Tag Archives: medical science

How To Know When A Crisis Is (NOT) A Crisis

Anyone who watches the news for more than 15 minutes will probably hear about some dire new crisis that’s going to utterly destroy society, their way of life, or the entire world.

One day, it’s some terrifying new disease. The other, it’s some environmental catastrophe. Every now and then, you’ll even get someone saying we’re creating the robots that will eventually kill us all. That, or we’re just seeing a trailer for a new “Terminator” movie. These days, it’s kind of hard to tell the difference.

There are so many unfolding catastrophes in this world. When you look at history, recent and ancient alike, and see how close we’ve come to destroying ourselves, it feels like a goddamn miracle that we’re still in one piece. Thanks to the news, the internet, and Roland Emmerich movies, it feels like any day could be the day where aliens, asteroids, and earthquakes decide humanity’s run is over.

However, that day hasn’t come. Aliens, diseases, and global warming hasn’t killed us yet. Can we at least stop for a moment to appreciate that? Whether it’s the news media, disaster movies, or boredom, most people don’t realize just how much progress we’ve made as a species. We realize even less that the driving force behind that progress is something that will also solve future problems.

It’s kind of our not-so-dirty secret-that-shouldn’t-be-a-secret. We’re all so used to hearing about a new crisis that we should worry about, but we rarely hear about the solutions. We hear even less about the problems that humanity actually solved because who wants to hear about those? It’s not like human triumph sells or anything.

I could go on for multiple post about how fear is a lucrative industry, from slasher movies to stories about bear attacks. I’d rather give people a sense of hope and leave the depressing nihilism to street preachers, cable news, and grunge rock. Instead, I want to focus on the secret weapon that humanity has to solve a major crisis.

For a point of reference, let me list a few major problems that once filled humanity with an existential dread, only to be solved to the widespread cheers of no one.

Remember the dire threat we faced when a hole in the ozone layer formed in the arctic? Well, we’ve largely solved that problem.

Remember the dire threat we faced with acid rain? We solved that too.

Remember when AIDS, SARS, and bird flu were deemed the plague that would wipe out humanity? Well, thanks to modern medicine, we’ve either solved it or contained it.

Remember how for most of human history, we were always just one bad harvest away from a horrific famine? Well, most people don’t remember that, but we solved that problem anyway.

Then, there are the ongoing problems that we haven’t solved, but are making considerable progress. Every now and then, we’ll be reminded that it’s still a problem, but we’ll rarely acknowledge the progress. Make no mistake, though. That progress is there.

Issues like climate change are still a problem. Thanks to the growth of green energy and improvements in efficiency, we’re making slow, yet steady progress.

Issues like factory farming, over-fishing, and the animal cruelty that goes with it is a problem. We’re dealing with that too through advances in synthetic meats and vertical farming.

Few issues generate as many headlines and/or first world guilt than global poverty. However, thanks to advances in modern economies and an unprecedented decline in war, the number of people living in poverty has decreased significantly.

Again, you probably don’t hear about these stories and it’s not just because fear sells better than hope. A lot of these problems weren’t solved overnight with a single, brilliant idea. That may work in reruns of “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” but that’s not how real progress works.

Real progress takes time. It happens gradually. It’s like a shoulder massage that turns into an orgy at the Playboy Mansion. It doesn’t happen all at once. We don’t entirely understand how we get there. We just stop thinking about it and enjoy the fruits of that progress.

That’s entirely understandable. When you find yourself in a room with Channing Tatum, High Jackman, and a half-dozen naked bikini models, you tend not to care how you got there. You just smile, take your clothes off, and start enjoying yourself.

Now, I’m all for getting naked and enjoying the moment as much as the next guy. Put me in a room where dancing, nudity, and cold beer are all celebrated and I’ll be the first to overlook whatever progress led me there. However, I think it’s worth taking a moment to understand when a crisis is truly dire.

I don’t deny for a second that when the problems I mentioned above were first explored, they seemed pretty damn daunting. Anyone who knows the history of famines, disease, or environmental catastrophes would’ve spent an hour or so in the fetal position listening to old Evanescence songs.

Then, once the dread wears off and the music gets old, those same people would’ve gotten up, rolled up their sleeves, and gotten to work. That’s because, as fearful as we can be, we generally like living in a world that’s comfortable enough for life, love, and bacon-flavored lube.  We’re very motivated to work towards that kind of world and not just because we’re hungry, horny, or lonely.

So how do we do it? How does humanity solve these problems or even begin to solve them? How the hell is it that we’ve made as much progress as we have, especially over the last century? Moreover, how can we know whether humanity will solve all the other overwhelming problems we’re facing now?

These questions are all actually very easy to answer. In fact, I’ve even come up with a simple checklist that anyone can use to figure out whether a problem is solvable. When looking at a problem from afar, ask yourself the following three questions.

  1. Can the problem be solved with a new tool or an improvement to an existing tool?

  2. Would the tool that solves the problem violate the known laws of physics?

  3. Is there a non-zero incentive to make that tool?

If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, or even kind of, then go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief. That crisis, whatever it may be, will be solved in some form or another. It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen in a single eureka moment. It’ll still happen though and for a very good reason.

