The black dog

I think it was late at night when we started to have this conversation. We were in my room, he was sitting on the coach and as the pale light of the lamp was half-lighting his face, I could tell that he was a bit distressed. As he started talking, his voice was suffocating, almost like his lungs would get depleted of air and with every word he would swallow more air in an effort to make the next sound work. He told me that he saw no point in living if living means so much suffering. “I felt so happy once and now I can vaguely recall those moments. What was the most important thing in my life now it’s just vague memories that I can not even remember it in all its splendor.”

I used all the wisdom that I knew and I answered him “You would not appreciate happiness if it wasn’t for the sorrow. One can not exist without the other”.

“I know what you mean but it’s not like that. I can have good times and I can feel just all right about life but most of the days i feel like a drag, like I’m just waiting for this day to pass and for the next one to come.”

“It’s pointless crawling through the day, feeling that life is just a race I have to get to the finish line. If life is only that, I see no point in being alive.”

My heart broke but I didn’t know how to comfort him. Is it just a temporary thing or it’s irreversible? Is he just going through a phase?

“Just wait a bit more” I said, hoping that things will somehow change.

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Does it really help us, humans, to merge our brains with artificial intelligence?

We live in the void of metamorphoses, but the echo that runs through the day… that echo beyond time, anguish or caress. Are we near to our conscience, or far from it?

Paul Éluard, “Capital of Pain” (1926)

Neuralink is a company owned by Elon Musk that aims to enhance human intelligence by making a product that allows access to our brains so we can benefit of the super powerful and intelligent technology of Artificial Intelligence. Kinda like a huge usb stick that you connect to your brain and Boom! you got everything you want inside. If this sounds to you like a SCI-FI book or you think that only Neo from Matrix was learning new skills, let me tell you first that this is getting real.

By implating tiny electrodes disposed like a mesh into the brain, you can have better cognitive powers and a better memory. Basically, you’re merging your brain with the one of a robot, because anyway AI is becoming so fast so clever that, as Elon Musk says, there is a good chance that humans may become the intellectual equivalent of the house cat. It’s insane just to read futurists prediction saying that in 25 years technologies will be a billion times more powerful than they are today.

One cannot remain aloof at this groundbreaking idea. Me, I am just wondering – in this case scenario – what will we do with so much information that it could actually help our human problems?

Funny though, we already got external ‘brains’ – smart phones with google and wikipedia and so much information available that it’s impossible to use a one man’s life to read it all, but isn’t it that most of the time real life drains us so much we use our ‘external brains’ just a mean to escape the real world with some second-hand entertainment?

And what exactly does it mean that we will be more intelligent? If you think about a doctor, could you compress  all the books into one’s brain so that it can make the perfect diagnosis and treatement for a patient? Or you give already all the data to the patient so it doesn’t need a doctor?

Who will decide when exactly all this intelligence will eventually be used with shabby intentions? Who will be entitled and who not to benefit from this invention? But most of all, on which place will emotional intelligence and the inner spiritual life stand?

And think about just the mere human existence that we all share together: the dissapointment in love, the hurt, additction, having a difficult parent, a divorce, gelousy, infidelity, unsensitivity, the devoid of empathy and ability to sooth the pain of the close ones, going through alone parenthood with all it’s frustrations and anger and impatience, the despair, the feeling of being a failure because you’re not being the best version of yourself that the society tells you you SHOULD be – this is, the universal misery of being a human. If we could solve it easily with just a mouse click – erase the negative so that you can feel only positive, would you do it? Would it be human, after all?

And the paramount issue – will we know better how to love? 200.000 years of evolution and we still don’t know how to do it properly: how to maintain the love but also a career that will makes us feel worthy, how to not choose a selfish idiot even though he/she is beautiful and nice, how not be blinded and how to spot someone who is really proud to have you and will be there for you at worse, how to not give in when it’s becoming unpleasent and the days in paradise are over, when it’s too little and when it’s too much;  what do to when the excitement dissappears and a soft inner voice whispers in our ears “you have to live your life, carpe diem, change the lover and chase your movie-like scenario dreams” even though we promised or we were promised a love that will last forever?

Will we know better how to caress someone? My humble opinion is that no matter how intelligent and what a spectacular memory that brings us closer to the perfection of a robot we have, if the emotional side is sore and sick, then our mind is just a cage – shall it be just a bigger and a more polished one.

It’s easier to love and to praise someone who is close to perfection. But is this real love then?

Photo: NA Films/ Film4/ Universal Pictures.

