May 1st, 2008

That Pesky Self

I just finished reading The Music of Life: Biology Beyond Genes, by Denis Noble.

I found it very educational and enjoyable. 

Toward the end he tackles the subject of "the self," and whether it can be found in the brain, or whether it's a process of the whole body, or what else it might be.

He proposes that the self is "an object we hang onto because of our language and culture make it very difficult to do otherwise".

He compares our culture to Asian cultures, which he says lack a strong sense of self.  He goes on to mention that the aim of Buddhist meditation is the elimination of the sense of self.

That gave me pause.  If they don't have a strong sense of self... why do they have to meditate so much to get rid of it?

If losing your self is meditation's aim,
doesn't that really give away the game?

Something that's so hard to overcome,
must be as natural as an opposable thumb.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, "the DC Madam", is reported to have hanged herself, with a nylon rope, in a storage shed, leaving handwritten notes.

It almost sounds like a game of Clue, but a rather sad one.

She had recently been convicted of: "money laundering, using the mail for illegal purposes, and racketeering."  But she hadn't been sentenced yet.  She faced something like 4 to 7 years in prison.

I don't wish to defend prostitution as good clean wholesome fun.  It radiates an ick factor, to use a somewhat nontechnical term.  But it should be legal, as long as it's consenting adults.

Consensual sex
shouldn't be banned
even if money
changes hands.


Shawn Klein reports that it's Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

It's also May Day, the traditional occasion for Red Parades.

Maybe I could roll the coincidence together into Democide Day.

How many have died
from the crime
of democide?

The total is lost in the bloody trail of time.