Say what you will about the flaws in humanity. I certainly do on this blog, from the deficiencies in our bodies to our outdated marriage practices. However, there is one skill that humanity is objectively good at, so much so that it has made us the dominant species on this planet by an obscene margin.

We humans make awesome tools. We know how to build amazing things. Say what you will about a beaver dam, a spider web, or an ant colony. They don’t hold a candle to the Hoover Dam or a solar powered vibrator.

A lot of the seemingly unsolvable problems of the past were, for the most part, solved by tool. We developed cleaner, more efficient cars. We developed more efficient farming techniques. We developed more effective medicines.

That effort hasn’t stopped either. We’re still making newer and better tools every day. Tools like CRISPR could potentially cure hundreds of diseases. There may very well come a day where someone dying of genetic diseases will be as rare as someone dying of small pox.

Other tools, such as better batteries, more efficient light bulbs, and advances in nuclear power, will cut down on pollution and generate cleaner energy. Given the incentives to breathe clean air, as well as the massive profits to be made, we can expect those tools to put a major dent in the various environmental disasters that seem to crop up every single day.

Even problems on a smaller scale, such as head injuries in professional football, could be solved with better tools. The human brain, and the body as a whole, isn’t a rough-cut diamond that can never be repaired once flawed. It’s a hunk of malleable biomatter. Fixing it requires tools and make no mistake. Smart, well-paid people are working on it.

Thankfully, making tools is one of mankind’s greatest skills. To say a problem is insurmountable is like saying a sixth round draft pick from Michigan could never win five Super Bowls and marry a supermodel. Even if you hate Tom Brady’s guts, he is living proof that insurmountable obstacles are a relative, if not outright flawed concept.

Now, I don’t mean to say that humans will overcome everything. As soon as I post this article, a gamma ray burst from across the galaxy, a super volcano could erupt in Yellowstone, or an asteroid the size of Montana could crash into the planet, killing us all. These are major problems that we probably can’t solve, even with our awesome tools.

However, with all the doom-saying in the world and a new crisis emerging at least once a week, let’s not let humanity’s strength’s overshadow its flaws. Let’s not cower in fear when we don’t have to.

If a problem can be solved by a tool, then we humans are uniquely equipped to solve it. If there’s time, motivation, and resources to work with, we’ll solve it eventually. It may take a while and involve many setbacks, but we’ll eventually succeed. Lions maul zebras. Terminators terminate their targets. Humans build awesome tools to solve big problems. That’s something to be proud of.

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A Disease-Free World: We’re More Ready Than You Think

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It’s such a frightening thought. It terrifies parents, priests, rabbis, mullahs, monks, and conservative republicans. People, especially young people, are having sex at this very moment. If that’s not horrifying enough, they’re having sex for fun.

They’re not doing it with their government-approved, religiously-sanctioned spouse. They’re not doing it to produce more babies that will grow into tax-paying, church-going citizens. They’re just doing it because they enjoy the wonderful, toe-curling pleasure that comes with sex.

The most horrifying thought of all, though, is that they’re doing it and they’re not facing any consequences for it. They’re not getting pregnant because of modern contraception. They’re not getting sick either because of modern medicine. There’s literally no legitimate reason other than stigma to dissuade people from having sex for fun. It’s such a horrifying thought.

Okay, that’s enough sarcasm for now. What I just described is an exaggerated extreme of the mentality of those who are opposed to a society that permits or does not punish sexual promiscuity. It’s a reverse of the thought experiment I pitched last year about a world where the diseases that used to scare people out of having sex are all cured.

I don’t think people realize just how much closer we are to that world than they think. Most people alive today don’t remember a world where the biggest dread wasn’t HIV. It was debilitating diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. To give you an idea of just how devastating they were, over 20,000 people died from syphilis alone in 1939.

Like small pox, these diseases ravaged generation after generation. Also like small pox, modern medicine eradicated it from our collective fears. In fact, the rise of antibiotics has been largely credited with kick-starting the sexual revolution of the 1960s, more so than contraception.

There are still some scary diseases out there, though. In some respects, those same parents, priests, rabbis, mullahs, monks, and conservative republicans can take a perverse comfort that diseases like HIV/AIDS provides a strong incentive to avoid excessive promiscuity. That comfort, however, won’t last.

 

In a previous post, I talked about an emerging medical tool called CRISPR and how it may hold the key to ending infectious disease as we know it. I also asked a question I’m sure the anti-promiscuity crowd dreads. Are we ready for a world where we don’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases?

There are people who believe that our society simply cannot function in a world where there aren’t any scary diseases to dissuade people from having more sex than the Catholic Church sanctions. On paper, their fears aren’t wholly unreasonable.

In a society with so much promiscuity, fewer people will get married. Fewer people will form the stable, nuclear family that every 50s sitcom championed. Without disease, why would anyone forge any stable family units? Then, there’s the children. How traumatic would it be for them if they grew up in a world where people just had sex for fun?