 

Romania is laughable with the anti-gay marriage referendum

Romania set an Oct. 6-7 date for a referendum to change the constitutional definition of marriage and family to an union between a man and a woman, banning the legal union between two people of the same sex. The costs for this referendum are aproximately 35 million euro. The initiative for this referendum was taken by organizations that advocate for traditional family values in Romania and Orthodox priests. In some schools in Romania, priests have started to go to parent-teacher meetings urging parents to go to the referendum and vote Yes! for changing the Constitution.

Historically, in Communist Romania in 1957 any sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex was criminalized, and in 1968 after Nicolae Ceasusescu’s rise of power, the Article 200 was introduced, this ‘infraction’ was moved from the public domain into the private and the sexual relations between persons of the same sex were punished with imprisonment from 1 to 5 years. Article 200 which was punishing gay people with prison was eliminated in 2001. In the same year, in the Netherlands, gay marriage was recognised as legal. 17 years later, 3 million romanians signed a petition for a referendum that forbids the legal right of marriage to gay people.

Now, everybody knows already that Romania is stuck back in time – concerning roads, highways, hospitals, education, salary, basic life conditions, due to coruption, our politicians greed, mentality and others. Luckily, the new generations are trying to build up a modern Romania, passing the borders, seeing the world, some educating themselves abroad – the younger generations are still having a vivid curiosity about the west – we try to distance Romania from the communism and non progressive mentality. Sadly, this referendum shows exactly the opposite – not only it’s embarrassing that the country is being light years behind modernity, we romanians also show off with our blindly fighting attitude – hidden under the name of ‘proud to be romanian’,  defending the romanian ‘values’, namely – the traditional family.

The Propaganda for this referendum has begun: a huge poster is displayed in the big cities, and there it’s written: “Defend the Family and the Children of Romania! If you don’t come to vote, two men can adopt your child”. Before saying that I find this stupid, I do believe that some good people that are against gay marriage might have their reasons – which might be understandable, believing fiercely in Jesus world, defending the Bible, whatsoever. People are different and believe in different things and that’s all right. But what I find stupid and shameful is the use of this absurd propaganda. What causes angerness is this attempt to manipulate. So to say, the propaganda banner induces the idea: if gay people are given equal rights to marry legally, just like heterosexuals, some two men will come and adopt YOUR child. Have fear! Stay in your cave and hide your kids!

 

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Poza: Facebook (Florin iaru)

 

The main argument of the ones who oppose legal gay marriage is a question – what will you answer to your child if he sees two homosexuals kissing?

From all the problems that Romania has, we are making an unproblem a problem. What will you tell your child if he sees your father beating your mother (statistics: every 30 second a romanian woman is beaten)? How will you explain your child domestic violence (75%-80% of romanian women are subject to domestic violence – physical, psychological or verbal)? How will you tell him that 50.000 romanian kids are orphans and 1/3 go to sleep with hunger? How will you explain your child that you can learn all your life and live on a miserable salary? How will you explain your child that you have to work abroad as an imigrant in Spain and Italy, that he has to be raised up by his grandparents, so that the family will be able afford a phone, clothes, normal things? How will you explain him that the highways and roads are still not built, that he gotta bring his own soap when he goes into the toilet into a public hospital bathroom? How will you explain your child that he should be different – not a thief, not a corrupt – when all he sees are this kind of people climbing up by this means on the social scale?

Instead, we’re spinning around, holding on so tight until our fingers are bleeding, with the last breath, to the idea that – no matter how shitty everything in this country is going – at least we are proud to be romanians, we are proud to fight for our values – the traditional family. We gotta wake up a bit before we’re becoming a joke.

 

Cum a fost cu Erasmus in Germania – Uniklinik Aachen – partea 1 – Spitalul

Mi-am dorit tare sa plec, sa vad cum e si dincolo. Programul Erasmus e o sansa extraordianra, prin care primesti o bursa ce iti permite sa faci un semestru sau un an in alta tara din Europa. Anul 4 de medicina l-am facut in totalitate in Germania, in cel mai vestic orasel – Aachen, la granita cu Belgia si Olanda. Un oras cam la fel de mare ca si Clujul, mic, dragut, cochet, cu aer burghez.

Spitalul arata asa, si da, aceeasi reactie am avut-o si eu – ce e cu constructia aceasta monstruoasa, industriala ce arata ca o fabrica? Cu un pic de indrazneala si creativitate poti spune insa ca se aseamana cu Centrul Pompidou din Paris.

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Sursa: http://www.medizin.rwth-aachen.de

 

 

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Este unul dintre cele mai mari spitale din Europa si cel mai mare spital multidisciplinar, cu 1.400 de paturi, 7.000 de angajati, 48.000 pacienti stationari anual si 183.000 ambulanti.

