I sit in the hospital with oxygen flowing through a small plastic tube into my nose. All of a sudden people have caught onto the fact that I can not breath. Two weeks ago they saw oxygen levels at around 88% and they said take some deep breaths. Now they see it and say, “shit, that’s not good” and put me on oxygen.
The disease has spread throughout my lungs. I hear this and it is too much. I have gone through so much, I guess I just figured that dying would be the easy party. Now it looks like being the hardest part of all. Have I not been through enough? I know that is a stupid, question but I wanted so badly to live. None of this is fair, and it makes me angry. Why must this part be so hard? When did all of this happen?
Three years ago, almost to the day I climbed the largest single cliff in australia (not the most difficult). Today I sit here, and can’t even cry because it takes too much of my breath away. Death scares the shit out of me, the only thing that scares me nearly as much is living through this. I have nowhere to go. Nothing to fall back on. I just want to go home. I just want to be left alone.
Over the last four days my breathing has got so much worse I almost can’t believe it. The last two nights after I have gone upstairs I have had to sit on my bed rasping away desperate to try and get enough air into my lungs. I have never been so scared. Death scares me but not as much as suffocation. Especially slow suffocation. I am hoping that it is some sort of inflammatory process and it can be brought under control Sadly this has been probably the worst time for jess and amelia to leave.
Thinking about just fasting, until I’m better or dead. It can’t be worse than suffocating. Probably won’t do it as there are better options but just an indication of how much breathing is at the heart of our sense of being.
So this is a bit of a change for my blog however this is something I have been thinking a lot about lately and so I decided I would but a quick blog post together on it and see what people thought.
I used to think the genetic engineering (GE) was a good thing. I have read a few books lately, not explicitly denouncing GE but they got me thinking. I conducted a thought experiment of kind, the results are below.
- In our society money is very closely related to power. The political system has become ever more dependent on expensive campaigns. Recently in the US the courts have just decreed that unlimited donations may be made anonymously. This is clearly only a small part of the money power connection but it was one that I thought was particularly powerful.
- GE is developed by companies to make money. Those companies exist within a competitive system where successful companies survive and unsuccessful ones do not.
- GE companies do not make the food more nutritious, it is designed to increase yield or reduce costs. This is a fact, the majority of GE foods are designed to have natural resistance to a certain predators or be able to tolerate certain fertilisers that they are not able to in their original form.
- GE companies make more money the more widespread the problem that their product solves is. If you develop wheat that is resistant to all bugs you are going to make a lot more money than if you make wheat that is resistant to a fungus that only exists in a small area of japan.
- It is clear looking at corporate history that the law and the greater good is no boundary. In the competitive system it seems to be an inevitability that a company will ignore both laws and societal good in order to try and get ahead. I am thinking of Enron and sub prime loans in the current GFC as examples but there are countless others. Logically there are more examples that are not discovered.
- So we have GE companies working in a competitive market that make more money when problems are more pervasive. The more diseases and problems there are with the human food system the more opportunity there is for them.
- Imagine a company that comes up with solution to the fungus problem in the small area of Japan. Their income from this is limited.
- Imagine that the fungus then spreads to another area, say in England that has a similar climate. Their income increases.
- Imagine two companies, both of whom have come up with a solution to separate fungal problem that exists in a small areas of the world. Both companies discover that there are other areas of the world where the fungus could be introduced. One decides to release the fungus in that other area and the other doesn’t. The one that is prepared to act immorally will make more money and out perform its competitor. The better performing company will dominate the market and eventually either push the more moral company out of the market or take it over (an over simplification but roughly correct). Inevitably some companies will be caught but the damage will be done and it is possible that nobody will find out.
- Now imagine that the company finds out, say accidentally at first, that with a small genetic tweak the fungus will spread rapidly to many other areas. It is still easily controlled by their GE technology. Now the more successful company will be the one that is prepared to introduce this new fungus into the wild. It could even be disguised as an accident which would take huge amounts of time and money to prove to be a lie.
- Now the GE companies will be dominated by even more ruthless practices.
- GE companies are now solving problems that they themselves are producing.
- After enough small steps of increased genetic manipulation it is possible that entirely new diseases will be introduced into the world followed shortly by the GE variety of wheat that can combat it. The companies that are willing to do this will become rich and powerful.
- Imagine the success of a company that could produce genetically manipulated virus that would fight AIDS.
- A similar argument applies here. Eventually, through many small steps it is possible that a company may release into the community a disease that can be deadly to humans that they have the GE solution for. The power that that company would wield would be immense.
- There is a possible future where GE companies wield more power than governments because they control life and death through diseases they invented and it can be reached through thousands of small steps that in a competitive system lead to success.
This is a particularly scary idea of the future. It is by no means a certainty. However for it to be avoided the GE system has to be completely transparent, accountable and highly regulated by an incorruptible body. If these companies are allowed to operate in secret the above scenario becomes vastly more likely to occur. The political system (which is ultimately the regulator of such companies through its agents) needs to be transparent also and unable to take large, anonymous donations. If GE companies are allowed to lobby government in secret and hold power over those making decisions it becomes easy for laws to become weaker and less likely to stop the above events.
If you think that all this is completely absurd, that no scientist would ever deliberately produce a product that could kill humans below is a link from a recent story where a group had to be stopped from publishing the details of how they made bird flu (which has a mortality rate of 50%) more infectious. I am surprised this did not get more coverage, it scared the shit out of me.
Killer flu story
I can’t cry.
I get close all the time but just as it starts I stop being able to breath, panic, and stop. How have things deteriorate so quickly. Three weeks ago I was ready to fight. Now I just feel like I am waiting to die. Everybody is so kind and that just makes it harder. I do not want to leave.
Ever time I think about it I get so angry. At some point someone said, 135-145 is the range for sodium, presumably because it makes a nice looking set of numbers. Now because of this arbitrary cut off I have been denied my last real hope. I had a reason to get my act together, eat right, exercise more. Now I have nothing. The pill is out there, they will just not let me have it. It is an evil system. I am almost glad to be leaving it. Humanity is far more barbaric than it used to be. We have systematically destroyed this planet for wealth and we will very soon reap what we have sown. We just have to look at how easily we have forgotten about global warming to are that we are ducked. The rich and ruthless run things and the rest off us couldn’t care less as long as we have an iphone and a drunken trip to Thailand once a year. Money runs everything, and I am certain I am dying now because of it. I am so disappointed, there is so much beauty everywhere and humanity seems to look right past it to something that is not really there.
How I have missed you. I suspect we are about to become best friends.
Didn’t get into the trial. Sodium levels where one point too low. They don’t make exceptions. I don’t want anything anymore. I don’t want comments, I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want life if it is to be like this. I am done with this. I just want to be at peace. When did this happen, I can’t quite remember. When did it all go so wrong. My breathing is getting worse, my leg barely functions. I seem to be much more alive than I should be, I am not sure what I have done for this. I certainly won’t keep doing it for much longer. I am tired. Tired of the fighting and losing. Tired of what someone seems to think is an amazing joke. Tired even if this blog.
I will write again.