Black Box is a Danish culture magazine. My friend Alex Burns does stuff for them, and this is a response to a roundtable discussion he was conducting. The question was
What genes and memes would you like (hypothetically) to have replaced, altered, removed or radically upgraded, and why?
My answer was as follows:
I hate sleeping, showering and shaving. If I could get a genetic upgrade to rid my days of these interruptions (as well as eating and the subsequent digestive tasks), I’d be a much happier person. Also, though I don’t really mind getting older, I’d like my body to retain its ability to heal quickly. I’m a skateboarder, a BMXer, a snowboarder, and a rock climber. I’m creeping into my thirties with the activities of a teenager and the aches of a much older man. I’d love to have the speed of the healing match the intensity of the activities.
On the memetic side, I’d like to have a better crap filter — some memetic sieve through which only the good stuff could slide. That way maybe I wouldn’t walk around humming the latest pop crap by Shakira or Burger King’s newest jingle. I don’t mind getting good Hip-hop lyrics stuck on “repeat” in my head, so those would be welcome to come through. I think I’d be a smarter person without my brain expending extra CPU cycles on random pop detritus.