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Saturday, July 28, 2012 – 12:27 AM

I do believe the only diseases which we will one day be able to fully cure are those that are essentially malfunctions from the genetic code. I will label these statics. Statics are an engineering and ignorance problem.

The other diseases; whether cancer, bacterial or viral are dynamic, intelligent, selfish, responsive and hostile. They are a computational complexity and combinatorics problem. Against the most formidable of these, the only policy is prevention. For once you are playing against them the game is almost certainly already lost. It is best to think of these not as infections to be overcome but infinitely patient adversaries who will think their way out of any traps you can devise given enough time. Adversaries that will defeat you if you can’t detect, respond and deploy quickly against them. The immune system can be trained on them but an immune system too effective at defeating say cancer may very well pull the literary cliché of becoming that which they fought so hard against.

Against these dynamic adversaries is the only place in the universe where totalitarian policies are justified. For though some cancerous rebellions will never be beat, we will someday be able to force them to be respectful citizens of the bodies they inhabit.


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