This is the second post in a series called “Questions” inspired by my first Question post.
What should prevention in healthcare look like?
There is the common saying that “prevention is better than the cure”, but what does that really mean? Let’s take high blood pressure for example. It is well known by now that certain foods lead to high blood pressure & other diseases, yet people continue to do so without thought. In this scenario, what does prevention actually look like? The same can be said for several other diseases and conditions.
It is obviously better to avoid having a medical condition vs finding a cure for it, but it remains unclear to me how to do so.
What is biotech’s version of “building in the garage”?
The great thing about software is that all you really need is an internet connection and a laptop. You can code anywhere, anytime, with no domain expertise needed. This has led to a lot of people varying in age, experience and degree level building a number of different products.
Enabling anyone to build software is a net positive in my opinion, and I believe fostering the same sort of environment in biotech would be as well. The question is how do we do so without putting millions of lives at risk? My hunch is to make artificial organs as cheap and accessible as possible. By doing so it would allow for more experimentation and better understanding of the human body, without needing a degree or putting people in harm's way.
What questions should we be asking to confirm if an afterlife exists?
It's not enough to ask if it exists, we need tinier, more specific questions to ask. However, this is easier said than done, as any question asked will be rooted in our assumption of what the afterlife is and how it operates. Still, it is better to start actively asking than ponder based on false assumptions.
A few questions I have about this:
If the afterlife exists for humans, does it exist for animals?
If the afterlife exists, was this an invention of evolution (for example, is the afterlife just a simulation in one’s brain)?
If the afterlife doesn’t exist should we invent it?
If the afterlife exists, how long does it actually last for?
Do animals glorify feelings such as love the way humans do?
We as humans love love. We spend so much time writing, arguing, fighting and singing about it, that it honestly would not be a stretch to say that we are obsessed with it. Naturally I’m curious to know if we are the only beings that do so. For example, do monkeys do this, and if so what does this look like? If they don’t put such an emphasis on love, do they put an emphasis on any other feeling or cultural practice?
When the world ends, what will human civilization look like?
The world will end, but unfortunately (or fortunately?), we won’t be there to see it. That doesn’t mean we can’t think about what the end will look like, and more importantly, what we want it to look like.
A few questions come to mind:
What would we have accomplished by then?
What will our last few years look like?
What year will this happen?
Will we find a way to live beyond the lifespan of earth?
Will we find a way to avoid the world ending?
What things are we sure won’t change in the next 100 years?
When I think about this question I think about things like walls and toilets. I don’t think our need for these will change over the next 100 years, nor will their core functionality. Maybe they’ll change drastically in the next 10,000 years, but I imagine the rate of change will be very slow.
Is it important that these things change quickly? I don’t know, but if I had to guess, yes. Walls are made of sand and water, which we have a limited supply of. Waste from toilets goes to landfills, which we are also in limited supply of. So maybe we should be paying more attention to these things.
Whether I am right or wrong about the above isn’t really the point. The point of this question is to get a better sense of what we are most certain our future will hold, if we are okay with that, and if we aren’t, what we should be doing to change that.
If evolution is true, what comes after us?
If you believe in evolution, then you probably believe that there will be another version of humans that will be better suited to survive in this world. Working from this assumption, what will humans need more of in the future to survive? What will become redundant? Will evolution become self directed or will it continue to be random? When will the next version of humans begin to appear (if they aren’t already amongst us now)?
Why has the skill of painting not changed much ?
I went to the museum with my friends the other day, and it struck us that the ability to paint well has existed for a really long time. Two people 500 years apart could be artists, asked to paint the same picture, and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference (it should be noted that I am not an art expert, or artist myself, so this may be due to lack of skill on my part). Should we be demanding faster progress in this area or does this even matter?
Can art be objective?
When a piece of art is really, really good, it seems to have pretty much universal consensus that it is good. People might not agree about the level of “goodness” that it is, but that it is good becomes an undisputed claim. An example of this is Michael Jackson’s Thriller song, pretty much everyone agrees that it is a good song. It may not be your favourite song, it may not be the best song in the world to you, but we all agree that it's a good song. The same can be said for really, really bad things. This makes me wonder if some art can actually be judged objectively.
It seems as though art that lies on the extreme ends of things (really really good, and really really bad) are more or less objective, whereas art that has mixed opinions is what is actually subjective. Since it is much more common to find good, bad and mediocre art around, people have made the assumption that art in general is subjective, which I don’t think is the case. And I think this same style of thinking can be applied to other “subjective” fields.
If it turns out that this way of thinking is correct, and people come to recognise this, then what does that mean for art, and other subjective fields, in general? My hunch is that this won’t be a good thing. In the case of art, it would lead to less experimentation and therefore less interesting things in the world.
A good example of this is Hollywood. Although Hollywood has created a lot of hits in its lifetime, it has unfortunately “figured out” what makes a really, really, good movie, and has just stuck to it, leading to really mediocre, less experimental movies being made over the years.
So perhaps in this case I am asking the wrong question. Rather than asking if art, and other subjective fields, can be objective, I should be asking if they should be created based on objective standards, to which my answer is no, they shouldn’t.
What superpower comes after America?
It is my opinion that America as a superpower is experiencing a decline, for a few different reasons (education, remote working, quality of entertainment). Assuming that things go as they usually do, then there will be another country to take its place. The question is who, and what will the world look like with them in charge?
Why are gut feelings usually always right?
Whenever I get a strong gut feeling about something, I am usually right. It can occur in situations I feel unfamiliar with too. I am not sure why that is, but I know it happens with other people too. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have better control of this “sense”? If we could consult with this feeling whenever we wanted, rather than whenever the feeling arose?