 

That’s not entirely sarcasm. That is a very real concern and I can empathize with it to some extent. A society without disease, but full of rampant promiscuity is just so different. Our society has always had to content with these horrible diseases. The idea that they would no longer be a factor just seems unnatural and uncharted for our species.

However, empathy or not, it’s also a sentiment that I believe is misguided. It’s rooted more in flawed assumptions about a specific cultural ideal than actual human biology. I would argue that human beings, as well as society in general, is more prepared for a disease-free world than the Vatican would have us believe.

I believe this because there is a precedent, sort of. In fact, this may be one of the few instances where caveman logic works in favor of our emerging future and not against it. To understand this, we have to go beyond the ways our hunter/gatherer ancestors functioned. We have to look at the practical aspects of these nasty diseases.

For a disease to be real nasty, it has to both spread easily and within a population of hosts that are able to infect as many potential hosts as possible. When you look at our modern infrastructure, or even our ancient trade routes, it’s easy to see why a nasty disease would choose humans.

It’s also easy to see why diseases would use sex to spread. Like eating, it’s a hardwired drive that built into every human being. The desire to mate is every bit as powerful as the desire to eat. Unlike foodborne disease, though, sex provides more opportunities to infect other hosts. On top of that, rubbing body parts together is a lot more direct than simply sneezing on someone.

However, while modern and even pre-modern infrastructure made sex an ideal mechanism for spreading disease, we have to remember that this situation is actually very recent. The ability to simply travel to other regions, meet other people, and possibly have sex with them is very new in the context of our evolutionary history. For most of that history, though, the story was very different.

That brings me back to the hunter/gatherer lifestyle from which all our ancestors evolved. Books like “Sex At Dawn,” which I’ve mentioned before, describe in great detail the particulars of this lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that, ironically to some extent, makes sex a pretty lousy method for transmitting disease.

This is because during those hunter/gatherer days, we humans roamed and foraged in small bands of closely-knit tribes. These tribes rarely interacted with other tribes because most were spaced out over large areas. Naturally, roaming lands and foraging for food makes it hard to stay in one place, stake claim to a territory, and fight over it.

On top of that, these close-knit tribes had very low population density, a limited ability to travel long distances, and no elaborate trade networks. That means that within these tribes, a sexually transmitted disease is rightly screwed. Sure, it can infect a tribe, but not much else. If that disease is fatal, it may kill the tribe, but it also kills itself as well. So if a disease as nasty as AIDS did emerge, it never had a chance to spread.

If there were any diseases, they couldn’t be fatal and they couldn’t seriously affect fertility. Like the common cold or the flu, it could only ever be so nasty. Otherwise, it never would’ve survived into the modern era.

Keep in mind, also, that the hunter/gatherer lifestyle was the lifestyle of choice for our species for nearly 90 percent of its existence. Our evolution and biology emerged within this lifestyle. That lifestyle was also conducive to some fairly loose sexual practices, many of which would make the Rick Santorums of the world faint. That’s why it’s not unreasonable to say that our ancestors had better sex lives than we do.

Those sexual practices were rarely conducive to the world of white picket fence type families that is so idealized by western civilization. It’s also not conducive to the world of kings and his multiple wives/concubines/sex slaves. That kind of rigid structure or hierarchy just doesn’t work in in a hunter/gatherer society. That’s why many practice strong egalitarian traditions.

This makes sense in terms of sheer pragmatism. In a society of hunter/gatherers where you’re only working with small tribes, you can’t be too much of a bigot. Everyone has to pitch in. Everyone has to share. You can’t be too big an asshole because you won’t survive without your tribe, nor will you have a chance to have sex. From an evolutionary and society perspective, it’s a pretty good deal.

In this context, human beings are already well-wired for a more promiscuous society. In fact, as “Sex At Dawn” argues half-jokingly, it may be better for us overall. You need only look at the happy, sexy lives that Bonobo chimps live. They have a lot of sex. They rarely fight. Even by hippie standards, they’re pretty chill.

At the moment, we humans can’t live those lives. Our world is too developed, too connected, and too vast for our caveman brains to make sense of. Add nasty diseases that can now use sex to effectively spread and it just isn’t pragmatic anymore, even if our biology favors it.

That may change very soon though. Once tools like CRISPR and contraceptives like Vasalgel are refined, those barriers are gone. We can safely exercise the same libido that our ancestors got to enjoy. What will that do for society? What will that do for the dynamics between men and women? It’s hard to imagine, but it’s a damn sexy idea that’s worth imagining.

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A Bionic Penis: It’s Real (And Has Implications)

When I ever I discuss or report on a certain topic, I do so with the hope that nobody mistakes me for a serious journalist or reporter. I’m as much a journalist and reporter as I am rocket scientist and a basket weaver. This blog is an insight into the kinky thoughts of an aspiring erotica/romance writer and not a news source.

