Be careful guys!
Be careful guys!
On an unrelated note, I accidentally wore my pants inside out today. Take database advice from me, guys, I can very nearly dress myself!
I worked up the courage to do this over a long period**.
It's science fictional: we've made a machine that can give you new eyes.
The (human) surgeon is there, of course, to count backwards from 55 (the number of seconds they zapped each eye with a laser) and to flush my smouldering corneas with something really frickin' cold.
But mostly, I stared at a light and a robot shot me; just noble gasses, electrons, and a lot of math a bright high-schooler could do.
And that's kind of what I struggled with: Did I deserve to do this kind of luxury? A risky gamble of becoming more than nature had intended? What if I went blind? What if my eyeballs exploded? What if it burned out my soul along with the eyeball gas?
Eventually what pushed me over the edge was basically this comic. We've been doing corneal surgeries since the 60s (and researching them since the 30s and earlier).
But when I discussed this with my elders, I heard a lot of fear and doubt. What about presbyopia when I turned 40? What about accomodation? What if it made me blind? What if it exploded my eyeballs? What if...
I don't know that I'm fully a transhumanist, but I know that tomorrow will tend to be better than today. I know that people get smarter, techniques better, and difficult tasks automated better.
There are risks involved in this procedure, but there are risks in everything we do. I shouldn't let fear of change (change, itself: not risk, but novelty) rob me of something that could make my life better.
So I didn't let it do those things, and here we am***.
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.
* this is a cunning lie. I got PRK, LASIK's slightly older, slightly odder cousin. Instead of cutting a flap out of my epithelium and cornea to let laser-induced eyeball gasses escape, they melt the epithelium off with alcohol. Extended healing times, but long term your eye is 100% you (less the aforementioned eyeball gas), so I worry less about the flap popping loose when I'm finally in that duel with Count Rugen.
** 8 years ago, I went for a consultation. I chickened out at the time. When I went back, they "remembered" me (through the aid of an extensive filing system, I'm sure) and remembered the price they'd offered at the time, too. Score!
* Vital stats: I had been 20/400 in each eye, approx -7.5 diopters (the math on that doesn't work. I don't understand it either), slight astigmatism. I am now 20/70 (approx -3 diopters) as of wednesday, though I think I'm more like 20/60 today; it fluctuates day by day and is expected to stabilize to 20/20 by week 3, though of course there are no guarantees. I could get reading glasses or something to get that all the way into "functioning member of society" levels, but I haven't taken that plunge yet, so I'm just groping my way around.
No pain throughout -- day 3 I had some pain during the night, but I took the meds and slept through it.
I'm humorously myopic: the screen I write this on is blown up to giant resolution; I'm working 1 hour out of every 2 I spend at the desk, and there is eyestrain.
- Software Engineer, 2013 - present
- 10genSoftware Engineer, 2008 - 2013
- New York UniversityMathematics and Computer Science
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