I went out with some friends, the place was nice, the evening breeze, the ambiance, the food and everything. At some point I went in to admire the interesting decorations – the theme of the place being local folklore.
I couldn’t spot the difference in the floor level (there was no step: just the floor changed level abruptly), and my high heel got caught in the higher board, so, next thing I knew, I found myself in a horizontal position, on the floor. I managed to pull myself up together (lucky or unlucky me, nobody was inside because of the heat wave), only to realize that I couldn’t put my foot down anymore – the pain was too sharp. I sat down on the nearby bench and started to massage it fervently, as well as I could to avoid the pain. More than the pain, I was thinking about the embarrassment for having to ask someone to come and save me – help me go all the way to the table, then call a taxi, then walk all the way from the parking lot to home. And all sorts of fast, crazy thoughts that cross your mind in similar instances.
At some point I remembered my last fall, some five years ago, when I fell off the bike, landing on my right palm. The impact was so that I was left instantly with a hanging poach along my fore-arm, elbow, arm articulation, while the whole arm was swelling fast. No way I could keep it in its ordinary position, but I had to hold it with my left hand all the way home.
You need to know one thing about me: I hate doctors! I mean, doctors in a context: clinic, hospital, emergency – operating room, ER, etc. (grrr – my husband, who is a doctor, knows not to get near me in my extreme instances). Not because I ever had any bad experience, but because that’s how I am, and in general I don’t do anything to tempt fate.
Back to my bursitis (my poach of accumulated lubricant fluid from thee bruised elbow articulation), first thing I didn’t even want to show it to my husband – I was afraid he was going to call our equivalent for the 911). But then, night falling, I started feeling quite scared: what if something went bad and I’ll have to end up in the surgery room? I googled it and it took me a while, as I didn’t know what to look for, and finally found my situation – it was scary and not scary – I understood it could go both ways; but my own poach looked considerably worse than what I saw in their examples.
Luckily my doctor, who knows my special condition, decided to cope with me: “I won’t take you anywhere right now, but if in the morning it’ll look worse, then I’ll have no choice than to take you to ER”. I did massage myself as gently as I could, mostly around the painful area, but then my doctor massaged me too, with maybe more professionalism than I was able to. And feeling – yes, I felt his emotion while he was doing this: like in our youth, when I had been programmed for an acute appendicitis and he patted, massaged me, held me, all night long, so that in the morning, when I went for the surgery, the admissions doctor said that there was no need to. Now, thirty something years on, it’s still not the case.
To make the story short, all he did to me was an injection, that massage and some ice bags. And tenderness – he kind of kept hugging me while sleeping, as much as I wouldn’t feel pressure on my arm (obviously I can’t recommend similar treatment to any patient).
So, I was saying that my new accident, my ankle sprain, reminded me of that other episode (or episodes, as there were some others too, but in different circumstances). Hmm, I said to myself, what does this hypnotherapist here can do that I cannot (in reality, he did mention also auto-hypnotism – the capacity to induce oneself in a similar kind of trance as to access the healing powers of the own unconscious)?
And, there I was, after my first attempt to stand on my right foot so that I can walk to our table. I sat down again and started massaging my ankle, even my painful spot, with more, gentle care – with love. I told my foot not to be afraid, that there have been any times before when all was even worse than that and “we” my body and me – managed to do “miracles” (I don’t like the word: sounds like “abracadabra”, when, in fact, it is as serious, as factually real, as eye, or heart surgery), and that this time again, we are going to be fine, no doubt of it if I could kiss my ankle, like I did with my arm – elbow articulation, I would have done it, but, I’m sure, my ankle understood. Did it look like my ankle was swollen already when I first stood on my foot??
My next attempt to stand was a total success – I even was able to put on a casual air as if nothing was bothering me – although I was walking cautiously, slowly. My company at the table noticed there was something the matter with me – I did take a long time – so I had to explain “no, nothing serious, just a scare, that’s all”. We stayed like one more hour after that, I, wondering if I would be able to reach to the street for the taxi, and then the last 300 m walking home alone. Meanwhile I did massage my foot and ankle again under the table, just to check on it – it was swelling slowly, but surely. Then finally we went to our taxis each, and got off mine near home. It was around 11 pm, and there was a guy watching from the door of his 24/7 supermarket, whom I didn’t want to feel responsible for me, in order to come and help me – so, I forced myself until I went after the corner to walk as elegantly as ever. I did manage to come up the stairs and fake there was nothing wrong so mom will not notice she had to leave home for ten days, so I thought there was no need to let her worry.
