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Slavery and Cannibalism in Our Modern World
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I had planned to write on the struggle in the US congress in which the Israel Lobby seeks to override the president’s veto. This is likely to cause a new war in the Middle East, send out a new wave of refugees, and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization. However, the most dangerous trend we are facing springs from our arrogant desire to override the natural order of birth, life and death.

On the streets of Tel Aviv, young Filipinos or strong Sudanese push trolleys with old Jewish people. They cling to life, these old ladies. Age and race are juxtaposed: it is fine to be old, if you belong to the right race or ethnicity. Taking care of the old is a job for immigrants, refugees, and guest workers of the wrong race. Whenever I see such a trolley, I do not exult in our good care of the elderly and in our humane attitudes; I lament the fate of the Philippines and Sudan, for if these states hadn’t been devastated by us, the young women would be taking care of their own children instead of flying to the end of the world to change diapers for old Jewish ladies.

Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations. We destroyed their societies, and now the slaves are paying their own fare and competing to live in Uncle Tom’s cabin. They became indispensable for the care of old people, and we have a lot of old folks in our developed countries. This is the case where both means and purpose, the modern slave trade and the preservation of exhausted life, are equally reprehensible.

We try to live longer and longer, as if year after year of loneliness in institutions is such a wonderful benefit. Medicine can dull the Grim Reaper’s scythe, and old people seem to live forever. Our late Prime Minister, Gen. Ariel Sharon, died for all practical purposes in 2006, but his life was “saved” in a way and he lingered on in limbo until 2014. For eight long years the doctors reported: “He responds to pain”, until he was allowed to depart for his permanent abode wherever it might be.

Another Jew of renown, Lubavitscher Rebbe Schneerson, was been kept “alive” for many years, until his followers despaired of his return. Their example shines for others. My friend, a poet, fumed about why the medical system did not hospitalize his 85-year old mother right away, change her heart and other parts, make her functioning again. He did not care about the cost – a humane society should do it. Or shouldn’t it?

Taking care of the elderly has huge social costs and not all of these can be outsourced to the Sudanese. My old schoolmate deserted his wife and daughter in order to take care of his elderly mother. A good son? I wonder. Within five years, his neglected daughter got hooked on drugs and committed suicide, his forlorn wife divorced him, while his mother was still alive, still bedridden and about ninety.

We spend too much effort on preserving life, and people (or should I say we, as I approach 70) live much longer than ever before. Thanks to medicine, infants who would never survive otherwise, are kept alive. They need daily treatment and expensive drugs and operations, to carry on their sad lives, for their parents and society are convinced that life should be preserved at all cost. Aren’t we wonderful?

Not really. Our societies kill perfectly healthy children, whether by abortion or by bombing their populous countries. Five hundred thousand Iraqi children were killed by Madeleine Albright, to her satisfaction. Nearer to home, I never could understand why a Jewish child with Down’s syndrome should be kept alive at considerable expense and effort, while a healthy Palestinian child may be killed for free.

In less prosperous countries, magazines carry ads asking for help to postpone death. People with ill children, parents, spouses ask for the contribution they need to take their sick to the place of a magic cure, or to buy a deadly expensive medicine not covered by insurance. Their ads show a sweet kid or a peaceful old man, and describe his maladies and the miraculous treatment able to restore his brain, grow him a new heart or new legs for a tiny cost of so many dollars. This money could feed thousands of healthy children, or provide elementary and inexpensive medical care for many.

People of wealth do not ask for our contribution, but they also spend a lot on cures. The very rich spend enormous sums to gain immortality. They die anyway. There are rumors that the hundred-year-old billionaire David Rockefeller had had a few heart transplants. Perhaps the rumours are not true, but anyway his longevity was achieved at cost of other younger lives. Such people do consume other lives, for they make ordinary medicine for ordinary people unavailable.

Human resources are limited. A vast investment in expensive medicines and devices means less money for treating everyone with less exotic illnesses. Preserving and extending the existence of those unable to live without help (be it elderly or children or terminally ill) means less resources for everybody else. Sanctity of life for a few means death for others. There is no way to sustain unlimited medical spending for a few unless the majority is robbed of their chance to live.

ORDER IT NOW

This system had been denounced by Ivan Illich in his Medical Nemesis many years ago, but it has become worse since then. The root of the problem is our worship of life and fear of death. Far from being natural, this is a relatively new tendency. Previous generations knew that there are many things more important than life. They valued their soul, their honor, their integrity above the life of their body. They accepted death as an unavoidable event in one’s life, nothing to run away from. They saw flowers and trees and wild animals and learned from them.

Their world was God-centered, and in such a world, life and death of a man is a normal occurrence. They would pray for their life to last longer, but they would add, as the Orthodox Christians do even now at every Sunday service: grant me a Christian death, peaceful, without pain and shame. The Christian asks for a short time to prepare himself, to repent and to receive last rites, and if this wish is granted, he dies contented, for his death is just a transition to life eternal. People who worship life are heathens – or animals, from the Christian point of view.

Fear of death should be removed from our world. We should accept death as we accept life: with gratitude, as St. Simon the Elder did as he said: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace”.

While ridding us of fear of death, we should also eliminate organ transplants, the modern form of cannibalism. Like in the days of Captain Cook, rich men consume the kidneys or the livers of their fellow men. Sometimes these organs are ripped from a dead person, disturbing his peace. Often kidneys are ripped out of the bodies of unfortunate debtors who are forced into this sacrifice by their creditors, or from people reduced to poverty who need to feed their children.

In Israel, body parts have been taken from Palestinians for the benefit of Jews, as we learned from the confessions of Yehuda Liss. Organs were harvested by the Kosovo Albanians from live Serbs, said Carla del Ponte, the prosecutor in the Hague. Why are we shocked by cannibalism of the New Guinea? We are worse.

The medieval world knew the desire to save one’s life at cost of another’s life or injury. This was done by warlocks and witches who drew a bath of innocent children’s blood for the beneficiary who wanted to preserve his or her youth beyond the allotted years. That’s why the Bible called for them to be put them to death. Modern harvesters are not any better.

We might roll medicine back to its Cuban level, where simple medical treatment is available to everyone for free, while complicated ones are just not available for anybody, including David Rockefeller. Equality of medical treatment will remind us that we all equal before death, and this is good news.

Fear of God is healthy. Fear of death is sickness; it is denial of God and of Man’s privileged place in the Universe. Our departure will suit our life. Evil people do evil things because they are certain that there is nothing after. The spiritual father of the Neo-Cons, Leo Strauss, entered acrimonious arguments (with Martin Buber inter alia) denying God. It was important for him to claim there is no reward, no punishment for our deeds. And his disciples took over the Pentagon and ignited the Middle East, sending the great wave of refugees toward Europe. Only people who deny Christ are likely to do such things.

 

Many people dislike the concept of human rights because it was used for the “humanitarian interventions” in Libya and Iraq. Others would argue that the concept was misused by Bush and Blair. But I reject the idea of human rights because human duties are more important, love is more important, while love of God is still more important. Human rights should not have priority before duty, love and piety.

Nowhere is this concept more misleading than in the sphere of reproductive politics. No, a woman has no right over her body, neither does a man, nor a child. Our body is on loan from God. We are not free to do with it whatever we will. Mutilation, suicide and abortion are equally evil before God.

We have no right to have children. It is a grace of God that we have them. People engaged in the surrogate motherhood business try to get children by force or by theft. Surrogate motherhood is not different from slavery in its worst form: the slave owner could beget a child with a slave girl, but he normally would not steal the child and take him away from his mother. This is what is done by the father of the surrogate child.

The traditional society had an institution of “bearing on the knees” as in the case of Jacob, Rachel and Bilhah (Genesis 30), but there the child’s real mother was not deprived of her child.

The correct question is not “should surrogate mothers be allowed to carry a child in their body for other people?” as it is sometimes presented. It is similar to a question “should one be allowed to feed one’s body to crocodiles?” Naturally, no woman would give her child away unless being forced. She can be forced by hunger or by poverty or by force.

Israel, with its huge gay community, is a big buyer of women in poor countries for their own reproduction. At first, they went to India, until the Indians decided to stop this form of slavery and child kidnapping. Then, they went to Nepal. An earthquake devastated that country, and even this disaster did not tell the people of Nepal and Israel that their behavior was utterly sinful and criminal, earning such a divine punishment.

Not only gays are buying children. Many normal couples in Israel are unable to have children, and they go to the slave trading agencies. Instead, they should ponder their own behavior and pray for forgiveness. Children are a blessing, and not everyone deserves a blessing. The Bible has many stories of barren women who repented, prayed and their prayer was answered. The Israelis should cease starving Gaza, open its harbours and borders, and God will open the wombs of their womenfolk.

They try to cheat God, but God is not a sucker. All the technical devices will not bring happiness a real, normally-born child is likely to produce.

ORDER IT NOW

Maria Poumier, a French scholar of surrogacy, thinks the buyers of slave children are due for a lot of unhappiness. “A purchased son is not loved in the same way as a natural one, but in the same way one loves a cat or a dog, chosen for the best pedigree; it can be sold again if unpleasant; that is called “rehoming” in the case of adopted children. International adoption is over, because too many cases of stolen children have been proven, and adopted children become unbearable with their adoptive parents when grown up, even in the best loving families”.

However, she is optimistic, hoping the slave children educated in wealthy homes will rise against those who purchased them and stole them from their enslaved “surrogate” mothers.

In her view, the surrogate agencies are making a lot of money and spend it to enlarge their base to make more money. The recent surge of gay interest has been caused by these agencies, as they consider the gays their potential clients. As surrogacy is a modern form of slave trade, Jews are the leaders in the business as they were in slaving, writes Maria Poumier.

Infertility is a very good business, she says quoting Sebastien Renault’s investigation. “That is why there is such seducing propaganda for the gay way of life, in order to make them feel the natural infertility of sodomy as a social injustice. The gays are considered as new consumers, bringing more income for the agencies”.

I think that behind their desire to make money there is a much more malicious reason: the drive for total subjugation of man, as I wrote at length elsewhere. This should be fought. There is a law in the books against kidnapping and the slave trade, and this law should be employed against the reproductive agencies.

We should take birth, life and death as they come, as was done by our ancestors. If we won’t stop this plague now, we shall see our children and grandchildren stripped for organ transplants to the rich bankers who want to live forever, if not bought and sold for the amusement of gay couples. We shall see children being manufactured and mass-produced for transplants, for war, for labour, as Aldous Huxley prophesied in his too-prescient book. God’s plans can be overridden only at a huge cost, a cost that will dwarf the override of Obama’s Iran Treaty.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This essay has been first published at the Unz Review.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Abortion, Immigration, Organ Transplants 
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  1. Bravo for striking a blow for genuine morality, Mr. Shamir. Though, it is possible to hold such views about human limits without believing in God.

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    • Replies: @FLOR solitaria
    I wonder how Mr Shamir can reconcile this pro-euthanasia piece with his conversion to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
    , @VisPacem
    Arguably, one can (and should) disbelieve what s/he judges to be any false understanding of that which is signified by the term G_D and its cognates.

    Integrity requires one be true to what one knows as true.

    But unbelieving implies and even presupposes an enduring belief.

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  2. and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization.

    “the cradle of our faith”

    ~

    who is “our’? ..

    I think you’re Russian no? Do you mean Russian, Israeli? Western man? Jew?

    are they all the same?

    However, the most dangerous trend we are facing springs from our arrogant desire to override the natural order of birth, life and death.

    who is ‘our’?

    Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations. We destroyed their societies, and now the slaves are paying their own fare and competing to live in Uncle Tom’s cabin

    With all due respect sir, who is “we”?

    - the “white man” / the “Jew”? Both? Western Civilization perhaps? Me?

    Our societies kill perfectly healthy children, whether by abortion or by bombing their populous countries. Five hundred thousand Iraqi children were killed by Madeleine Albright, to her satisfaction

    “Our”?

    who please.. if you don’t mind, do you mean by “our”?

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    cause a new war in the Middle East, send out a new wave of refugees, and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization.
     
    I read it again and the whole essay seems to me to be a conflagration (of some the more questionable values and sensibilities) of Israel and/or Western civilization (what's left of it)

    It reads like Israel and the West are one and the same. That's who the "our" and "we" is.

    But the reason this strikes me is because Israel and the West are hardly one and the same. In spite of the fact that Jews control absolutely the entire edifice of the West's institutions.

    When Mr. Shamir writes of the "cradle of our faith and civilization", is he talking about Jerusalem (cradle of our faith) or Europe, (the cradle of our civilization)?

    They are not one and the same. One need only look to the Crusades to see that Europe (Christendom) marched on Jerusalem to remove the Muslim and the Jews. Have we reached that point in history when Jewish domination of our culture and institutions has been so complete for so l0ng that today western civilization is Jewish Israeli? Perhaps so. Now that would make for an interesting essay!

