Sunday, May 5, 2013

If I could sing one last song

Sometimes random scraps of information join together, giving a glimpse of something unknown. Here is Finland there has been discussion of the misuse of nitrous oxide as a drug, and a newspaper article mentioned that nitrous oxide can cause vitamin B12 deficiency. I read aloud this item in the coffee room at work, and a colleague mentioned that this is the same condition that can affect vegetarians.

This was a completely new thing to me. Apparently we humans need a source of B12, as we are unable to generate it ourselves. Thus vegans who avoid milk products and eggs need to take care of B12. However, there are also some sites on the net that claim that this B12 deficiency is a myth, but they don't appear to be especially trustworthy sources.

I any case, this is not a problem for me, as I'm not a vegan, and not a real vegetarian either. I just have moved towards meals which have much less meat than I used to eat earlier.

Another thing is that I read a book about the ethical choices of improving the human race, Matti Häyry's book Ihminen 2.0 - geneettisen valikoinnin ja parantelun eettiset kysymykset. Häyry posed several difficult ethical questions, one of them being the case of deaf parents wanting a deaf child, which can nowadays at least in theory be done by embryo selection, or by the use of donors who have the right genes, etc.

Some time later I was reading about the prognosis of schizophrenia (John Nash being used as an example), which offered this tidbit: "Schizophrenia is a major cause of disability, with active psychosis ranked as the third-most-disabling condition after quadriplegia and dementia and ahead of paraplegia and blindness."

So, the question is, what kind of side effects are we willing to accept if we would like to generate genius-level people? Another thing is how is it possible to rate disabilities in severity; there are tragedies, and there are cases of acceptance.

I took these photographs on Saturday in the northern parts of Nuuksio wilderness, near lake Suolikas, south of lake Saarijärvi, where I went for a walk with the two oldest daughters. It was a fine sunny evening to be out in the wilderness.

(Posting title is from the poem Blue Monday by Diane Wakoski.)

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