Tuesday, March 10, 2015

fascination

I'm on my way to work, with a blocked nose, inflamed throat, and possibly conjunctivitis.

the conjunctivitis (or whatever it is) doesn't seem to trouble me at all.

the only time i realized I'm battling a respiratory infection, is after a 50 metre flat out sprint, when catching my breath was downright painful and needed consciously controlled breathing. but I'm sure I'd have survived (albeit a bit more uncomfortably) if I just let my body control its breathing while I focused on the pain or maybe distracted myself with watching this fistfight that was happening on the road near the bus I'm in.

it got me thinking: my body is never (and possibly never has been) 100% functional in its optimum capacity. it's always in a state of graceful degradation, but there's so much of redundancy and compensation mechanisms built in, that a fully functional human is probably pointless, and maybe also pointlessly unattainable.

and then i look around at the stuff humans have built. we have built everything to operate at close to optimum parameters. we build fail safe systems, redundancy, feedback systems, but at what level? it doesn't even come close to where primordial living systems are at.

to me, humans are very far from building any sort of self-sustaining lifelike system, not because the stuff we build is rather limited in its ability to gracefully degrade and adapt under adverse conditions, but because the stuff we build is too simple to bother putting such abilities in. the complexity of even the most simplest forms of life fascinates me and fills me with awe.

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