In some ways: it’s kind of fascinating how far our species has come, and how depressing how far we may have yet to go.
Dealing with Misty’s blister problem has made me think increasingly often about a scene from Star Trek 4: where Bones meets a patient waiting for kidney dialysis, and wonders if this is the dark ages–because it kind of is. And then they proceed to go rescue Chekov from having holes drilled in his skull by a crack team of ’80s brain surgeons.
We live in a world where science and reason has come a long way: yet much of our medical technology hasn’t evolved as significantly as our practical knowledge of medicine. We understand better how and why things work, but our influence is often limited.
In science fiction, such as aboard star ships named Enterprise: we see a world where what is broken can be repaired. Fixing broken bones is easier than welding metal. Bandaids and sutures replaced by repairing tissue and arteries. Tools that our chemists and biologists could only dream of for understanding the world around us.
Yet we live in a world where our only options are essentially medieval, compared to our dreams. We have to suture and staple people back together, because this is often the best our technology can do.
Hell, can you even imagine how much the equipment for an MRI costs, or how much it weighs, or how much our technology had to evolve to make that possible? From a pure technology standpoint such equipment is a miracle, a magical marvel. One we’ve only just begun.
I feel in many ways, we’re benefiting from the rise of science, and the ease at sharing collective knowledge. Our doctors know a lot more than in centuries past, and that’s a good thing. But the technology we’ve managed to develop for them? It’s far slower to evolve: tools and technologies take lifetimes to evolve.
On the other hand, in some ways the world we live in has been travelling like a rocket ship as marvelous technology is stacked upon marvelous technology, and knew knowledge refines our perceptions of the possible. When my grandparents were young, the concept of a transistor exceeded what we could construct. When my own parents were young, a long road made such things possible. As I sit here typing this, I can’t even fathom how many transistors were involved in making this journal entry. By the time I die, perhaps to a younger generation: the microchips of my computer will look like the capacitors and tubes in my great grandparents radio do to me.
It’s like, we managed to shoot man to the moon in a tin can using sticks and stones, compared to what our electronics have become since. Much as Apollo, surely would have been to Jules Verne, a lot of cool shit has happened since man took to the stars . But in many ways, our technology is still very primitive to what we can imagine.
Wouldn’t it be damned awesome, if we lived in a world where people created technologies that help man kind, far more than we spend writing buggy assed software? At least nerds can dream. Hmm, I wonder if androids would dream….