I say this because in my exploration of artificial wombs, human enhancement, and sex robots, I missed something. I actually missed something pretty major that may have some major implications on these topics, as well as many others that may or may not become ideas for a future erotica/romance novel.

Now I usually try to be pretty thorough when it comes to researching certain issues. Well, I’m as thorough as a basic Google search will allow me to be so take from that what you will. Again, I’m an erotica/romance writer. I’m not a goddamn reporter. However, I’m also human. That means things are going to slip through the cracks every now and then.

Even so, the idea that I missed this kind of makes me feel inept. I feel like I owe my readers an apology for this one because it is pretty remarkable that I missed something like this. What is it, you ask?

Well, in my research into artificial wombs, it turns out that there’s already some major developments on the other side of the gender equation. By that, I mean that science actually begun rebuilding parts our bodies in an effort to make them function better. No, I’m not talking about an artificial heart either, although that is in development. I’m talking about a bionic penis.

Those are two words many of us never thought we’d hear outside science fiction and Star Wars porn parodies. Just saying them out loud is enough to conjure all sorts of dirty, kinky thoughts that’ll ensure we never look at the Terminator the same way again.

It’s real though. This really is a thing and I mean that in the most literal and figurative way possible. It’s also a fairly recent thing so that may be why I missed it.

It happened in late 2015 over in Scotland, a place more associated with kilts rather than bionic body parts. A man named Mohammed Abad, who lost his penis in a horrible car accident when he was six-years-old, became the first recipient of a bionic penis. The man is basically the Neil Armstrong of bionic manhoods. I’d throw him a parade if I could.

So how does this thing work? How does a bionic penis function? Well, according to the article, these are the basics:

The University of London team has spent more than three years crafting a new, 8-inch wang out of skin grafts culled from Abad’s forearm and becomes erect by mechanically pumping fluid into it. This pump is activated by a button located near his remaining testicle.

Read over that again and try not to conjure a crazy mental image of how this revolutionary technology looks, feels, and works. It can’t be done. I’m pretty sure of that.

It apparently works too. A year later, after a lengthy recovery period, Mr. Abad got to test it out, courtesy of a Charlotte Rose, an escort and sexual trainer. Apparently, that’s a real job. I don’t remember my high school guidance counselor mentioning it, but then again, that same counselor thought I’d make a good accountant for some reason.

This isn’t a one-time medical oddity either. Mr. Abad isn’t the only one to get this done. Another man from England named Andrew Wardle, who was born without a penis, is having one put in with the same procedure.

Sure, it’s comes with a lengthy recovery process that includes a two-week erection, but there are worse recovery processes. At the very least, he has a valid excuse for wearing loose pants and boxers.

Now the fact that this has been done more than once and is likely to be done again in the future opens up some pretty astonishing, not to mention damn kinky possibilities. This is the part where the erotica/romance writer in me starts to get overly excited, but I’ll do my best to temper my giddiness. As a man, I know this is serious business. You can’t get much more serious than the future of a man’s penis.

Whenever a new technology like this comes along, it goes through a fairly predictable process of development. We’ve already seen that with artificial limbs, which have been getting more and more efficient with each passing year. We also see it with technology like smart phones. Anybody remember what the first iPhone looked like?

It seems so long ago, but within a decade, smartphones have become so advanced that we’re using them for advanced medical procedures. That’s a lot of advancement in just 10 years. Think of what kind of advancement we’ll see for something like a bionic penis. Ladies, I’ll give you a moment to change your panties.

Now I’m not saying that bionic penises will advance at the same rate as smartphones. Medical technology has to progress slower, just because it’s harder to test and refine. However, as we’ve seen with other advancements like Lasik eye surgery, which I’ve actually had done, there will be progress as the market demands.

Make no mistake though. There will be a market for bionic penises. Mr. Abad is already having to fend off countless offers for sex with curious women. I imagine as the technology improves, it’ll become a full-fledged fetish. Some women may try a bionic penis and never be able to go back. It’ll spark a whole different breed of dick jokes.

At some point, possibly within my lifetime even, the technology will get to a point where a bionic penis is more effective than any natural penis. It may become so effective that men who are dissatisfied with the perfectly functional penis they were born with will opt to get a bionic one. It’ll be for men what breast implants are for women.

Right now, it seems extreme that a man would abandon the penis he was born with. I imagine women felt the same way when they heard about breast implants though. If the technology advances sufficiently, then the benefits would just be too much to ignore.

At the moment, the penises most men have are fairly durable. However, they do have flaws. They don’t stay hard for as long as some men would like. They tend to get ahead of themselves, thereby creating embarrassing moments that can ruin any romantic moment. They don’t always work on command either. Some men need a pill to get them working whereas Mr. Abas just has a button he pushes to get a boner.

Imagine, provided you have clean panties, a future where a man’s bionic penis is pretty much indistinguishable from what we consider natural today. It looks, feels, and functions like an ordinary penis. However, when it’s time for action, things get real interesting and damn sexy.

