The most under-rated art: Writing (Part I)

The most under-rated art: Writing (Part I)

Establishing a shared method of communication is one of the key components of advancement into founding a civilization.

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Speaking, talking, singing, conveying our ideas to others, teaching and learning in a faster way, verbalizing feelings, rallying crowds or manipulating masses… it’s no surprise that the ability to have meaningful, oral communication with others, has put humanity on the top of the planetary food chain and made it possible for us to found an advanced civilization, where much stronger animal species like dinosaurs, bears, lions, and such never could.

Oral communication is always considered the most viable inter-human communication since we were cavemen; talk well to inspire an army into a triumph, beg for votes on a political campaign for a chance to rule the world, or simply express inner feelings to foreplay mating in a ‘civilized’ way.

Sounds the best?

But, for the likes of me (and hopefully for the likes of you when you finish reading this), it can only come after writing. It’s just much more than speeches can ever offer:

  • Oral communication is lost in the present whilst writing can travel forward and backward in time. Or else we wouldn’t be meddling to decipher ancient hieroglyphs or send letters and emails to others for a future read. Writing is the best way of preserving memories, retelling history and transferring knowledge into future generations.
  • Writing grants immortality to its creator as spoken words are scattered in the wind and soon forgotten if not recorded.
  • The unnecessary components of oral communication such as small talk, echo questions and filler words can be mostly avoided unless a dialogue is being mimicked in a work of fiction.
  • Writing requires education of some level at least and that’s all the difference between a toddler mumbling about their needs to their parents and a scholar influencing millions.
  • It’s possible to translate a piece of writing into the reader’s native tongue as no immediate responses are needed.
  • Never forget that ‘pen is mightier than the sword’ and that a sword can cut a blabbermouth. Writing always wins.

 

So, despite all this proof, why do most people underestimate the power of writing in the modern world?

Why is being a writer not considered as a proper job?

Why are the benefits of hiring a professional writer is seen as an asset by only a few selected businesses?

You don’t build the house you live in unless you’re an architect and a bricklayer. Do you?

Would you like to know more?

Then, stay tuned in for the next part of this article coming up soon…

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Vampire Philosophy: Thought Shard no:566, On Change and Humanly Love…

Vampire Philosophy: Thought Shard no:566, On Change and Humanly Love…

Throughout history, philosophers have been tackling problems relating to a variety of subjects like existence, society, political theory, ethics, values, art, epistemology etc. As most of philosophy is directly questioning aspects of human life and its relations to other matters like the ones mentioned earlier, it can be objective only up to a degree as we are all human after all. What we lack is total objectivity, which can only be possible by viewing these matters from a completely different perspective; a non-human one. This series of texts (recordings) attempts to question us from a unique perspective with a vampiric touch to all matters that matter to us…

vampire-dance

“Greetings Human!

I am Lyzette leaving this recording in the Highgate Cemetary as a reflection of our thoughts; the vampire perspective. This is thought shard number 566, recorded in 1449 AD, based on our perception of change and humanly love.

Sadly, unconditional and eternal love AKA true love does not exist in your world. It is just as a myth to you as we, Strigoi are. False assumptions, ignorance, unawareness and illusions mislead you into believing its existence, just like those of you who are convinced we, vampires can turn into bats. Here, our transformation into bats is just in your minds, not in the physical world bound by unbreakable no transformation rules. However, change is different. Much slower but more effective in the long run.

Your world is fueled by change. You survive by changes of all kinds, in every aspect. You change in size as you grow from infancy to adulthood. Your early ideas are reshaped by influence of your teenage idols whereas your desires, dreams and demands are altered by personal experience as you get older. And yet, you choose to believe in eternal, unconditional love when everything in and around you is dependent on conditions that change constantly. And that’s not all, as constant change occurs in both parties. Now, tell me how true love is possible! If it indeed were, you would still be chasing the first soul you ever kissed or held hands with.

You only fall in love with illusions… or the perfect versions of the people who you think you are in love with. When you realize the initial feelings are withering away, you try to remodel your beloved into a glorified image of a dream. The perfect image shatters as both parties push each other away unwillingly.

In an ideal case of true love, jealousy would never reside in the minds of the lovers as each party is confident of themselves to make the other party much happier than anyone else ever could. Knowing that nobody else could claim that special spot in the other’s heart. Or… in the event that the lovers grew apart, the more loving party would just let go of the other rather than obsessing themselves to win them back. They would know that letting go would make the other party happy. Wasn’t true love about making each other happy?

In short, true love does not exist because of the fact that change is unavoidable as time cannot be stopped. The only way to pause time briefly is through reliving the good memories over and over again until they aren’t vivid as before. And that’s exactly what you think love is…

The next thought shard can be found buried deep beneath the Sphinx in modern Egypt.

