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March 13, 2004

Century City

I just saw a preview for Century City, a new TV series on CBS premiering on Tuesday, March 16, 9PM ET/PT with an additional episode on Saturday, March 20, 10PM ET/PT. The premise of this legal drama is that it takes place in the year 2030 and the clip I saw had the lawyers arguing against soccer mom genetic engineering as being dehumanizing. It looks like GE is a central theme of this vision of the future and I'm hoping that the science is portrayed accurately.

Here is more information. Click on the Enter Century City tab for lots of backstory.

Genetic screening has made the population as a whole more content, well adjusted, personally fulfilled, and healthier; indeed, many of the syndromes and diseases that afflicted people in the twentieth century have been eliminated. However, many people voice concerns that humanity is in danger of losing something essential by this trend toward normative homogeneity. They worry that the richness of human experience will be compromised if we diminish our ability to experience boredom, suffering, alienation, and even despair.

Medical techniques have advanced so quickly that it remains to be seen what unintended consequences they may have, socially as well as physically. The discovery of a "gay gene" has led even unbigoted parents to choose heterosexual children rather than risk the chance of their being persecuted for their sexual orientation. As a result, the nation is in danger of losing a vibrant subculture.

Going further than mere screening, a government program called the Genetic Prototype Project has succeeded in actively engineering people to be stronger, faster, smarter, happier, more resistant to disease, and less susceptible to fatigue, but they have also made them sterile lest their untested new genes escape into the population at large.

Most people are leery of human enhancement when it goes beyond counteracting physical or mental impairment. Augmenting the brains of retarded people with biomechanical devices is one thing, but pumping up athletes with lab-grown muscles, epo receptor mutations, and MGF injections so they can run 45 mph is unpopular with the general public, and enhanced athletes are banned from most sporting events.

I'll hand it to the writers, they're taking every issue in the news today and creating a new world for tomorrow.

Three people can get married, all at once, in Nevada, and the expanded nuclear family has been popularized by the hit sitcom "Mom, Dad, and Jerry." . . .

Law firms function in essentially the same way as ever, though some large companies have begun outsourcing their legal work to firms in India. . . .

Many of the crimes that have troubled human societies for millennia are becoming obsolete, thanks to near-omnipresent surveillance, made possible by the proliferation of small, cheap cameras with high resolution, coupled with sophisticated search algorithms and cheap digital storage. . . .

In an age when every aspect of our lives is monitored, recorded, and managed by computers, hackers have the ability to break the rules and get away with it. . . .

Some things stay the same: Mick Jagger is still touring, thanks to regular doses of telomerase activator.

Posted by TangoMan at 12:30 AM