Behind the scenes, our world is constantly rebooting. Search engines have been known to perform periodic, rolling reboots of their computing nodes. In October, one of Hubble’s gyroscopes was fixed with a running restart. Power stations are practicing “black starts” (without using external power) to prepare for cyber attacks.
Rebooting is not just frequent, it is structured and varied. Some software can reboot individual components independently, without taking down the whole system. So-called crash-only software handles all failures by restarting.
We are engineering this kind of granularity not just into computers, but also ourselves. Stem cell researchers try to reset cells’ age but not their function. Fasting reboots your immune system, but not your circadian rhythm. Psychedelics reboot the brain’s default mode network but not its memories.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Welcome to “Reboot.”Read the Issue