KC Christensen – Patreon
With the CDC saying that 1 in 4 US adults suffering from some form of disability, myself being a quadriplegic, what are some current accessibility technologies that people should hear about? What are some that you think will make a huge impact?
I’ve gotta be honest, this is not something I’m that well-versed on as a (gratefully) able-bodied person
Natural language recognition allowing people to interface with computers with their voice
AI assistants that learn what you need and how to help navigate the world
AI assistants that integrate with smart home technology to control lights and climate in the home, etc.
Could help in rehabilitation by giving people a safe and fun space to practice motor skills
AR could help with navigating the world, providing necessary info about accessible spaces and transport
Allowing for greater mobility and access through automated wheelchairs
Obviously humanoid robot assistants that could perform basic tasks around the home and that never have to sleep would provide a level of comfort and safety.
Robotic prosthetics combined with AI give more function
Stem cell therapies?
Link to an article from 2022 where they tested rehabilitation therapy on mice combined with stem cell grafts and saw a huge improvement
Just made the news that Neuralink got FDA approval for human trials.
I know they’re a controversial company and everything Elon touches becomes clickbait on either side.
And while, yes, it’s been sold as a way to merge with AI in the far future, in the immediate present, it could go a long way to helping people with disabilities to interface and interact with computers, opening up the world to them in new ways.
If it works. Only way to know for sure is with human trials. So this is a good thing.
Sigh — Discord
What is the current state of CRISPR? It was introduced to the world with massive (and probably justifiable) fanfare, but it’s been a while since the last substantial update.
So my first thought when I read this question was that CRISPR is just a tool that’s being used now, so there’s not much to update. Like asking what’s the latest update on screwdrivers?
But our resident geneticist Theo pointed me to the fact that there’s some interesting new research that combines CRISPR technology with the same mRNA vaccine therapy that was used in the Covid vaccine in some really interesting ways.
In fact, Moderna, who famously created the mRNA Covid vaccine, recently partnered with a company called Life Edit who are using CRISPR to perform base editing in DNA, that means replacing one single base pair in DNA to turn on or off a gene.
Moderna wants to do the same thing with RNA to custom design vaccines for all kinds of diseases, including cancer.
The idea is, there’s a million different kinds of cancer and what makes fighting cancer so hard is that the cancer cells act like our cells, so our immune system doesn’t get rid of it.
So the idea is that if you could sequence the genetic code of that particular cancer’s DNA, you could use CRISPR to create a bespoke mRNA vaccine that would tell the body’s immune system how to find and attack the cancer cells in the body.
I kinda hinted at this back when the Covid vaccines were coming out, that this new mRNA vaccine technology could pave the way for not just cancer treatments but all kinds of things, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, genetic conditions you name it.
Philip Shane — Discord
Bard or Bing?
donasalyer — Discord
Thinking about climate change and the need to move faster, I was thinking about all of the times in the past when we did move fast, when something compelling forced us to get it in gear. We have the recent example of the vaccine. But some older examples: forcing the switch to nonleaded gas, the child locking bottles after the Tylenol scare, the new airport security after 911. What was it about those situations that moved us quickly that is different from where we are now on climate action (inaction)?
So… this is just my take on it. Not that heavily researched.
But I think we just aren’t as well evolved to deal with long-term problems. We evolved to avoid getting eaten by sabre-tooth tigers and bears; immediate threats. Everything you mentioned were immediate threats, or at least shocking events that that felt very immediate.
We reacted to it quickly because it happened to us quickly.
I mean, sometimes I don’t even blame people for being climate skeptics because it is very complex and there are a lot of variables and it’s amorphous and it’s not any one thing, it’s varying degrees of things.
Add on top of that the fact that it’s gotten political, so that gets mixed up in people’s identities and there are wealthy and entrenched interests who have fought for years to muddy the waters and confuse the conversation.
I often wonder if there could be a clarifying moment in the climate change situation, like one event that just shocks everyone and brings the whole thing into focus in a way that’s undeniable and cuts through the clutter… And I really don’t know what that would be.
I mean even if, say Miami was literally wiped away by a combination of rising sea levels and stronger storms, there would still be a lot of people who just think that’s the natural progression of things, move inland.
Sometimes I think the economics of it would spur change because even if you don’t care about millions of people getting swept out to sea because you don’t live there, the financial toll would be horrendous and that would spur companies and governments to spend more money to prevent further loss of money down the line.
But I don’t know.
I was just talking to a friend about the movie Don’t Look Up, and I know it has its detractors but I like the way it took the way we responded to climate change and said, “What if we reacted to an immediate threat the same way?” By reframing it like that, it really showed how ridiculous the whole thing is.
I don’t know, I’ll pass that question off to you guys, what climate change related event could possibly happen that would force us to make the changes we need to make? Discuss down below?
Thomas F. Boulden – Patreon
From whence cometh your comedic sense? What comedians or comedic groups do you enjoy or have you enjoyed?
From whence cometh your insolent tone, peasant?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail when I was 11 or 12 – the hardest I’ve ever laughed in my life. I thought I was going to die because I couldn’t breathe.
Not sure if I’d say that’s where I got my humor from though.
I was the smallest kid in my class when I was growing up, so humor was a defense mechanism. People wouldn’t beat me up if I made them laugh.
Can’t insult me if I insult myself first.
My parents wouldn’t let me near anywhere near Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor but they let me listen to Bill Cosby.
Grew up watching SNL with all the legends on there, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, etc. Always wanted to do that. Still want to do that.
Also grew up in a small town without much to do so I turned to writing.
Later, Kids in the Hall, Mitchell and Webb. Bo Burnham recently doing interesting stuff. None of these are groundbreaking.
Isaac Hutchison – Patreon
One: What is your favorite “thing” in the solar system? And here I mean planet, moon, dwarf planet, structure (like the oort cloud or asteroid belt) etc etc. And why?
I like Titan – only other place in the solar system with similar air pressure. Also methane lakes.
Imma go with Olympus Mons. It’s just ridiculous.
Mars doesn’t have tectonic plates like we do so all of its magma just came out in one spot over billions of years, creating the largest mountain in the solar system.
It’s almost 3 times higher than Mount Everest, more than twice as high as Mauna Kea from the sea floor.
Plus, it’s on a planet that’s half the size of Earth so proportionally if we had an Olympus Mons, it would be 42,185 meters high. 42 kilometers high. 26 miles high.
And it’s basically just this oozing boil of magma that flowed out of one spot, it’s crazy.
Everest height from sea level: 8,844m
Earth diameter: 12,742,000m
4.77 x 8844 = 42,185 m
138,482 ft = 26 miles high
Olympus Mons: 22,500m
Mars Diameter: 6,799,000
Isaac Hutchison – Patreon
I’m sure you’ve been asked before, but what music do you listen to, if any? Any go-to favorite artists?
They say that your favorite music is always the music you listened to in your high school and college years because that’s when your brain is solidifying. So of course I gravitate to 90’s rock.
But I think I might be going backwards in time. I find myself listening to 70’s music a lot more than I ever did when I was a kid.
Yesterday was a good day playlist
Most new music is just noise to me, which I’m starting to realize is how my parents felt about rap music when I was in high school.
Misfits playlist stuff – electronic/synth music
Rave about The Beths