Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Hooked on Crichton, a birthday wish and a prayer

Darned, lost precious sleep over his yarn, "Prey." Even with work and chores, I finished the book in 2 days. He's really the master of techno-thrillers. This one gave me the chills in somewhat the same way as "Jurassic Park" did. This time, the enemy isn't even as big as velociraptors, but even more deadly. The swarm of man-made, self-replicating, self-evolving nano-particles are programmed to stalk and prey on other living beings, man included. The particles are manufactured using bacteria fused with pred-prey (predator-prey) programming that learn and evolve via distributed intelligence (kinda esoteric but Crichton makes it all understandable). I won't delve into details in case someone reads this account and decides to explore the book but what I can say is that Crichton delivers another interesting and scary thriller.

What's terrifying is that these technologies are existing now - biotechnology, nano-technology (micro-tech), advanced computing technology (distributed processing/intelligence). It's not as if these are far off into the future thingies. At the heart of almost every Crichton novel is the clear warning about the dangers of using technology blindly. With the way companies are racing for the consumers now, products are being released without much testing. While computer software may be a bit harmless if they fail, dealing with living particles programmed with distributed intelligence (which is tad better than artificial intelligence) is an even more dangerous proposition. The prospects are scary, scarier than your night of the living dead movies. Are these technologies converging right under our noses? Your scary guess is as good as mine...

P.S. Belated happy birthday greeting to my surrogate mom, Loury. I pray and hope for your happiness, health & peace _c")_

P.S.2  I hereby offer my prayers for the late Ronald rReagan, a great president and leader


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