read, think, evolve

Volume 1 Number 21                                                                        October 31, 2000

Samhain has arrived once again.  Tomorrow, All Hallows day marks the Celtic New Year.  Down through the eons this was the time when those of us in the northern hemisphere have concluded the harvests, butchered and salted all but the breeding stock we could feed through the winter, and prepared for the end of the old year and our first steps into the new one.  

Ultimately that is what I am grappling with here.  What do we need to harvest and take with us into the next eon.  Much of the Earth has been desecrated and turned into a wasteland, and we must look at what resources are going to be necessary to survive the harsh winter ahead of us.  What new tools and new ways must we find to help us to renew the Earth and ourselves, so that Spring will return, and the Earth and human beings flower once more?

Sacrifices will have to be made, just to survive.  The only question is will we be able to make them in time.  Maybe it's more appropriate to ask whether we will ever make them?  Will enough people wake up in time, notice that we are headed off a cliff, and turn the wheel in time?

It's scary to stare into the void and not know where the road will lead us, but to continue on the road we are traveling is to fulfill the promise of "Revelations" and I am not willing to sit idly be while the human race obliterates itself.

Enough stardust for this episode.

This week's rant is about antibiotics.  I've read at least a dozen articles in the past year on how micro organisms are rapidly evolving into variations that are immune to antibiotics.  (Interesting that micro organisms evolve faster than humans.)  Ultimately it was always hopeless that antibiotics would be a long term solution to anything, but they could have remained effective for a lot longer if we had handled them differently.  From what I've read the two primary reasons that the life cycle of antibiotics has been shortened are:  1.  Doctors have over prescribed them.  2.  They have been used by agriculture to add to feed and improve weight gains.  

Considering how much the drug companies complain about research and development costs I wonder why they lobbied governments to drag their feet and not do things to slow down the use of antibiotics?  The obvious answer is that investors have forced businesses to ignore long term strategies and focus on the next quarterly report.  With that focus it makes sense to sell as much as possible today, even though it would shorten the life cycle of each drug.  

Another possibility has occurred to me though.  Realistically, drug companies don't want cures.  The true profit cow is the drug that treats symptoms and creates addicts.  Antibiotics were cures, and what they need to maintain long term profits is drugs that merely treat the symptoms.  As such, their best long term strategy is to kill off antibiotics as fast as possible and replace them with drugs that will create lots of addicts.

I think the answer is to use government money to do research and focus on finding cures, but maybe that's hopeless.  I suppose the corporations would just buy off the researchers and create the situation that will make them the most money.  

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