Our Bright Future

I have noticed a growing number of reports in the news recently, about the concerns held by many biological scientists over the possibility of society heading towards a world without antibiotics.  In the last couple of centuries, humanity has launched an all-out assault on the diseases which, for most of history, have had us at their heels.  Since then there seems to have been an arms race between evolving bacteria and developing drugs.  Unfortunately, from my limited knowledge, it seems that we’re creating the conditions which allows these ‘superbugs’ to develop; overusing antibiotics means that the bacteria which, through random mutations, happen to develop an immunity, will be guaranteed to take over as the dominant strain.  The answer is generally to find new drugs, but in the last 30 years or so there has been a distinct lack of new discoveries.  I’m not sure whether this is because there’s no profit motive in doing so or we’ve simply run out of options.  I’m dearly hoping for Explanation 1.

Having grown up in an age of the utmost medical efficiency, where we can realistically expect to live to a grand age, where, until the age of 11 or so, I almost believed science as capable of anything, this concept is shocking.  It’s been compared as great a threat to the UK (and the world, presumably) as terrorism, though I would say it’s far worse than that.  A world in which people can die of infected cuts, where cancer, appendicitis, etc. kill simply as a result of treatment, is utterly terrifying.

The governments of the world need to invest more into scientific research for this issue, or to give companies motivations for conducting their own research.  If the governments can’t be trusted to deal with such a long term issue, which is likely, then international organisations like the European Union or the United Nations should step in and campaign for it.  The problem won’t go away, and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.  It would be such a drag to get through 40 years of life then die of a paper cut, because governments were too busy trying to save money and avoid upsetting bankers.

Milestone for the Future

As of today – around 2.50pm, in fact – my university application has been submitted to UCAS.  Why I couldn’t have gone the ‘traditional’ route of sending my application by post I’m not sure, but anyhow, it’s gone; beyond my reach, cast off, sailing away to what will hopefully become my Future.  The options I went for, some of which I’m already a bit iffy about, were:

  • English Literature at Edinburgh University
  • English Literature and History at Edinburgh University
  • International Relations at Edinburgh University
  • English Literature at Glasgow University
  • English at St Andrews University

I’m very glad the Scottish system is as flexible as it is, because although I have some idea of what courses I’d like to take and the careers I’m after, it’s almost certain that I’ll want to change my mind at some point.  I’ve ranked the list roughly in my order of preference – I get a savage pleasure from putting St Andrews at the bottom, though it did made it into the top 5.  This is both thrillingly exciting and terrifying, but my life appears to be moving ahead which is mostly all that matters.

When I think of careers, two words form mistily in my head: “journalism” and “teaching.”  No idea how I would do either of these; I don’t think I’m supposed to – yet.  I just really want to be part of the world, having grown up in an isolated part of it, and perhaps make my mark, leaving it ever so slightly the better if I can.  And to do this it would make sense to play to my strengths, such as – I hope – writing, and a keen interest in world affairs, the news, etc.

Enough blabbering.  Hopefully I’ll be accepted and hopefully they’re the right choices.  If not, I’ll learn why and find new avenues.  The future starts here.