Tag Archives: life

Writing or Art? Mel Bochner’s “LANGUAGE IS NOT TRANSPARENT” (1970)

Is it art? Is this the sort of art one passes by impatiently as not really art? Notice that it has no conventional images in it, such as, say, a Madonna with child. Where Mary and the baby Jesus might … Continue reading

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Angry Yoga Instructor

And:

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Three Things I Think Are True

At this point in my life, I think there are three things that are true–the first one being rather obvious: I am a limited being, embedded in the system I’m trying to explain. This means I cannot be wholly confident that … Continue reading

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The Terrible Toos (Too Fat, Too Poor, Too Old…)

Too this, too that. Theatrical, but moving. Might bring tears. __________ Watching Jade Beall’s TED talk on body hatred recalled for me the general problem of human suffering described by John Koller in Asian Philosophies (2007, p. 9, fifth edition): … Continue reading

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Life on Enceladus?

It appears that beneath the ice of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, is an ocean with sand resting on its bottom and heat vents reaching 190 degrees. Life around the vents? Possibly. Cassini will get within thirty miles of Enceladus … Continue reading

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Hubble Zooms In On A Distant Island Universe

Some life perspective. In the below video released by NASA this month, the Hubble telescope does a gigapixel zoom-in on Andromeda, another island universe beyond our own. (It was Kant who first speculated that distant nubulae–tiny, blurry “clouds” visible in … Continue reading

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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Get an Annual Flu Shot and a Colonoscopy Every Ten Years, But Skip Your Annual Physical

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist, writes at The New York Times today that you should get an annual flu shot and a colonoscopy every ten years, but skip annual physicals. Seriously. He says there is no evidence that they save lives. … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Kindness and Sympathy

A really good evolution education video via the University of California at Berkeley. We’ve evolved to be more like bonobos than sharks, and it’s one reason why I’m not worried that the decline of religion will lead to deteriorating moral … Continue reading

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A New Golden Age? The Empty Soul Revs Up, Getting Ever Better at Gobbling Things Into Its Seemingly Bottomless And Insatiable Abyss, And We Call It Prosperity

Some good news. We are basically living in the most peaceful and prosperous moment in human history. Ever. Here’s Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator: A study in the current issue of The Lancet shows […] Global life expectancy now … Continue reading

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ATP, Not The Soul Or A Vital Essence, Is Why You’re Alive–And Why You Might Live Again

In our bodies, oxygen and glucose are transformed by protein machines in our cells into the molecule ATP. ATP is the bomb. It’s what stands between you and “the point of no return.” Shakespeare seems apt here (from Hamlet’s famous … Continue reading

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A Bit of Advice for People Who Think They Ought to Have Others’ Approval–or God’s Approval–for What They Value

If you look around you and find that you’re the only person who values a particular thing, you need to have the self esteem to say, “It still has value for me.” And if you don’t value what others value–or what … Continue reading

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Who Thinks Your Thoughts, Weird Kangaroo?

Who are you, really? Neuroscientists tell us our gut microbiome consists of 100 trillion organism with different DNA from what we inherited from our parents, and that those microbes are connected to our brains via the vagus nerve. Thus those … Continue reading

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The Aztec Sun God and Jesus the Son of God Bled for You. Feel Guilty? Ready to Sacrifice Your Life to Them? Then the Stories Worked!

The Aztec worship of their sun god was rather barbaric because humans were sacrificed to the god. The rationale for this sacrifice had to do with Aztec myth, which held that the sun god sacrificed his very own blood to … Continue reading

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Between Gods And Animals, The Sweet Spot

From the vantage of the Greco-Roman pagans, because we’re neither gods nor exclusively animals, human beings are in a very, very sweet spot. Arguably the best spot. Think about it. The gods can make choices; they can fight and have … Continue reading

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I Like This Line from a Terantino Film (Django Unchained)

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Peter Ward Can’t Sleep at Night

The short reason: __________ The longer explanation (at YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPRUggIb-NI __________ In Ward’s view, the two most urgent problems surrounding human caused climate change are the following: Mass extinction. When the poles heat up (as has happened in other periods … Continue reading

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President Obama and Vice President Biden Promote Running and Hydration

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13.7 Billion Years Divided By 365: 40 Million Years Is A Day; A Day, 40 Million Years

In the debut episode of the new Cosmos series, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hand Stuever of The Washington Post describes the football field sized cosmological calendar that Tyson uses to put our 13.7 billion-year-old big bang universe into time … Continue reading

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Sailing?

Embodied and mortal consciousnesses together–7 billion of us!–subject to pain, held to the rocky surface of a sphere by gravity in a vast cosmic ocean, beacon lights (such as they are) random and far away. The Earth is our Titanic, … Continue reading

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Free Will: I Solved the Problem This Morning!

Or at least I think I have. And I solved it strictly within the bounds of naturalism (a material and closed system multiverse), without any resort to supernaturalism (ghosts entering machines). And I think I can explain it super concisely. … Continue reading

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