I found this Existential Comic interesting for its insight on what things might be like for J.R.R. Tolkien's version of elves. The author, on Twitter, shared a short video on Tolkien's thoughts on death. If you're familiar with the mythology behind The Lord of the Rings, as revealed in The Silmarillion and other works, the … Continue reading The Elflord and the Mayfly
Click through for full sized version, and for the red button caption. via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. This cartoon reminds me of one of the objections I often hear to mind uploading, that even if the uploaded mind was identical to the original, there would be a break in continuity between them. I've never quite understood … Continue reading SMBC: So, how long do we live?
An interesting TED talk by Atul Gawande discussing some of the problems with the modern medical profession. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3QkaS249Bc I came across this video when reading a recent piece by Dr. Gawande on the medical field's struggles to clearly explain a terminal patient's real situation to them, often relying on a blizzard of facts instead of … Continue reading Atul Gawande: How do we heal medicine?
Ezekiel Emanuel has an interesting article at The Atlantic: Why I Hope to Die at 75 - The Atlantic. Seventy-five. That’s how long I want to live: 75 years. ... I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and … Continue reading The effort at healthy living should be balanced against the fact that we are all mortal.
via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Of course, while we're alive, new parts of us are constantly coming into being. But for adults, the child we once were died long ago. That is one of the realizations that I find soothe the fear of death.
Wired has an article up on America's long history of botched executions. Two weeks ago, things went horribly wrong with the execution of Clayton D. Lockett, a 38-year old Oklahoma man convicted of shooting a young woman and burying her alive. After executioners initiated what was meant to be a lethal injection, Lockett began writhing … Continue reading It really is time for the death penalty to go
HuffPost has an interesting Sleep 101 article up. Sleep is anything but a waste of time. While many people think of catching ZZs as the body "shutting off" until morning, nodding off actually activates a complicated process that helps you feel rested and healthy the next day. Scientists divide sleep into four stages -- each … Continue reading Sleep and death
The other day I did a post about soothing the fear of death. Stephen Cave in this TED talk, after discussing the age old stories we've traditionally used to sooth that fear, covers much the same ground that I did on the Epicurean insight into this fear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB7xs7UpIfY Related articles TED: Stephen Cave: The 4 … Continue reading Stephen Cave: The 4 stories we tell ourselves about death
I’ve often tried to articulate what Scalzi managed in the title, “Don’t Live For Your Obituary.” I would also add not to worry about those death bed regrets we always hear warnings about. We’ll spend a limited time on our death bed and a lot more time in our life. We should spend it doing what gives us satisfaction.
And, of course, even for those whom history does end up remembering, it will likely be history’s creation of a figure that meet’s future people’s needs, with only a hazy resemblance to the reality.
Via Nick Mamatas,this article about writer Colin Wilson, who passed away in the last week, which begins:
How dismayed the late Colin Wilson would have been if, through some of the occult powers in which he believed, he had been able to read his own obituaries.
The man whose first book The Outsider caused him to be lionised in 1956 by the literary greats of the day has been remembered in several blogs for his later novel Space Vampires, which inspired a famously trashy Hollywood film. In the broadsheets, the life of a self-proclaimed genius has been given the faintly amused treatment favoured by obituarists when dealing with a life of eccentricity or failed promise.
Yet there is sort of heroism in the way that Wilson, having been abandoned by those who once praised him, remained loyal to his own talent, living a life of writing, reading…
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The fear of death is a normal, natural, instinct that we all have. Without it, we’d end up doing all kinds of reckless things that most of us avoid. Some people claim not to fear it, but I suspect that all of us, when we’re honest, retain that fear to one degree or another. After … Continue reading Soothing the fear of death