Wednesday, November 05, 2008

msb-0344 A special message to my MS wellness group

msb-0344 A special message to my MS wellness group.

Lets pretend that I'm giving away a computer because I feel munificent, benevolent and rich.

I am none of those things.

I have MS just like the rest of us in this wellness group.

I'm pretty lucky that my MS has been in relapse for a while right now and that its not actively trying to kill me.

I am giving this PC away because I had it to give, being one of the thinking man's toys I had picked up when I was still working.

The computer is a thinking man's toy.

Its has been able to start, give some underpinning and some proofs to an entire field mathematics, whole and entire and able to explain nature in an entirely new way.

But fractal mathematics is neither here nor there when you've got MS. Its cute but frankly, unless you're a mathematician, who cares?

We MSers are able to benefit from an entirely unintended consequence of living in this modern world.

We MSers are already benefiting from:
  • the result of an experiment in telephony by the DOD who were trying to keep the lines of communications open even if part of the fabric of the network had holes torn in it by nuclear bombs, giving us the internet, and
  • the result of some work by the DOD and NASA in miniaturization, to see if we cold lob things over at the Soviets, giving us the microchip.
Combining the power of:
  • a really cheap way of putting circuits together, (courtesy of Robert Noyce and Jack Kilby,) with
  • a really cheap way of connecting machines together, (courtesy of the Nerds who defied all logic and got the internet working, because they could,) with
  • a really cheap way of finding information, the search engine, (courtesy of Larry Page and Sergey Brin who funded Google, the winner of the search engine wars,)
gives us the world as we have it now.

Its a world that I like living in.

Its got plenty of room for me, its got all of data I need, all of the information I need and helps me find out about all sorts of things.

Does this make me smarter?


It does not.

It can't get into my head and make my brain grow. (But we'll get back to that before I'm done this evening, I promise.)

It makes me a better informed person; it makes me someone who, by being better informed, is able to find out what is where and means that I am better able to evaluate drug regimens, medical teatments, (because we live in this country and we're still waiting for what every other industrial country has: single payer universal health care,) insurance plans.

[unboxing the everex]

[setting it up]

[getting onto the web with Google]

[answering questions about Google, and using it to find information about MS, MS treatments, etc.]

[putting it back in the box and raffling it off.]

Now we're back talking about how the internet and the computer can't get into my head and make my brain grow.

That's true, it can't, but it can make my brain grow more interconnections between neurons and solidify existing connections through repeated use of certain neural pathways.

There is a field of medecine which is studying the mechanisms of something called neuroplasticity and it turns out the mechanisms of neuroplasticity are directly opposed to those of Alzheimer's with its increasing plaques and lesions and the death of large parts of the brain.

Will using computers keep you from getting Alzeimher's?

No, but it could give you a chance at dealing with it better than sitting there like a bump on a log until you become no smarter that the log you're sitting on.

MS is a disease of the immune system.

It gives the immune system cues that make the immune system attack the nervous system.

The nervous system is a key component of the command and control system that is the primary element in making us who we are, how well we move, the spasticity we exhibit, how well we feel, the phantom pain we react to.

Lets use the circumstances that led to the internet to create another unintended consequence, the finding if effective treatments and cures for MS.


Stuart said...

Are you okay?
It appears that some short-circuiting is going on........
If you want to talk, just say the word..You know where to reach me.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Short circuiting?

What ever do you mean?

I may have given up on trying to make a go of MSBPodcast, but I haven't given up on using it as a way for me to reach people and keep the lines of communications open.

'Sides I'm doing it for the web-streaming radio station at the college next door, where I am taking Communications courses and being a DJ for "WSPC The Sound of St. Peter's College."

I've also got them to use a wiki and a various pre-production and production tools like "Audacity" and "GarageBand" and I'm setting them up to use "Audio Hijack Pro" and "Nice Cast" from Rogue Amoeba.

Have fun... Life's not worth living ifr you don't.