    But unless this has happened, (and I don't believe it has) when I read about how the "cradle of our faith and civilization" is on the verge of destruction, I see Europe as the cradle of my faith and civilization, and Israel as its most tenacious and determined enemy. So they're hardly one and the same.

    An analogy for me would be if an intellectual during the 13th or 14th century Moorish domination of Spain were to speak of Islam and the Moors as being one and the same as the people and traditions of Spain. As if the cultural and spiritual and institutional domination of Spain and its people by the African Moors for so long had turned them into Muslims and Moors absolutely. But it didn't. Any more than I have been turned into an Israeli. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    , @marylou
    to whom it may concern...or put simpler, where the shoe fits.
  3. Oh how it all comes back to me, those evenings having to listen to deaf old Uncle Jethro’s table talk, a preacher’s mix of commonplaces (yeah, often true enough) and BS. Survival was helped by mocking the BS… For instance, how could one resist agreeing that “we” had “devastated” the Phillipines and even Sudan (except “we”?: speak for yourself squire!!)? Wasn’t it obvious that modern medicine and no fertility control, courtesy of Christian missionaries, would devastate them?

    And yes yes Uncle isn’t it wicked that the rich don’t spend or give their money to be spent (for surely Uncle you aren’t saying “let governments tax them so it can be spent”) on rearing billions more Third and Fourth World babies? And it’s not just transplants for brother David that has to stop. It’s all that money spent on the opera, the museums, the theatre and orchestras, fine dining [that especially: a chef with a good pair of hands would have made a fine obstetrician] and all games of skill….Opportunity cost all round.

    And let me tell you about my cousin who just loved being pregnant, so that after she had her own four kids and was a surrogate for her sister she……

    “Oh shut up Willy. You know Uncle Jethro believes in God and we’ve surely brought you up not to mock people’s religion!”

    “But if he wants to ram it down….” “I said SHUT UP Willy”.

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    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    hahahahahaha all games of skill hahahaha I will say, trust me, Catholic doctrine has zip to do with black Africans swearing by condoms when they hit the town, cause they don't.
    , @Sam Shama
    LOL.
    Terrific, droll recollection of a play that exposes Shamir's collectivist-irredentist dream, one that leaves no room at all, for radical technological advancement in SENS. Its amazing how effortlessly he switches between Christian faith and communism.
    , @Israel Shamir
    What a great family you have, with David Rockefeller for a brother, and a sister that surrogates... Such guys can't believe in Christ, can you? And yes, I would tax the rich to the hilt. The best time for European museums and art was well before rise of the untaxed rich who prefer art of Damien Hirst. As for Sudan and Philippines, I am not aware that the Christian missionaries slaughtered the Philippines and bombed Sudan.
  4. What you write is all true Mr Shamir. Fear of death is what has enabled the welfare state to extend its tentacles into every area of life. We exchange our sense of truth and honour in exchange for a few more days at the glucose drip.

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  5. Wow. Take a bow. That’s the most moral thing I’ve read in recent memory. And I didn’t expect to read it. I’ve felt the same way about death since I discovered five years ago what an average hospice is like. Awful, just terrible, the walls lined with nodding seniors in wheelchairs waiting to die, no open wall space, just wheelchairs with terminal bodies. I suppose it’s easy to say I’ll only go out the good way, before you start procrastinating and wind up in a bad way…. To have the happy courage to die in independence, for the sake of dignity and the good of community. That’s nearly a martyr’s death. I hope this essay gets around.

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    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    While one might agree that this piece presents some immediate moral dilemmas, especially for the Western world, the basis of such morality might be quite fleeting. In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code. Most importantly, human lifespan has continually expanded in the last century, and medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore's Law in CS. For Shamir of course, this is an inconvenient reality, much as a medieval preacher's discovery that antibiotics are significantly more effective than faith, at curing Leprosy.
  6. @Wizard of Oz
    Oh how it all comes back to me, those evenings having to listen to deaf old Uncle Jethro's table talk, a preacher's mix of commonplaces (yeah, often true enough) and BS. Survival was helped by mocking the BS... For instance, how could one resist agreeing that "we" had "devastated" the Phillipines and even Sudan (except "we"?: speak for yourself squire!!)? Wasn't it obvious that modern medicine and no fertility control, courtesy of Christian missionaries, would devastate them?

    And yes yes Uncle isn't it wicked that the rich don't spend or give their money to be spent (for surely Uncle you aren't saying "let governments tax them so it can be spent") on rearing billions more Third and Fourth World babies? And it's not just transplants for brother David that has to stop. It's all that money spent on the opera, the museums, the theatre and orchestras, fine dining [that especially: a chef with a good pair of hands would have made a fine obstetrician] and all games of skill....Opportunity cost all round.

    And let me tell you about my cousin who just loved being pregnant, so that after she had her own four kids and was a surrogate for her sister she......

    "Oh shut up Willy. You know Uncle Jethro believes in God and we've surely brought you up not to mock people's religion!"

    "But if he wants to ram it down...." "I said SHUT UP Willy".

    hahahahahaha all games of skill hahahaha I will say, trust me, Catholic doctrine has zip to do with black Africans swearing by condoms when they hit the town, cause they don’t.

    Read More
  7. I too have similar scarring experiences as a child regarding the unnatural extension of life. Two of my grandparents contracted seriously malignant cancer (practically untreatable), they agreed to undergo crippling chemotherapy. They lived their final days in unthinking pain as yellow husks, decaying in an anonymous ward surrounded by other living corpses who never knew them; artificially preserved after by coldly professional mortality-staff. Not to mention the abominable practice of installing television sets blaring banal garbage erasing the last days formerly dedicated to deep contemplation, self-judgement, reticence and repentance.
    Every family member who visited them was shocked by the utterly decrepit state of “life” they had spent thousands on, via an array of hugely expensive machines. After less than five minutes, not even their own children could stand attending the diseased vegetables their parents had become.

    What happened to the elderly calmly accepting death, choosing to live their final days looked by their descendants; in their own homes?

    It seems even man’s final goodbye is becoming corporatised, centralised, trivialised and overtaken by the government. This issue is among the main reason I can never really trust Anatoly Karlin due to his side-interest in vulgar “transcendentalism”. Though I think only the Russian language can sufficiently describe it’s level of tastelessness or it’s pseudo-mystical air: Пошлость.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You hit the nail right on the head. That's why when my mother-in-law got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (which was effectively a death verdict) with only 60 days to live my wife decided against the chemotherapy and I supported her in this difficult decision. I will never forget the casual if not cold calculating look on the face of that NYC oncologist. I could swear that I saw a flash of dollar signs doing "cha-ching!" in his eyes the moment he proposed to us the treatment plan. We left that office and never came back. Not for a moment did we regret that we let my mother-in-law spend her final days with the family and depart this world peacefully w/o causing her the useless and unnecessary pain in order to prolong the misery by a few more days and pat ourselves on the back with the "we've done everything we could". And yes, to the best of my knowledge there is no equivalent to the Russian "пошлость" in the English language.
  8. Some questionable rhetorical points aside, Israel Shamir presents us with two options:

    (1) Spend absurd amounts of time and energy on wringing out the last couple years of unhealthy life expectancy.

    (2) Try to go out with a minimum of fuss and with one’s dignity intact.

    This has been the traditional dichotomy. In fact, for most people, (1) wasn’t even a choice. Only once societies became rich did it become a viable option.

    However, there is now another prospect on the technological horizon:

    (3) Radical life extension, with SENS likely the most promising candidate.

    Of course not really an option for those already nearing their actuarial endpoints – unless you have the money and are willing to wade into cryonics, though some might argue this is really just a particularly absurd case of (1) – but otherwise this is something that would cardinally change the equation. And it is possible to contribute to making it reality directly through research, publicity, and/or donations.

    It’s worth pointing out that even though minor gains in healthy life expectancy will result in drastic decreases in the sorts of issues that Shamir laments (dependence, expensive treatments, etc) there is approximately 1,000x less research money devoted to slowing/stopping ageing as there is to treating individual diseases that individually, on average, only help people eke out a few more weeks or months at best. This isn’t very rational.

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    • Agree: Sam Shama
    • Replies: @5371
    There's also (4) pray. At least as likely to help you as (3), costs nothing, and can be combined with (2).
    , @Anonymous
    SENS is on the horizon only in the minds of Aubrey de Grey cultists. It is perfectly rational to ignore it.
  9. Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you. It really is a binary situation. If the someone else is an individual you are a chattel slave, if the someone else is a government you are a draftable subject, if the someone else is a group of specific believers you are still a slave, subject to the whims of the various approximations of God of this or that group of believers.
    If you own yourself, then your body is yours to do with as you wish, and your life is yours to end when you wish as you wish. All morals and honours and humanity spring from understanding that to be alive is to be responsible for yourself. If you own yourself, then it follows that you can dispose of the separate parts of yourself as you desire to the benefit of yourself or others. Your blood, your kidneys, your testicles all available for reuse after your brain or your heart stops. Hopefully to the betterment of your estate for those who will follow later.
    Infertility is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled. Designer children are already available and the price for them will decrease over time.
    Selling children to gays is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled.
    Womb rental is a big business and it is well compensated. Pregnancies can be so inconvenient, housework is so inconvenient, cooking is so inconvenient, food shopping is so inconvenient. Anything that is inconvenient to a large enough market will soon find market clearing responses that remove the inconvenience for a price.
    ( I am minded of a Heinlein short story “We Also Walk Dogs.” )
    Avoiding death and its corollary the ostentatious sendoff after are both huge businesses. They are human responses, humans really don’t want to die, don’t want to go into that vast dark, and it is our pride that we fight for life with all we have for as long as we can as hard as we can, and we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before.
    I admire your skills with the written word. I do not agree with the conclusions you draw but they do appear to be inevitable given the assumptions you hold.

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    • Replies: @Pat Casey
    I don't disagree but I do object. What's awful to observe, in my experience, about the old who are effectively helpless, is that they have no life left them in; it's not at all clear "they really don't want to die," because it's not at all clear they really want to live. They just are, and often admit how often they simply are expectant of death. I think there's a very febrile will, an inertia for living, that's not sacrosanct so much as taken for granted. And the only reason that's a thing to indulge nowadays is because between them and the ones taking care of them, there is no hope in common that the end is not the end. It's very poignant to me, but likely lost on everyone else around here: the death of faith provides the absolute final indignity of life. Shamir is right, this objection to modernity belongs to Christians: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace”.
    , @5371
    [it is our pride that ... we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before]

    But that isn't true.
    , @Rurik

    Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you.
     
    and the baby being sold to homosexuals? Is he (it) chattel?

    what about a toddler? An adolescent?

    the indigent eleven year old being offered money for sex? Does he/she own themselves?

    If I'm a wealthy oligarch and want to purchase an army of babies to be raised as Janissaries to guard my palace or eunuchs to guard my harem, are those babies chattel, or should (a moral) society have a say?
  10. @CK
    Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you. It really is a binary situation. If the someone else is an individual you are a chattel slave, if the someone else is a government you are a draftable subject, if the someone else is a group of specific believers you are still a slave, subject to the whims of the various approximations of God of this or that group of believers.
    If you own yourself, then your body is yours to do with as you wish, and your life is yours to end when you wish as you wish. All morals and honours and humanity spring from understanding that to be alive is to be responsible for yourself. If you own yourself, then it follows that you can dispose of the separate parts of yourself as you desire to the benefit of yourself or others. Your blood, your kidneys, your testicles all available for reuse after your brain or your heart stops. Hopefully to the betterment of your estate for those who will follow later.
    Infertility is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled. Designer children are already available and the price for them will decrease over time.
    Selling children to gays is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled.
    Womb rental is a big business and it is well compensated. Pregnancies can be so inconvenient, housework is so inconvenient, cooking is so inconvenient, food shopping is so inconvenient. Anything that is inconvenient to a large enough market will soon find market clearing responses that remove the inconvenience for a price.
    ( I am minded of a Heinlein short story "We Also Walk Dogs." )
    Avoiding death and its corollary the ostentatious sendoff after are both huge businesses. They are human responses, humans really don't want to die, don't want to go into that vast dark, and it is our pride that we fight for life with all we have for as long as we can as hard as we can, and we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before.
    I admire your skills with the written word. I do not agree with the conclusions you draw but they do appear to be inevitable given the assumptions you hold.

    I don’t disagree but I do object. What’s awful to observe, in my experience, about the old who are effectively helpless, is that they have no life left them in; it’s not at all clear “they really don’t want to die,” because it’s not at all clear they really want to live. They just are, and often admit how often they simply are expectant of death. I think there’s a very febrile will, an inertia for living, that’s not sacrosanct so much as taken for granted. And the only reason that’s a thing to indulge nowadays is because between them and the ones taking care of them, there is no hope in common that the end is not the end. It’s very poignant to me, but likely lost on everyone else around here: the death of faith provides the absolute final indignity of life. Shamir is right, this objection to modernity belongs to Christians: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace”.

