Doctors. AI. Dead people.

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Could machines using artificial intelligence make doctors obsolete?

Artificial intelligence systems simulate human intelligence by learning, reasoning, and self-correction. This technology has the potential to be more accurate than doctors at making diagnoses and performing surgical interventions, says Jörg Goldhahn, MD, MAS, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

It has a “near unlimited capacity” for data processing and subsequent learning, and can do this at a speed that humans cannot match.

Increasing amounts of health data, from apps, personal monitoring devices, electronic medical records, and social media platforms are being brought together to give machines as much information as possible about people and their diseases. At the same time machines are “reading” and taking account of the rapidly expanding scientific literature. (1)

We believe computers can replace doctors.

But doctors are not here to keep us alive.

They are here to discuss with the dead.

No matter how much data you analyze, you will always miss the point.

That our life is not our own.

And that we are not here to avoid death.

But to embrace it.

A computer cannot help you live.

Simply because it can never die…

Noli timere…

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Someone once said that all magnificent things are terrifying.

If that is true then death must be glorious.

And yet, we are all afraid of it.

Those last words that will never get off your mind…

Those last moments you never knew were the last…

The anguish of the lost loved one you can never make go away…

The love for someone long gone which makes him stand by you…

We are terrified by the end of our life.

Yet, life is nothing without death.

If life is existence, death is the reminder that Being is our ultimate purpose.

Life without death is void and dead.

If you must listen to someone for what to be afraid of…

Listen not to your self. Listen to the wind.

Among the living things…

(Do you accept life?)

There is nothing which does not die.

(Do you accept death?)

Yes, you are afraid of death.

But take a moment to think.

Was there any moment when you weren’t afraid of life?

Noli timere…

Anyway, we will separate one day
By love, by death, by time
But I would like to break up together
Not apart…

~ Nikos Dimou

Metamorphosis.

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In the ocean off the coast of Antarctica, a snail lives around scorching hydrothermal vents. Its name is Gigantopelta chessoia. From the outside, it looks like any other shelled slug. But on the inside, something strange is happening, scientists report in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, like no metamorphosis ever observed in any other animal on the planet.

Once the snail reaches a certain body length, its digestive system stops growing. Its teeth, stomach and intestine make way for an expanding esophageal gland. The organ gets so big, it takes up most of the snail’s body, and basically becomes a new organ. Bacteria colonize it, and the snail, which grazed for food when it was smaller, no longer needs to eat. Instead it just sits there getting bigger, surviving on energy the bacteria produces inside the snail’s cells.

To make a human comparison, imagine growing from an average size adult to one 30 to 60 feet tall, with a giant sac of bacteria living inside you.

Not all animals eat. Some shallow water corals, for example, have algae living inside their tissues that take in sunlight and convert it to energy that provides the corals with nutrients. In the deep sea, there is no sun, but vents provide chemicals that bacteria break down. This is the basis of the deep-sea food chain. Gigantopelta chessoia, instead of algae, have bacteria living in some of their cells that convert hydrogen sulfide and oxygen the snails absorb from the vents into energy. (1)

It seems incredible.

But this is what happens to us as well.

Not with our body.

But with our mind.

We “eat” spiritually in our first four years of life.

And then we are set to go. Equipped with all we need.

Our beliefs…

Our prejudices…

Our character…

We are set up from our parents from our early years. And from that point onwards we never look back. We are bound by the things we do not think that bounds us.

Watch that baby grow.

Watch her go to school.

Watch her making friends.

Watch her driving for the first time.

She never left your arms…

She is still there…

Crying…

Smiling…

Hugging you…

Don’t be afraid to die.

Please dad don’t die!

You are not alone…

Smiling…

Mother! Don’t die!

She is calm now.

Remembering her dad…

Smiling…

Giving him that perfect little kiss on his nose…

And between those crying eyes…

The sweet fire of existence starts raging…

Noli timere…

Do you know when you will die?

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AI developed to know when a person is going to die. A paper published in Nature suggests that feeding electronic health record data to a deep learning model could substantially improve the accuracy of projected outcomes. (1)

We are all unaware when we are going to die.

Is this lack of knowledge a blessing or a curse?

For some this is a blessing. Not knowing when you will die makes you able to live. Otherwise you would be consumed by the fear of death and you would end up being a walking zombie crushed by the weight of imminent nothingness. The knowledge of death makes most people anxious. How can you live if you are constantly reminded that you will die?

But yet again, our assumptions drive our conclusions…

What was mentioned above is the case only if you believe that death is a gate to nothingness. Christianity (and many other philosophies) claim the we should be constantly remined of our ephemeral nature. Death is not a gate to eternal non-existence, but a door to the re-unification with the essence of Being…

Waking up in the morning.

Full of energy. Happy and determined. Logical and resolute.

Only because you know that every day ends up in darkness.

And only then, during the night, things become clearer.

Without the Sun blinding you, you can see.

That you already knew when you will die.

And that puts a smile in your face.

You are tired now.

But happier than ever.

Sleep my child…

Not dying…

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An international team of astronomers led by Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) has made a bizarre discovery; a star that refuses to stop shining.

Supernovae, the explosions of stars, have been observed in the thousands and in all cases, they marked the death of a star. But in a study published last year in the journal Nature, the team discovered a remarkable exception; a star that exploded multiple times over a period of more than fifty years. Their observations, which include data from Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii, are challenging existing theories on these cosmic catastrophes.

The supernova, named iPTF14hls, was discovered in September of 2014 by the Palomar Transient Factory. At the time, it looked like an ordinary supernova. Several months later, LCO astronomers noticed the supernova was growing brighter again after it had faded. When astronomers went back and looked at archival data, they were astonished to find evidence of an explosion in 1954 at the same location. This star somehow survived that explosion and exploded again in 2014.

“This supernova breaks everything we thought we knew about how they work. It’s the biggest puzzle I’ve encountered in almost a decade of studying stellar explosions,” said lead author Iair Arcavi, a NASA Einstein postdoctoral fellow at LCO and the University of California Santa Barbara.

Supernova iPTF14hls may be the first example of a “Pulsational Pair Instability Supernova”. “According to this theory, it is possible that this was the result of star so massive and hot that it generated antimatter in its core,” said co-author Daniel Kasen, an associate professor in the Physics and Astronomy Departments at UC Berkeley and a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab. “That would cause the star to go violently unstable, and undergo repeated bright eruptions over periods of years”. That process may even repeat over decades before the star’s large final explosion and collapse to a black hole. (1)

Like that star we are dying (changing) every passing moment.

And we are re-born again the very next moment we speak again…

We die every time we stop speaking…

Only to be reborn the next time we feel the cosmos again…

The universe seems dark and calm.

But it is full of violence and destruction.

Full of life and creation.

The cosmos seems dark, with tiny specks of light.

And yet the cosmos is just light.

With a large shroud of darkness covering everything.

Our existence seems agonizing and full of sorrow.

And yet it is only happiness.

Cloaked under a dark veil of matter not allowing the light to burst out…

Don’t feel awe for that star exploding.

It feels greater awe.

By just watching you watching…