast of the CBC program Quirks and Quarks. There was an interesting story on about a genetic scientist, Dr. Edward Rubin, who is removing the “junk” DNA from mice in order to find out if it has any effect. As you may already be aware, the vast majority of our genome is made up of DNA that, from all apparent evidence, has no purpose that we know of. Well, the only way to really test this is to remove this “junk” DNA and see if we can tell any differences between those that have had the junk removed and those that have not. His findings: There is not decernable difference in the mice.
Now, he did clearly state that this is in no way a good test as mice are not nearly as complex as humans so therefore the tests we have to measure possible differences are limited. He just wanted to get his preliminary findings “out there”.
This got me to thinking, what if we go further into this and start testing on humans only to find out, when it is way to late, that this “junk” is actually our souls. That because we do not have any way to identify and measure the soul we therefore have no way to classify this portion of our DNA. Being that this “junk DNA” is a much larger quantity than the “usable DNA” we could find that all living creatures are defined mostly by our souls. By removing it, we are creating creatures that, by all physical accounts seem normal but, in fact, are now differentiated by the fact that they have no souls.
(Funny aside, maybe we will be able to tell the difference because all of these soulless folks will become politicians and lawyers)
Include in this idea the recent findings, as reported in a recent Time Magazine cover story, that our need as humans to seek out some form of spirituality may be inherent in our genes, and you have the makings of a some intriguing ideas and even more intriguing outcomes.
Wired has a good article on the Getting Things Done phenomenon, David Allen and a separate primer on GTD. Of course, it has the ubiquitous associated mentions of 43 Folders , the Hipster PDA and Moleskine. Worth a read, especially if you want to know what the big deal is all about.
Also, I think I just broke a personal record for the number of links in a post.