There’s no need to take a pill. There’s no need to repeatedly stroke it or maintain a mental image of Pamela Anderson in a thong. Just push a button or use an app on a smartphone and that’s it. You’re as erect as Ron Jeremy for hours on end. That greatly expands the sexual possibilities for men and women alike. All those jokes about men not lasting long in bed suddenly become relics of “Married With Children” reruns.

It’s an exciting and sexy future, one I think men and women alike can look forward to. I’m not going to lie. This gives me some pretty crazy ideas for a future erotica/romance novel. I look forward to sharing those ideas as they become more developed/sexy.

Whatever the case, men everywhere may look back on the day and cheer the name Mohammed Abad. He helped make the bionic penis a reality. On behalf of men everywhere, gay and straight alike, we thank you. You are a true pioneer Mr. Abad. May your bionic penis bring you all the joy you deserve.

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Thoughts On Male Birth Control And Why It’s Making Men Look Bad

Let’s face it. Men can be very targeted with their masculinity. Show us a deer that needs killing, a wall that needs smashing, or a bucket of fried food that needs eating and we’ll flex our nuts like we’re John Wayne. We all have egos, but men tend to jump at the chance to feed those egos more than most. Sure, it gets us in trouble and we make asses of ourselves in the process, but it makes us feel manly and that’s all we need.

Men may be overly simple creatures in that respect, but by excessively targeting our masculinity, we leave ourselves vulnerable. It doesn’t matter how thick our manly armor is. If there’s a target on our ass, we’ll get hit and we’ll still whine about it more than we dare admit.

This is why the recent news surrounding the first male birth control shot caught my attention. For those of you too distracted by the World Series, the economy, or sexy romance/erotica novels (hopefully written by me), here’s a quick and dirty recap.

In a study co-sponsored by the UN, a group of 320 healthy men in monogamous relationships were recruited to test a new male birth control method. This method involved two injections given every eight weeks, one consisting of a synthetic form of testosterone and the other consisting of a derivative of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen.

I’m not a doctor. I’m barely qualified to make a cheese sandwich so please don’t take my assessment as definitive. Based on what I’ve read about this procedure, it’s basically a one-two punch of hormones basically tricks a man’s body into thinking it doesn’t need to produce sperm anymore. That’s good if you don’t want to be on the wrong end of a paternity test.

There’s just one problem though and it’s a problem that is making women everywhere roll their eyes and resist the urge to punch something. The study ended because, according to CNN, the men became concerned when side-effects like mood disorders and depression emerged.

On the surface, that sounds like a reasonable concern. If something is affecting your mood that badly, then you should be concerned. If this were just a new blood pressure drug, it wouldn’t be news. The problem is this drug affects our sex lives and in a culture where a wardrobe malfunction becomes a national scandal, it’s going to be news.

If those effects involved men growing a third limb or having the sudden urge to sing show tunes in public, it may be news for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, those reasons are nowhere to be found this time. Instead, this news basically gives women everywhere an excuse to bust more balls and honestly, I can’t say I blame them.

Why can’t I blame them? Well, check out WebMD and look up the side effects of hormonal birth control for women, which has been legal and available for 50 years now. Here’s a quick rundown of the side-effects.

  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Small amounts of blood, or spotting, between periods
  • Lighter periods
  • Mood changes

These side-effects may not be on par with migraines, dry heaves, and explosive diarrhea, but they’re nothing to scoff at. Women have been enduring them for years and they endure them because they want to have some measure of control over their reproductive destiny. That’s objectively a good thing. We all want to control our lives. That should include the stuff that goes on in our bodies.

However, when it comes to contraception, there’s an undeniable imbalance in terms of who has to take the shot and who has to endure the side-effects. For men, there are no side-effects to condoms other than having to worry about whether your lovers have a latex allergy. They’re also cheap, easy to use, and don’t involve pumping chemicals into our bodies. By all accounts, it’s pretty damn easy.

Compare that with female birth control, which requires either a dose of chemicals or inserting something right up through the vagina and into the uterus. They endure this whereas men will go to any length to avoid inserting anything into their penis. That just doesn’t seem fair, does it?

We humans already have an innate sense of fairness built into our brain wiring. When we see something that we know is unfair, it tends to cause us distress. This discrepancy in contraception definitely triggers that response, if only indirectly.

The fact that women have to bear such a greater burden when utilizing contraception is definitely an issue. I believe it’s part of what fuels some of the gender issues that are driving women apart. Again, this may be indirect, but it’s an effect we can’t ignore.

In nature, when there’s an imbalance, any living system, be it a blob of pond scum or the whole of human civilization, will work to rectify it. Creating contraception that shares the burden between men and women equally is part of an effort that has been going on for centuries, often with unequal results.

A story like this just exposes that inequality even more. It reminds us that men are not bearing their share of the burden. It’s still on the women to make sure that they’re on contraception and that it works. All men can bring to the table is condoms and condoms don’t involve injections into genitals.

This study is definitely a setback and one that’s sure to frustrate women for quite some time. To those women out there, I would only urge patience. I believe that medical science is advancing at a rate our horny ancient ancestors can only dream of.

