Nom de guerre: Al Hakim the Bushman
Al Hakim: In historical civilizations of the Silk Road, a physician was referred to as Al-Hakim. Hakim’s were not only physicians but philosophers and scientists. The word hakim became synonymous with “the wise,” or “practitioner of wisdom.” These were the polymaths of their day and included such influential thinkers as the Persian Avicenna (Ibn-Sina), the Andalusian Averroes (Ibn Rushd), and the Jewish Maimonides. They combined medical skill with intimate knowledge of the natural sciences, philosophy, and metaphysics. Their genius lay in their ability to incorporate observations made from history, diverse cultures and fields of knowledge into wide-ranging theories. These hakim’s were skilled observers and utilized these observations, created hypotheses, tested these hypotheses. They were the precursors to the scientific method and quintessential empiricists and ‘inductionists.’
Bushman: The bushman metaphor is in homage to our “wild” ancestors who were a part of nature rather than apart or above nature. These proto-humans lived in small bands, moved from camp to camp, and survived by foraging, hunting, and fishing. They walked long distances, endured the cold, the heat, and periods of starvation. They lived in a world of persistent extrinsic threats and were keenly aware of the existential uncertainty that surrounded them. They were firsthand witnesses to the complexities of nature and were humbly cognizant of the size and power of the universe. Despite the understanding that existence was tenuous at every scale, they possessed a physicality, adaptability, and resilience that matched these uncertainties.
I am a formally trained Emergency Physician, MBA, and an Informaticist. I take inspiration from these Silk Road hakim’s and aspire to be a life long polymath with interests in history, pre-history, evolutionary medicine, and information philosophy. Furthermore, I take inspiration from our Bushman past, and look to live my life in deference of the unknown, but nonetheless, strive to develop a resilience and physicality in response to the unknowable. The ancient Greek philosophers introduced the concept of eudaimonia and developed philosophies around achieving this flourishing life. In my opinion, a eudaimonic life is not the result of “hedonistic, lotus-eating approach to life…[it] requires determination and discipline.” The best chance of achieving eudaimonia is to “embrace of beauty and pursuit of pleasure – pleasure not as sensual debauchery but as the sense of well-being embodied in living justly and lovingly in a generosity of spirit.” I derive pleasure from learning, I see beauty in authenticity and will use this blog as an expression of that pursuit and vision.