Helping the world by becoming selfish

Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if we were all selfish? Not in the common way we currently think of selfish, rather what I’m thinking about is how we can all become selfish in order to help the world we live on grow together in innovation and technology.

It’s been a while since I last posted, lets begin by once again focusing on something new, something that could actually help the world. A recent video posted by the YouTube channel, Kurzgesagt (In a Nutshell) visually depicts what can be described as egoistic altruism.

The words Egoistic can be defined as “being centred in or preoccupied with oneself and the gratification of one’s own desires” (source)

Altruism can be defined as “the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others” (source)

Together, egoistic altruism is clearly a oxymoron as both contradict one another. However, what if this was a good thing? What if being selfish was in fact a positive thing?

As described in the video, around 0.1% of all of human history can be described as a positive sum world, something which described humans and how we’ve developed over the past few hundred years.

By innovating and growing each and every market, from pharmaceuticals to agriculture, we’re able to increase productivity and enhance the way we live. – This being what the video points to as being an egoistic.

As the positive sum world continues, making sure to allow everyone in the world access this technology and innovation can further enhance the way nature of the world. This being what the video points to as altruism.

The video mentions this beautifully as it describes that the more people are well off, the better your life is. This done through innovation as well as the supply and demand for a service or product.

Ultimately, the more people we have capable of innovating, the larger the supply and demand for most things like research in different cancers to space travel! Watch the video yourself and tell me what you think.

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Binge drinking disrupts immune system activity in young adults

Recently read a study based on young adults (aged 18 – 34) who drank enough to exceed 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) showed signs of increased immune function. But at 2 and 5 hours later, their immune system showed reduced activity compared to those who are sober.

It’s clear that alcohol affects the immune system in many ways, from hours to days after exposure. This study focus’ on the early effects of alcohol of the immune system while blood alcohol content is still elevated.

Volunteers were given a high-dose alcohol content. Blood was collected pre-ingestion of alcohol, 20 mins, 2 hours and 5 hours post alcohol ingestion. Flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques were used.

Results showed an increase in total circulating leukocytes, monocytes and natural killer cells only after 20 mins after ingestion, where BAC was at around 130 mg/dL. There was also an increase in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-Alpha levels. AT 2 to 5 hours, immune function and activity reduced. It concluded that binge alcohol increased immune activity and function in it’s early pro-inflammatory state, which was followed by an anti-inflammatory state thereafter.

Paper:
Afshar, M., Richards, S., Mann, D., Cross, A., Smith, G., Netzer, G., Kovacs, E. and Hasday, J. (2014). Acute Immunomodulatory Effects of Binge Alcohol Ingestion. Alcohol. [online] Available at: http://www.alcoholjournal.org/article/S0741-8329(14)20186-8/abstract [Accessed 30 Dec. 2014].