End of transfer.”

vampire-love

Vampire Philosophy: Thought Shard no:434, On Death and Immortality…

Vampire Philosophy: Thought Shard no:434, On Death and Immortality…

Throughout history, philosophers have been tackling problems relating to a variety of subjects like existence, society, political theory, ethics, values, art, epistemology etc. As most of philosophy is directly questioning aspects of human life and its relations to other matters like the ones mentioned earlier, it can be objective only up to a degree as we are all human after all. What we lack is total objectivity, which can only be possible by viewing these matters from a completely different perspective; a non-human one. This series of texts (recordings) attempts to question us from a unique perspective with a vampiric touch to all matters that matter to us…

death-venice

“Greetings Human!

I am Torbyn leaving this recording in the cave of Lascaux as a reflection of our thoughts; the vampire perspective. This is thought shard number 434, recorded in 1218 AD, based on our perception of death and immortality.

Immortality! Outliving time itself. The long lasting dream of all mankind… Fortunately, all living things die. An end adds immense beauty, value to eternal boredom. As immortals, we, the Strigoi, see life like a never-ending mystery book, with all its mysteries revealed in the early chapters. When there’s nothing more to explore, everything loses meaning, but you keep going out of habit.

You reproduce and transfer your knowledge and values to your young, making them fresh, mini copies of yourselves…

You create works of art, to take place in history, not to be forgotten, living through eternity the best you can… and if you lack the talent for art, you become a politician…

You advance in technology, trying to prolong your life span fighting diseases… a world with limited resources throw at you…

Even what seems like an innocent act where young human couples carve their love onto tree trunks, is nothing more than a feeble attempt at immortality… the love dies but the curvy symbol and the initials around it, do not… is this the immortality you wish upon? Immortality of teen regrets?

Despite all these, you cannot even convince yourself of your dream… as you spell it the same way as its opposing concept: “Immortal versus I’m mortal!” or a similar concept with a slight change of letters: “death versus breath”.

Death is unknown to you until you die and delving into the unknown scares you… yet, it’s the same you, trying to explore the mysteries of the universe. Two unknowns, two completely different reactions… how delusional of you!

The next thought shard can be found in Highgate Cemetary in modern London.

End of transfer.”

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Vampire Philosophy: Thought Shard no:411, On God and Religion…

Vampire Philosophy: Thought Shard no:411, On God and Religion…

Throughout history, philosophers have been tackling problems relating to a variety of subjects like existence, society, political theory, ethics, values, art, epistemology etc. As most of philosophy is directly questioning aspects of human life and its relations to other matters like the ones mentioned earlier, it can be objective only up to a degree as we are all human after all. What we lack is total objectivity, which can only be possible by viewing these matters from a completely different perspective; a non-human one. This series of texts (recordings) attempts to question us from a unique perspective with a vampiric touch to all matters that matter to us…

Here goes…

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Greetings Human!

The crystal shard you’ve just found is one of the many thought shards belonging to the Strigoi; the vampires as you commonly name us and its purpose is to transfer our philosophy to you when you have evolved enough to understand it. The crystal thought shards were recorded hundreds of years ago and possess the capacity of adapting to your current understanding by accumulating data from its surroundings as time passes and updating themselves in a lexical and intellectual manner to make a smooth transfer of our philosophy, making it a version you may comprehend if you have an open mind. I am Adonis Loscemus of Cumae. This is thought shard number 411, recorded in 1158 AD, based on our perception of God and religion.

Mankind, or better known and labelled as “Sophisticated cattle”, by our kind – Strigoi, has a concrete belief the whole universe was created by God. One god for everything! A single entity capable of creating all life itself; from lichens, flora and animals, to even us vampires as well as all the way to beings of other galactic realms. The belief in favor of existence of one god is irrelevant at this point. As you might have guessed, the human race is just cattle to feed upon for most Strigoi. The question I want to pose is, if there’s God for you, is it the same one as your cattle’s? Do our sophisticated cattle believe their cattle have a god of their own? Like…

The sheep god?
The cow king?
The Parthenon of calves?

Or are your cattle atheists?
Can creations that do not have the capacity of sparking a belief in their minds be held responsible and labelled as heretics?

As for us, Strigoi deists believe that “mankind” was created by the one and only God to feed the Strigoi, but that’s surely not what the humankind believes; to be created just to be consumed by a superior race can’t be the God’s great plan. But, humans have no trouble believing that sheep exist solely for that reason.

You see yourselves as God’s children and pray and worship God on a regular basis, yet as the biological offspring of your mundane parents, you never think of praying and worshiping them. Just a bit of love, following their teachings and being a good person is more than enough. Are you showing off to be in the good books of God? And if God sees everything, don’t you think your true intentions are not as honest?

You build houses of God for a display of your religion’s power. Yet, isn’t the whole world, and the nature surrounding it, God’s house? Not to mention you believe in one God but multiple religions… all fighting for different versions of the same glorified outcome.

You shall not kill… unless it’s in the name of God…
Then, starting wars and taking lives that God forbade, suddenly becomes a cleansing.

The notion of God exists for us Strigoi too, but it’s far away from what you perceive now. You lack the commonsense of seeing everything on a greater scale. If God is the creator of the whole universe, why downscale and limit the divine just to Earth.

