If I could cure…

If you were a mad scientist and could create a cure for any disease, which disease would you cure and why?

On first glance, this seems to be a no-brainer. What is the most terrible disease in the world? What disease kills he most humans? Which disease is responsible for the most suffering? Is it Cancer? Is it HIV? The Flu has caught millions of people by surprise, and is quite lethal when the immune system is worn down by stress and malnutrition.

Stress and Malnutrition. We’re getting closer to the Mad Scientist’s mindset. The Mad Scientist is deemed mad, because he thinks differently from what the cultural norm prescribes. The Spanish Flu killed nearly as many people as the war it followed. It’s not that the Spanish Flu was especially virulent. Matched up with H1N1 or H5N1 (Swine Flu and Bird Flu), it wouldn’t really make the cut to trigger an international alarm nowadays. But compared to 1918, we are in a much better physical condition today. We are well fed, our futures are fairly secure, most of us have jobs and recreational activities. If I were a Mad Scientist, I would count the victims of the Spanish Flu as casualties of WWI, a war unprecedented in scale, which strained Europe’s logistical capabilities so badly that millions of lives were simply finished off by a cough.

Logically, the Spanish Flu wasn’t responsible for the deaths of millions of people; those who started the war were. And those who kept fighting it. Well, also not the soldiers, but those who propagated the glory of the war. Those were politicians. The Kaiser, the Habsburgs, the Queen, Whoeverwasinchargeinfrance, the Tsar, The President of the USA. The list goes on.

The First World War was only a fitting example to take the blame away from the physical cause of disease to those responsible for its amplification. Seriously, if you try to eradicate a strain of bacteria, virus or parasite, it will return when its time is ripe. It just has to re-evolve, or develop a trait to make it resistant to the new drug. It is an endless war, because it is against Nature. It is evolution of a different kind. Nothing can stop that, cure this permanently.

So, a Mad Scientist tries to cure human suffering inflicted by other humans instead.

How does the State minimize violence?

Method one: the State minimizes the tools to inflict suffering. A neurologist/ethicist I rather admire said in a recent post that it makes no sense to restrict access to guns in a country where there are more guns on the market than people to buy them – that would be the USA. He makes a convincing argument.

Method two: The State makes laws, and if they are broken, there are consequences. The more serious the crime, the more dire the consequences. This can only be achieved if the state has overwhelming power and makes use of it. There are limits to this, because we want a fair society, we want judges, investigations, lawyers, due process. Sure, people can have that.

But I am not talking about people, who are individually often smart enough to stay out of trouble.

I am talking about politicians. Politicians are harder to predict, and thereby control, than a kinder garden group in a sand box. The only thing you can be sure of is chaos, and to prevent them from getting too nasty, you confront them with the end of the party if a single one misbehaves.

So, the Mad Scientist builds the Doomsday Device, and holds the World ransom for peace. Coexist peacefully or Perish.

{Disclaimer: I am not a Mad Scientist. Not that mad, anyway. Also not smart enough to pull that off, though I do consider myself rather intelligent. If You – yes, YOU! – are a Mad Scientist, I do hope you disagree with me. Strongly}

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