Thursday, 29 November 2012

Where I stand these days.

I haven't posted in a long time, so I figured I'd share my thoughts on all of this at this point in time.

  • There is nothing to feel ashamed of. This is simply a variation in brain composition/chemistry. Variation is natural, and key to the diversification of the species. Unfortunately some of us get the short end of the stick and end up with gene combinations that leave us unable to resolve that which our brains and bodies tell us we need. We haven't done anything wrong and we're not bad people because of it, it's just the way the cookie crumbled. There is no great mystery to understand, our brains are simply wired in a frustratingly different way than they would be under normal circumstances.
  • There is nothing wrong with keeping this information to ourselves and only sharing it with those we feel should know. We don't have to tell anyone we don't want to tell. Ignorance can be bliss (for others) and, if one has accepted one's circumstances, there is not always a lot to be gained from divulging this secret. Reality is personal and is relative to each person. That said, if you need to tell people, or talk to someone about it, you shouldn't feel ashamed in doing so; just be pragmatic about the reactions you may get from those who've known you for a while.
  • For many of us, current treatments will not provide what we want. Surgery will not produce anything more than a very poor facsimile of our desired selves and will be accompanied by a lot of social rejection, which is more than many of us are willing and/or able to handle.
  • We have to accept that, for now, we can't have what we want. That's just the way it is. There's nothing to be done about it, and though we'll feel depressed and frustrated sometimes, we simply have to recognize those cycles as inevitable and know they will pass, like they always do, accept them and and get on with our lives.
  • If current treatments won't provide what you want, then there are only two possibilities to achieve our desired outcome. Neither are guaranteed, but both are quite possible, in my opinion:
    • Life extension technology is coming along very quickly and it's looking like, for those of us who still have at least 3-4 decades of life remaining, we may be among the lucky few who get to take advantage of it first. Google Aubrey de Grey if you're curious what I'm talking about. There are other discoveries taking place too. And given how far medical technology might advance in one or two hundred  years, if we're patient and are able to take advantage of early life extension technologies, we might be around to finally see the development of medical options give us what we want. Far fetched? Maybe, maybe not.
    • Computer technology is also advancing very fast. What we have now is such a far cry from what we had twenty to thirty years ago, that when that some amount of time passes again, what we're going to be able to do will probably be quite amazing by today's standards. This means the potential for true virtual worlds that we can possibly enter and experience first-hand, as though we're there. True brain interfaces, interacting with all of our senses and projecting experiences that are indistinguishable from real life. If that can happen, escapes like Second Life will feel like antiquated jokes in the face of what we're simulating.
  • Given that I can't have what I want at this point, and there is the possibility that I may be able to get what I want, or a close approximation thereof, in my lifetime, I figure I may as well just live my life, have goals and projects to keep me occupied, and do my best to have friends and great relationships with loved ones until I either get what I want or leave this life for whatever comes next (if anything). Wallowing in self pity isn't going to help me, and discussing this with people isn't going to get me what I want.
So there you have it. Live your life. This sucks, but it simply is what it is. No sense having a crisis about it. Hope for the best and keep yourself busy.

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