Today, I get angry. I might even aim to misbehave.
/Film is reporting about the latest Empire Magazine greatest-movies-of-all-time poll, and god help me but I feel like the results are proof of malevolent alien intelligences tinkering with human memory.Read more
Well, I think most of the dust has settled by now.
For those not fully in the know, I've spent approximately the last ten to twelve months of my life relocating from the New York area to the Space Coast (near Cape Canaveral) in Florida. This involved selling my house — no, first fixing my house, then selling it — then trying to extract a shipping container from my driveway in the middle of some of the worst snowstorms in years, then driving two-and-a-half days cross-country with my wife and two cats, then spending a few months encamped with the in-laws while house-shopping, then getting said house moved into and furnished.
I told myself I'd know it was over when I found myself once again seated comfortably at a desk in my office, typing — and so here I am, doing exactly that while no longer being surrounded by moving boxes. So that bumpy phase of my life is as over as it gets, I suppose.Read more
Here is one common counter-argument to the notion that death is simply a transition to a hitherto unknown form of existence:
"You're just changing form" — This argument has its roots in new agey concepts that borrow liberally and inaccurately from dead religions and a Dummy's Guide to Buddhism. In various forms it states that what constitutes the essential "me" will continue in the redistributed particles that formerly comprised my body. The problem: no mechanism for this association has ever been established. ... The precise thing I'm attached to is my train of thought and my ability to experience sensory input. There is no other "me" that I care about, because that's the only part of me that cares about anything.
This is a tough one to tussle with, because on a factual level, he's right, and in most of the discussion I've encountered with Western Zen Buddhists (and even a few non-Western ones), there is no question about the finality of death. Some people question the point of having such a worldview since it provides you with no real comfort anyway — you're dead, but at least the bits of you that were once you are still floating around through the rest of the universe for all time. Oh, thanks; that just puts me right at ease.Read more