Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"1) The Von Neumann architecture triumphed over Harvard Architecture in the design of computer systems in the late 1940s/early 1950s."

[...] DNA resembles the Harvard architecture. And we've got viruses. Lots and lots of viruses. Retroviruses, even, that write themselves into DNA. But most viruses depend on data and processor to be two different physical entities, and they do just fine.

So, no, the architecture wouldn't have made a difference. We'd just have different problems (side note to SF writers: Von Neumann-architecture genetics might get *interesting*).[...]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Singing for Supper

"It was entirely predictable once Carl Woese realised horizontal gene transfer was a more significant mechanism for change than Darwinian evolution." he said to the shiny black stranger.
"Take the number of your phalanges. Entirely inappropriate for your genus but with the dominant species on the planet having a profound relationship with the number ten, whole ecosystems have undergone what I term decimalisation."
He struggled against his strong bonds as he spoke, trying to find a weak spot he might tear through.
The stranger moved closer.
"The elevation of intelligence is another consequence, helped by easy movement of prion precursors across neural structures. I've written a number of papers that I'd refer you to, given the opportunity and a less delicately poised situation. Perhaps..."
The stranger whispered, rubbing his chelicerae together.
"I hunger. You stop talking. Stop struggling."
It was his last resort.
"Help me. Help me." the human-headed fly cried out, as the ten-legged spider advanced.