It’s the 21st century, and we still don’t get flying cars, engines that get 500 mpg running on bottled cowfarts, or an adventure park on the Moon. They say man’s technology outpaces our maturity (which is why somebody will probably get nuked because of religion) but I say there’s an opposite and equal frustration: man’s imagination always outpaces our ability to do cool shit.
I suppose it’s not very gracious to downplay the elements of modern life that would have been considered “magical” a hundred years ago. My flight from LAX to Charlotte was 3 hours and 31 minutes last week. I video-chatted with Tessa in Denver five minutes ago. I have a pill that keeps my self-loathing set at “vaguely”.
But I’m dreamin’ bigger, dontchya know! In the ’70s, “The Bionic Man” (and the even better show “Bionic Woman”) taught us all body parts could get a hardware upgrade. In that light, here is my list of 5 Human Parts That Are Awaiting Version 2.0:
1. Sinuses. Those who went to med school will no doubt wince at my dime-store explanation, but apparently we have sinuses so that our heads can be large enough to carry around a giant brain; the air-filled sac reduces weight in the front. The problem is that everyone’s sinuses suck. They act like the petri dishes of a 4th grade science class biology experiment, collecting every virus and bacteria on earth – except you can’t throw this petri dish away.
We would like Sinuses 2.0 to be coated with that anti-bacterial covering they use on new grocery carts, natural immunity to all plant life, and we humbly request an upper limit on congestion, so that some of us can fuckin’ breathe once in a while.
2. Knees. Yours truly has always had strong knees, but I have seen the greatest minds of the generation above mine felled completely by knee problems, and they’ve ruined a fur piece of my peer group as well. This has been a well-known design flaw from the get-go; you’ve got the entire weight of our bodies being supported by a few ligaments swimming in synovial fluid? Hell, a fruit juicer makes more design sense.
Studies show that arthroscopic knee surgery works as well as a placebo. Yes, you heard right – just making an incision in the knee and telling the patient he had surgery works just as well as the surgery itself. And our knee replacement devices are iffy at best, so let’s just start over with the next build, okay?
3. Cornea/lens. Seriously, why do people have to be nearsighted or farsighted? Why can’t everyone just see with pinpoint clarity? Everyone being forced to hang plastic frames with concave-convex lenses on their faces… we’re lucky we have a nose that sticks out, or else we’d have nothing to put it on. Laser surgery, contact lenses and everything else – come on, let’s get this one fixed ASAP.
4. Pancreas. Median survival time for someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is 3-5 months. You see where we’re going with this here. Scrap the pancreas, and diversify: create four different organs in different places that do what the pancreas does (insulin, somatostatin, pancreatic juice, etc.) so that our lives aren’t so beholden to one link. Many of us have a separate cable for television, phone and internet so that one tree branch won’t shut down the entertainment – we’d like to see some of that thinking go into Pancreas Project 2.0.
5. Skin. We’ve got this stuff wrapped around us for our whole lives, and while some of us have exquisite epidermii (hi, my wife!) many others of us are prone to acne, sunburn, rash and scars. A lot of us would like to go out into the sun – you know, the star 93 million miles away that sustains life – without having to slather ourselves in sunblock. The teens of the world, billions strong going back in history, don’t understand why they are given cystic pustules of painful zits all over their bodies at the precise time they are least equipped to handle the pressure.
No, no – let’s get this updated. Obviously, we’d like to keep the endless variations of color and sensation, but ditch the melanoma, hives, pimples and August-ruiners like poison oak, and let’s get a cleaner, more durable version running by Q4 2015.
Sound good? Go 21st century! We can do it!