Friday, February 26, 2016

On Pain

Pain is your body's way of telling you something's wrong.

There are other ways to do this. I, for one, am enamored with a sort of "damage report" pop up like I imagine Robocop or a TIE Fighter gets. It would have an outline of my body, with the effected portion in yellow or red, and say something like "thigh at 84%". That would also get me the information I need, but in a much cooler way.

Of course, pain does have some unique uses. It's relatively immediate feedback, for one -- you know right away to jerk your hand away from that hot stove (though my understanding is that the reflexive jerk actually occurs before the pain sensation is processed -- the latter is more of a punishment mechanism for your stupidity). CIP is a dangerous condition precisely because those who have it often don't even notice they've been damaged until it is too late. So as much as I hate to admit it, I concede that pain probably has a role to play in my body's damage alert system.

But still, sometimes it just seems ridiculous. Like, if I'm being burned at stake -- I already know something is wrong. I don't need pain receptors firing full tilt. It's sort of like a car alarm you can't turn off -- it's like, I get it! Shut up already! Other times, you feel pain for ailments that you have no ability to affect the relief of. Like (anybody who knows me knows what's coming) a kidney stone. Kidney stones suck.* But there's nothing I can do to ease the process. I just want to tell my body to handle it and stop complaining. A kidney stone would be a great candidate for getting a damage report I could peruse at my leisure.

Anyway, the point isn't to completely knock the current system. I get why it makes sense given the constraints of our meat sacks. But I am telling future designers of our transhumanist future that there's a lot of improvements to be had. So, you know, if you could get on that, that'd be cool.

* Fortunately, I haven't had another one since last year.

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