The next thought shard can be found in the Lascaux cave inside the borders of modern France.

The end of transfer…

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Communicating with visitors from outer space: The uncanny resemblance of the Unfamiliar Familiarity…

Communicating with visitors from outer space: The uncanny resemblance of the Unfamiliar Familiarity…

We are born… totally unaware of the world around us; an alien world…
We learn crying first… that’s our first attempt in communication… or attention seeking until we find more effective ways…
Then, we learn to stand on our knees, crawl and finally walk…
In the end, we learn to speak as we complete the totally helpless phase of our infancy. The comms link is finally online…

It takes us years to get familiar with our home world and its humanoid inhabitants. Yet, we are never fully familiar towards other life forms on our planet…

Nobody has communicated with a chicken…
Nobody knows how a potted sunflower truly feels when neglected too long…
Nobody has ever set their eyes upon the creatures living in the deepest parts of our oceans…
Nobody has tried to make a pact with deadly viruses for them not to make us sick… oh wait! Most of us aren’t even aware that viruses aren’t living organisms… but we try to kill these lifeless but contagious pieces of code anyway.

We still know only bits and pieces about the other life forms we coexist with, on our shared planet…

Yet, we seek intelligent life forms in deep space and still believe we can come to terms with these aliens through diplomacy once we find them and form an inter-galactic federation to rule the galaxy peacefully altogether… or crush the destructive, evil ones…

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Before elaborating more on the ways to communicate with aliens, let’s take a short trip into some popular alien encounter plots in the sci-fi world:

A spaceship either makes its way to one of the largest cities in the world, or just crash lands in the suburbs where a small town lies nearby. The aliens’ agenda is always the same wherever they land though: to destroy us or strip our planet off its valuable resources. Then the war for our planet commences…

We beat them 9 out of 10 times. Perhaps because they look like us somehow… an uncanny resemblance of the unfamiliar familiarity: they’re either off-color humanoids, complete with all the limbs etc. Or some variation of earthly creatures like giant bugs or non-aquatic octopuses.

This physical familiarity must be the reason we believe we can communicate so easily with them.

So, let’s make it easier for the mankind and imagine the first aliens we encounter are not only humanoid in form, but also a nearly exact copy of our image. But even then… what makes us think we can understand each other? How easily can we communicate with other people? Can we even completely understand our fellow earthlings?

human-alien
… in a world where,

… men can’t truly understand women…
… archaeologists can’t decipher most ancient writing forms… (such as the Rongorongo of Easter Island)…
… each Earth culture has its own beliefs and values…(even gestures)…

Still not convinced?

Try explaining snowflakes to a young Masai warrior…

or

what an ocean is to someone who has lived in a landlocked country all their life…

Erios’un Planı

Erios’un Planı

Today is my mom’s birthday, and here’s a flash fiction piece I wrote for her. It’s in Turkish and it’s my first try in the language…

Happy birthday mom!!!

P.S: I love you!

Andromeda Galaksisi, MCMXCIX-II gezegeninin merkezinde bulunan Erios şehri normalden farklı bir güne merhaba diyordu. Yanıp sönen yatay ışık huzmeleri doğalarına uygun bir hızla farklı yönlere giderek, gezegenin yemyeşil bitki örtüsüyle kaplı yüzeyinde adeta yarışıyorlardı. Normalden farklı olan bu fevkalade ışık gösterisi değildi sadece; bu seyyah renk karışımlarının normalden 43.5 kat daha parlak olmalarıydı. Bir de tabii bu gezgin ışık huzmelerinin aslında Erios sakinleri olduğu gerçeği vardı ki, bu gösteriyi sıradışı yaptığı kesindi.

Şehir merkezinin iki ucunu birbirine bağlayan, içinde 71 renk barındıran likit gökkuşağının batıdaki ayağında ışık kümeleşmeleri iyiden iyiye artmıştı. Her gelen rengarenk ışık, yani Erios sakini, küre şekline bürünüp, gökkuşağının ayağının etrafındaki yeni yeni oluşmaya başlayan çemberde yerini alıyordu. Çemberdeki son boşluğa hızla gelip, yerleşen ve küre formuna bürünen son renk, açık zümrüt ağacı yeşiliydi. Ve o an, çemberin merkezinde, tam da likit gökkuşağının ayağının bulunduğu noktada bütün ışıklardan daha parlak, bembeyaz bir ışık hüzmesi belirdi. Bu parıldayan beyazlık, önce gökkuşağındaki 71 rengin tümünü adeta bir karadelik gibi emdi, sonra da içindeki her rengi daha parlak bir şekilde yansıttı. Erios’un hükümdarı sonunda ortaya çıkmıştı.

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“Erios’un tüm ışıklarını selamlıyorum,” diye başladı söze. Etrafındaki çemberdeki ışıklardan kısa süreli bir yanıp sönme geldi cevap olarak. “Buraya toplanma amacımızı merak ediyorsunuzdur. Hemen söyleyeyim,” dedikten sonra, ışığının merkezinde holografik bir imaj belirdi… mavi-yeşil bir gezegendi bu!

