[ExI] Makes me wonder...
anders at aleph.se
Sun Sep 14 09:17:26 UTC 2014
Jukka Liukkonen <jukka.liukkonen at iki.fi> , 14/9/2014 8:24 AM:I wonder how large portions of a human body could be removed and it could still function somewhat normally.
Thinking of how to make lightweight astronauts?
Depends on what you mean by "function". Remaining alive, being able to post to the Internet, or making omelette? And how much external tech is allowed?
People can live good lives without their limbs. Gall bladders are not necessary, in older people the thymus gland is already rather non-functional (in fact, a whole slew of glands can be replaced with external hormones).
Parenteral nutrition can keep people alive intravenously without a functioning gastrointestinal tract. Dialysis is worse than kidneys, but works. I think there are a few permanent skin substitutes, but none of them is very good. There are heart-lung machines replacing that part of the cardiopulmonary system. Bone replacements exist. People with paralysing syndromes can communicate using brain-computer interfaces if they are inserted early enough.
Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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