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  11. @Anatoly Karlin
    Some questionable rhetorical points aside, Israel Shamir presents us with two options:

    (1) Spend absurd amounts of time and energy on wringing out the last couple years of unhealthy life expectancy.

    (2) Try to go out with a minimum of fuss and with one's dignity intact.

    This has been the traditional dichotomy. In fact, for most people, (1) wasn't even a choice. Only once societies became rich did it become a viable option.

    However, there is now another prospect on the technological horizon:

    (3) Radical life extension, with SENS likely the most promising candidate.

    Of course not really an option for those already nearing their actuarial endpoints - unless you have the money and are willing to wade into cryonics, though some might argue this is really just a particularly absurd case of (1) - but otherwise this is something that would cardinally change the equation. And it is possible to contribute to making it reality directly through research, publicity, and/or donations.

    It's worth pointing out that even though minor gains in healthy life expectancy will result in drastic decreases in the sorts of issues that Shamir laments (dependence, expensive treatments, etc) there is approximately 1,000x less research money devoted to slowing/stopping ageing as there is to treating individual diseases that individually, on average, only help people eke out a few more weeks or months at best. This isn't very rational.

    There’s also (4) pray. At least as likely to help you as (3), costs nothing, and can be combined with (2).

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  12. @Rurik

    and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization.
     
    "the cradle of our faith"

    ~

    who is "our'? ..

    I think you're Russian no? Do you mean Russian, Israeli? Western man? Jew?

    are they all the same?

    However, the most dangerous trend we are facing springs from our arrogant desire to override the natural order of birth, life and death.
     
    who is 'our'?

    Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations. We destroyed their societies, and now the slaves are paying their own fare and competing to live in Uncle Tom’s cabin
     
    With all due respect sir, who is "we"?

    - the "white man" / the "Jew"? Both? Western Civilization perhaps? Me?


    Our societies kill perfectly healthy children, whether by abortion or by bombing their populous countries. Five hundred thousand Iraqi children were killed by Madeleine Albright, to her satisfaction
     
    "Our"?

    who please.. if you don't mind, do you mean by "our"?

    cause a new war in the Middle East, send out a new wave of refugees, and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization.

    I read it again and the whole essay seems to me to be a conflagration (of some the more questionable values and sensibilities) of Israel and/or Western civilization (what’s left of it)

    It reads like Israel and the West are one and the same. That’s who the “our” and “we” is.

    But the reason this strikes me is because Israel and the West are hardly one and the same. In spite of the fact that Jews control absolutely the entire edifice of the West’s institutions.

    When Mr. Shamir writes of the “cradle of our faith and civilization”, is he talking about Jerusalem (cradle of our faith) or Europe, (the cradle of our civilization)?

    They are not one and the same. One need only look to the Crusades to see that Europe (Christendom) marched on Jerusalem to remove the Muslim and the Jews. Have we reached that point in history when Jewish domination of our culture and institutions has been so complete for so l0ng that today western civilization is Jewish Israeli? Perhaps so. Now that would make for an interesting essay!

    But unless this has happened, (and I don’t believe it has) when I read about how the “cradle of our faith and civilization” is on the verge of destruction, I see Europe as the cradle of my faith and civilization, and Israel as its most tenacious and determined enemy. So they’re hardly one and the same.

    An analogy for me would be if an intellectual during the 13th or 14th century Moorish domination of Spain were to speak of Islam and the Moors as being one and the same as the people and traditions of Spain. As if the cultural and spiritual and institutional domination of Spain and its people by the African Moors for so long had turned them into Muslims and Moors absolutely. But it didn’t. Any more than I have been turned into an Israeli. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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    • Replies: @Israel Shamir
    Rurik, whether a Jew, a Latin Christian or an Orthodox one, or even a Muslim, Middle East of Palestine and around is our common cradle of faith and civilisation.
    Crusaders did not have to remove Jews from Jerusalem as there were very few Jews in Palestine. They did slaughter the Orthodox Christians, however, and took over their churches. Jews lost nothing at the Crusades.
    Moorish contribution to Spanish civilisation is immense: that's why Alfonso promised to kill those who would ruin Giralda.
    As for destruction of Sudan, Israel, America and Western Europe may share the blame.
    For destruction of Philippines you may read Mark Twain http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/clemensmoromassacre.html - the Jews were not too involved in that, to my knowledge as they were not powerful yet in Washington.
    In short, Rurik, I am very tolerant to negative attitude to Jews, but this should not mislead you into an erroneous vision of history.
  13. @CK
    Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you. It really is a binary situation. If the someone else is an individual you are a chattel slave, if the someone else is a government you are a draftable subject, if the someone else is a group of specific believers you are still a slave, subject to the whims of the various approximations of God of this or that group of believers.
    If you own yourself, then your body is yours to do with as you wish, and your life is yours to end when you wish as you wish. All morals and honours and humanity spring from understanding that to be alive is to be responsible for yourself. If you own yourself, then it follows that you can dispose of the separate parts of yourself as you desire to the benefit of yourself or others. Your blood, your kidneys, your testicles all available for reuse after your brain or your heart stops. Hopefully to the betterment of your estate for those who will follow later.
    Infertility is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled. Designer children are already available and the price for them will decrease over time.
    Selling children to gays is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled.
    Womb rental is a big business and it is well compensated. Pregnancies can be so inconvenient, housework is so inconvenient, cooking is so inconvenient, food shopping is so inconvenient. Anything that is inconvenient to a large enough market will soon find market clearing responses that remove the inconvenience for a price.
    ( I am minded of a Heinlein short story "We Also Walk Dogs." )
    Avoiding death and its corollary the ostentatious sendoff after are both huge businesses. They are human responses, humans really don't want to die, don't want to go into that vast dark, and it is our pride that we fight for life with all we have for as long as we can as hard as we can, and we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before.
    I admire your skills with the written word. I do not agree with the conclusions you draw but they do appear to be inevitable given the assumptions you hold.

    [it is our pride that ... we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before]

    But that isn’t true.

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    • Replies: @CK
    I know it isn't true. I know that when the time comes that I should exit, I will have forgotten where I hid my exiting compounds and will be doomed to the mercies of the state and its minions. Just as I know what hospice is like and what Alzheimer's does to the person who has it and the people who love that person.
    Maybe what I was trying to state is what it should be to be human, when the time comes to leave one should leave proudly head as erect as you can hold it.
  14. @CK
    Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you. It really is a binary situation. If the someone else is an individual you are a chattel slave, if the someone else is a government you are a draftable subject, if the someone else is a group of specific believers you are still a slave, subject to the whims of the various approximations of God of this or that group of believers.
    If you own yourself, then your body is yours to do with as you wish, and your life is yours to end when you wish as you wish. All morals and honours and humanity spring from understanding that to be alive is to be responsible for yourself. If you own yourself, then it follows that you can dispose of the separate parts of yourself as you desire to the benefit of yourself or others. Your blood, your kidneys, your testicles all available for reuse after your brain or your heart stops. Hopefully to the betterment of your estate for those who will follow later.
    Infertility is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled. Designer children are already available and the price for them will decrease over time.
    Selling children to gays is a huge business, there is a market and it will be filled.
    Womb rental is a big business and it is well compensated. Pregnancies can be so inconvenient, housework is so inconvenient, cooking is so inconvenient, food shopping is so inconvenient. Anything that is inconvenient to a large enough market will soon find market clearing responses that remove the inconvenience for a price.
    ( I am minded of a Heinlein short story "We Also Walk Dogs." )
    Avoiding death and its corollary the ostentatious sendoff after are both huge businesses. They are human responses, humans really don't want to die, don't want to go into that vast dark, and it is our pride that we fight for life with all we have for as long as we can as hard as we can, and we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before.
    I admire your skills with the written word. I do not agree with the conclusions you draw but they do appear to be inevitable given the assumptions you hold.

    Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you.

    and the baby being sold to homosexuals? Is he (it) chattel?

    what about a toddler? An adolescent?

    the indigent eleven year old being offered money for sex? Does he/she own themselves?

    If I’m a wealthy oligarch and want to purchase an army of babies to be raised as Janissaries to guard my palace or eunuchs to guard my harem, are those babies chattel, or should (a moral) society have a say?

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    Since baby selling is legal, the baby is a chattel.
    An adolescent is the charge of its parents, humans take about 12, 14 years to mature; the parents care for the adolescent until then. But they cannot arbitrarily kill the child without facing retribution; so the adolescent is owner of his body but the ownership is temporarily entrusted to his parents.
    Depends on what the indigent sets his performance worth at. Too high no buyers, too low too many buyers. It might not be much but it is better than dead or being pimped out as a slave and not seeing any return.
    Are you? Why would you want to purchase babies, 12-14 years of expense before they are even able to defend you as Janissaries, or have had their testicles descend enough for you to remove them so they don't penetrate the harem. Purchase adults, offer them contracts to become trained Janissaries.
    Since selling babies is considered legal, if you can legally purchase them, then they are indeed chattel. And the prevailing moral society has already given its imprimatur to selling babies it follows that it has given that same imprimatur to buying them.
    Be very careful about the things you want "society" to have an overriding say in. A moral, honourable individual does not need society to applaud his behavior.
  15. The end of the three generation household that was commonplace prior to WWII probably has a lot to do with it. There was more connectedness and more recognition of what the costs to the family are by keeping the grandparents alive at any costs. With people moving all across the country in search of jobs we might never go back to that again.

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    • Replies: @TWS
    I lived in a five generation when I was a boy. I live in a four generation home now. It is the best way to raise children and bonds a family together.
  16. @Wizard of Oz
    Oh how it all comes back to me, those evenings having to listen to deaf old Uncle Jethro's table talk, a preacher's mix of commonplaces (yeah, often true enough) and BS. Survival was helped by mocking the BS... For instance, how could one resist agreeing that "we" had "devastated" the Phillipines and even Sudan (except "we"?: speak for yourself squire!!)? Wasn't it obvious that modern medicine and no fertility control, courtesy of Christian missionaries, would devastate them?

    And yes yes Uncle isn't it wicked that the rich don't spend or give their money to be spent (for surely Uncle you aren't saying "let governments tax them so it can be spent") on rearing billions more Third and Fourth World babies? And it's not just transplants for brother David that has to stop. It's all that money spent on the opera, the museums, the theatre and orchestras, fine dining [that especially: a chef with a good pair of hands would have made a fine obstetrician] and all games of skill....Opportunity cost all round.

    And let me tell you about my cousin who just loved being pregnant, so that after she had her own four kids and was a surrogate for her sister she......

    "Oh shut up Willy. You know Uncle Jethro believes in God and we've surely brought you up not to mock people's religion!"

    "But if he wants to ram it down...." "I said SHUT UP Willy".

    LOL.
    Terrific, droll recollection of a play that exposes Shamir’s collectivist-irredentist dream, one that leaves no room at all, for radical technological advancement in SENS. Its amazing how effortlessly he switches between Christian faith and communism.

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    • Replies: @Israel Shamir

    how effortlessly he switches between Christian faith and communism.
     
    That's because Communism is Christian faith sans Christ, secularised Orthodox Christianity
  17. @5371
    [it is our pride that ... we leave when we damn well feel like and not an instant before]

    But that isn't true.

    I know it isn’t true. I know that when the time comes that I should exit, I will have forgotten where I hid my exiting compounds and will be doomed to the mercies of the state and its minions. Just as I know what hospice is like and what Alzheimer’s does to the person who has it and the people who love that person.
    Maybe what I was trying to state is what it should be to be human, when the time comes to leave one should leave proudly head as erect as you can hold it.

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  18. @Rurik

    Either one owns oneself; or someone else owns you.
     
    and the baby being sold to homosexuals? Is he (it) chattel?

    what about a toddler? An adolescent?

    the indigent eleven year old being offered money for sex? Does he/she own themselves?

    If I'm a wealthy oligarch and want to purchase an army of babies to be raised as Janissaries to guard my palace or eunuchs to guard my harem, are those babies chattel, or should (a moral) society have a say?

    Since baby selling is legal, the baby is a chattel.
    An adolescent is the charge of its parents, humans take about 12, 14 years to mature; the parents care for the adolescent until then. But they cannot arbitrarily kill the child without facing retribution; so the adolescent is owner of his body but the ownership is temporarily entrusted to his parents.
    Depends on what the indigent sets his performance worth at. Too high no buyers, too low too many buyers. It might not be much but it is better than dead or being pimped out as a slave and not seeing any return.
    Are you? Why would you want to purchase babies, 12-14 years of expense before they are even able to defend you as Janissaries, or have had their testicles descend enough for you to remove them so they don’t penetrate the harem. Purchase adults, offer them contracts to become trained Janissaries.
    Since selling babies is considered legal, if you can legally purchase them, then they are indeed chattel. And the prevailing moral society has already given its imprimatur to selling babies it follows that it has given that same imprimatur to buying them.
    Be very careful about the things you want “society” to have an overriding say in. A moral, honourable individual does not need society to applaud his behavior.

