Don't forget 2020

I thought that when in 5 years time I have forgotten everything about 2020, it would be nice to be able to read up on it again, see if I've already forgotten everything I've learned again. I am assuming that at least I won't have forgotten why it may be worth to keep a few notes on that year that can euphemistically be described as complicated.

My mind, the big mess

These days I am thinking that consciousness is a huge entangled mess. I am not even certain what the evolutionary advantage of consciousness is, but it's something delicate and massively entangled with the rest of the human being.

In 2020 I had to learn about the brutal effects of the mind condition on your physical well-being. I had to deal with anxiety, I had to deal with depression. I know, other people have to suffer much harder with depression and anxiety, but hey, this is my blog, and I can only write from my perspective. And, future Frank, don't forget how shitty you can feel when you are panicked, or anxious, or depressed.

So I need people after all?

I am not exactly a huge socializer - but I do enjoy nice talks over a beer, or a walk by the river. I enjoy sharing an experience with somebody outside of my tiny family bubble (not that we were able to share many experiences beyond how to piss each other off when living under the same roof). Sure you can have a nice talk via a video call, but it is not the same. The multitude of sensory input that we usually get from being with someone / some group is simply missing. We can adapt, but it's hard to adapt if half your senses are being blind-folded.

I didn't have a clue!

I have learned so much about Virology, the immune system, and I found it awesome. Biological systems are awesome. How schools regularly fail to transport the fascination of biological systems to its pupils is terrifying. Absolutely shocking. Here twitter can play its strength - follow those that present you with interesting info. Those that stuck with me where Eric Topol and Professor Akiko Iwasaki. Obviously helpful to me are texts written from the perspective of computer scientists - after all, as developers we are building stuff all the time, like human cells, so there is no surprise when there are parallels. See e.g. here about DNA or this really cool write-up on reverse engineering the source code of the biontech vaccine.

The spectrum in intelligence of human beings is breathtaking

This pandemic has shown that we have

  • people who believe that the pandemic was caused by Bill Gates for, oh, I don't know why and have completely succumbed into a hole into which no light from reality can shine
  • people who, on the shoulder of giants, have a far reaching understanding of the mechanisms in our body, build a vaccine, test it and roll it out withing 10 months.

I have learned that this was always the case, and you probably get that in every pandemic. You get those that understand to the point of setting up initiatives, those that can more or less follow a sane argument, and those that cannot be reached with reason anymore.

I guess that takes me back to consciousness being a mess.

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Frank Quednau 2021