I put on my pajamas, grated myself one raw potato and placed in over my ankle inside the sock (I didn’t have ready ice), and made a pile of pillows in my bed to keep my foot a bit higher; I didn’t want to take any anti-inflammatory thing, all I had was Tylenol and I didn’t want to take it as yet . And, God, was it painful!! And, God, was it swollen! I said to myself: come on, it’s maybe that I just forced my whole weight on it, that maybe by morning it will be better.
By 2:30 am it was already painful enough to awaken me – and I am someone who can take some pain without complaint. I grabbed myself the stick from my mother’s cleaning mop, and limped my way back to the kitchen; made myself a new potato and a bag of ice. I fixed it all in place and I went back to sleep. This morning by 7 am, I was able to step on it, with just very little discomfort – the pain and swell were 90% gone.
I now regret that I didn’t take a picture of it when it was most swollen, so that I would have something to show and compare.
I wrote all this, and in such detail, when all this week I had in mind to write about the play between the unconscious and the conscious mind, is that, in fact, I DID write about the play between the conscious and the unconscious mind. I kept asking myself, why did this happen to me, and why now?? Who needs a stay in bed for a week or two, or maybe a splinter, an orthopedic boot, now, on a vacation??
The answer came from a fellow blogger whose blog I keep reading with interest; he just posted before midnight a new post on Google’s driverless cars.
His point is that we are a society of new everything, starting with new technologies and inventions. The argument is that we, humans, are not good enough drivers, not good enough operators, chess or other game-players, not healthy enough, not smart enough, not creative enough.
His idea is not new to me – I already have had quite an interest in new tendencies shown by developers, futurologists, life extensionists* and transhumanists** to “invent” and “create” a newly, updated master race like a revival of the old eugenistic ideologies (attempt at improving human species by selective reproduction of humans with desired qualities – an old Nazi program). They don’t say which would be the master race – all they say is that we have already reached our limitations, as if there we were in a competition with the computer. The solution would be to resort to artificial intelligence and nanotechnologies. Eventually, according to Google’s Ray Kurzweil, we would be “running nanocomputers through our bloodstream”.
Some questions might serve as guiding lines to get a clearer picture.
- Is it feasible? I guess it is. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ever getting more powerful, as “dictated by Moore’s Law”*** in 1965. It is at the very base of any estimation and prediction on IT (intelligent technologies) and AI progress and development. With the advent of nanotechnologies IT are ever “growing smaller” – atomic-scale foil, carbon or silicon, is already being fabricated, like graphene and silicene (atoms with amazing properties: graphene is 200-times stronger than steel).:
- Are they thinking of the generations in some remote future? No, Moore’s Law predicting, they are talking about a “singularity” **** that is going to occur by 2024 (with the deadline postponed to 2030 something), after Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzveil (see his books: Singularity Is Near, The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age of Spiritual Machines), and others; after this date “nothing will be as it was before”. We are already “edging towards the future”, they say.
- How close are we, in practical terms? We are quite close. In a series of experiments, scientists connected live animal brains into a functional organic computer.”*****
We heard in many places that “the future is now” – if this is true, what kind of future, we may ask? For whom, and who needs this?
In order to prepare the future “elite” of the world, colleges like MIT, Stanford and Harvard are not the academic stars anymore. Now there is this Singularity University******. But if you ever thought that these aforementioned universities were a little bit out of your league or out of your kid’s reach, don’t fool yourself: tuition cost in this elite institution is so exclusive, that: this is uniquely an ELITE University.
Many are the things that go against the logic around us, especially lately. Materialists claim that they are for the hard sciences, for rationality, that they will not take nonsense. But, if there are still any neurons left in my side of my brain, it so occurs to me that it would be total nonsense to give way to developing any future that will be especially destined for machines, intelligent or not. In a near future, maybe, if we are truly “blessed”, our organic brains, that Nature has been honing to such degrees along evolution that man, the highest in intelligence of all the animals,will end up serving as biologic support to some organic computers.
