Everything You Know Is Pong by Roger Bennett

Everything You Know Is Pong by Roger Bennett

Author:Roger Bennett [Bennett, Roger; Horowitz, Eli]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 978-0-062-01661-4
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2010-05-27T14:00:00+00:00

Mori and Sato’s groundbreaking Baiomekanizumu data.

We are approaching fairly stupendous territory here, so let’s review: there is both anecdotal (De Low, Reisman, etc.) and physical (gerontological studies, bat breakthroughs, etc.) evidence indicating that ping pong may be an ideal activity to counter the effects of aging. There is a theoretical framework explaining why ping pong may provide a batlike exception to standard life span limits. There is increasing evidence that ponglike exercises may directly circumvent the neural effects of senescence. There is specific data showing that ping pong improves mental activity and decreases brain disorders.

The strands of unexpected connections are beginning to weave together into something larger–a web of possibility, a lattice of support, a scaffold of palatial proportions … or, dare we say it, a fountain of youth. Is it possible that poor Ponce was just a few centuries too early? Were that dreamy Spaniard to land in Florida today, he still wouldn’t find the bubbling brook of his dreams–but he might encounter John Donnelly of Sun City Center, recent table tennis gold medalist at the National Senior Games. Donnelly is 103.

Clearly, ping pong has much to teach medicine, and medicine is listening. But it would be folly to think this conversation goes in only one direction. Ping pong may allow us to play long into the future, but what kind of future will this be? More importantly, what kind of ping pong will we play? Most precisely, what kind of we will be playing that future pong?

Big questions like this require big thinkers, brains unconfined by arbitrary details of the moment. We’re now edging into the realm of transhumanism–the speculabiotechnollectual movement exploring how technological advances can enhance our basic human capacities and perhaps eliminate aging entirely. These goals have relevance beyond ping pong–e.g., foosball–but you can see how transhumanism would hold special attraction for a pongeur entering the golden years. The movement is full of speculative rhetoric along the lines of:

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or they could be enhanced uploads, or they could be the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound augmentations to a biological human. The latter alternative would probably require either the redesign of the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or its radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, anti-aging therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information.

(Nick Bostrom, of Humanity+, a leading transhumanist organization)


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