“Burası Samanyolu Galaksisinde yer alan Dünya gezegeni,” dedi. “Hepimiz biliyoruz ki, uzun bir süredir kendimizi göstermeden gelişmelerine yardımcı oluyorduk. Aramızdan bazıları, güneşleri battığı zamanlarda, yaşadıkları evlere aydınlık sağlamak gibi amaçlarla zaten Dünyada yaşamlarını sürdürmekteydi. Ancak, Dünya tarihine baktığımız zaman, orada yaşayan uygarlığın bazı temel fonksiyonlarında önemli eksikliklerin olduğunu gördük. Bu şekilde devam ederlerse çok yakında dünyalarını kendi kendilerine yok edecekler.”

“Nasıl yani? Kendi kendilerine mi?” diye sordu, kor ateşi rengindeki küre. “Hayatta kalma içgüdüleri yok mu yani onların?”

“Var tabiii ama savaşlar, bencillik, kıskançlık, birey olarak kendini beğenmişlik, birbirlerine karşı sevgi-saygı eksikliği ve akıllarını doğru şekilde kullanabilme ile sorun yaşıyorlar. Bu da onları kaçınılmaz bir sona doğru götürüyor.”

“Peki neden şimdiye kadar müdahale etmedik?” dedi, derin deniz mavisi küre. “Biz tüm evrenlerin iyilik melekleri değil miyiz?”

“Evrendeki her uygarlık, öğrenme ve tecrübelerden ders alma gibi yollarla kendi kendilerini kurtarmayı hak eder. Biz de bu nedenle bekledik şu ana kadar, ama herşey daha kötüye gitti. Şu anda acilen müdahale etmekten başka bir çaremiz yok.”

“Ama nasıl? Geç kalmadık mı? Nasıl ulaşacağız zamanında?” diye sordu Zümrüt Ağacı yeşili küre. Eğer bu muhteşem ışık küresinin olsaydı gözleri, kesinlikle hüzün dolmuş olurdu.

“Tam olarak değil. Oraya doğru yol alırken, kendi maksimum hızımızı belirli oranlarda aşabilirsek, zamanı da geriye döndürüp, uygun yerlere ve zamanlara birer Erios gönüllüsünü gönderebiliriz. Ne de olsa, tarihlerini ve yaptıkları hataları biliyoruz. Onları kurtarabiliriz. Herkes hazır mı?” diye sordu büyük beyaz huzme.

“Hazırız!” dedi ışık küreleri hep bir ağızdan.

“O zaman başlayalım,” dedi Erios’un hükümdarı, kor ateşi rengindeki küreye dönerek. “Sen, bilgiyi temsil edeceksin Tes-la, 1856 yılına gidecek ve onları kurtarabilecek olan bilimi ilerleteceksin.”

“Ama… ama, bir ışık varlığı olarak, nasıl yapacağım bunu? Aynı dili bile konuşmuyoruz dünyalılarla.”

“Şu aşamada dünyaya giden her ışık, orada halihazırda bulunan arkadaşlarımızın aksine, onlarınki gibi etten ve kemikten oluşan vücutlarda doğacak, onlar gibi büyüyecek, onlar gibi yaşayacak, yani kısacası onlardan biri olacaksınız. Tabii, bunun tam anlamıyla başarıya ulaşması için Erios ve buradaki yaşamınızla ilgili hiç bir şey hatırlamayacaksınız. Maalesef tek yol bu… muazzam bir fedakarlık, tabii bu durum oradaki beşer hayatınız sona erene kadar. Ancak o zaman, boyut değiştirip, ışık olacak ve herşeyi tekrar hatırlayacaksınız.”

“Tamam,” diye onayladı Tes-la yanıp sönerek. “Oraya ve o zamana ulaşabilmem için hızımı ne kadar arttırmam gerektiği bilgisini de hesapladım. Görüşmek üzere.” Tes-la küre formundan, huzme biçimine geçip aniden kayboldu.

“Sen La-onardo!” Erios’un hükümdarı derin deniz mavisi küreye doğru ışıldadı. “1452 yılına gidip, yazdıkların, çizdiklerin ve icatlarınla insanların yaratıcı güçlerini ortaya çıkaracak, onlara bir çok alanda esin kaynağı olacaksın. Belki yarattığın şaheserlerle, dünyalarının yok edilmeyecek kadar güzel olduğunu gösterirsin onlara.”

La-onardo da huzme haline bürünüp, tepelerinde bir tur attıktan sonra yoluna devam etti.

“Kar-la, 2115 yılına dünyadaki farklı milletleri bir araya getiren yönetici olarak doğacaksın, tüm insanları tek çatı altında birleştirecek ve aslında insanların birbirlerinden pek te farkları olmadığını göstereceksin.” Kekremsi pembe tonlarındaki küre de bir anda gözden kaybolur.

