Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Thought Experiment: Followup

Last week I pointed to a thought experiment over at Marginal Revolution that asked “A freak solar event ‘sterilizes’ the half of the planet (people, animals, etc) facing the sun. What happens?”.

You’d never guess who picked up the ball: David Brooks in his New York Times editorial. I’m not sure I’m super keen on Brooks’ take, though: “If people knew that their nation, group and family were doomed to perish, they would build no lasting buildings. They would not strive to start new companies. They wouldn’t concern themselves with the preservation of the environment. They wouldn’t save or invest.”

As I was reading I got to thinking about something in particular: There is a lot of research on aging at the moment and I wonder if all resources wouldn’t move to that. All of a sudden The Methuselah Foundation (they’re working on extending human life) would have people knocking down it’s doors. It’s possible, even, that incentivized by the possibility of extended life indefinitely people from around the world would move and join the fight. It’s a sort of weird thought, but hey, it’s a sort of weird question.

July 28, 2009