Signal

I shared my views on dis-ease as a designer but what would be our body’s perspective of a disease? Have you ever wondered about it 🧐

Let us understand this from a system design perspective using an example. When do you know that your faucet is not working so well? Probably when it is leaking or when it is not giving the desired output? You look for cues on what is not working. You try and fix it yourself and when things are beyond you, probably you will call a plumber or a handyman and fix the deeper issues. If nothing works then you ask them to replace the entire faucet. Isn’t it? 

If you just replace the word faucet with human system, it is the same thing. As long as it works well we take it for granted. When it does not work as desired or something is faulty then you look for cues around what is not working.  If it is beyond you, you go to a doctor to check how things are and where is the system having flaws. 

How does the doctor figure out what is not working? By listening to all the symptoms you explain. Sometimes by running some tests or scans on you etc. if things are beyond repair they advice a transplant or a surgery to fix the internals isn’t it? 

Comparing a human system to a faucet and a doctor to a mechanic is purely for explanation purposes only 🙈.

Our human system is one of the most sophisticated systems out there. It houses several systems and ensures everything works in tandem automatically. There are 11 super systems that work with each other. The system triggers are typically handled by the chemicals in the body. 

For example

  • You know you are hungry when Ghrelin triggers up.

  • When an input is received (you consume some glucose), insulin secretion is triggered. An entire system works towards converting this sugar to energy and when not used it is stored.

  • When you start chewing the food, digestive systems starts secreting the acids.

It is like a chain reaction domino effect. When somethings don’t work as designed they show symptoms of non working (leakages, swells, pain, infection etc). Your body mass is one of the symptoms.  Excess or less both are symptoms saying that something is not ok.

So when I see my weight go up or coming down, I bow down to my weighing machine and thank it. I get filled with gratitude for showing me that my body is not ok and I am not doing something right. 

If you body shows no symptoms and things are going wrong within, imagine how hard and crappy that scenario would be? So if you see a manifestation of something not working, that is a signal. That is how our bodies show what is working and what is not working.

If we have too much screen time then you become insomniac. If you eat too much sugar, the bottom part of your belly bulges. How amazing 😉 

The best part of a human body (also the curse) is it tries in so many ways to repair itself unlike a faucet. It has a self repairing mechanism inside and that is the magnificence of the system. 

It swells the infected area, gives pain so that we will notice, throws a fever so that it can cure itself, tries vomiting so it can cleanse the body etc

What a powerful way to keep things working. But alas we go and consume a tablet and reduce the fever or suppress the nausea. We will go ahead and workout just out abs and thighs trying to fix that part alone. This is called outcome fallacy. We are so focused on the results that we don’t care about input or processing mechanism. 

So if you have a high body mass and you add weight quickly it means your body is telling u something is not working. If you have very low body mass and you are not at all adding weight despite eating junk it tells you something is not right inside. 

It is a meter that is showing something is not working right. You can’t yell at the reading or the meter. Be grateful that you know something is not working so well inside. Now let us go and fix the system and not the symptom. 

🥂 to signals! 

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