Gidecekleri yeri, zamanı ve görevlerini öğrenen renk kümeleri, birbiri peşi sıra kaybolmaya başlar; önce bozuk limon sarısı La-fayette ve sulanmış toprak rengi La-veau gözden kaybolur. Hemen arkasından da küllenmiş mor rengindeki Mande-la uçar.

Geride sadece zümrüt ağacı yeşili olan Nec-la kalmıştı.

“Peki, ben ne yapacağım? Benim görevim ne olacak?” diye sordu Erios’un hükümdarına.

“En önemli görev seninki Nec-la,” dedi Erios’un hükümdarı. “1945 yılına gidip, insanlara unutmakta oldukları sevgiyi ve şefkati hatırlatacaksın. Karşılıksız sevgi, saygı ve şefkat olmadan her uygarlık yıkılmaya yüz tutar.”

“Tamam, peki neden 1945 yılı?”

“Dünya o yıllarda büyük bir savaştan çok zarar görerek çıktı. Dünyanın yaralarını sarmaya ihtiyacı var ve bunun için de sevmeyi tekrar öğrenmesi gerekiyor.”

“Tamam ama benim burada 6 tane çocuğum var. Onları nasıl bırakırım ben!” dedi Nec-la.

“Hiç merak etme, onları da senin peşinden göndereceğim. Hiç ayrılmayacaksınız. Böylece farkında olmadan burada sahip olduğun çocuklara orada da sahip olacak ve onların eksikliğini hiç hissetmeyeceksin. Bilinçaltın huzur içinde olacak.”

“Peki ya eşim kim olacak? Dünyada çocuk sahibi olmak için 2 kişi gerekiyor diye biliyorum. Bir kadın, bir de erkek.”

“Onu da hiç merak etme. Seni sevecek, koruyacak, ömür boyu sevecek, sayacak bir aday belirledim bile.” dedi Erios’un hükümdarı. “Biliyorsun uzun zamandır, izliyorum dünyada olup biteni. Onu görür görmez tanıyacak ve aşık olacaksınız birbirinize”

“Harika!” dedi Nec-la. “Rotam dünya!” Nec-la tıpkı diğerleri gibi kayboldu gökyüzüne uçarak… veeeeee

5 Mayıs 1945 yılında, dünyaya sanki içindeki ışık taşmışçasına, zümrüt ağacı yeşili gözleri olan bir ışık doğar. Ve tüm dünya sevgiyle aydınlanır…

Görevi dünyaya sevgiyi öğretmektir ve sevgisi tüm dünyaya yetecektir.

Dickie L. Rowbotham

Dickie L. Rowbotham

It’s becoming more and more difficult to stay sane with all this self-isolation going on. So, I decided to write a flash fiction piece; a parody of the corona virus pandemic, main-stream media, social media blabbering, being clueless and the idea of hope. All characters here are fictional and have no relation to real world people or events. Here’s the punchline of the story: “One day, a loser wakes up to discover he made the headlines everywhere during a lethal Pandemic.” You can read the complete story by scrolling down. I would love to see some honest comments! Cheers!

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Covered in sweat and feeling a pain of uneasiness in his chest, Dickie woke up almost an hour before his alarm clock set off. He quickly hurried to the bathroom, turned on the tap, squirted some liquid soap onto his palm and began rubbing his hands in the harshest way anybody had ever done. He started silent counting and stopped when he reached 22. Twenty seconds were enough to kill the virus that might have been residing on his hands, but he’d always do a couple of seconds extra just to be on the safe side. He dried his hands with a paper towel and disposed it right away. With the corner of his eye, he checked his paper towel stock sitting proudly on the shelves. Yep, the remaining 37 huge rolls would be more than enough to last him in case paper-towel shortages started. Encouraged by his vast paper towel collection and not feeling well to his usual standards, he turned on the tap for another 22 seconds and peeled more skin off his hands.

It was the beginning of a huge day. The previous week he’d gone to the emergency service of the memorial hospital for Anoroc-91 testing. He had all the symptoms; a mild diarrhea, a little muscle pain especially in the back, dry coughing a couple of times throughout the day, shortness of breath accompanied by a mild fever. He’d waited a couple of days before he went to the hospital for a test as he couldn’t be sure if he was developing symptoms due to his own precautious actions. Since the world has been taken over by this pandemic, he’d completely changed the way he lived his life. He set up the heater at least ten degrees as he was informed by social media that the virus couldn’t survive in higher temperatures. This could be the reason he felt his elevated body heat. His diarrhea could be just because he’d changed his diet to natural Anoroc-repelling food advertised by a well-being specialist he’d been following on Twitter. His shortness of breath could be explained by not taking his protective mask off even when he was home alone. On another note, he was always home alone. Not that he was following strict self isolation techniques, but because he didn’t have any friends. “Darn!” he mumbled to himself. Where did he put the new batch of masks?

