Thursday, 14 December 2017

Read all about it! Earth-shattering news!! (See page 12)

I wanted to make this posting about the possibility of making an owl's eyes pop out if you slap it on the back of the head - seriously, google 'owl skull', they have their eyeballs in tubes that resemble early mortars - but there seems to be limited research on the matter out there, and limited scope for field tests to boot.

So, instead, I'll focus on the biggest story to break in decades.  Which I found tucked away on page 12 of The Times.  Yes, we seem to be one step closer to performing human head transplants.

My head, your body.  And all without the fiddly need to download Photoshop.

There's a potential take on Frankenstein where it's not a cadaver that's brought to life but you, your head, on the body of a corpse.  You've popped in for something routine, wake up from the general anesthetic feeling a whole new man.  Or woman.  Who's fussy?

Stories have been written from the monster's viewpoint, but I'm not sure there's been one quite with that take.  I might let that one mull in the dark recesses, see what emerges.

Actually, I wasn't going to blog about Frankenstein's monster at all, but about self-driving cars, which seems to be this week's flavour of the month, and how this is going to make The Knowledge a thing of the past.

And that got me thinking.  If black cab drivers are simply learning a near infinite list of locations and routes, even some that go sarf of the river, aren't doctors just acquiring a relational database of symptoms, conditions and interventions by educational osmosis?  Aren't they as ripe for replacement as cabbies?

Of course, doctors have stronger unions than drivers, at least in the UK, so I fully expect GPs still to be running late, even when my driverless taxi has dropped me at the surgery door on time.

And, of course, the more senior the specialism, the more difficult it will be to be replaced by an algorithm.  I suspect head transplants may be one for the specialists.  Doctor Frankenstein chose his career well.

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