I’ve talked about the future of the human body and how technology will change it. I believe that one day, we will have the perfect form of contraception that works equally with both genders. It’ll most likely involve a single injection of programmable flesh, each designed to regulate our reproductive systems. It means men and women will be equally capable of controlling their fertility.

When that day comes, it’ll finally balance out what centuries of evolution cannot. It will change the way men and women relate to one another. Hopefully, it means we’ll have fewer stories like this where women want to punch the first man they see for being such a whiner. I say any future where women have fewer reasons to punch men is a future worth fighting for.

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A Day In The Life Of An Enhanced Human

When I was 12-years-old, I was playing baseball with my friends, as any ordinary kid with limited athletic ability would. Then, on a total fluke play, I tried to pick up a ground ball with my bare hand so I could make the play at first. In the process, I jammed my middle finger badly.

This is a fairly normal injury that everybody gets at some point in their lives. It doesn’t kill you. It doesn’t even make you wish you were dead. It just hurts like a bitch and takes forever to heal. That simple, fluke injury ruined my week.

For six days, I couldn’t bend that finger so it looked like I was flipping everybody off. Something as simple as brushing my teeth became a test in pain tolerance and dexterity. I can’t help but think if I found this little injury so annoying, then I wouldn’t have lasted five seconds in the hunter/gatherer days of my ancestors. I’d have been the first to get eaten by a bear because I couldn’t stop complaining about a jammed finger.

Why do I bring this story up? Well, it highlights an important, not to mention inescapable, detail about the human condition. Our bodies, as wonderful and sexy they may be, are woefully inefficient. A good chunk of our lives and a major chunk of our civilization is built around mitigating these inefficacies. Why else would the pharmaceutical industry be a $1.06 trillion (that’s not a misprint) market?

There’s no doubt that the human body has its limits and we’re trying damn hard to manage them. However, there may come a day, and it may come sooner than you think, where we’ll do more than just manage those limits. We’ll subvert them.

That’s right. We’ll become the enhanced humans I often read about in my comic books. Men can become as fit as Captain America. Women can become as fit as Wonder Woman. Actually, scratch that. I’d rather the women become as fit as Starfire, for reasons I’ve already laid out on this blog. If you need a reminder, this should help.

It’s an appealing thought, in more ways than one. It’s a damn sexy thought as well, in far too many ways to list. It may seem so distant when the Centers for Disease Control shows that 591,699 people died from cancer and 55,227 died from influenza in 2015 alone. However, there is reason to believe that such a fanciful, sexy thought may become a reality.

I already revealed one possibility, courtesy of the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre. In the movie, it’s called smart blood. In our world, it’s the alpha and omega of biotechnology. It’s Ryan Reynold’s abs, Jennifer Lopez’s butt, Pamela Anderson’s tits, and Ron Jeremey’s dick all rolled into one. Is that too sexy for you? Well change your panties because it gets better than Ryan Reynod’s abs if you can believe that.

Smart blood is basically programmable flesh. In theory, it’ll allow us to control our biology the same way we control apps on our smartphones. At first, it’ll be used for basic monitoring and diagnostics, but that’s not very sexy. The real appeal is how it will enhance us.

Let’s face it, human beings are really OCD about how we use our technology. It’s not enough to just fix a problem. We have to enhance it, even if it creates a whole new set of problems. So long as those problems don’t make our lives too inconvenient, we’ll gladly take them. It beats dying of small pox or not being able to get an erection after the age of 65.

Smart blood will enhance us in ways that we can’t predict. It’ll do this in ways I discussed in a previous post and explored in my book, “Skin Deep.” However, the events of “Skin Deep” only explored the effects on one particular character. What happens when a large number of people are enhanced with smart blood? What happens when there’s an entire society of people with smart blood in their system?

That’s something I’d like to discuss because it has many possibilities, many of which have sexy implications. It requires another thought experiment, one that means peering decades into the future after smart blood technology has been perfected. This is difficult because we can’t even predict the weather beyond a couple weeks. How can we predict something like this?

Well, history does offer an important guide. As we saw with the advent of birth control, technology does affect society in profound ways. If we’re going to speculate, let’s reasonably assume that humans are just as OCD when it comes to following the trends of history.

Picture this scenario. The year is 2055. Smart blood is not only perfected. It’s as widely available and universally accepted as aspirin. There is now an entire generation of children who grew up with smart blood in their system. In fact, smart blood is such a big part of them that it was with them in the womb because their mothers used it to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

This means that this generation sees having smart blood and all their benefits is normal. What do those benefits do for them? Well, the most obvious benefit is that far fewer members of this generation die in childhood or infancy. Smart blood doesn’t just fight off disease. It detects, suppresses, and treats genetic and autoimmune diseases. If it can’t cure the condition, it at least suppresses it in a way that allows people to live a healthy life.

So an entire generation never knows disease. They never know what it feels like to jam a finger, get the flu, or endure a hangover. Take a moment to envy those lucky shits, but then take it several steps further because the implications go beyond hangovers.