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    But they cannot arbitrarily kill the child without facing retribution;

    >><<

    Be very careful about the things you want “society” to have an overriding say in.
     
    I'm not sure I understand.. You seem to be suggesting that it's OK for society to visit retribution on a person who kills a child, but then question the wisdom of allowing society to have proscriptions against selling babies and young children. Which is it? Should there be proscriptions against selling (or killing) babies and very young children? Or is it all about the free market and owning property/chattel?

    so the adolescent is owner of his body but the ownership is temporarily entrusted to his parents
     
    at what point in general does a chattel baby (property) become an adolescent and thereby not something that can be bought or sold (or killed) legally as chattel? Are their laws? Should there be? I really don't know. I didn't even know it was legal to sell babies.

    Depends on what the indigent sets his performance worth at. Too high no buyers, too low too many buyers. It might not be much but it is better than dead or being pimped out as a slave and not seeing any return.
     
    based on your logic then, -and please correct me if I'm wrong- but the actions of Jerry Sandusky would have been perfectly OK to your mind, if he had only paid those little boys to have his way with them. Yes?

    Purchase adults, offer them contracts to become trained Janissaries.
     
    but if I "purchase" them, like I'd have purchased the babies and then owned them outright, then why would I need to have them sign a contract? I'd own them. Just like I'd own the babies once they'd grown into men. The reason I said why not purchase babies is because I thought you might have some qualms about buying and selling human adults like chattel on the block. I guess you don't. My bad.

    Be very careful about the things you want “society” to have an overriding say in.
     
    well societies are made up of individuals, and hopefully individuals with some kind of moral code or compass. And I for one, am one individual that would be all for killing any man or woman who wanted to carve out an organ from a living and unwilling human donor for another person's benefit. No matter how much money was changing hands. But that's just me. ; )
  19. @CK
    Since baby selling is legal, the baby is a chattel.
    An adolescent is the charge of its parents, humans take about 12, 14 years to mature; the parents care for the adolescent until then. But they cannot arbitrarily kill the child without facing retribution; so the adolescent is owner of his body but the ownership is temporarily entrusted to his parents.
    Depends on what the indigent sets his performance worth at. Too high no buyers, too low too many buyers. It might not be much but it is better than dead or being pimped out as a slave and not seeing any return.
    Are you? Why would you want to purchase babies, 12-14 years of expense before they are even able to defend you as Janissaries, or have had their testicles descend enough for you to remove them so they don't penetrate the harem. Purchase adults, offer them contracts to become trained Janissaries.
    Since selling babies is considered legal, if you can legally purchase them, then they are indeed chattel. And the prevailing moral society has already given its imprimatur to selling babies it follows that it has given that same imprimatur to buying them.
    Be very careful about the things you want "society" to have an overriding say in. A moral, honourable individual does not need society to applaud his behavior.

    But they cannot arbitrarily kill the child without facing retribution;

    >><<

    Be very careful about the things you want “society” to have an overriding say in.

    I’m not sure I understand.. You seem to be suggesting that it’s OK for society to visit retribution on a person who kills a child, but then question the wisdom of allowing society to have proscriptions against selling babies and young children. Which is it? Should there be proscriptions against selling (or killing) babies and very young children? Or is it all about the free market and owning property/chattel?

    so the adolescent is owner of his body but the ownership is temporarily entrusted to his parents

    at what point in general does a chattel baby (property) become an adolescent and thereby not something that can be bought or sold (or killed) legally as chattel? Are their laws? Should there be? I really don’t know. I didn’t even know it was legal to sell babies.

    Depends on what the indigent sets his performance worth at. Too high no buyers, too low too many buyers. It might not be much but it is better than dead or being pimped out as a slave and not seeing any return.

    based on your logic then, -and please correct me if I’m wrong- but the actions of Jerry Sandusky would have been perfectly OK to your mind, if he had only paid those little boys to have his way with them. Yes?

    Purchase adults, offer them contracts to become trained Janissaries.

    but if I “purchase” them, like I’d have purchased the babies and then owned them outright, then why would I need to have them sign a contract? I’d own them. Just like I’d own the babies once they’d grown into men. The reason I said why not purchase babies is because I thought you might have some qualms about buying and selling human adults like chattel on the block. I guess you don’t. My bad.

    Be very careful about the things you want “society” to have an overriding say in.

    well societies are made up of individuals, and hopefully individuals with some kind of moral code or compass. And I for one, am one individual that would be all for killing any man or woman who wanted to carve out an organ from a living and unwilling human donor for another person’s benefit. No matter how much money was changing hands. But that’s just me. ; )

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  20. “…International adoption is over, because too many cases of stolen children have been proven, and adopted children become unbearable with their adoptive parents when grown up, even in the best loving families.”

    Uh-O…Shamir is becoming a HBD guy. Genetic Similarity is here referenced. Adoption agencies know the score. Adoption is always a problem due to lack of genetic similarity. This is why they always try to place adoptive kids with surrogate parents of the same race and social (genetic ) background.

    Ho ho ho. People strangely want kids who look and act like them. Like friendship and family life, we racist criminals…all of us…want to be around people like ourselves, especially of course, our children.

    The commie-Chrsitian still has the Jewish Heaven on Earth syndrome, but HBD leaks out anyway, sort of like biological reality as opposed to Peace and Lovism.
    Joe Webb

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  21. “Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations.”

    Wrong. Blacks were enslaving one another long before Western man even knew how to sail that far south. Black chieftains were constantly making war upon one another, and had been for tens of thousands of years before they sold the first slave to the white man. Slavery did not destroy black African societies. Warfare did. Some black tribes got very rich on both warfare and slavery. Whites did not have far to go before these chiefs approached them trying to sell them slaves.

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    • Replies: @TWS
    Only too true. Africa is was and always will be a dystopia except when it is run by outsiders. Even then unless the outsiders have a genuine desire to improve the lot of the locals you still get a dystopia.
    , @Threecranes
    Correct. Every explorer (Burton, Spekes, Stanley, Livingstone et al) and Christian missionary testified to the truth that slavery was pandemic in Africa, that Africa's economy was in fact built upon slavery. When the British banned slavery in Africa in the early 20th century Africa's economy collapsed and hasn't recovered since.

    Africans have always been good at one thing anyway and that is conceiving children for which they take no responsibility, a trait they brought with them to the New World.

  22. @MarkinLA
    The end of the three generation household that was commonplace prior to WWII probably has a lot to do with it. There was more connectedness and more recognition of what the costs to the family are by keeping the grandparents alive at any costs. With people moving all across the country in search of jobs we might never go back to that again.

    I lived in a five generation when I was a boy. I live in a four generation home now. It is the best way to raise children and bonds a family together.

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  23. @Epaminondas
    "Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations."

    Wrong. Blacks were enslaving one another long before Western man even knew how to sail that far south. Black chieftains were constantly making war upon one another, and had been for tens of thousands of years before they sold the first slave to the white man. Slavery did not destroy black African societies. Warfare did. Some black tribes got very rich on both warfare and slavery. Whites did not have far to go before these chiefs approached them trying to sell them slaves.

    Only too true. Africa is was and always will be a dystopia except when it is run by outsiders. Even then unless the outsiders have a genuine desire to improve the lot of the locals you still get a dystopia.

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  24. @Pat Casey
    Wow. Take a bow. That's the most moral thing I've read in recent memory. And I didn't expect to read it. I've felt the same way about death since I discovered five years ago what an average hospice is like. Awful, just terrible, the walls lined with nodding seniors in wheelchairs waiting to die, no open wall space, just wheelchairs with terminal bodies. I suppose it's easy to say I'll only go out the good way, before you start procrastinating and wind up in a bad way.... To have the happy courage to die in independence, for the sake of dignity and the good of community. That's nearly a martyr's death. I hope this essay gets around.

    While one might agree that this piece presents some immediate moral dilemmas, especially for the Western world, the basis of such morality might be quite fleeting. In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code. Most importantly, human lifespan has continually expanded in the last century, and medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore’s Law in CS. For Shamir of course, this is an inconvenient reality, much as a medieval preacher’s discovery that antibiotics are significantly more effective than faith, at curing Leprosy.

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    • Replies: @5371
    [medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore’s Law in CS]

    It would be hard to overstate just how unintelligent a statement this is.
    , @joe webb
    "In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code."

    Allow me to instruct: a moral code must be based on biology, group survival, family survival, and individual survival, about in that order.

    A moral code by definition must support "morale." Morale is rooted in social acceptance and to a lesser degree, in one's own integrity. Of course, integrity is based in a large Moral Whole, your social and community life in general. You cannot work for people who want you dead , parasitized, or defeated in any way. Also, good work, is part of integrity.

    I hope this helps. IF it doesn't see Sir Arthur Kent's work on this theme of morality/ethics in a context of biological realism.

    Joe Webb
  25. There is much in this article that is questionable but a morbid fear of death is definitely a destroyer of morality. Even Jesus died. If the Bible is to be believed, at least he went peaceably. Instead of a Disneyesque “Circle of Life” we are ruled by Death. It is part and parcel of this world.The sooner we make our peace with this the better. Life in this world is a game that nobody can win, the best you can hope for is to lose gracefully and that is not very likely.

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    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
    I'm all for a person transitioning back to dumb matter. For most people there wouldn't be any change.

    Almost every speck of matter in the universe is, so enjoy the return. I prefer not to go back.
  26. @Sam Shama
    While one might agree that this piece presents some immediate moral dilemmas, especially for the Western world, the basis of such morality might be quite fleeting. In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code. Most importantly, human lifespan has continually expanded in the last century, and medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore's Law in CS. For Shamir of course, this is an inconvenient reality, much as a medieval preacher's discovery that antibiotics are significantly more effective than faith, at curing Leprosy.

    [medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore’s Law in CS]

    It would be hard to overstate just how unintelligent a statement this is.

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    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Well enlighten me by all means. But in the meantime also read
    Gerhard Spekowius & Thomas Wendler, or from a selection in the U.S. National Library on Medicine, especially by Vosburgh and Newbower.



    https://books.google.com/books?id=q7MH6QWJ4gMC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=Moore%27s+Law+and+Medical+technology&source=bl&ots=FG_EIEdCqy&sig=1Na-VVbATe111LZoVSbFfScHRbE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBWoVChMInZyAyZnUxwIVxYoNCh1qfw3z#v=onepage&q=Moore's%20Law%20and%20Medical%20technology&f=false

    Adoption of these technologies in clinical fields are very slow, (except the obvious use in genomics) but they will happen.
  27. @5371
    [medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore’s Law in CS]

    It would be hard to overstate just how unintelligent a statement this is.

    Well enlighten me by all means. But in the meantime also read
    Gerhard Spekowius & Thomas Wendler, or from a selection in the U.S. National Library on Medicine, especially by Vosburgh and Newbower.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=q7MH6QWJ4gMC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=Moore%27s+Law+and+Medical+technology&source=bl&ots=FG_EIEdCqy&sig=1Na-VVbATe111LZoVSbFfScHRbE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBWoVChMInZyAyZnUxwIVxYoNCh1qfw3z#v=onepage&q=Moore’s%20Law%20and%20Medical%20technology&f=false

    Adoption of these technologies in clinical fields are very slow, (except the obvious use in genomics) but they will happen.

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    • Replies: @5371
    So you're another google jockey who thinks that if he can find somewhere on the internet a statement as stupid as his own, it's all right? Sorry, that doesn't cut it. You're going to have to show a link, in actual reality, between genome sequencing and the advance of life expectancy, comparable to that between cramming more transistors on a chip and performing more operations per second. Good luck.
  28. @Epaminondas
    "Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations."

    Wrong. Blacks were enslaving one another long before Western man even knew how to sail that far south. Black chieftains were constantly making war upon one another, and had been for tens of thousands of years before they sold the first slave to the white man. Slavery did not destroy black African societies. Warfare did. Some black tribes got very rich on both warfare and slavery. Whites did not have far to go before these chiefs approached them trying to sell them slaves.

    Correct. Every explorer (Burton, Spekes, Stanley, Livingstone et al) and Christian missionary testified to the truth that slavery was pandemic in Africa, that Africa’s economy was in fact built upon slavery. When the British banned slavery in Africa in the early 20th century Africa’s economy collapsed and hasn’t recovered since.

    Africans have always been good at one thing anyway and that is conceiving children for which they take no responsibility, a trait they brought with them to the New World.

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  29. This article crosses the thin line between genius and madness repeatedly.

    For me, it brought back bad memories of my medical internship. I often had to cover a nursing home, my skin would crawl whenever I was there. The gurgling breathing through the ventilators, the smell, the glassy eyes, the grotesquely swollen limbs, the purulent sacral ulcers, the soiled diapers, and worst of all the complete lack of visitors, I often pray that God spares me such a horrific end.

