Sorry for the light posting of late. The day job has been a factor, and after several false starts, I have resolved to approach the final antinatalism thing somewhat differently, which may take some time.
Speaking of which, the latest issue of Free Inquiry is focused largely on the secular humanist response to "Dying, Death, and End-of-Life Ritual." It's a frustrating read, showcasing the A to B range of half-thought false comforts and hollow lessons that remind me of why "humanism" is at best -- and at base -- a lazy refuge. It is also, I think, something of a missed opportunity. Although a number of contributors dwell appropriately on the apocalyptic and painful finality of death and the unreal parody of solace promised by conventional funerary rites, the more fundamental questions are begged but never explicitly addressed.
The nearest exception may be Rudy Hoffman's informative discussion of "Cryonics Today," which outlines the rational case for eschewing certain death in favor of a long liquid nitrogen nap. Reading Hoffman's piece, I was surprised to learn that to date only about a thousand individuals have opted for the fabled Disney option, a fact which strengthens my long nursed suspicion that atheists are no more immune from the natural lure of folk psychology than the churchbound masses. Of course, you may be able to point up a raft of technical problems that bedevil present-day efforts to resuscitate cryopreserved organisms, in reply to which Hoffman makes the obvious point that, "[j]ust because this has yet to be done, it does not mean that it cannot be done."
Legitimate cryonics protocols and concepts do not violate known laws of physics or biology, and there are many “proof of concept” examples, like reduced temperature surgery and operating-room resuscitation of people prematurely pronounced “dead.”
As last a last ditch gambits go, it's simply the only one that makes sense. What's more, as Hoffman notes, most insurance policies can be adjusted to cover the associated costs. I'm looking into it.
What else? Only a few notes from the great elsewhere:
- Jim Goad takes a Saileresque stab at some common misconceptions about group differences in preparation for his long-promised The Encyclopedia of Race. Further discussion is ongoing on his subscription-only forum, the Netjerk Lounge.
- By now, most of you have heard about James Watson's race-realist heresy, as well as his pusillanimous apology and the ensuing fallout. Gene Expression provides some context.
- TGGP and Glaivester look askance at the politics of genocide, a subject about which the good Theodore Dalrymple recently had something to say.
- Those of you who fail to see the connection between Rod McKuen's poetry and crypto-fascist showmanship may want to take an enlightening stroll with Boyd Rice, whose collected writings may be found in the Creation Books anthology, Standing in Two Circles.
- Even hardboiled connoisseurs of Ann Coulter apologetics may be inclined to squirm as Nicholas Strakon strives for perfection.