Dangerous thoughts

Bursting off any bubbles of illusion, let’s understand that Nature is a brutal savage, though we call her our mother. Yes, our mother is a savage. She has no pity for the weaklings. Every life form out there is in a constant state of war, defending itself and looking out for any weakness it can find in other forms of life, that it can turn into its advantage. That is how life gets better at large. And if I didn’t fight off those microbes, they sure would have taken over my body without a second guess. But they didn’t and yes, I recovered. Well, with a little help from an antibiotic.

But as a civilisation we have reached a point, where survival is almost guaranteed. 80% of the children in the world today are vaccinated against some kind of disease in the first year of their lives. In a decade or so, it’s going to be close to a hundred percent. Humans are most likely the only species in the animal kingdom that can get old, before they die. They, and the species they think are cute. Like my rainbow sharks, your golden retriever, and the bunnies of your neighbour. Not to mention those (un)lucky creatures we lock up in the zoos. All this can happen only in human colonies. Though born in a great shape, no animal in the wild could hope to survive beyond the age of its peak stamina. It gets killed either by a quicker predator or by hunger. But that doesn’t apply to us.

We don’t have to be super fit. We have our technological advances to keep us safe. Like the tablet I took for fever. We have tamed our mother. We are the lords of all existence. We are unbeatable and nothing can outsmart us. We made the exception from natural selection. Really? Here’s the catch.

Ensured survival means that all kinds of genes and traits are allowed to propagate, including the ones defective in the eyes of nature, and overall health of the human race is bound to get worsen at a gradual pace. People will call in sick, more often, stranger diseases will surface, and we have to pay for quantity of life, with quality. Every future generation is going to realise this, much better than the one that preceded it. Humans have become a degenerate species. You didn’t really think that you are healthier than your 30,000 year-old hunter-ancestor was, did you?

Nature rewards us with quite useful evolutionary treats, but only if we play by its rules. We made our own rules and concluded that being brainy is the thing that matters the most. So that is what we are going to get. Bigger brains and weaker limbs. This is a real problem at our door. And not the only one. The predators are here. Don’t look at the sky. They are right under your nose.

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Countless species of microbes, the real predators, have been playing by its rules and nature has been rewarding them with immunity against the vaccines we have developed to kill them. Every year we are spending millions of dollars to make newer vaccines, and nature is throwing at us the upgraded versions of microbes, every few years. In fact I heard that a vaccine is being developed to kill HIV once and for all, and I have been hearing the same thing for the past many years. But I’m sure some real progress is being made. By us, and by the likes of HIV as well. We have a grave future ahead of us. May be we should start spending on a diet for a flat tummy, than on a newer version of iPhone. I’m not saying about myself, I have both.

But is it really necessary to concern ourselves with dangerous thoughts? Of course it is. All kinds of thoughts are necessary, in the least to ridicule and rule them out as irrelevant, if not to take some serious action. Because we can never hope to circumvent a pit, unless we admit its existence. A smart woman that I know of, once said that

there are no evil thoughts. The only evil is, not thinking.

Just now it occurred to me that the antibiotic that I took is going to be outdated soon, and all of us must pool more money in taxes, for developing a better one. Now, don’t you start. That is not communism. You caught fever too, at some point.

– Avinash Kumar