Ignorance is bliss. It really is true.
Wendy has a subscription to “Time” magazine and every Tuesday a new one comes in filled with enlightenment. I eagerly look forward to a new issue. I love the quotes, the statistics, the little vacation destination spot reviews, the politics and learning more about the world. Seriously, I think if you want to sound smart to anyone you meet, just read one “Time” magazine a week and you’ll be impressive.
This week's interesting story is how scientists/doctors are now using a small electrical current to calm Parkinson’s disease tremors, ease depression and awaken coma victims.
“We pinpoint the part that needs stimulus, and provide it.”
Seems simple enough to me. The brain runs on electric current, it stands to reason that maybe some of it isn’t getting enough. So, doctors open up the skull and stick a wire into places they think might need help and crank up the mild juice until they see results. Such as Scott Stipp who had the procedure done. On the operating table, his arm shakes violently enough to shake the table. Doctors insert an ultra thin wire into his subthalamic nucleus; give it some volts and the shaking stops. For the first time in years he can control his hand, even sign his name.
He’ll have to return once every couple years to get a new battery, but the operation should null his symptoms for ten years until the disease becomes too pronounced.
Too bad all the stories aren’t like that.
When I was little, I believed that humans were destined for great things among the stars. I didn’t just think we were a big thing here on Earth, I was sure that we were unique and amazing in a way that other life on other planets never could be. More intelligent, more determined, more heroic, more… everything. Just more. Special.
I lost that feeling as I got older and by the time I was thirty, I not only no longer held that belief, I wasn’t even sure I cared if the human race went extinct. The crimes, the abuse, man’s inhumanity to man, the selfishness.
All of that feeling was erased when Marilyn got cancer. The way people tried to help, showed there support, cared about me and us and were so understanding and wonderful brought back all that love and hope for humanity.
I guess its all perspective.
My love of “Time” has lessened in the last few weeks. While the stories are still informative, the world just has a lot of bad stuff happening in it right now. Every week is another story (or three) about how badly things are going in Iraq. How many people died. How selfish and childish the Iraqi parliament is. More American’s dead. More Democrats, somehow impotent to implement policy change. Impotent and unwilling to subpoena this administration which has caused so much damage to America and American soldiers. How big the deficit is. How low the America dollar is – which affects me greatly since I’m living off American dollars. Do you know how many Euros I get when I withdraw a thousand dollars out of my account? Less than seven hundred.
Ignorance is bliss. The knowledge I’m getting these days is largely negative. While Iraq is woefully depressing, Africa is a close second. When you think of Africa, I’m sure you think of Africa the way I do; of the barren lands, the dust, the heat, the starvation and the never ending poverty. Sadly, this doesn’t have to be the way, and could have been much different even today if I wasn’t for man’s inhumanity to man, and man’s desire to constantly be at war with his neighbors.
What many people don’t know is that Africa is rich in oil, diamonds, gold and natural gas. What they also don’t know is that usually, the money from these natural resources never goes to the populace of Africa for building infrastructure, providing jobs and lifting the country out of desolation, but rather to a select few corrupt African politicians who store billions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts while children starve not even a mile away.
Here’s a startling statistic – Less than one percent of medical aid to Africa actually made it to hospitals.
Here’s another - 11% of financial aid to Africa was illegally channeled into the military. Because when your population is starving some politicians think it is better to make war on your neighbor than feed your citizens.
To top things off, primary’s are coming up and the guy in the lead in the polls for the Republicans (Giuliani) has one message for his base –
Only I can protect you.
This is the guy in the lead?
Has America learned nothing?