The Cancer of Everything
We lost a friend this week to cancer. My feelings about cancer over the years have shifted from frustration and anger towards the disease to intense anger at our society for our lack of focus on finding a cure. Additionally, we are making it worse by making new technologies that kill us quietly. We have technologists today creating paint that can sense room temperature but we can’t cure a common cold. We can point a camera at a food source and determine what is in the food but we can’t figure out even how to predict what the best treatments for cancer are based on a person’s condition and profile. We can find oil and gas by simply using analytics. We are close to having machines that think for themselves. On cancer and other illness we have done some things and made some strides but the statistics are on the side of sickness. Here is the interesting part, if we look at cancer statistics overall in terms of survival they look like this
Number of Cancer Survivors
- As of January 2014, it is estimated that there are 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. This represents over 4% of the population.1 View graph
- The number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by 31%, to almost 19 million, by 2024, which represents an increase of more than 4 million survivors in 10 years.1 View graph
Looking at the numbers, there is a projected increase in survival that looks like a gradual slope. I think that is bologna. If we look here
we can see that the line is more jagged and in the case of breast cancer pretty consistent.
If my own personal experience is worth anything, most of the people around me that had cancer are dead. I don’t need the statistics to know that my experience with losing loved ones to cancer hasn’t changed for my entire life. When my grandmother passed away, my memory of that experience was a young doctor that barely spoke english telling us “What are we to do? She is old.” Last year my father in law passed away from cancer and I am convinced that the treatment was worse than the cancer itself.
Cancer is still one of the top three killers, only second to heart disease. Not only are we as a global society failing to change this statistic, we are increasing our cancer numbers by claiming ignorance on what our technologies are doing to us. Last week Berkeley released a study that indicated mobile phones can cause tumors http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/13/berkeley-says-cell-phones-cause-tumors.html
Here is the most interesting part of this study released in 2015. When Blackberry released their cell devices well over a decade ago, they placed a sticker warning about radiation. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-sanity-check/radiation-threats-the-10-most-potentially-hazardous-smartphones/
What we are doing as a society is making ourselves sicker and we don’t have the tools to counter our technologies ill health effects. It always amazed me that our government makes us wear seatbelts in the car. Think about it, you can wear a seatbelt and smoke a cigarette. So the government is worried about your immediate demise upon impact in a crash over your long term suffering and likely painful death associated with smoking. There is a chance that you won’t ever get cancer or any of the related smoking illness but there is also a good chance that you won’t hit something with your car or be hit. It is all nonsense. Both wearing seatbelts and smoking is good for reeling in money. As soon as big government starts to get momentum around smoking weed that will become legal across the US as well. Why? Because the big claims around health impacts are squashed by the desire for cash.
Until we wake up from our ignorant slumber on how we are destroying everything and everyone around us in the name of being connected and knowing stuff, we are potentially doomed in our time. As long as someone else is dying, we don’t worry about anything.
It will be enough when it is too late. Here is a nice little picture of the radiation in our ocean from our friends in Japan.
Oil spill from BP
World map of cancer..
**Rant Over** Thinking of you today Dan ..