Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Was Sick This Past Weekend

...and for a couple of days following, so I missed a friend's birthday party and this month's Puzzled Pint event. Both of those made me sad, but hey, at least I didn't get sick while I was at Clarion West. That would have really sucked.

Every now and then something like this (an irregular recurring condition, but that's another story) will remind me of just how little control we humans actually have over our bodies. There's something like 37 trillion cells in the human body, and we have absolutely no say in most of things those cells do. Digesting food? Out of your hands. Regulating heart rhythm? Not your bailiwick. Dealing with a viral infection? Fuhgeddaboudit.

I have pontificated on this topic before—in fact, it's where the label name "The I in Meat" comes from. I still feel it's entirely possible that sentience is a random, emergent side effect of complex multicellular life forms, and that kind of freaks me out. It wouldn't be so frightening if we knew there were others like us in the universe, but at the moment, it feels pretty damn lonely.

Maybe that's why I'm such a sucker for science fiction which features intelligent alien life. As Larry Niven says, "The only universal message in science fiction: There exist minds that think as well as you do, but differently."

We got enough bodies; we could some more minds around here.

Curtis
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