Daca erai vizitator si voiai sa ajungi la o anumita clinica, la intrare exista un angajat de la biroul de informatii ce-ti scria pe un formular special: mergi pana la corpul D, de acolo pana la intrarea 7, urci pana la etajul 4, de acolo o poti lua pana la etajul -1 D. Am exagerat un pic dar asa, ca idee, structura era ca de labirint. In prima zi cand am ajuns cu Abi, colega mea venita tot din Cluj de Erasmus, am petrecut vreo 40 de minute doar incercand sa iesim din spital.

Punctual, cateva lucruri despre acest spital din Germania:

  • zilnic primeai halat alb si pantaloni de clinica spalati si calcati la dunga
  • fiecare baie avea doua tipuri de solutii de dezinfectat mainile – nu vin studentii sau pacientii cu sapunul lor de acasa sa se spele pe maini in toaleta;
  • dezinfectante cu alcool erau atasate de pereti cam la fiecare 3 metri, in fiecare salon erau de asemenea 2
  • saloanele erau de MAXIM 2 pacienti
  • in fiecare salon existau cutii cu manusi pe trei dimensiuni, S, M, L
  • internet disponibil peste tot (biblioteca, clinica, saloane – pe reteaua eduroam)
  • pe rotatie/block erau in jur de 1-4 studenti! Nu o serie de 60 studenti, nu o grupa de 12, ci maxim 3-4 studenti. Asta insemna ca atunci cand am facut Cardiologie, de exemplu, in camera doctorului in care stateam in fiecare zi erau 3 doctori si 3 studenti.
  • studentii au posibilitatea sa castige bani facand ceva util pentru ei. 10 Euro pe ora ca sa iei sange pacientilor, sa predai Neuroanatomie unor studenti mai mici pasionati, sa ajuti biroul Erasmus, si asa mai departe. In jur de 500 de euro pe luna puteai face din acest job numit Studentische Hilfskraft
  • studentii sunt cei ce au responabilitatea de a lua sange si a pune branule pacientilor; fiecare zi de dimineata incepea prin impartirea studentilor pe saloane pentru a lua sange pentru analize: manusi, dezinfectant, branule pe dimensiuni, masti in caz de nevoie – tot ce ai nevoie
  • pentru pacientii cu diverse boli infectioase, pneumonie, o noua bacterie gasita in scaun, si asa mai departe – obligatoriu era echipamentul de protectie, iar fiecare salon in cauza era dispus cu halate de protectie, masca de fata, manusi
  • ierarhia e ca in vest, adica oamenii sunt mult mai lejeri si relaxati. Seful clinicii mananca niste oua proaspate facute impreuna cu rezidentii si toti rad si discuta normal. Se vorbeste in majoritatea cazurilor la per tu. Nu am vazut la nici un student rusinea de a deschide gura sau de a parea disrespectuos pentru o intrebare. Nu am simtit corsetul asta de respect fals ca in Romania pentru anumite functii, ci chiar din contra, un respect sincer pentru niste oameni care chiar daca sunt profesori universitari sau doctori cu exprienta, se comporta ca niste oameni.
  • zilnic aveam pauza de masa, la ora 12-13; un lucru poate minor dar care te face sa te simti un pic mai sanatos si bine decat sa infulegi un pateu pe Babes sau pe sub banca in amfiteatru ca nu ti-a ajuns pauza sa alergi dintr-o parte in alta si sa si ai o masa decenta;
  • Cantina arata asa, iar un meniul, pe langa un bufet urias vegetarian, avea Paste, Pizza, Wok, Peste, si alte clasice: https://www.studierendenwerk-aachen.de/en/eating-drinking/mensa-vita-wochenplan-en-kopie.html 
  • ofertele de a face cercetare medicala veneau prin e-mail, numeroase, doar sa vrei – invitatie de la clinica cutare, doctorul cutare cu ce proiect are si are nevoie de studenti
  • legat de respect – studentul la medicina in Germania este respectat, tratat de doctori ca si cand ar fi colegi; cred ca e o treaba legata de faptul ca acestia au responsabilitati si sunt luati in seriosi cand indeplinesc anumite taskuri – nu luati la misto, batjocura, neincredere… nu mai continui, dar asta e un vis frumos

Punctual, obiectiv, cam asta am vazut eu in Germania – mereu se vorbeste despre conditiile din Germania vs conditiile din Romania. Am testat pe propria piele… mi-a placut mult.

 

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http://www.rwth-aachen.de

 

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Sursa: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spotterforlife/6560136863

 

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‘Mos Nicolae’ in Spital oferind omuleti tuturor ce-i treceau prin cale

 

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