Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Dan D in San Jose is doing 36 things including…

Read "The Selfish Gene"

3 cheers

 

Dan D has written 1 entry about this goal

Chapters 1 and 2

The book doesn’t assume any knowledge of genetics, and aims to instruct the read about that, skipping over many details deemed less necessary for understanding the point of the book – that there is no “objective” of evolution for a species, and that the “selfishness” of genes drives evolution as a necessity, without any entity “wanting” evolution to happen.

I think Dawkins could convey his point across more easily if he defined his terms (which seem a bit different from the mainstream nomenclature) from the start. My understanding of his simplified terminology so far (before reading up in Wikipedia) is:

nucleotide = the basic bit of genetic information; can be one of four kinds: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine
cistron = a sequence of nucleotides, clearly marked with a “start” marker and a “stop” marker
chromosome = the longest sequence of nucleotides
gene = a sequence of nucleotides of arbitrary length, which may span cistrons partially

Genes, not alone, but combined with the environment, determine the characteristics of an organism. My own analogy for this is: imagine you have a sequence of directions like “3, L, 2, R, 4, L, 1, R”, meaning take the 3rd left, the 2nd right, the 4th left etc. Without a set of roads (the environment) and a starting point, this sequence doesn’t lead to anywhere specific.

The understanding I get from these two chapters seems to have some holes. I need to see if a deeper understanding of the basics is necessary for grasping the book fully. It probably is, though, for grasping life extension.



Dan D has gotten 3 cheers on this goal.

 

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