[ExI] Sound of Silence

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 11:08:55 UTC 2010

I have been away from the H+ scene for a while owing to the problems
related to a very extensive, and sofar entirely asymptomatic,
cholesteatoma (a "benign" ear tumor), discovered during a more-or-less
occasional checkup, which required some radical, semi-urgent surgery.
In fact, while death remained a rather remote prospective, I would
have had otherwise to be ready to welcome increasing bone and neural
damage, permanent deafness, meningitis, hydrocephalus, and ultimately
the loss of pieces of brain through my ear and nose... :-)

Such surgery, which I had to undertake while feeling in perfect shape,
involved in turn hospitalisation, and a number of consequences such as
the section of my chorda tympany nerve (leading to the loss of my
sense of taste for the side concerned and to the realisation of how
much the related gratifications were important in my life...),
vertigo, persistent dizzyness, dramatic albeit unilateral loss of
hearing, sleep disorders, not to mention lots of simple, old-fashioned
pain which, believe me, is irritating enough even for a Zen
transhumanist warrior. :-)

On the bright side, in ten months or so I should be able to recover
some of my hearing (and stereophony) through some additional,
reconstructive surgery; and I should anyway be operational enough by
the time when Transvision 2010 takes place in Milan not to miss the
opportunity to welcome participants and speakers in the name of the
Associazione Italiana Transumanisti together with Giulio Prisco and
Riccardo Campa.

This experience, which affected a basically "wet" transhumanist who is
very much in love with, and proud of, his personal body and its
current performances, besides giving me ample opportunities to
reconsider the charms of mind uploading ;-) has made me if anything
more acutely aware of how primitive and crude even the best treatments
money can buy still are, and how most great breakthroughs in medicine
actually have taken place roughly in the period 1850-1970, till their
lamentable slowing down to a crawl during current years in spite of
all the media hype still surrounding them.

We may be spending - and perhaps wasting - a lot in health care in
most western society, but the legal, cultural, educational, ethical,
financial framework is hardly what it should for fundamental research
and innovation if we really wanted to invert this trend.

Stefano Vaj

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