Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Thursday Quote - Rudy Rucker

"Harry wants me to help him reproduce as a slime mold."
My Office Mate by Rudy Rucker, from Communications of the ACM July 2011

What can anyone say about a line like that?

Other than to provide a wider context? OK, if you think it'll help...

Sure enough, when I came into the office on Monday, I found Harry's desk encumbered with a small biological laboratory. Harry and his woman friend Velma were leaning over it, fitting a data cable into a socket in the side of a Petri dish that sat beneath a bell jar.

"Hi Fletch," said Velma brightly. She was a terminally cheerful genomics professor with curly hair. "Harry wants me to help him reproduce as a slime mold."

"How romantic," I said. "Do you think it'll work?"

"Biocomputation has blossomed this year," said Velma. "The Durban-Krush mitochondrial protocols have solved our input/output problems."

"A cell's as much a universal computer as any of our department's junk-boxes," put in Harry. "And just look at this! My entire wetware database is flowing into every one of these slime-mold cells. They like reverse Polish. I'm overwriting their junk DNA."
It didn't help, did it? Well, you'll just have to read the whole thing.

Next week: Kevin Benedict

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