Thursday, April 15, 2010

Artificial Life and the Death of a Giant

I arrived to work today in my usual fashion. Made it to my desk, unpacked my stuff, turned on the laptop, and started the Facebook app on my BlackBerry. The first update I saw was from a friend back home: “Peter Steele is dead? He can’t DIE! wtf.” In disbelief, I patiently awaited my laptop to finish its startup process, which was entirely too slow for my patience today. I quickly opened the web browser on my BB and googled it: Peter Steele. Up came the headlines: Peter Steele had died sometime last night. Heart failure.

I quickly notified a coworker whom I knew was familiar with Type-O. I posted a status update on Facebook. I commented on a status. And I commented on my own: I hope it’s a hoax… again. You see, they pulled a stunt back in 2005 with a headstone posted on the band’s website that read RIP and led us to believe it was Peter Steele who had died. And here we are again. 2010. This time, few think it’s actually a hoax. Hopefully it is, and good for them to be able to pull something like this off twice in the band’s career – but we expect otherwise at this point.

The short conversation with my coworker went from Peter Steele and his alleged heart failure at age 48, to Ozzy Osbourne and his continued existence: somehow rock n’ roll got Peter Steele at 48, but it hadn’t gotten the best of Ozzy at age 61 (arguable, at the least). This thought prompted me to wonder: is Ozzy just lucky? Had he been able to pump so much poison into his system that he was either on the brink of failure, or pickled to the point of suspended animation? Had he truly made a pact with the devil and sold his soul for rock n’ roll? Either way, it’s amazing Ozzy’s still alive.

It’s not often that I stop to think about artificial life (not counting your typical zombie and vampire discussions). The possibility of man creating a monster, a cyborg, or even a robot with full automation isn’t something that regularly comes mind. Yet, for some reason when I thought of Ozzy I immediately thought of artificial life.



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