Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘afterlife

Saturday Links

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Saturday Night Link Fever (No Cure)

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Linkdumps from earlier in the week, Tuesday, Tuesday Night, Thursday, and Friday. There’s also one or six more worth seeing.

* More from the Reddit wars from Jezebel, Chad, Aaron, and Lili.

* Middle Earth: pretty much all dudes.

What is happening is a dramatic policy shift whereby the rights and entitlements the US working class has fought for and come to expect are now declared to be, for the foreseeable future, unreachable and unjustified. To put it in media terms, it is “the end of the American dream,” signifying the historic severance of US capital from the US working class, in the sense that US capitalism is becoming completely de-territorialized and is now refusing any commitment to the reproduction of the US workforce.

* A bit out of their jurisdiction, don’t you think? It’s True: The FBI Urged Martin Luther King to Commit Suicide.

* $134,078.44 lien for unpaid hospital bills filed against unarmed man shot by police while fleeing gunman. In a movie called America 2012, it’d be a little too on-the-nose.

ZeFrank recaps the vice-presidential debate. Bonus Get Your War On.

* Poll panickers relax: Obama is crushing it in Ohio, and Ohio is basically the whole game this year.

PPP’s newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading 51-46, a 5 point lead not too different from our last poll two weeks ago when he led 49-45.

The key finding on this poll may be how the early voters are breaking out. 19% of people say they’ve already cast their ballots and they report having voted for Obama by a 76-24 margin. Romney has a 51-45 advantage with those who haven’t voted yet, but the numbers make it clear that he already has a lot of ground to make up in the final three weeks before the election.

Need more? Fluke, almost certainly incorrect poll puts Obama up in Arizona!

* Okay, go ahead and panic a little: Romney Debate Gains Show Staying Power. For what it’s worth Obama spiked a bit upward on the 538 graphs today.

* Of course there are still those who think the worse, the better.

Why Romney?  Because his transparency as a Neanderthal may, just may, bring people into the streets, while under Obama passivity and false consciousness appear almost irreversible.

Elsewhere on the Web, the affirmative case for Obama has more or less reduced to pure spite.

Do these folks really want their bigoted in-laws and racist YouTube commenters to have the satisfaction of having been right all along? Because that’s what they’ll take away from this.

‘Million Muppet March’ Planned. I’ll allow it, but know you’re on a tight leash.

Side Effects of Global Warming You’re Not Worried About Enough Yet.

Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, says “we can adapt” to global climate disruption. Let’s see him telecommute from the places hardest hit.

* Agent Coulson will return for S.H.I.E.L.D. Then why didn’t Joss use my awesome final shot for The Avengers?

* Isn’t-it-pretty-to-think-so-filter: Why near-death experiences don’t constitute proof of an afterlife.

* And just in case you’re still out there in the cold: Presenting SmartSocks+: the smartest socks in the world.

Everything Dies, Baby, That’s a Fact, but Maybe Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back

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AskMetaFilter hits all my buttons with this question on non-theistic and scientific afterlives, including quantum immortality, the Omega Point, and (new to me) four-dimensionalism.

Neuoscientist as Novelist

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Neuoscientist as novelist, at MSNBC, via 3QD.

“In some sense, I use my literary fiction as a channel to explore ideas that I come up with during the day,” he told me.

For example, consider how the data in your brain determines your identity. “For a long time, there’s been this open question of what it would be like to be someone else – or to be something else,” he said. “Once you’re John Malkovich, you wouldn’t remember what it’s like not to be John Malkovich.”

That spawned Eagleman’s little story about cross-species reincarnation, titled “Descent of Species”: Suppose you admired the strength and beauty of horses, and you got the chance to become a horse in your next life. Once you become a horse, would you have enough wits to appreciate that life, or even enough wits to choose the life after that? And if that’s the case, what unwitting demigods might we humans have been in our past lives?

Other stories play off the fact that existential meaning doesn’t scale well. “What would happen if we showed Shakespeare to a dog or a bacterium?” Eagleman asked. “It’s pointless, because what’s meaningful to you changes by spatial scale.”

For example, a microbial God might reserve the afterlife strictly for microbes, with humans merely serving as part of the scenery. Or the universe might be ruled by a cosmic Giantess who is as indifferent to our fate as we are to the fate of an amoeba.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm

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Explains a Lot, Actually

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Explains a lot: Despite a nominal belief in the afterlife, the very religious are much more likely to request aggressive medical care and heroic life-saving methods.

The patients who leaned the most heavily on their faith were nearly three times more likely to choose and receive more aggressive care near death, such as ventilators or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They were less likely to have advanced care planning in place, such as do-not-resuscitate orders, living wills, and healthcare proxies.

“These results suggest that relying upon religion to cope with terminal cancer may contribute to receiving aggressive medical care near death,” the authors write in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association. “Because aggressive end-of-life cancer care has been associated with poor quality of death . . . intensive end-of-life care might represent a negative outcome for religious copers.”

Via Pharyngula.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm

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Heaven: The Game

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Heaven: The Game. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this sort of miss the point of Heaven?

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2008 at 3:47 am

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Missing the Old gerrycanavan.blogspot.com?

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Thinking of the days when this blog wasn’t about the presidential election 24-7—just sixteen long days to go—here are a few links to more traditional gerrycanavan.blogspot.com fare.

* Life on earth may have originated in volcanic eruptions.

* Invest in solar, says solar industry.

* ‘Never Say Die: Why We Can’t Imagine Death.’ Via MeFi.

* Atomic explosions. Lots.

* Buy your own deep shelter underneath London.

* How British police foiled the IRA by opening a laundromat.

* Mad Men will be back for a third season, but showrunner Matthew Weiner may not be: he wants more money.

* Consistent with Environmental Security Hypothesis predictions, when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected. These results suggest that environmental security may influence perceptions and preferences for women with certain body and facial features.