If smart blood enhances every part of the body, including the sexy parts, then that means it’ll enhance the sexiest body part of all, the brain. No, I’m not being factitious. It’s true. The brain is the center of all things sexy because it is the center of how we process all things. Those things include the sexy stuff.

As amazing as the brain is, it still has room for improvement. It’s good at recognizing patterns and warning us when a hungry grizzly is near. It’s not so good at helping us endure the biological torture that is puberty, peer pressure, and high school. I’m pretty sure my brain shut down for significant parts of my sophomore and junior year. I imagine many more feel like their brains fail them in similar situations.

With smart blood, however, the brain is enhanced like every other organ. That means for this generation, they basically have cheat codes for learning and comprehending the world. That means they can read, listen, and learn with much greater efficiency than those of us who don’t have smart blood.

In terms of education, that’s a big fucking deal. A good chunk of our bloated, inefficient education system is a product of outdated methods that fail to educate kids. With smart blood and the growth of online learning programs like Khan Academy, everyone will be able to get a world class education, hopefully without having to endure mid-terms, acne, and lazy teachers who just teach for the health benefits.

As a result, this means that an entire generation could have the same educational aptitude as a high school valedictorian by the fourth grade, if not sooner. Sure, that means we’ll have a generation of smart-asses, but they’ll be smart-asses for the right reasons.

That education goes beyond simply knowing the name of every Russian Tsar or being able to factor 10-digit numbers in their head. In addition to memorizing facts, smart blood will also improve the parts of the brain that process our emotions and social cues.

Children’s brains are basically like a computer getting a long list of updates. It takes a long time and there are bound to be many glitches along the way, as anyone who ever attended a pre-school birthday party can attest. Smart blood can deal with those glitches and speed up the download. Imagine a 7-year-old having the maturity of a 27-year-old. Then again, given the recent trends in reality TV, that bar may be too low.

On top of being highly educated and emotionally healthy, keep in mind that smart blood would also basically eliminate unplanned pregnancies, teenage or otherwise. As I speculated before, smart blood will allow women to have total control over their fertility.

From the moment their born, it may even be their default setting. They cannot and will not ovulate until they inform the smart blood in their body to do so. It’s perfect contraception, no pills or uncomfortable implants needed.

Why is this a big deal? Why is being educated and not having unplanned pregnancies a big deal? Well, come back to the present time for a moment and you’ll see something pretty telling. According to Pew, couples who are college educated are among the least likely to get divorced and the most likely to marry for the right reasons. Apparently when people are smart, they make smart decisions in their love life. Go figure.

Now imagine an entire generation that’s even smarter and not burdened by unplanned pregnancies. That means that they’re less prone to loving someone for the wrong reasons or having sex with someone for the wrong reasons. How many of our problems in society have come from such stupid decisions? How many episodes of Jerry Springer did these stupid decisions create?

We can never know, but the generation that uses smart blood won’t have to deal with that burden. Sure, they’ll still make mistakes, but smart people know how to deal with mistakes and overcome them. Thanks to smart blood, these simple mistakes will be less likely to ruin their lives and harden their hearts.

What will this mean for the love they find? What will this mean for the relationships they create? What will this mean for their sex lives, their children, or their communities as a whole?

In terms of their sex lives, I think our imaginations are dirty enough to have some ideas. If this generation is intelligent in both facts and emotions, then they’ll be able to relate to one another with much greater efficiency. That means they’ll be able to form more meaningful bonds and have the emotional capacity to express those bonds in a mutually loving way.

That may very well make for the kind of hot, steamy sex life that every bad romance novel ever written has ever described. Even some of the overly heated, overly steamy romances I conjure in my books would be considered basic by these standards.

Think about it, provided you have clean underwear. A young couple, a highly educated man and highly educated woman with the kind of enhanced bodies that are usually reserved for bad Photoshop covers, wants to make love. They know each other’s wants, needs, and proclivities to the letter.

Thanks to the influence of smart blood, they have the fortitude, stamina, and desire to do anything and everything they want in their sex life. They can hump like lions in heat for hours on end. Or if they want to slow things down, they can play every Barry White song ever made and make love slowly and passionately like every Twilight movie ever made.

What kind world would we live in if people had sex lives like that? Would it be more peaceful? I imagine it would. I’ve never met anyone, male or female, who has a great sex life and is regularly in a bad mood. How can you have great sex an hate anybody? It’s not physically or emotionally possible.

A generation fueled by smart blood may very well consider this normal. Thanks to smart blood, this generation won’t suffer and decline with age. If anything, age will just give them time to come up with more creative ways of expressing their love and exploring their sexuality.

What this generation of super-smart, super-sexy, super-emotionally competent men and women come up with is beyond my imagination, but that won’t stop the romance/erotica writer in me from trying.

Beyond this point, it’s impossible to speculate. However, this is a future that may very well manifest within our lifetimes. What will we tell this generation? How will we explain to them that we lived in a time where we had to worry about diseases, unplanned pregnancies, divorce, sham marriages, and Tinder? I don’t imagine that’ll be a pleasant conversation. I just hope smart blood enhances their sense of humor as well.