    Mr. Unz, I hope you read this comment. I really want to thank you for assembling such an eclectic and thought-provoking group of writers on this website, I have never come across anything like it, on the web or in print.

    Read More
    • Agree: SecretaryNS
    • Replies: @rod1963
    Many so-called convalescent homes are nightmares, they are places you hope and prey you won't spend your last days there. They are places where nightmares are made.

    Kervorkian's check out plan looks good after witnessing how people are treated. Or a bottle of vicodin and Vodka.

    These places are though a expression of modernity and the death of the family. What was once done by family members is outsourced to low wage Filipino nurses in a facility owned by some foreigner out of Asia.

    Modern society has become something of a obscenity. We warehouse our young - put them out of sight and mind. Education is left to mediocre strangers with hidden agendas. If we have money we have a nanny attend to them while the parents are doing more important things like making money or partying. Heaven forbid we invest a bit of time with our kids. Then we wonder why they grow up feral. The grandparents are kept at arms length and then one day put in a senior center and from there into a convalescent home to perish. No muss no fuss.

    , @Israel Shamir
    Qasim, this is one of the best things I've heard of my writing )) Shukran, ya akhi
  30. Mr. Jermash doesn’t like Female surrogacy because ‘we should take birth, life and death as they come’.

    But with all the many things he has decried he doesn’t seem to have mentioned sperm banks because of course that would limit heterosexual Males like himself from spreading their seed and not taking ‘birth, life and death as they come’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    I don't believe he denounced double parking, coprophagia or fraudulent bankruptcy either. By your excellent logic, that means he specifically endorsed all of those things.
    , @Israel Shamir

    he doesn’t seem to have mentioned
     
    Moreover, the author did not mention Katrina Hurricane, cabbages and kings. This is a clear plot of heterosexual males!
  31. @Rurik

    and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization.
     
    "the cradle of our faith"

    ~

    who is "our'? ..

    I think you're Russian no? Do you mean Russian, Israeli? Western man? Jew?

    are they all the same?

    However, the most dangerous trend we are facing springs from our arrogant desire to override the natural order of birth, life and death.
     
    who is 'our'?

    Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations. We destroyed their societies, and now the slaves are paying their own fare and competing to live in Uncle Tom’s cabin
     
    With all due respect sir, who is "we"?

    - the "white man" / the "Jew"? Both? Western Civilization perhaps? Me?


    Our societies kill perfectly healthy children, whether by abortion or by bombing their populous countries. Five hundred thousand Iraqi children were killed by Madeleine Albright, to her satisfaction
     
    "Our"?

    who please.. if you don't mind, do you mean by "our"?

    to whom it may concern…or put simpler, where the shoe fits.

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  32. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Yevardian
    I too have similar scarring experiences as a child regarding the unnatural extension of life. Two of my grandparents contracted seriously malignant cancer (practically untreatable), they agreed to undergo crippling chemotherapy. They lived their final days in unthinking pain as yellow husks, decaying in an anonymous ward surrounded by other living corpses who never knew them; artificially preserved after by coldly professional mortality-staff. Not to mention the abominable practice of installing television sets blaring banal garbage erasing the last days formerly dedicated to deep contemplation, self-judgement, reticence and repentance.
    Every family member who visited them was shocked by the utterly decrepit state of "life" they had spent thousands on, via an array of hugely expensive machines. After less than five minutes, not even their own children could stand attending the diseased vegetables their parents had become.

    What happened to the elderly calmly accepting death, choosing to live their final days looked by their descendants; in their own homes?

    It seems even man's final goodbye is becoming corporatised, centralised, trivialised and overtaken by the government. This issue is among the main reason I can never really trust Anatoly Karlin due to his side-interest in vulgar "transcendentalism". Though I think only the Russian language can sufficiently describe it's level of tastelessness or it's pseudo-mystical air: Пошлость.

    You hit the nail right on the head. That’s why when my mother-in-law got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (which was effectively a death verdict) with only 60 days to live my wife decided against the chemotherapy and I supported her in this difficult decision. I will never forget the casual if not cold calculating look on the face of that NYC oncologist. I could swear that I saw a flash of dollar signs doing “cha-ching!” in his eyes the moment he proposed to us the treatment plan. We left that office and never came back. Not for a moment did we regret that we let my mother-in-law spend her final days with the family and depart this world peacefully w/o causing her the useless and unnecessary pain in order to prolong the misery by a few more days and pat ourselves on the back with the “we’ve done everything we could”. And yes, to the best of my knowledge there is no equivalent to the Russian “пошлость” in the English language.

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  33. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Some questionable rhetorical points aside, Israel Shamir presents us with two options:

    (1) Spend absurd amounts of time and energy on wringing out the last couple years of unhealthy life expectancy.

    (2) Try to go out with a minimum of fuss and with one's dignity intact.

    This has been the traditional dichotomy. In fact, for most people, (1) wasn't even a choice. Only once societies became rich did it become a viable option.

    However, there is now another prospect on the technological horizon:

    (3) Radical life extension, with SENS likely the most promising candidate.

    Of course not really an option for those already nearing their actuarial endpoints - unless you have the money and are willing to wade into cryonics, though some might argue this is really just a particularly absurd case of (1) - but otherwise this is something that would cardinally change the equation. And it is possible to contribute to making it reality directly through research, publicity, and/or donations.

    It's worth pointing out that even though minor gains in healthy life expectancy will result in drastic decreases in the sorts of issues that Shamir laments (dependence, expensive treatments, etc) there is approximately 1,000x less research money devoted to slowing/stopping ageing as there is to treating individual diseases that individually, on average, only help people eke out a few more weeks or months at best. This isn't very rational.

    SENS is on the horizon only in the minds of Aubrey de Grey cultists. It is perfectly rational to ignore it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Israel Shamir
    Indeed, SENS is nonSENSe. There will be no place for newcomer generations if the old guys will keep their seats. I am terribly sorry for Prince Charles who had no chance to rule as his mother lives forever. Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die! We have to die to provide space for our children and grandchildren.
  34. @Sam Shama
    While one might agree that this piece presents some immediate moral dilemmas, especially for the Western world, the basis of such morality might be quite fleeting. In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code. Most importantly, human lifespan has continually expanded in the last century, and medical technology that caused it to be so, progresses not radically differently than Moore's Law in CS. For Shamir of course, this is an inconvenient reality, much as a medieval preacher's discovery that antibiotics are significantly more effective than faith, at curing Leprosy.

    “In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code.”

    Allow me to instruct: a moral code must be based on biology, group survival, family survival, and individual survival, about in that order.

    A moral code by definition must support “morale.” Morale is rooted in social acceptance and to a lesser degree, in one’s own integrity. Of course, integrity is based in a large Moral Whole, your social and community life in general. You cannot work for people who want you dead , parasitized, or defeated in any way. Also, good work, is part of integrity.

    I hope this helps. IF it doesn’t see Sir Arthur Kent’s work on this theme of morality/ethics in a context of biological realism.

    Joe Webb

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Thanks, I will certainly try to read Arthur Kent's work if I get a chance. It seems to me that in this definition, morality is closely related to survival, which I should think is a basic instinct. So clearly that has to be time-invariant.

    Shamir's ideas on moral behaviour in my estimation is very much a function of the historic lens through which it is viewed, and therefore varies with time.

    On the other hand, if your criteria were to be applied to Shamir, his prescriptions might lead to immoral outcomes. Not all of it, but certainly a subset, because he cares not for the individual's rights. (Not entirely sure).

    , @Israel Shamir

    moral code must be based
     
    Joe (whom I know on the Webb for ages) would not recognise moral, let alone moral code if it were served for him with greens. As regular biological racist he is into survival of the fittest (meaning him).
  35. To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

    In the past it was woman’s duty, realm, to take care of infants, the infirm and the old.

    Allow me to speak of my own experiences.

    There was mother and father and I, then also my siblings. There is a dynamic in family relations that is often interfered with, botched and destroyed in “our” societies.

    Because somebody can and is willing to pay for a lot of things, that makes it right? Because there is a market for babies, because wombs are available for hire. Because there are people who due to lifestyle can not have children, or do not want to go to the trouble themselves, but they can buy them one way or the other. A child is not a consumer article.

    I grew up in a very large family. There is a sense of belonging, security, contentment, total trust, that is in divine order. The English language lacks a word for Geborgenheit . If you have experienced this you can also sense/feel the connectedness that reaches far into the distant past. That is why they speak of roots.

    When my grandmother was 94, still totally lucid, one day she said she was going to die now, her time was up. She was calm and, after we, her nine children and a few of the grandchildren including me, sang a few of her favorite hymns, she told us to go home, she was prepared to go. And she did.
    My father died peacefully. Tuesday he went to choir rehearsal (at age 87 he still had a magnificent bass) and on Thursday he died.
    I had the privilege to spend the last of her days with my mother. We talked about dying and the other side. Mother was glad I was there to talk with her about those subjects. She died peacefully, lucid and wide awake. She was 91 and it was time to call it a day.
    I think of my grandparents and parents with great devotion, gratitude, and reverence.

    Grandmother had become blind, mother had become somewhat dependent. What impressed me, though it should not have, was the rapport they had with the littlest ones. One 2year old great grand daughter and two 4 year old great grandsons.

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  36. Very interesting in that you showed the underlying unity of the seemingly disparate elements of your narrative as you wove together: efforts to prolong life beyond all medical sensibility, cannibalism, harvesting of organs from the living, surrogate motherhood as slavery, kidnapping, the need to remove the victim status of homosexuality by artificial fertility, the need for Christ, the need for repentance.

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  37. @All Hail Baal
    There is much in this article that is questionable but a morbid fear of death is definitely a destroyer of morality. Even Jesus died. If the Bible is to be believed, at least he went peaceably. Instead of a Disneyesque "Circle of Life" we are ruled by Death. It is part and parcel of this world.The sooner we make our peace with this the better. Life in this world is a game that nobody can win, the best you can hope for is to lose gracefully and that is not very likely.

    I’m all for a person transitioning back to dumb matter. For most people there wouldn’t be any change.

    Almost every speck of matter in the universe is, so enjoy the return. I prefer not to go back.

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  38. @joe webb
    "In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code."

    Allow me to instruct: a moral code must be based on biology, group survival, family survival, and individual survival, about in that order.

    A moral code by definition must support "morale." Morale is rooted in social acceptance and to a lesser degree, in one's own integrity. Of course, integrity is based in a large Moral Whole, your social and community life in general. You cannot work for people who want you dead , parasitized, or defeated in any way. Also, good work, is part of integrity.

    I hope this helps. IF it doesn't see Sir Arthur Kent's work on this theme of morality/ethics in a context of biological realism.

    Joe Webb

    Thanks, I will certainly try to read Arthur Kent’s work if I get a chance. It seems to me that in this definition, morality is closely related to survival, which I should think is a basic instinct. So clearly that has to be time-invariant.

    Shamir’s ideas on moral behaviour in my estimation is very much a function of the historic lens through which it is viewed, and therefore varies with time.

    On the other hand, if your criteria were to be applied to Shamir, his prescriptions might lead to immoral outcomes. Not all of it, but certainly a subset, because he cares not for the individual’s rights. (Not entirely sure).

    Read More
  39. @Qasim
    This article crosses the thin line between genius and madness repeatedly.

    For me, it brought back bad memories of my medical internship. I often had to cover a nursing home, my skin would crawl whenever I was there. The gurgling breathing through the ventilators, the smell, the glassy eyes, the grotesquely swollen limbs, the purulent sacral ulcers, the soiled diapers, and worst of all the complete lack of visitors, I often pray that God spares me such a horrific end.

    Mr. Unz, I hope you read this comment. I really want to thank you for assembling such an eclectic and thought-provoking group of writers on this website, I have never come across anything like it, on the web or in print.

    Many so-called convalescent homes are nightmares, they are places you hope and prey you won’t spend your last days there. They are places where nightmares are made.

    Kervorkian’s check out plan looks good after witnessing how people are treated. Or a bottle of vicodin and Vodka.

    These places are though a expression of modernity and the death of the family. What was once done by family members is outsourced to low wage Filipino nurses in a facility owned by some foreigner out of Asia.

    Modern society has become something of a obscenity. We warehouse our young – put them out of sight and mind. Education is left to mediocre strangers with hidden agendas. If we have money we have a nanny attend to them while the parents are doing more important things like making money or partying. Heaven forbid we invest a bit of time with our kids. Then we wonder why they grow up feral. The grandparents are kept at arms length and then one day put in a senior center and from there into a convalescent home to perish. No muss no fuss.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    May I add that the American grandparents are not particularly eager to spend their precious time with grandchildren (hence the institute of nannies). In the less "advanced" societies, small children used to be reared by grandparents while the parents were busy supporting their young family. And I agree that to handle a young child to a stranger when one has a financial security to be with and nurture the little one is at least stupid.
  40. @anony-mouse
    Mr. Jermash doesn't like Female surrogacy because 'we should take birth, life and death as they come'.

