The first thing (out of two): As not many people are aware of, I actually underwent some minor surgery last week. I’ll spare you the boring details, except for the fact that at some point I had to be given spinal anesthesia while I was fully awake. Now, if you’ve never been given spinal anesthesia before, let me give you a rundown: you’ll be asked to lie on your side and curl up into something like a C-shaped fetal position so that the anesthesiologist can inject a tiny needle into a small area between the discs of your spinal column. It’s not exactly the most fun thing in the world; and for someone like me who was a low tolerance for pain, even the tiny pinpricks would cause me to involuntarily contract my spine, giving the anesthesiologist trouble and requiring her to try another location, hence an additional pinprick and a vicious cycle that seemed to go on forever. Hence, it was not the most pleasant of experiences.
As I lie there however, I found myself thinking how in the olden days soldiers who went off to war and got wounded would have their open wounds treated and sutured without the help of any anesthesia at all with no choice but for them to grit their teeth and bear it. Me on the other hand, after taking this spinal anesthesia, the surgeon would be working on an open wound and I would lie there, fully awake not feeling a thing and wondering “what the hell is going on down there, maybe I don’t really want to know.”
My point is not that I should be damn thankful I live in the modern world and I’m taking spinal anesthesia at all (though that is probably true), but rather that it can be downright amazing how far changes in science and technology have taken us.
The second thing: If there’s anything which has changed the world so much over the past decode or two, it’s the internet. It’s weird that my first usage of the internet wasn’t in an academic setting like I would imagine it was in other more developed areas, but rather as a channel where we could get anime fanfiction. I have memories of fifteen years ago after or between classes at UP, there would be me, Mike and Art walking off to an “internet cafe” on Katipunan and hanging out there while browsing the old Anime Turnpike website or something like that (don’t visit Anipike now, it’s terrible). Young college me sharing an internet workstation with two other guys would never have imagined that more than a decade later internet usage would be so pervasive in my life that I carry around not just one but two internet-capable devices on a daily basis and that I interact with people, friends and family all over the world online on a regular basis and practically all the news and media I consume come from online sources.
Since I’m recovering from surgery, I have a lot of time to pontificate, so I found myself thinking about how social media has changed the way celebrity works. Before Twitter or Facebook, we would hear about what celebrities were up to on the news, in the papers or television or radio, but they would always seem so remote and the average person would in his lifetime never have any personal interaction with famous people. But today, you could tweet to Shaq (@THE_REAL_SHAQ) or Neil Patrick Harris (@actuallynph) or even lesser celebrities like author Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) or even a local TV personality like Kim Atienza (@kuyakim_atienza), and there would be a reasonable chance of getting a reply. We see more into other people’s lives through social media, and that has changed the world for celebrities.
I find it all fascinating and amazing. And even more than that, within my lifetime there will probably be even more quantum leaps in the way science or technology affects our day to day to lives, things we couldn’t even imagine right now. The future beckons to us, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring.
TLDR; I’m randomly amazed at everyday things