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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

When you come to a fork in the road, take it

This is the beginning of what I think will be a very nice article should I ever actually finish it. If the perfect analgesic/anti-depression drug were available, would you take it? Come to think about it, I believe one could obtain the desired effect by washing down a pack of Peanut M&M's with a can of Miller Lite. But I digress.

Futurists are divided in their visions of what is to become of our culture. One camp sees a dark dystopian landscape, at best resembling the urban overcrowding of Bladerunner, at worst resembling the anarchy of The Road Warrior. The other sees a lighter vision of a world where genetic engineering and pharmaceutics allow the human race to live a peaceful, comfortable but meaningless existence as what was described in Brave New World.

Free of the guiding force of Providence, which fork in the road we travel down will be determined largely by accident. If the Wahabists gain access to the Russian nuclear arsenal or if the dire predictions of global warming prove to be true, we will likely undergo near-extinction, with the unlucky survivors left to fend for themselves amidst the rubble and chaos. If we get lucky and avoid such a cataclysm, I think it is inevitable that our race will do what it can to eliminate all forms of disease, infirmity, pain, and even suffering. Big Pharma and Genetic Industries will lead us to the bliss of the Promised Land.

In this Utopia we'll surely have a drug (Soma?) that will free us from pain and induce a mild euphoria without the troublesome side-effects we see with the opioids we now have. Perhaps the same compound will also keep our seratonin and norepinephrine levels pleasantly and permantently high, rendering depression and neuroasthenia rare if not unheard of.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm thinking...now I'm guessing that the near extinction fork is not optimal, but the thought of billions and billions of anesthetized human-cattle waiting for the final painless oblivion of death does not capture the imagination either.

Man surely has a higher calling. Funny how reading a doctor's blog can convince you that there is a God.

10:15 PM  

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