    But with all the many things he has decried he doesn't seem to have mentioned sperm banks because of course that would limit heterosexual Males like himself from spreading their seed and not taking 'birth, life and death as they come'.

    I don’t believe he denounced double parking, coprophagia or fraudulent bankruptcy either. By your excellent logic, that means he specifically endorsed all of those things.

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  41. @Sam Shama
    Well enlighten me by all means. But in the meantime also read
    Gerhard Spekowius & Thomas Wendler, or from a selection in the U.S. National Library on Medicine, especially by Vosburgh and Newbower.



    https://books.google.com/books?id=q7MH6QWJ4gMC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=Moore%27s+Law+and+Medical+technology&source=bl&ots=FG_EIEdCqy&sig=1Na-VVbATe111LZoVSbFfScHRbE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBWoVChMInZyAyZnUxwIVxYoNCh1qfw3z#v=onepage&q=Moore's%20Law%20and%20Medical%20technology&f=false

    Adoption of these technologies in clinical fields are very slow, (except the obvious use in genomics) but they will happen.

    So you’re another google jockey who thinks that if he can find somewhere on the internet a statement as stupid as his own, it’s all right? Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. You’re going to have to show a link, in actual reality, between genome sequencing and the advance of life expectancy, comparable to that between cramming more transistors on a chip and performing more operations per second. Good luck.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Fine.

    I am not a researcher in the field, just a very interested observer who interacts with friends in this field (in institutions such as UC Berkley, HHMI, NHGRI and MSKCR). They all tell me the same thing: which is that progress is very much non-linear. You have to be deliberately obtuse not to recognise the phenomenal strides made in genomics and its impact, and how computing power is directly related to analysing permutations of gene networks!

  42. @Sam Shama
    LOL.
    Terrific, droll recollection of a play that exposes Shamir's collectivist-irredentist dream, one that leaves no room at all, for radical technological advancement in SENS. Its amazing how effortlessly he switches between Christian faith and communism.

    how effortlessly he switches between Christian faith and communism.

    That’s because Communism is Christian faith sans Christ, secularised Orthodox Christianity

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  43. @anony-mouse
    Mr. Jermash doesn't like Female surrogacy because 'we should take birth, life and death as they come'.

    But with all the many things he has decried he doesn't seem to have mentioned sperm banks because of course that would limit heterosexual Males like himself from spreading their seed and not taking 'birth, life and death as they come'.

    he doesn’t seem to have mentioned

    Moreover, the author did not mention Katrina Hurricane, cabbages and kings. This is a clear plot of heterosexual males!

    Read More
  44. @joe webb
    "In other words, I am unaware of any time-invariant moral code."

    Allow me to instruct: a moral code must be based on biology, group survival, family survival, and individual survival, about in that order.

    A moral code by definition must support "morale." Morale is rooted in social acceptance and to a lesser degree, in one's own integrity. Of course, integrity is based in a large Moral Whole, your social and community life in general. You cannot work for people who want you dead , parasitized, or defeated in any way. Also, good work, is part of integrity.

    I hope this helps. IF it doesn't see Sir Arthur Kent's work on this theme of morality/ethics in a context of biological realism.

    Joe Webb

    moral code must be based

    Joe (whom I know on the Webb for ages) would not recognise moral, let alone moral code if it were served for him with greens. As regular biological racist he is into survival of the fittest (meaning him).

    Read More
  45. @Anonymous
    SENS is on the horizon only in the minds of Aubrey de Grey cultists. It is perfectly rational to ignore it.

    Indeed, SENS is nonSENSe. There will be no place for newcomer generations if the old guys will keep their seats. I am terribly sorry for Prince Charles who had no chance to rule as his mother lives forever. Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die! We have to die to provide space for our children and grandchildren.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die!
     
    That is not the proposition. Its extension and a radically better life experience, without the suffering at the end. What's to argue against, and who said that technology cannot accommodate a larger but stable population? Isn't that what we have seen? (ve gam ken, ata rotze she'ani agid le savta sheli "maspik, tilkhi lamut!"?)
    , @Sam Shama

    I am terribly sorry for Prince Charles who had no chance to rule as his mother lives forever.
     
    Are you really? A monarchist, that is....
  46. @Qasim
    This article crosses the thin line between genius and madness repeatedly.

    For me, it brought back bad memories of my medical internship. I often had to cover a nursing home, my skin would crawl whenever I was there. The gurgling breathing through the ventilators, the smell, the glassy eyes, the grotesquely swollen limbs, the purulent sacral ulcers, the soiled diapers, and worst of all the complete lack of visitors, I often pray that God spares me such a horrific end.

    Mr. Unz, I hope you read this comment. I really want to thank you for assembling such an eclectic and thought-provoking group of writers on this website, I have never come across anything like it, on the web or in print.

    Qasim, this is one of the best things I’ve heard of my writing )) Shukran, ya akhi

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    • Replies: @Qasim
    Afwan, Mr. Shamir! :)

    I think one of the most important sentences in your article is where you write...

    We might roll medicine back to its Cuban level, where simple medical treatment is available to everyone for free, while complicated ones are just not available for anybody, including David Rockefeller.

    I applaud your courage for even broaching this subject, I have found that it opens up a person to being likened to Dr. Mengele.

    Nevertheless, I am convinced that banning various medical procedures is absolutely necessary if this country wants to a) eradicate the sort of suffering you describe in your article, and b) avoid bankrupting the whole system of medical care.

    I think simply outlawing ventilators (outside the operating room) and feeding tubes would get rid of most of the horrors of end of life care, the corpse-like people in hospitals and nursing homes are almost always dependent on at least one of these things to maintain their "life".

    I also wonder about renal dialysis, which generally gives people a few years of poor-quality life before the inevitable.

    Chemotherapy and oncology as a whole seems to have an esteem among most that seems to me largely undeserved. I am well aware of the Lance Armstrong-like examples, but the general rule is severe pain and suffering during chemo and radiation, followed by a few year reprieve, followed by recurrence, more agony, emaciation, and death.

    Another important point is that any such measures would have to be imposed from outside, and that leaving these issues to the discretion of physicians is a recipe for disaster.

    What physician wants to continually encourage family members to let their loved one go, except at the very very end? If patients start to doubt that physicians are not doing their utmost to save them (and that may be motivated partially by the wish to save money), the reputation of doctors will become like that of lawyers overnight. And besides, we physicians get paid off of doing all this unnecessary crap! Try telling an oncologist that most of what they do is to profit off the death process by torturing people for a few extra years and see what they say.

    The worst part of it all is there is no way that these issues can ever be fixed given the current political and moral climate. Even the most conservative of suggestions would immediately lead to shrieks about "death panels" and what not, it seems that a collapse of the whole bloated system is inevitable. It is amazing how such a sweet-sounding phrase as "everyone has the right to health-care" will end up causing such a catastrophe.
  47. @Rurik

    cause a new war in the Middle East, send out a new wave of refugees, and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization.
     
    I read it again and the whole essay seems to me to be a conflagration (of some the more questionable values and sensibilities) of Israel and/or Western civilization (what's left of it)

    It reads like Israel and the West are one and the same. That's who the "our" and "we" is.

    But the reason this strikes me is because Israel and the West are hardly one and the same. In spite of the fact that Jews control absolutely the entire edifice of the West's institutions.

    When Mr. Shamir writes of the "cradle of our faith and civilization", is he talking about Jerusalem (cradle of our faith) or Europe, (the cradle of our civilization)?

    They are not one and the same. One need only look to the Crusades to see that Europe (Christendom) marched on Jerusalem to remove the Muslim and the Jews. Have we reached that point in history when Jewish domination of our culture and institutions has been so complete for so l0ng that today western civilization is Jewish Israeli? Perhaps so. Now that would make for an interesting essay!

    But unless this has happened, (and I don't believe it has) when I read about how the "cradle of our faith and civilization" is on the verge of destruction, I see Europe as the cradle of my faith and civilization, and Israel as its most tenacious and determined enemy. So they're hardly one and the same.

    An analogy for me would be if an intellectual during the 13th or 14th century Moorish domination of Spain were to speak of Islam and the Moors as being one and the same as the people and traditions of Spain. As if the cultural and spiritual and institutional domination of Spain and its people by the African Moors for so long had turned them into Muslims and Moors absolutely. But it didn't. Any more than I have been turned into an Israeli. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Rurik, whether a Jew, a Latin Christian or an Orthodox one, or even a Muslim, Middle East of Palestine and around is our common cradle of faith and civilisation.
    Crusaders did not have to remove Jews from Jerusalem as there were very few Jews in Palestine. They did slaughter the Orthodox Christians, however, and took over their churches. Jews lost nothing at the Crusades.
    Moorish contribution to Spanish civilisation is immense: that’s why Alfonso promised to kill those who would ruin Giralda.
    As for destruction of Sudan, Israel, America and Western Europe may share the blame.
    For destruction of Philippines you may read Mark Twain http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/clemensmoromassacre.html – the Jews were not too involved in that, to my knowledge as they were not powerful yet in Washington.
    In short, Rurik, I am very tolerant to negative attitude to Jews, but this should not mislead you into an erroneous vision of history.

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    • Replies: @Rurik
    Hello Mr. Shamir,

    Let me first say I'm honored to be writing to you. I've long admired your work (Your piece The Maid and the Ogre was sublime and powerful), and find it a little strange to be writing to you. That, I guess is one of the rather unique blessings of this site, that we of the great unwashed are allowed an opportunity to banter about with some of the greats of the written word. So I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Unz once again for his efforts in creating and maintaining it.

    Rurik, whether a Jew, a Latin Christian or an Orthodox one, or even a Muslim, Middle East of Palestine and around is our common cradle of faith and civilisation.
     
    Faith perhaps, but hardly civilization. What the historians tell us is that civilization began on the Nile five thousand or so years ago. But there is ample evidence that it began much sooner and in myriad places concurrently. And most importantly from a contemporary understanding- if parochial, is that Western Civilization, which we all are marinated in to one degree or another, is a uniquely Western invention.
  48. @Wizard of Oz
    Oh how it all comes back to me, those evenings having to listen to deaf old Uncle Jethro's table talk, a preacher's mix of commonplaces (yeah, often true enough) and BS. Survival was helped by mocking the BS... For instance, how could one resist agreeing that "we" had "devastated" the Phillipines and even Sudan (except "we"?: speak for yourself squire!!)? Wasn't it obvious that modern medicine and no fertility control, courtesy of Christian missionaries, would devastate them?

    And yes yes Uncle isn't it wicked that the rich don't spend or give their money to be spent (for surely Uncle you aren't saying "let governments tax them so it can be spent") on rearing billions more Third and Fourth World babies? And it's not just transplants for brother David that has to stop. It's all that money spent on the opera, the museums, the theatre and orchestras, fine dining [that especially: a chef with a good pair of hands would have made a fine obstetrician] and all games of skill....Opportunity cost all round.

    And let me tell you about my cousin who just loved being pregnant, so that after she had her own four kids and was a surrogate for her sister she......

    "Oh shut up Willy. You know Uncle Jethro believes in God and we've surely brought you up not to mock people's religion!"

    "But if he wants to ram it down...." "I said SHUT UP Willy".

    What a great family you have, with David Rockefeller for a brother, and a sister that surrogates… Such guys can’t believe in Christ, can you? And yes, I would tax the rich to the hilt. The best time for European museums and art was well before rise of the untaxed rich who prefer art of Damien Hirst. As for Sudan and Philippines, I am not aware that the Christian missionaries slaughtered the Philippines and bombed Sudan.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Uncle Jethro still can't manage the light touch. It may be disrespectful to say so but I suspect he takes himself rather seriously without quite having the substance, or the wit, to underpin his self-regard.
    ("Oh shut up Willy. Leave bad enough alone")
    , @Sam Shama

    rich who prefer art of Damien Hirst
     
    Transitivity of tastes, especially for the Reaper, therefore, would suggest that you are a multi-millionaire. So an Orthodox-Christian- Communist-millionaire. There! we have a new category to add to the PC behaviour list.
  49. @Israel Shamir
    What a great family you have, with David Rockefeller for a brother, and a sister that surrogates... Such guys can't believe in Christ, can you? And yes, I would tax the rich to the hilt. The best time for European museums and art was well before rise of the untaxed rich who prefer art of Damien Hirst. As for Sudan and Philippines, I am not aware that the Christian missionaries slaughtered the Philippines and bombed Sudan.

    Uncle Jethro still can’t manage the light touch. It may be disrespectful to say so but I suspect he takes himself rather seriously without quite having the substance, or the wit, to underpin his self-regard.
    (“Oh shut up Willy. Leave bad enough alone”)

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  50. @rod1963
    Many so-called convalescent homes are nightmares, they are places you hope and prey you won't spend your last days there. They are places where nightmares are made.

    Kervorkian's check out plan looks good after witnessing how people are treated. Or a bottle of vicodin and Vodka.