The landline phone rang, but he couldn’t get it in time as he was too busy putting on his latex gloves to pick it up. It was too bad that these old models didn’t display missed calls. He was sure though that he missed the call about his test results as his phone only rang three or four times during a full year. And it was only March! Angry to himself, he ditched the gloves into the bin and sanitized the receiver thoroughly to save time for the next ring. He just hoped they would call soon as the wait had already been messing up his nearly non-existent sanity. Not having anything better to do, he turned on his laptop and logged-in to his Twitter account. It was a pity that his cell phone, where he usually checked his messages and social media, was totally wrecked after laying it in alcohol bed for quick sterilization. The coffee table the laptop was on, was just making him bend lower than usual and have back pain after an hour of computer time. But, this time he wasn’t planning on spending more than ten minutes on Twitter, perhaps only a bit longer if he found some new information on the virus itself.

Surprisingly, the Twitter trending topic list had his name on the very top: “#dickielrowbotham”. That was strange. He never thought someone sharing his uncommon full name to be trending. It wasn’t him for sure. He was a nobody. But seriously, how many Dickie L. Rowbothams, down to the middle initial, could be in the whole world? He tapped on the topic and started scrolling down millions of uninformative tweets:

Terence Woodbury, a guy with a profile pic of a slam dunk close-up tweeted: “Don’t be a dick! Be a dickie and save the world! #dickielrowbotham #anoroc-91 #anaroc91 #anaracvirus

The next few tweets were emojis of thumbs-up or closed fists… or combinations of these two with varying smileys.

Another tweet by a certain well-known celebrity, complete with a blue tick next to the name, was saying: “Yay #dickielrowbotham“. It had nearly 90k likes, 28k retweets and nearly as many comments.

Dickie got frustrated as he scrolled down the never-ending tweets. There was not a single tweet giving him an insight on what was happening!

Then, he saw it! A doctor, or at least that was what his username “dr.chadwick8080” implied, had tweeted: “As the acting director of Springwell Memorial Hospital, I can neither confirm nor deny the discovery of immune cells in a suspected patients blood work. It’s just too early for a final verdict and false hope does not help in this case. #dickielrowbotham #anoroc-91 #stayhome

Dr. Chadwick? Springwell Memorial? That was where Dickie had his Anoroc test! The tweet didn’t really seem like it was written by a real doctor, but even if that was true, it was still a weird coincidence.

The phone started ringing while Dickie was still trying to make heads or tails of the whole thing. This time he was quickly on his feet and answered the phone in record time:

“Hello! This is Dickie speaking.” He said with a trembling voice.

“Hello Mr. Rowbotham,” The voice answered. “I am Doctor Richard Chadwick from Springwell Memorial Hospital. I am calling about your blood test results regarding Anoroc-91.”

“Yes?” Dickie said in a shaky tone after a brief pause.

“We have discovered certain antibodies in your blood that prevent the Aronoc virus,” he said. “To put it boldly, you are immune Mr. Rowbotham. We would like to invite you here and run some more tests and perhaps you could be the one saving all of us,” he concluded.

“Wait! Wait! How is it possible that I am just hearing about this now. Twitter is flooding with this ‘new discovery’,” he glared.

“We couldn’t reach you before Mr. Rowbotham!” Dr. Chadwick said calmly.

“Yeah, like 20 minutes ago. And I’ve been staying home since I got tested.” Dickie replied losing the timid tone. “It’s been spreading on Twitter faster than Anoroc ever could. Just tell me how this happened and I might consider coming there.”

Dr. Chadwick cleared his throat before answering. “Your test results came yesterday morning and we… yadda, yadda, yadda…” The doctor spoke some more. but all Dickie could make out from the long technical details were the words: “immune cells”, “antibodies” and “vaccine”. He finally came to Dickie’s initial question. “… and I told my wife about it. I didn’t know she had a whatsapp group of about 80 senior citizens. And the rest is that people have been sharing this story for the past ten hours or so. I am so sorry, but we had to make sure before we contacted you.”

“But, you tweeted as well.”

“I don’t have a Twitter account, Mr. Rowbotham,” he replied. “Please drop by today, as soon as possible.”

“Ok.” Dickie said before hanging up.

He ran his hand through his hair slowly as he could. God, how he missed these simplest actions. Fearing infection, he’d been refraining himself from touching his face or head for the past couple of months. Next, he binned the sanitizers in his house. He hated the smell, besides he didn’t need protection now. And the best of all, he didn’t have to isolate himself in a 2-bedroomed-house anymore. He wasn’t really a people person, but observing them from time to time while seated at a cafe, sipping his latte did make him feel a bit more joyous. Whistling to himself, he got dressed and got out without wearing the usual latex gloves. He walked all the way to the hospital.

It was way more crowded at the front door of the hospital. Media outlets, reporters, ordinary people who didn’t look sick swarmed the steps leading to the entrance. The security guards were not allowing anyone to pass. So, Dickie had to shout from the back to be able to get through:

“Hey! I am Dickie L. Rowbotham. Dr. Chadwick is expecting me!” The clamor instantly ended and every glare was pinned on him in no time.

