Digital Beard Stroking: Alien Worlds 1 – No Pain, No…Problem?


No Pain, No…Problem?

Alien Worlds – Alternate Dimensions:

A series of brief what-ifs meant to hold up a mirror against our own experiences and expectations by exploring alternatives built on different assumptions and presuppositions.

 

A common theme in many media is that of magical, supernatural or otherwise near-instant healing of injuries and sickness.  Be it by spell, healing factor or magic potion, folks are freed from the arduous and unpleasant process of convalescing and can instead leap from their beds, battlefields or bullet-riddled-body-pile within minutes and have nothing more than a badass scar or minor abrasions.  In these media, the social implications of such a miracle are rarely explored beyond a cursory or story-related acknowledgement.  However, there’s really a lot to consider.

Our lives tend to hinge, in a simplistic sense, on the avoidance of pain/suffering and the seeking of pleasure.  We’re capable of suffering through some unpleasantries if there is a potential reward of an even greater pleasure at the end of it.  This is how we can make it through a day job or sit through getting our teeth drilled, etc.  Considering how much minor, non-debilitating suffering we willingly go through on a day to day basis, It’s likely to change quite a bit if we knew we wouldn’t have to risk being in traction for weeks or having a cast or being unable to walk. (Back to that Broken Leg Serum )  The very notion of risk avoidance starts to change when activities that are currently considered dangerous and only for daredevils would start to become nigh risk-free.  Once we unravel risk avoidance, there’s not much left to restrict destructive behavior.

We all have an innate disinterest in sustaining injuries and feeling pain.  This is something of an advantageous evolutionary step.  Individuals who didn’t mind damaging their bodies didn’t tend to last as long as those who protected themselves against dangerous activities.  However, in the modern era, we have perversions of every kind.  Many folks now not only don’t mind pain but may actively seek it out.  These people have their various reasons, but one of them is the thrill.  Who can say whether these sorts of activities would have the same allure when faced with near invulnerability.  One can only expect that the BDSM community would find some truly creative and probably unsettling heights to their activities.

chains-and-whips-excite-me

whips? chains? more like soldering irons and bats with razor blades!

But for those who are not in the fringe (I’m only assuming fringe, I could be way wrong there.  Maybe everyone is into kinky pain stuff.), there’s still the issue of fear of pain.  We have seen that people can transcend their fear of pain, at least in isolated and specific contexts.  Perhaps we could eventually move away from it as a culture and remove ourselves from it the same away that we have been able to basically ignore other biological concerns (reproduction, starvation, death from exposure, etc.). That could definitely be a fascinating world to exist in.  Our approach to violence and how it ranks in our moral hierarchy would probably be significantly lower.  Perhaps this would manifest as a slowly increasing interest in violence in all facets of life or a gradual, sedate acceptance that injury is a part of life and simply a bothersome inconvenience.  This is to say nothing about the potential economic effect, if the cost of healing were outside the average person’s budget.

In the end, the effects on society as a whole would be difficult to predict.  Sick days would be pretty much nonexistent.  Hospitals would probably mostly be drivethroughs.  Goofy pranks would probably reach a truly unsettling level of violence.  Perhaps the entire concept of painful injuries would start to take on a social status akin to spicy food or binge drinking.  Huh, maybe that’s one of the reasons Deadpool likes chimichangas so much?

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