The Lighter Side of Genetic Manipulation Nightmares

C Sven Johnson @ 19-05-2010

Future Imperfect - Sven Johnson

After Alba the fluorescent art rabbit was artificially engineered, and genetically modified zebra fish were cleared for sale to the general public, I began imagining various ways in which playing Frankenstein could bite us all in the collective ass. Vivid as it may be, my layman’s imagination has been no match for the professional efforts taking place inside globally dispersed laboratories; strategically located to best align with antiquated laws, corrupt government officials and/or an oblivious local population.

As a consequence, I … we … have been repeatedly blindsided by some exasperating headlines: the Ruakura “sane cow” vaccination backfire in Australia, the Black Gull 17 contagion in Europe, and the Three Pig Inc virus in North America come immediately to mind. However, I can only take so much bad news. Continue reading “The Lighter Side of Genetic Manipulation Nightmares”

Mass Custom Microbots For Everyone… Else.

C Sven Johnson @ 24-03-2010

Future Imperfect - Sven Johnson

Unlike most people my age, I don’t have a lot of dead tech replacement parts crammed inside my body. No hand-polished titanium joints. No electro-membrane kidney prefilters. No brand name ocular or cochlear augmentation devices. Just some old metal fillings and a couple of porcelain crowns. However, over the past few years I’ve been reaching that point where good genetic fortune runs out and difficult choices need to be made. As a consequence, while recently undergoing a routine physical exam, my doctor recommended I consider having a colony of MoniBots™ injected into my system so they could monitor my physical condition and report back anything out of the ordinary.

I told her I’d give it some thought. Continue reading “Mass Custom Microbots For Everyone… Else.”

The Top Ten Substitutive Pieces List

C Sven Johnson @ 02-01-2010

Sven Johnson reports back from the Future Imperfect once again, rounding up the hottest body-mods, elective surgeries, prosthetic add-ons and extensions of the human condition from a year that’s probably less distant from our own than we suspect.

Future Imperfect - Sven Johnson


I don’t normally care for lists, especially at this time of year when we’re inundated with “Best of the Year” lists, “Worst of the Year” lists, and of course the obligatory “New Year’s Resolution List” lists. However, as a pre-emptive strike, I thought I’d jump in with my own contribution; something perhaps a bit different than the usual fare. So without further delay, here’s my “Top Ten Substitutive Pieces List”. Continue reading “The Top Ten Substitutive Pieces List”

The Gaming Fields: crops, copyright and DIY genetic engineering

C Sven Johnson @ 30-09-2009

Sven Johnson reports back from the Future Imperfect once again. This time the IP boot is on the other foot, as a keen gamer casts a copyrighted GM crop in an extremely unfavourable light

Future Imperfect - Sven Johnson


I suppose I don’t need to ask how many of you have succumbed to the latest “farm game” revival craze. If you’re reading this column you’re almost certainly playing Genetic Seed, the latest in a seemingly never-ending stream of post-aquapocalyptic, real-time strategy MMOs; this one the obvious offspring of such classics as Food Risk and Germplasm II. However, if you’ve somehow remained oblivious and don’t want to google for an explanation, think of it as the cross-pollinated spawn of a scorched-earth Spore and one of those open source gene-splicing applications… only instead of critters, you play God with the plant life. The better your clan’s food, the stronger its fighters, the bouncier the babes, and so on. Continue reading “The Gaming Fields: crops, copyright and DIY genetic engineering”

A Crazy Little Thing Called Artificial Love

C Sven Johnson @ 08-07-2009

Sven Johnson’s Future Imperfect isn’t quite so imperfect this time out, as he reports on what might be the first sign of a soft Singularity.

Future Imperfect - Sven Johnson

Continue reading “A Crazy Little Thing Called Artificial Love”

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