Has this world become really crazy?? There are these billions of people around the world who firmly believe – and many just know that they have a soul, and that this soul has come from some Spirit that is infinitely wise, and knowledgeable, because this is the Natural Intelligence at the base of Creation, the one that had the numbers so perfectly tuned that, the amazed scientists today assert, if only small fractions of the values in temperature, density or gravity were any different, nothing would have been, this universe and us included would not exist.
Maybe we are at crossroads. Maybe we should take our stances, voice out our creed.
I began this writing here with my story – what just happened to me, and what countless humans around the world know dead-sure to be true – there is Mind, or Soul, or Spirit , and we are going to access powers than we never thought of – if only we had enough knowledge as to how to use them.
We have this infinite power as being part of this Spirit that created worlds, so why would we want to create machines instead?? We don’t need ultra, super machines, be they mechanic or digital to do our work for us “better than humans”. they say. What about the countless situations and examples when machines have failed us??.
Yes, let’s create machines – I am using one here, and happily so – but let them be just what they are: dust of this world, transformed and processed according to human knowledge honed through generations of creativity, perseverance and genius.
We need IT and AI to help improve human potential and knowledge – and maybe intelligence, why not – we can and have to surpass our limitations. We can, and should learn how to strike the right balance between extremes, by solving our contrasts, like achieving balance in our left and right brain, between our conscious and unconscious mind.
*Life extension science, also known as anti-aging medicine, indefinite life extension, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers in this area, and “life extensionists”, “immortalists” or “longevists” (those who wish to achieve longer lives themselves), believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation, stem cells, regenerative medicine, molecular repair, pharmaceuticals, and organ replacement (such as with artificial organs orxenotransplantations) will eventually enable humans to have indefinite lifespans (agerasia) through complete rejuvenation to a healthy youthful condition. see Link: wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_extension
**Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
***”The observation made in 1965 by GordonMoore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.” It is still valid and functional – a graphic representation shows the exponential growth, with transistor counts doubling every two years.
**** singularity is
See the Links: http://singularityhub.com/
and some videos on the matter: http://www.singularitysymposium.com/transhumanism.html
and “When robots are everywhere, what are humans good for?”
***** organinc computers, “brainets”
“Imagine a future where computers no longer run on silicon chips. The replacement? Brains.”
****** “Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.” And for that, the singularity university needs to “identify key business and government leaders for possible partnership opportunities – interfacing with policy makers or influencers in your area”.
“To represent the organization around the world, SU has appointed Ambassadors to act as liaisons for Singularity University abroad. Ambassadors are selected from alumni who have participated in SU’s various programs. To contact an SU Ambassador on inquire about the initiative, please email email@example.com or head to http://www.singularityuglobal.org”
I Exist, Therefore I Am – Conscious!
When I first read Empedocles’ famous “The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere”, I thought: “philosophers are crazy people” – didn’t know about non-locality then. He must have already understood the reality of panpsychism (the idea that the mind is not only present in humans, but in all things) but then, all ancients did, or believed that anyway. We like to consider them rathe primitive It makes a whole universe of sense to me now, but I had to grow up before, and out of my previous conditioning.
I used to see the world as divided between those people who accept the “God up there” idea, and those in favor of the idea that there is no God at all, and that the world has come into existence just like that, out of nothingness – like many mainstream scientists like to believe today.
I was quite jealous of those having faith, as they could easily accept strange things and call them “miracles”. As my parents were totally irreligious, an absolute requirement of their time and of the communist type of society, my very religious grandparents were trying hard to give me a minimum of religious education. As a little girl, I have spent many long and lonely summers back there at my grandparents’ village, trying to figure out the best way to spot Him while He is spying on us. Lying in the deep grass I was squinting my eyes until they would become sore from trying hard to discern among the passing clouds a silhouette seated on some gauzy mass observing us. “He must be very interested in us, people, as He must know to which department He is to send us after some indefinite time”, I thought. But, you know what? Hard as I tried, I could never, ever see Him.
Growing up, such episodes seemed ridiculous; this, my formal education and the “materialist-dialectic” communist ideology that was being insidiously forced on us, made me grow up considering my grandparents’ religion and God as some myth, an anachronistic story of other times.
I wish that didn’t happen – I mean, growing up without having faith. Maybe my inner and outer life could have been way easier had I not been torn between two incompatible things: my absolute disbelief in anything outside of this tangible, material reality, and the impossible-to-deny experiences that I have been trying for so long to bury deep in some dusty folders of my mind. Read more…