    These places are though a expression of modernity and the death of the family. What was once done by family members is outsourced to low wage Filipino nurses in a facility owned by some foreigner out of Asia.

    Modern society has become something of a obscenity. We warehouse our young - put them out of sight and mind. Education is left to mediocre strangers with hidden agendas. If we have money we have a nanny attend to them while the parents are doing more important things like making money or partying. Heaven forbid we invest a bit of time with our kids. Then we wonder why they grow up feral. The grandparents are kept at arms length and then one day put in a senior center and from there into a convalescent home to perish. No muss no fuss.

    May I add that the American grandparents are not particularly eager to spend their precious time with grandchildren (hence the institute of nannies). In the less “advanced” societies, small children used to be reared by grandparents while the parents were busy supporting their young family. And I agree that to handle a young child to a stranger when one has a financial security to be with and nurture the little one is at least stupid.

    Read More
  51. @Israel Shamir
    Indeed, SENS is nonSENSe. There will be no place for newcomer generations if the old guys will keep their seats. I am terribly sorry for Prince Charles who had no chance to rule as his mother lives forever. Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die! We have to die to provide space for our children and grandchildren.

    Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die!

    That is not the proposition. Its extension and a radically better life experience, without the suffering at the end. What’s to argue against, and who said that technology cannot accommodate a larger but stable population? Isn’t that what we have seen? (ve gam ken, ata rotze she’ani agid le savta sheli “maspik, tilkhi lamut!”?)

    Read More
  52. @5371
    So you're another google jockey who thinks that if he can find somewhere on the internet a statement as stupid as his own, it's all right? Sorry, that doesn't cut it. You're going to have to show a link, in actual reality, between genome sequencing and the advance of life expectancy, comparable to that between cramming more transistors on a chip and performing more operations per second. Good luck.

    Fine.

    I am not a researcher in the field, just a very interested observer who interacts with friends in this field (in institutions such as UC Berkley, HHMI, NHGRI and MSKCR). They all tell me the same thing: which is that progress is very much non-linear. You have to be deliberately obtuse not to recognise the phenomenal strides made in genomics and its impact, and how computing power is directly related to analysing permutations of gene networks!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    And you have to be completely clueless to not realize that figuring how life works is light years apart from being able to alter its course.
    , @5371
    Points successfully evaded.
  53. This is an excellent, thought-provoking essay. The philosophical underpinnings differ from my own, and I cannot agree with much of it (the absolute objection to organ donations/receptions at the end of the donor’s life stands out in particular as strange to me, and I object strongly to equating the desire to extend the life of infants to that of the elderly), but that hardly matters. What matters is that I’ve never read anything like this, and its inclusion is a further credit to the Unz Review.

    I will add, since I don’t see it addressed anywhere else, that much of the end-of-life madness would end by necessity, at least in the US, were the young and healthy not forced to subsidize it through outrageous health insurance. Morally, it is wrong, I think, to spend $300,000 to extend one’s life by a few months when one could instead leave it as an inheritance to one’s children. But it’s even worse to spend $300,000 of someone else’s.

    As an aside, I suspect that the reason for allowing parents to keep their grown children on health insurance plans is to trick them into paying the nearly-double premiums for the “family plan”, when the costs of insuring a healthy 26 year old vastly outweigh the benefit of risk mitigation for them.

    Read More
  54. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sam Shama
    Fine.

    I am not a researcher in the field, just a very interested observer who interacts with friends in this field (in institutions such as UC Berkley, HHMI, NHGRI and MSKCR). They all tell me the same thing: which is that progress is very much non-linear. You have to be deliberately obtuse not to recognise the phenomenal strides made in genomics and its impact, and how computing power is directly related to analysing permutations of gene networks!

    And you have to be completely clueless to not realize that figuring how life works is light years apart from being able to alter its course.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    All right Great Anonymous Sage. (yawn....) and do let us know how that bit of blood-letting with or without leeches goes, if and when you catch the next bacterial infection, would you?
  55. SENS and stem-cell based regeneration will render all of these arguments irrelevant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    And when will this happen? Give us some future date at which you will answer for your predictions.
  56. If you guys are so enamored of death, I suggest you start by eliminating the legal barriers to the right to die. The obvious first step to recognition of death is to recognize the right to die.

    There was this young lady who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in my city last year. She chose to die on her own terms rather than put up with the terminal, futile suffering that her cancer involved. We had all of these “right to life” idiots coming out of the woodwork trying to convince her that she should “stay alive” even though there was no chance of a cure within the time window that these idiots acknowledged was the case. That her condition was terminal was not disputed by anyone. Yet these idiots kept coming out of the woodwork.

    I would suggest the utter debunking of these “pro-life” idiots as the place to start if you want to promote the acceptance of the right to die.

    Read More
  57. @Sam Shama
    Fine.

    I am not a researcher in the field, just a very interested observer who interacts with friends in this field (in institutions such as UC Berkley, HHMI, NHGRI and MSKCR). They all tell me the same thing: which is that progress is very much non-linear. You have to be deliberately obtuse not to recognise the phenomenal strides made in genomics and its impact, and how computing power is directly related to analysing permutations of gene networks!

    Points successfully evaded.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Not really. My point was rather simple. Observe the trends. A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock.

    We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years. And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life. Combined with technology of the following type:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/butterfly-network/

    You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.
  58. @Abelard Lindsey
    SENS and stem-cell based regeneration will render all of these arguments irrelevant.

    And when will this happen? Give us some future date at which you will answer for your predictions.

    Read More
  59. Fear of God is healthy. Fear of death is sickness; it is denial of God and of Man’s privileged place in the Universe. Our departure will suit our life. Evil people do evil things because they are certain that there is nothing after.

    Good ideas in there, but a fear of death is normal, not sickness. Even among the elderly and the religious, there is a natural fear 0f death. With advancing medical technology, however, that natural fear brings about some unnatural consequences. Medical technology has kind of become like junk food, in a way. Just as junk food capitalizes on one of our most natural impulses – hunger – and turns it against us, medical technology capitalizes on our survival instinct and creates unforeseen negative consequences for society.

    Read More
  60. @Anonymous
    And you have to be completely clueless to not realize that figuring how life works is light years apart from being able to alter its course.

    All right Great Anonymous Sage. (yawn….) and do let us know how that bit of blood-letting with or without leeches goes, if and when you catch the next bacterial infection, would you?

    Read More
  61. @Israel Shamir
    Indeed, SENS is nonSENSe. There will be no place for newcomer generations if the old guys will keep their seats. I am terribly sorry for Prince Charles who had no chance to rule as his mother lives forever. Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die! We have to die to provide space for our children and grandchildren.

    I am terribly sorry for Prince Charles who had no chance to rule as his mother lives forever.

    Are you really? A monarchist, that is….

    Read More
  62. @Israel Shamir
    Qasim, this is one of the best things I've heard of my writing )) Shukran, ya akhi

    Afwan, Mr. Shamir! :)

    I think one of the most important sentences in your article is where you write…

    We might roll medicine back to its Cuban level, where simple medical treatment is available to everyone for free, while complicated ones are just not available for anybody, including David Rockefeller.

    I applaud your courage for even broaching this subject, I have found that it opens up a person to being likened to Dr. Mengele.

    Nevertheless, I am convinced that banning various medical procedures is absolutely necessary if this country wants to a) eradicate the sort of suffering you describe in your article, and b) avoid bankrupting the whole system of medical care.

    I think simply outlawing ventilators (outside the operating room) and feeding tubes would get rid of most of the horrors of end of life care, the corpse-like people in hospitals and nursing homes are almost always dependent on at least one of these things to maintain their “life”.

    I also wonder about renal dialysis, which generally gives people a few years of poor-quality life before the inevitable.

    Chemotherapy and oncology as a whole seems to have an esteem among most that seems to me largely undeserved. I am well aware of the Lance Armstrong-like examples, but the general rule is severe pain and suffering during chemo and radiation, followed by a few year reprieve, followed by recurrence, more agony, emaciation, and death.

    Another important point is that any such measures would have to be imposed from outside, and that leaving these issues to the discretion of physicians is a recipe for disaster.

    What physician wants to continually encourage family members to let their loved one go, except at the very very end? If patients start to doubt that physicians are not doing their utmost to save them (and that may be motivated partially by the wish to save money), the reputation of doctors will become like that of lawyers overnight. And besides, we physicians get paid off of doing all this unnecessary crap! Try telling an oncologist that most of what they do is to profit off the death process by torturing people for a few extra years and see what they say.

    The worst part of it all is there is no way that these issues can ever be fixed given the current political and moral climate. Even the most conservative of suggestions would immediately lead to shrieks about “death panels” and what not, it seems that a collapse of the whole bloated system is inevitable. It is amazing how such a sweet-sounding phrase as “everyone has the right to health-care” will end up causing such a catastrophe.

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  63. @Israel Shamir
    Rurik, whether a Jew, a Latin Christian or an Orthodox one, or even a Muslim, Middle East of Palestine and around is our common cradle of faith and civilisation.
    Crusaders did not have to remove Jews from Jerusalem as there were very few Jews in Palestine. They did slaughter the Orthodox Christians, however, and took over their churches. Jews lost nothing at the Crusades.
    Moorish contribution to Spanish civilisation is immense: that's why Alfonso promised to kill those who would ruin Giralda.
    As for destruction of Sudan, Israel, America and Western Europe may share the blame.
    For destruction of Philippines you may read Mark Twain http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/clemensmoromassacre.html - the Jews were not too involved in that, to my knowledge as they were not powerful yet in Washington.
    In short, Rurik, I am very tolerant to negative attitude to Jews, but this should not mislead you into an erroneous vision of history.

    Hello Mr. Shamir,

    Let me first say I’m honored to be writing to you. I’ve long admired your work (Your piece The Maid and the Ogre was sublime and powerful), and find it a little strange to be writing to you. That, I guess is one of the rather unique blessings of this site, that we of the great unwashed are allowed an opportunity to banter about with some of the greats of the written word. So I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Unz once again for his efforts in creating and maintaining it.

    Rurik, whether a Jew, a Latin Christian or an Orthodox one, or even a Muslim, Middle East of Palestine and around is our common cradle of faith and civilisation.

    Faith perhaps, but hardly civilization. What the historians tell us is that civilization began on the Nile five thousand or so years ago. But there is ample evidence that it began much sooner and in myriad places concurrently. And most importantly from a contemporary understanding- if parochial, is that Western Civilization, which we all are marinated in to one degree or another, is a uniquely Western invention.

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  64. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Thank you Mr Unz for this absolute keeper of an article. Shamir is as brilliant as ever.

    Read More
  65. @5371
    Points successfully evaded.

    Not really. My point was rather simple. Observe the trends. A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock.

    We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years. And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life. Combined with technology of the following type:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/butterfly-network/

    You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock]

    One might say the same, were he placed in the middle of Versailles, the Parthenon, Uruk or Göbekli Tepe. So what?

    [We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years]

    The period of most rapid increase ended more than 60 years ago. Much the greatest part of the extension we owe to improvements in hygiene and public health, not to medical treatment, and nothing whatsoever to genome sequencing.

    [And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life.]

    When the drunk gets to the streetlight, his perception of things on the ground progresses non-linearly. That doesn't mean his keys are there.

    [You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.]

    I don't think he meant you have to believe your every fantasy will come true, and then it certainly will. But maybe you disagree.
    , @Romanus
    " A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock..."

    Hardly, since most Caucasians (esp. some semitic groups) and Asians carry varying degrees of neanderthal DNA themselves (depending on the level of historical interbreeding).

    http://michaelbradley.info/
    , @annamaria
    Thank you for posting the article on new imaging devices.
  66. @Sam Shama
    Not really. My point was rather simple. Observe the trends. A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock.

    We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years. And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life. Combined with technology of the following type:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/butterfly-network/

    You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.

    [A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock]

    One might say the same, were he placed in the middle of Versailles, the Parthenon, Uruk or Göbekli Tepe. So what?

    [We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years]

    The period of most rapid increase ended more than 60 years ago. Much the greatest part of the extension we owe to improvements in hygiene and public health, not to medical treatment, and nothing whatsoever to genome sequencing.

    [And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life.]

    When the drunk gets to the streetlight, his perception of things on the ground progresses non-linearly. That doesn’t mean his keys are there.

    [You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.]

    I don’t think he meant you have to believe your every fantasy will come true, and then it certainly will. But maybe you disagree.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    One might say the same, were he placed in the middle of Versailles, the Parthenon, Uruk or Göbekli Tepe. So what?
     
    Well the whizzing sound over your head was not a drone. 'So what' is that progression of science is not felt to be non-linear when one is living through it day to day. Had you slept like Rip Van Winkle in 1980 and woken up in 2015, you would have been astonished by the iPhone, smart homes, GPS, laptop computers that are more powerful than the supercomputers in 1980, genomics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, solar power, Tesla and so much more.

