Larry Marsh is a columnist for the Kansas City Star. Judging from his recent article, "Stem Cells and Nanosurgery May Change What it Means to be Human", Mr. Marsh has either read or seen some really REALLY bad science fiction.

According to Mr. Marsh

Nanotechnology, which is just beginning to make its debut, may change what it means to be human.

Apparently nanosurgical techniques will accomplish this by speeding up the process of replacing damaged or aged body parts, such as knees or hips. Oh, and somewhere along the line, the human mind will merge with Google. Sorry Yahoo.

Having undergone surgery to replace a shoulder and having gone through the intial period of having to learn to accept that the replacement was part of me, I can understand Mr. Marsh’s somewhat strained point, but knee and hip replacement surgeries have been around for sometime now and not too many people have reported not feeling human.

However, its his next idea that makes one step too many:

 What if nanosurgery ultimately allows us to transfer the mind out of the brain into silicon in a stainless steel model?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have two images that leap into my mind after reading that:

1) Spock’s Brain, which anyone who has sat through it will painfully admit was probably the single worst ST:OS episode ever written


2) "The Colossus of New York". For anyone who hasn’t seen it, "Colossus" is a much underrated film from the golden age of SF movies, the 1950’s and is still the only film I know of where the film score uses a single piano and the music is based on Schoenberg’s 12 tone system.

Marsh ends his article by suggesting that those of us who are growing older might want to consider placing an advance order with Microsoft for that new stainless steel body. Considering all the problems Microsoft had with Vista, you might want to wait until they get all the bugs worked out first.