Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Monday, July 02, 2007

Great discovery/invention

Congratulations to Deidre on MySpace, who one my first "what if" contest! And thanks to everyone who left comments! I really enjoyed reading them. Here's the next contest question (with a quick summary of the rules at the end).

What if you could be responsible for one great discovery or invention? What would it be?

My response

I’d like to invent a device that would be capable of stopping pain. My immediate thought was that I’d want to come up with a 100% effective pain reliever that you could take prophylactically and thus never have to suffer pain. Then, I thought about the possible repercussions. If you never had to feel pain, then you’d probably never go to the doctor when you were injured and you could end up killing yourself. Then, I thought maybe I’d invent some kind of monitor that would pick up the brain’s awareness of pain and turn it into some kind of benign warning, like a flashing light or a beep. But even that could be ignored by people who shouldn’t ignore it. The very unpleasantness of pain is what makes us take action to cure it. I was in a quandary. I can think of so many instances where pain is completely unnecessary, and yet it has its place in our lives.

Finally, I came up with what I think is a good and practical solution. My device would pick up signals from the pain receptors in our brains. If the pain escalated past a certain threshold, the device would kick in and alleviate it. However, it would not make the pain go away. If you’d done something like break your leg, the device would allow it to hurt enough that you wouldn’t walk on that leg and make it worse. However, once you got to a doctor, he or she could enter an override code that would knock the pain out completely until you were healed.

This would be an incredible boon to the medical industry. For one thing, you wouldn’t have to take the risks involved with general anesthesia, at least not as often. You’d also be able to avoid the unpleasant side affects associated with current painkillers--such as addiction. It would also be a great boon to society. How many people are there in this world who avoid going to the doctor (or the dentist, for that matter) because they fear the pain? If they could be guaranteed that whatever medical procedure they had to undergo would be completely pain-free, wouldn’t they be more inclined to go, and wouldn’t that catch a lot of diseases and other problems before they became fatal? I think it would also make people less afraid of growing old and, eventually, dying. I think most of us fear the idea of the pain and suffering often involved with death more than we do the death itself.

Too bad I don’t believe that any such thing is possible. But it’s a nice fantasy.


Contest rules:
Answer the "what if" question in a comment, either on Blogger or on MySpace. Next week, I will draw a winner from amongst the contest entrants. (Unlike the first contest, I will draw at random instead of trying to pick favorites--that was too hard!) The winner will receive a set of autographed cover flats from the first three Guardians of the Night books. Answers must be posted by Sunday, July 8. Only one answer per commenter will be entered in the drawing (though if you want to leave multiple answers, you can!) I intend to choose a winner and post another question next week, but I'll be at the RWA conference in Dallas, so I may be a bit slow about it.



At 4:00 PM, Blogger Sonja Foust said...

I love your answer! That sounds so useful and I totally want one. ;-)

Me, I'd love to be responsible for finding a cure for cancer. I know that's kind of a standard answer and I feel like I'm just sort of trotting it out, but it affects so many people and, aside from world peace (whirled peas?) I can't think of anything better to contribute to society at large. :-)

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Jude said...

I'd like to figure out how to see and understand the world outside the prism of linear time. It seems like we can never know the truth of things until we can resolve the conundrum of When Things Began/What Came Before That.

In other news, I added your blog to the blogroll for Blogging National. I look forward to reading about the fun times in Dallas. :)

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Wanda S said...

This is kind of general, but if it' not bad enough that people suffer from cancer, there are so many childhood diseases that cause such horrible suffering and death. I would like to be able to end suffering for children. Life can be hard enough, children shouldn't have to deal with diseases or birth defects.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the next leap that will free us from this planet and from keeping all our genetic material in one basket(Earth). It is coming soon and probably in my lifetime (I am 60). It so exciting to 'what if' the future and see it come to life while one watches.


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