    If you have not read it, try (1) "Superintelligence" - Nick Bostrom and (2) "Radical Abundance" - Eric Drexler (3) "Harvesting the Biosphere" - Vaclav Smil and of course the many books of Ray Kurzweil.

    The period of most rapid increase ended more than 60 years ago. Much the greatest part of the extension we owe to improvements in hygiene and public health, not to medical treatment, and nothing whatsoever to genome sequencing.
     
    Of course hygiene and public health had much to do with it. That was again the invention of modern plumbing, very much driven by the medical understanding of spread of infectious diseases. Do you deny the role of vaccines and anti-biotics? You speak of genome sequencing as if that is the only effort. I assure you it is not. There is too much to read. Get a basic idea of what is being done to clean inter and intra-cellular "junk" and "junk-code" to radically extend cell and mitochondrial life-span. As I said if you wake up in 10 years, you will again be very shocked. Nano-technology is not too far from detecting cancer cells at inception and basically zapping them!

    When the drunk gets to the streetlight, his perception of things on the ground progresses non-linearly. That doesn’t mean his keys are there.
     
    This is a vacuous analogy, if one at all. Genomics for example is very specific, directed, and based on large scale statistical models, that are anything close to the antics of a drunk.

    I don’t think he meant you have to believe your every fantasy will come true, and then it certainly will. But maybe you disagree
     
    Of course I disagree. Human imagination is the key to discovery. Don't you realise that?!! It happens every day. Read Elon Musk's journey, his "fantasies" that so many dismissed. Yet what have we today? You should believe that man, and the Hyperloop will be there before you wake up.
    Ramanujan used to dream and fantasise about mathematical sequences and results, get up in the morning and write them down , as Hardy would marvel at them, asking him how he derived them, to which Ramanujan would say "I dreamed of them".
  67. @Sam Shama
    Not really. My point was rather simple. Observe the trends. A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock.

    We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years. And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life. Combined with technology of the following type:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/butterfly-network/

    You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.

    ” A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock…”

    Hardly, since most Caucasians (esp. some semitic groups) and Asians carry varying degrees of neanderthal DNA themselves (depending on the level of historical interbreeding).

    http://michaelbradley.info/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    I take it that suggestive rhetorical devices are not your cup of tea. [nor of others on this thread for that matter, who eagerly await, a swift embrace of the Grim Reaper]
  68. @Sam Shama

    Think of Chronos and Saturn who were dealt with by their children because they would never die!
     
    That is not the proposition. Its extension and a radically better life experience, without the suffering at the end. What's to argue against, and who said that technology cannot accommodate a larger but stable population? Isn't that what we have seen? (ve gam ken, ata rotze she'ani agid le savta sheli "maspik, tilkhi lamut!"?)

    “maspik, tilkhi lamut!

    Rather, muti kvar!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    I don't reckon you truly believe that. No one, certainly not he that claims a deep empathy for his fellow creatures, could possibly feel that way about their own, lucid, loving, flesh and blood.
  69. @Sam Shama
    Not really. My point was rather simple. Observe the trends. A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock.

    We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years. And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life. Combined with technology of the following type:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/butterfly-network/

    You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.

    Thank you for posting the article on new imaging devices.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    My pleasure annamarina. Its really fascinating and inspiring, the progress in medical technology.
  70. @Israel Shamir

    “maspik, tilkhi lamut!
     
    Rather, muti kvar!

    I don’t reckon you truly believe that. No one, certainly not he that claims a deep empathy for his fellow creatures, could possibly feel that way about their own, lucid, loving, flesh and blood.

    Read More
  71. @annamaria
    Thank you for posting the article on new imaging devices.

    My pleasure annamarina. Its really fascinating and inspiring, the progress in medical technology.

    Read More
  72. @Romanus
    " A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock..."

    Hardly, since most Caucasians (esp. some semitic groups) and Asians carry varying degrees of neanderthal DNA themselves (depending on the level of historical interbreeding).

    http://michaelbradley.info/

    I take it that suggestive rhetorical devices are not your cup of tea. [nor of others on this thread for that matter, who eagerly await, a swift embrace of the Grim Reaper]

    Read More
  73. @5371
    [A Neanderthal past the ripe age of 36 years, having survived injury , were he to be placed in midst of Manhattan, would very likely die of shock]

    One might say the same, were he placed in the middle of Versailles, the Parthenon, Uruk or Göbekli Tepe. So what?

    [We have effectively increased that lifespan by 250%, most of the advancement coming in the last 100 years]

    The period of most rapid increase ended more than 60 years ago. Much the greatest part of the extension we owe to improvements in hygiene and public health, not to medical treatment, and nothing whatsoever to genome sequencing.

    [And we have just begun (but progressing non-linearly) in our understanding of the code of life.]

    When the drunk gets to the streetlight, his perception of things on the ground progresses non-linearly. That doesn't mean his keys are there.

    [You really have to be a bit imaginative. Just like Einstein prescribed.]

    I don't think he meant you have to believe your every fantasy will come true, and then it certainly will. But maybe you disagree.

    One might say the same, were he placed in the middle of Versailles, the Parthenon, Uruk or Göbekli Tepe. So what?

    Well the whizzing sound over your head was not a drone. ‘So what’ is that progression of science is not felt to be non-linear when one is living through it day to day. Had you slept like Rip Van Winkle in 1980 and woken up in 2015, you would have been astonished by the iPhone, smart homes, GPS, laptop computers that are more powerful than the supercomputers in 1980, genomics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, solar power, Tesla and so much more.

    If you have not read it, try (1) “Superintelligence” – Nick Bostrom and (2) “Radical Abundance” – Eric Drexler (3) “Harvesting the Biosphere” – Vaclav Smil and of course the many books of Ray Kurzweil.

    The period of most rapid increase ended more than 60 years ago. Much the greatest part of the extension we owe to improvements in hygiene and public health, not to medical treatment, and nothing whatsoever to genome sequencing.

    Of course hygiene and public health had much to do with it. That was again the invention of modern plumbing, very much driven by the medical understanding of spread of infectious diseases. Do you deny the role of vaccines and anti-biotics? You speak of genome sequencing as if that is the only effort. I assure you it is not. There is too much to read. Get a basic idea of what is being done to clean inter and intra-cellular “junk” and “junk-code” to radically extend cell and mitochondrial life-span. As I said if you wake up in 10 years, you will again be very shocked. Nano-technology is not too far from detecting cancer cells at inception and basically zapping them!

    When the drunk gets to the streetlight, his perception of things on the ground progresses non-linearly. That doesn’t mean his keys are there.

    This is a vacuous analogy, if one at all. Genomics for example is very specific, directed, and based on large scale statistical models, that are anything close to the antics of a drunk.

    I don’t think he meant you have to believe your every fantasy will come true, and then it certainly will. But maybe you disagree

    Of course I disagree. Human imagination is the key to discovery. Don’t you realise that?!! It happens every day. Read Elon Musk’s journey, his “fantasies” that so many dismissed. Yet what have we today? You should believe that man, and the Hyperloop will be there before you wake up.
    Ramanujan used to dream and fantasise about mathematical sequences and results, get up in the morning and write them down , as Hardy would marvel at them, asking him how he derived them, to which Ramanujan would say “I dreamed of them”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    You've doubled down on bullshit and gone on your way rejoicing. My final word to you will be the same as to your less grandiloquent colleague. Concrete predictions, with firm dates, or don't waste your breath.
  74. @Sam Shama

    One might say the same, were he placed in the middle of Versailles, the Parthenon, Uruk or Göbekli Tepe. So what?
     
    Well the whizzing sound over your head was not a drone. 'So what' is that progression of science is not felt to be non-linear when one is living through it day to day. Had you slept like Rip Van Winkle in 1980 and woken up in 2015, you would have been astonished by the iPhone, smart homes, GPS, laptop computers that are more powerful than the supercomputers in 1980, genomics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, solar power, Tesla and so much more.

    If you have not read it, try (1) "Superintelligence" - Nick Bostrom and (2) "Radical Abundance" - Eric Drexler (3) "Harvesting the Biosphere" - Vaclav Smil and of course the many books of Ray Kurzweil.

    The period of most rapid increase ended more than 60 years ago. Much the greatest part of the extension we owe to improvements in hygiene and public health, not to medical treatment, and nothing whatsoever to genome sequencing.
     
    Of course hygiene and public health had much to do with it. That was again the invention of modern plumbing, very much driven by the medical understanding of spread of infectious diseases. Do you deny the role of vaccines and anti-biotics? You speak of genome sequencing as if that is the only effort. I assure you it is not. There is too much to read. Get a basic idea of what is being done to clean inter and intra-cellular "junk" and "junk-code" to radically extend cell and mitochondrial life-span. As I said if you wake up in 10 years, you will again be very shocked. Nano-technology is not too far from detecting cancer cells at inception and basically zapping them!

    When the drunk gets to the streetlight, his perception of things on the ground progresses non-linearly. That doesn’t mean his keys are there.
     
    This is a vacuous analogy, if one at all. Genomics for example is very specific, directed, and based on large scale statistical models, that are anything close to the antics of a drunk.

    I don’t think he meant you have to believe your every fantasy will come true, and then it certainly will. But maybe you disagree
     
    Of course I disagree. Human imagination is the key to discovery. Don't you realise that?!! It happens every day. Read Elon Musk's journey, his "fantasies" that so many dismissed. Yet what have we today? You should believe that man, and the Hyperloop will be there before you wake up.
    Ramanujan used to dream and fantasise about mathematical sequences and results, get up in the morning and write them down , as Hardy would marvel at them, asking him how he derived them, to which Ramanujan would say "I dreamed of them".

    You’ve doubled down on bullshit and gone on your way rejoicing. My final word to you will be the same as to your less grandiloquent colleague. Concrete predictions, with firm dates, or don’t waste your breath.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Well my final word to you would be: Why don't you predict the day of your own exit from this cerulean planet. Can you?
  75. @5371
    You've doubled down on bullshit and gone on your way rejoicing. My final word to you will be the same as to your less grandiloquent colleague. Concrete predictions, with firm dates, or don't waste your breath.

    Well my final word to you would be: Why don’t you predict the day of your own exit from this cerulean planet. Can you?

    Read More
  76. @Israel Shamir
    What a great family you have, with David Rockefeller for a brother, and a sister that surrogates... Such guys can't believe in Christ, can you? And yes, I would tax the rich to the hilt. The best time for European museums and art was well before rise of the untaxed rich who prefer art of Damien Hirst. As for Sudan and Philippines, I am not aware that the Christian missionaries slaughtered the Philippines and bombed Sudan.

    rich who prefer art of Damien Hirst

    Transitivity of tastes, especially for the Reaper, therefore, would suggest that you are a multi-millionaire. So an Orthodox-Christian- Communist-millionaire. There! we have a new category to add to the PC behaviour list.

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  77. @J Yan
    Bravo for striking a blow for genuine morality, Mr. Shamir. Though, it is possible to hold such views about human limits without believing in God.

    I wonder how Mr Shamir can reconcile this pro-euthanasia piece with his conversion to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

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    • Replies: @Israel Shamir
    I am not pro-euthanasia at all; I am for accepting death as it comes.
  78. @FLOR solitaria
    I wonder how Mr Shamir can reconcile this pro-euthanasia piece with his conversion to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

    I am not pro-euthanasia at all; I am for accepting death as it comes.

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  79. “Accepting death as it comes” as in ‘not doing anything to treat old people because they are a hindrance on our Christian, advanced and humanistic society’ ?

    “We spend too much effort on preserving life” – that’s a clear pro-euthanasia stance.

    “Preserving and extending the existence of those unable to live without help (be it elderly or children or terminally ill) means less resources for everybody else.” – that’s also very much pro-euthanasia. Leaving aside the fact that there is a total lack of mercy in it, be it Christian or humanistic, it’s also highly debatable. What ‘resources’ do these people take from the rest of the society to make them ‘less for everybody else’ ?
    Since the rest of the society is in good health, it doesn’t need the specific medical resources these ill people use. The food, water, electricity, etc they use – would have been used anyway if they had been healthy.

    Extremely rich and powerful people using their power to obtain what they want has nothing to do with really ill people who actually need medical care, and moreover who some of them have been made sick by the excesses of a ruthless society: pollution, chemicals, avoidable accidents, etc.

    This whole essay mixes a lot of things which have nothing to do with one another into a rather confused and confusing stew. The only thing missing is compassion, whether Christian or otherwise

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  80. @J Yan
    Bravo for striking a blow for genuine morality, Mr. Shamir. Though, it is possible to hold such views about human limits without believing in God.

    Arguably, one can (and should) disbelieve what s/he judges to be any false understanding of that which is signified by the term G_D and its cognates.

    Integrity requires one be true to what one knows as true.

    But unbelieving implies and even presupposes an enduring belief.

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  81. […] of his superb pieces is this one, which speaks one of the many taboo not allowed to be expressed publicly in our age of […]

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