The Outbreak that swept through Cascadia in 2015 did unaccountable and unbearable damage to the fabric of our world.
Ever since the days of the earliest humans, disease has been a scourge that we have fought—all too frequently we've been unsuccessful. As the world has grown more populated and more dense, the dangers of a widespread pandemic destroying our civilization have increased exponentially.
This is why Paralux has teamed with Morgen Genentech and the Cascadia Disease Centers to create the Pathogenic Alert System. The PAS is a system of pathogen monitors placed around the world. These monitors collect specimens of bacteria, viruses, and fungi throughout the world, analyze them, and send that data back to the CDC for research.
The system will also act as an early warning system of outbreaks of new and deadly diseases all over the world—even in the most remote and deadly jungles and swamps of the world, like the one pictured above.
This is just one of the many steps that Paralux is taking to ensure that the tragedy of The Outbreak is never repeated.
All good people have come out to decry the kidnapping and brutal murder of two members of the Paralux family at the hands of members of the terrorist organization known as Purtity Control.
We wanted to take a moment to speak of the victims.
Grace Stitsen was a researcher in the medical group responsible for the study of tropical parasites and diseases. Her special field of focus was the study of parasites that work together with viruses in symbiosis to benefit each other at the expense of a host victim. But Grace was more than this. She was a beloved daughter. She was a sister. She loved playing prawns in her time off, was a superior diver, and a frequent visitor to the quiet woods of Cascadia's North Country. She had tremendous artistic talent and her sketches could be found in the possession of many of her co-workers, including Paralux's co-founder, Toshe.
Colin Townshend was a software engineer in the medical research unit responsible for programming the interfaces that researchers use to communicate with devices that send disease information to Paralux researchers. But Colin was more than that. He was, first and foremost, a jokester. He loved playing tricks on his colleagues. He loved pranks—all done in good humor‐and he was known for bringing levity and joy into the lives of his co-workers. Below is an image he threw together when a colleague in another unit asked him what he did all day.
Grace and Colin will be missed, but never forgotten.
Over the past several months, in the wake of the terrible illness that swept through the Cascadian capital, a movement of sorts has been born that supports a return to a simpler life: a life completely devoid of any technology created after the industrial revolution.
As this movement gains followers around the globe I think it's important to remind ourselves of just exactly what the technological advances of the last hundred and fifty years have given us.
Before antiseptics, millions died from infections that were entirely preventable. It's estimated that before antiseptics that as many as 5% of all deaths every year could have been prevented.
Before antibiotics, millions died from White Plague, Septicemic plague, and dozens of other bacterial infections that today are no longer even diseases that we worry about.
Before the creation of Pygmy Wheat, nearly one-third of all people on the planet suffered from food insecurity due to famine. Today, this is merely a fraction of what it used to be.
Let's not forget the micro-computer which has allowed for life saving and life enhancing computers to be created all around us or the InterWeb, which has allowed all human knowledge to be shared easily and quickly across national borders and to people regardless of socio-economic status.
It's important to remember what science and technology does for us every single day.
It's important to remember the ways in which our lives are not just made better, but made possible by the technology that has been created over the last two hundred years.
Yes, technology can sometimes cause harm. Yes, progress is sometimes messy. Yes, things can occasionally go badly wrong.
But, on the balance, the lives of billions of people around the world are positively impacted every single day by technology.