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A Sexy Thought Experiment

Here’s a sexy thought that anyone can do comfortably clothed. It’s a thought I think everyone has to some degree once they start contemplating their sexuality. I imagine it’s a thought parents have as they watch their children approach sexual maturity, albeit with silent horror. It’s not a kind of thinking that matches up with reality just yet, but it has the potential to be so it’s worth contemplating. So here it is:

What will happen to our understanding of sex if we’re able to remove all its known consequences?

Admit it. This thought has intrigued/troubled you to some extent. It’s a thought that I think people have entertained throughout human history. What would it be like to live in a world where nobody has to worry about getting pregnant or getting some terrible disease when they have sex? Would it be like nearly every bad porno we’ve ever seen? Would society implode, like some social conservatives claim? Would our understanding of marriage, love, and relationships remain intact?

These are all intriguing/distressing questions. How much of our sexual expression is restrained or shaped by our understanding of these consequences? If tomorrow morning, someone announces they’ve cured every infectious disease and created the perfect birth control product, what would change? Would people have more sex? Would they have riskier, more elaborate forms of sex? Would they have sex in ways that even aspiring erotica writers cannot contemplate? It’s hard to say, but it is worth contemplating because this is the 21st century. These are no longer entirely empty questions.

To provide some perspective, it wasn’t until recently that science has advanced to a point where people can control the consequences of sex. When it comes to birth control, the most common method of birth control throughout human history was simply pulling out. That didn’t always work because human beings can’t always be expected to exercise such discipline. It wasn’t until 1957 when the FDA approved the first birth control pill, giving women a genuine medical mechanism for controlling when they became pregnant. It wasn’t perfect. It did have side-effects, but it was a major advance.

There are more advances on the horizon. Today, the options for birth control are varied and becoming more varied with every year. Methods like IUDs (intrauterine devices) provide some of the most effective, reliable forms of contraception on the market today. Since there has always been demand for women to control their fertility, basic economics ensure that even more effective methods will emerge in the future.

Then, there are diseases, the ultimate libido killer. For most of human history, society was at the mercy of these diseases. Encouraging restraint had a real, legitimate purpose because many of these diseases could kill you. You didn’t even need religious zealots telling you that promiscuity was dangerous. These diseases were everywhere and pretty scary. They could actually kill you if left untreated.

As with birth control, it wasn’t until the 20th century that we gained an actual medical method of fighting these diseases. Enter antibiotics, courtesy of Alexander Flemming and the advent of penicillin. For the first time, we had a way to treat these terrible, life-threatening diseases. It’s gotten to a point where a few shots and a round of pills will cure most people of the diseases that ravaged ancient societies.

From a medical standpoint, sex has never been cleaner, so to speak. There are still dangerous diseases out there. However, only one disease, AIDS, is definitively deadly and even that condition has become more manageable over the past decade, so much so that it’s no longer the death sentence it once was. Other diseases can be debilitating, but modern science continues to advance. It’s advancing to a point where we may very well enter an era where every infectious disease is either curable, treatable, or completely preventable.

It’s a promising world, one where suffering and hardship are significantly reduced. Our world is already so much safer and healthier than it has been in the past. People today have more freedom to safely explore their sexuality than ever before. However, a lot of our sex education classes basically amount to this.

It’s a sign that, despite all these amazing advanced, certain parts of society are reluctant to embrace this world. They see these advances and worry that their children will live in a world where recklessness has no consequences. That, or they’re jealous that they’re too old to enjoy that world. It may be a combination of the two.

As I said before, for most of human history, there was a legitimate reason for people to exercise restraint in their sexual expression. However, society has tacked on a lot of other reasons that medical science can’t sure.

Religion and culture have ascribed this arbitrary “holiness” to chastity that has no basis in reality. These same forces hijack the human capacity for guilt and shame to scold those who dare explore their sexuality in ways that society deems inappropriate. This is a major theme in my book, “The Final Communion.” It offers an extreme example of what this kind of sentiment can do to people.

While religion and culture will continue to fight ardently to preserve their current state, we can take comfort in the knowledge that they tend to fail miserably in the long run. No matter how many obstacles or consequences are ascribed to sexual expression, be they legitimate or not, the drive to express these feelings remains strong. It’s one of the most powerful forces in nature. For that reason, it’s impossible to know for sure how society will change.

With all this context in mind, I’ll rephrase the thought experiment. Flash forward to some arbitrary point in the future. In that future, birth control is easy and accessible to everyone. In order to ensure that nobody need suffer the consequences, men and women are given injections around puberty that provide 100 percent effective contraception. In terms of disease, there are now special smart-drugs that can target or prevent any major or minor disease with perfect efficiency.

Now, an entire generation can grow up in a world where they never have to worry about the consequences of sex and they can explore it freely and openly. What kind of society will this generation create? We may not get there in our lifetime, but it will manifest at some point. It’s an important question to ask and one that I hope to explore in future books.

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