Thursday, April 22, 2010

Limits of the Body

I was driving back to the city from Ithaca and heard the most amazing radio program on NPR's Radiolab called Limits of the Body. (Download Mp3).

The second segment was about the RAAM race in which the cyclists experiment on the human body by testing the limits of human sleep deprivation resulting in hallucinations, visions of zombies and mujahideen, and general insanity.

The third segment was about the capacity of human memory and individuals who have total recall and compete in the Memory Championships.


Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

One of the best arguments for achievement by past civilizations is that we, the descendants, have far too many abilities to merely be where we are even now. We continue to organize and increase and become wealthier. In other words, we have yet to achieve our potential. Given the possibility that the recent planet shaping catastrophes destroyed earlier civilizations, there is every likelihood, given our progress over the last three hundred years, that we might have achieved higher civilizations long ago, when the earth, or wherever our ancestors were, may have escaped catastrophe for say 20,000 years.

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

The possibility that with our current profligate use of electricity we are shaping, I hesitate to say evolving, ourselves into creatures who accept and respond to more stimulation, with accelerating "development". This response by our bodies may suggest where our futures as a "species" may lie. We are electrical beings in electrical/chemical/mechanical bodies. Designing a replacement body is not beyond us. It may explain where our ancestors went?