Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jack Andraka Fixes Everything

15 year old Jack Andraka, grieving for a family friend who died of pancreatic cancer (difficult and expensive to detect early, and usually fatal if you don't), resolved to try to do something about it. Combining a eureka moment with dogged data mining, he devised a 30 cent test that seems to be 100% effective.

The test may have the potential to screen for other forms of cancer as well as heart disease or HIV/AIDS, and he's "currently working on something the size of a cube of sugar that could look through your skin and study blood or signs of almost any disease" for five bucks.

Genius? Hero? No. I'm sure he's a bright kid, but everyone will disregard the essential part here. This bit of earth-shaking creativity stemmed from higher, non-personal goals. In this case, Jack was deeply upset about his friend, and inspired to do something. No self-consciousness. No lofty aspirations or thirst for grandeur. And, obviously, no consideration of obstacles. He just went out and did what needed to be done, devoting himself to the task so completely that he disappeared into it, leaving behind only shakti.

You can feel the shakti second-hand just from reading the reports (see links, below). You've heard other tales of great achievement. Why does this particular one make your chest feel like it's burning? Shakti is incredibly contagious.

Here's the basic story that's circulating, and here's a more in-depth version.

See the Marcus Dupree documentary for another example of superhuman achievement stemming from that same place.

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