People made way just enough for him to pass, but kept touching him; rubbing their hands all over him as he got closer to the security guards. Just before he reached the top step, one very attractive blonde held him by the collar, drew him towards her and gave him a firm, longish kiss, possibly with the intentions of healthy droplets transfer… A shortcut to immunity perhaps. A media reporter also made a move with her mike, but was blocked by one of the guards before he could take action. After presenting his ID, Dickie was taken to an empty waiting lounge. 5 minutes later, a couple of doctors showed up and introduced themselves. One was Dr. Chadwick, and the other one, the woman was Dr. Hill.

Dr. Hill was the one who spoke:

“Mr. Rowbotham, thank you for coming. We prepared a spacious room exclusive for you,” she smiled.

“A room?” Dickie echoed. “What for?”

“To start working on a cure right away, of course.” Dr. Chadwick said. “Your room has an en-suite bathroom and a marvelous view from its window.”

“No, I won’t be staying!” Dickie said raising his voice. “Just take my blood and let me go.”

“I’m afraid we can’t allow that.” Dr. Chadwick said as he signaled to a couple of orderlies in the distance. “You’re the cure and we’re doing this for the greater good.”

“Noooo!” Dickie shouted as the orderlies began dragging him to his isolated room.

“Don’t worry, the vaccine will be out and approved in less than a couple of years.” Dr. Hill smiled behind her mask. “The clock already started ticking!”

How the Collective Unconscious can Eradicate a Pandemic

How the Collective Unconscious can Eradicate a Pandemic

With the Corona Virus pandemic starting to manipulate our old way of living in terms of social distancing, most of us have confined ourselves in our homes and we have become more dreamers than ever; day-dreaming when the sun is up and plain old dreaming when darkness sets in after we finally get to sleep.

Without being fully aware, we have been dreaming for centuries for various reasons, such as self-healing, entertainment, inspiration and most importantly problem-solving as our minds keep working on a problem in the background while we’re shutting off from the material world.

dreams-problem solving

Here’s a true story about how the needle in a sewing machine was invented after a dream showed Elias Howe, the inventor, how placing a hole on the tip of the needle could solve his automated stitching problem that made the machine useless as the thread incapacitated the needle by winding around it after a short while. In Elias Howe’s dream, he was being surrounded by a tribe of fierce cannibals, poking him with the tips of their spears and… weirdly enough, all the spear tips had small holes in them!

The power of dreams in problem-solving and creativity can be seen in other cases as well, like Mendeleev’s precise categorization of periodic elements, or Einstein’s theory of relativity, which were all inspired by dreams.

So, personal problems can be tackled by each relevant person in their dreams, but how about global problems such as famine, global warming, deforestation, traffic, deadly pandemics?

Do we encounter them in our “personal” dreams?

I believe the answer is “yes”, it’s just that our individual minds are too weak to solve any of the above… unless we work together. It’s a fact that collaboration is most effective in problem solving regardless of being in a dream or not.

The idea of “unconscious collaboration” was first noted by me after watching a Japanese anime series (I remember it as “Stein’s Gate”, but might be mistaken), where a man was telling a friend’s child to do her homework just before going to bed if she wanted to do it more easily. With most of the kids having already done their homework, he said she would be able to tap into the collective unconscious and spend less time and effort to finish it.

And yesterday, I had a weird dream that got me thinking about the coronavirus, the collective unconscious, dream problem-solving, supercomputers and the true potential of our brains! and perhaps aliens!

Here’s my theory!

Think of our brains as individual super-computers

And the collective unconscious as a network database

Dreams as a hub to connect into the network

The Corona Virus as the problem in hand…

Every seemingly unimportant detail logged into the database

Some discarded… some marked as “important”

Until a solution presents itself to an able-minded individual…

network-of-dreamers

This “stream of unconsciousness” kept me thinking how our minds are like supercomputers when we are dreaming. Think about it;

* The human mind works like a computer’s RAM, tackling a problem in dreams until we wake up and have no memory of the dream… just like how RAM is wiped clean after a computer shutdown!

* RAM is computer memory, while REM is our dream memory! See, how similar they are in terms of “lexicality”. (I’m definitely overthinking here :))

* SETI has been using computers all around the world on a voluntary basis, in aid to seek extraterrestrial life with focus on “the more the better”!

* Whether it’s the Corona Virus or a computer virus, viruses are bad and they infect.

* And all computers have users…

Dream on!

