Cryonics, Frederick The Great, Robot Carers, Venezuela, Middle Age


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

What If Cryonics Works?

Rachel Nuwer | BBC | 25th April 2016

What if cryonics works, and frozen people come back to life decades or centuries later? “Dislocated in time, alienated from society and coming to grips with the certainty that everyone and everything they had ever known is irretrievably lost, they would likely suffer symptoms of intense trauma. And that’s not to mention the fact that some may have to deal with a whole new body because only their head was preserved” (2,050 words)

Fritz In Full

Henrik Bering | New Criterion | 22nd April 2016

Frederick the Great “played the flute at the crack of dawn, at midday, and in the evenings with a small orchestra, and he wrote music himself”. Napoleon thought him “among the greatest generals”, though he lost half his battles. He was a snob, a misogynist and an autocrat, but not a despot. “In an ocean heaving with irrational cruelty, a sovereign who was merely severe stood out as an island of humanity” (3,070 words)

The Robot Carer

Geoff Watts | Mosaic Science | 19th April 2016

What will it be like to have a robot as your carer, when you grow old? Better than having no carer, for sure. The robot will be able to fetch and carry, and probably make conversation. Will you come to see it as a companion, a friend? Probably yes. We accept animals as companions, and come to love and trust them. It’s not so hard to imagine a robots fulfilling a similar role, perhaps especially for the demented (4,770 words)

The Suicide Of Venezuela

Joel Hirst | 23rd April 2016

“Tonight there are no lights. There is no food either; they tell the people to hold on, to raise chickens on the terraces of their once-glamorous apartments. There is no water. The money is worthless; people pay with potatoes, if they can find them. Doctors operate using the light of their smart phones when there is power enough to charge them. The phone service has been cut. Soon an all-pervading darkness will fall over a feral land” (1,240 words)

Immortality Begins At Forty

Venkatesh Rao | Ribbonfarm | 28th April 2016

Reflections on reaching middle age.”The morning after your fortieth birthday, you experience the first day of the rest of time. Wait long enough, and every truth will crumble. Wait long enough, and every value will dissolve into moral ambiguity. Wait long enough, and every habit will decay, first into ritual, then into farce. And then you will be free. Something almost nobody wants, but almost everyone is forced to endure past 40″ (2,100 words)

Video of the day: Sydney Opera House

What to expect:

Featuring soprano Nicole Car, cellist Benjamin Schwartz, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (8’37”)

Thought for the day

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences
Ralph Ingersoll

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