A New Perspective on Corona virus, the weather and Social Distancing

A New Perspective on Corona virus, the weather and Social Distancing

It wasn’t before bodies started dropping at an increased rate, people all around the world finally realized how serious the Corona virus pandemic was. We tend not to take things seriously unless it hits directly home. And when it does, we feel we have been sucker-punched for reasons unknown.

coronavirus_image_from_cdc

Catastrophes on this scale tend to teach humanity some invaluable lessons. Japan has become the birthplace of master architects, designing earthquake-proof, durable buildings that bend before break, due to the devastating effects of suffering from years of earth-shaking experience over the centuries. Fierce fires have helped us invent fire extinguishers, foam and strategies to contain them before spreading wildly. Floods likewise. What has the Corona virus taught us, then? Well, it taught a whole generation the importance of personal hygiene and how to wash hands!

wash-hands-with-soap

Sadly, it has also shown us (those who can see) that our education systems fail big time. With extensive spoon-feeding over decades, young minds (but not limited to) never get the chance to develop creative thinking skills, questioning skills or basic reasoning. Here’s a tiny example of what millions of people shared on their social media, spreading false info without bothering to take a minute to think:

“Corona virus threat will be over by summer as it cannot survive over 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit).”

Sounds reasonable, right? As we’ve been taught to assume viruses don’t like it hot!

But… the average body temperature of a person is around 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit)! Which means it should die out as soon as it makes it’s way into our bodies.

Or…

The fact that Southern hemisphere countries are going through summer while northerners experience winter. As you can see, basic geographical knowledge does not help unless it’s paired with some kind of reasoning.

I am not even going to mention toilet paper hoarders that stockpile to last them decades, the self-quarantine gatherings with 15 or more friends coming from all over the city or some people having the habit of licking their fingertips when they count money, turn pages of a book etc… we seem like we understand… or that we care… but actually, we are all wearing masks, and none of them are for the right reasons.

Let’s focus on the weather a bit more:

sunny-beach

The infection rate in warmer countries are skyrocketing (see Italy, Spain, France and Turkey) while cooler countries are more consistent with the infection rate. There are several reasons for this distinction:

People born in warmer countries have always:

  • Spent a huge proportion of their times outdoors due to the nice weather all year round.
  • Had more outdoor hobbies like swimming etc..
  • Showed their love of people by firm hugs, touches and kisses… (personal space does not exist in some warmer cultures)…
  • Enjoyed large group gatherings…
  • Taken life less seriously…

Now that they have to socially distance themselves from what they had been doing all their lives, they are having difficulty of changing their habits… so, they tend to sneak out and have a day off of their briefest cabin fever experience.

Social distancing can be great for a while (both for us and the world itself) if we stop whining.

We tend to present ourselves to others as what we are not, we lie, hide the truth, get jealous of people without showing them or share useless small talk. Perhaps, it’s time to turn to our inner selves and take a break, focusing on our true needs. This is an opportunity to improve ourselves, which we really didn’t have time before because of extensive socializing.

On the other side of the coin, the pollution over Wuhan, China has dispersed since people stopped going out… the fish in the canals of Venice, Italy have resurfaced again (this needs confirmation)… The world’s taking a break from us. Perhaps, we are the disease and the Earth is just trying to recover.

Redefining Death: A Contemporary Guide

Redefining Death: A Contemporary Guide

As persistent seekers of healthy, prolonged lives and even immortality in the modern ages, we, mortals have always feared “death” as it means a definitive full-stop to what we have valued the most: Life…

But, what is death?

1_Grim-Reaper

According to most dictionaries, “death” is the end of life…

For me, it’s “ceasing to exist in the former plane of existence”… but, I am not all into the heaven-hell thing as I believe those two opposite concepts were designed to direct the majority of the human race into doing good deeds, so that all good-doers are led to believe they will have their afterlife retirement lying in endless flower fields above the clouds, drinking mulled wine from its rivers and having sex for eternity (and that is without the help of Viagra for the elderly men). The evil-doers, on the other hand, will burn in agony for eternity

Eternity? A concept valid for both heaven and hell? Wait! Living for eternity is achieving “immortality” Wasn’t that our final goal? Our seemingly impossible dream? To be immortal? Is reaching our final goal through “death”? Or, was the whole concept of immortality just an unintended word play, the creation of a concept due to bad punctuation and spacing (as in “Immortal” vs. “I’m mortal”)? 

Anyway, going to heaven sounds fun, right?

heaven1

Then, why do we feel so down and depressed when we bid farewell to our loved ones on their voyage to a better place? Are we worried they might end up in hell? Are we just selfish for not being happy for them? Or do we secretly know that heaven does not exist? Who knows…

On another note,

As I said before, “death” is ceasing to exist and it happens to our loved ones all the time and in numerous other ways as well, like:

  • when we break up with a partner and never want to see each other again… or
  • when a loved one moves across the globe for a job opportunity, etc…
  • when someone we trust wrongs us in an unacceptable way…

The people in above cases “cease to exist” just like how I perceive “death”… and in all cases time heals us, gradually soothing the pain. The question here, is how we deal with the sudden loss… do we cry our eyes out until they dry out? do we surrender to booze or other similar ways to dull the pain? or do we seek their familiarity in the experiences of our daily lives and remember how they made us feel? No matter how we might grieve, time is always there for assistance…

As a final thought, I must say “death” according to me is like a paradox similar to the Schrodinger’s Cat… we can never know for sure if our deceased, loved ones are happy or not on a different plane of existence… until we are certain of their fate, they may very well be both happy and not…