Re: A recommendation

1

Yeah, his posts have been the most comprehensible and useful on WLs that I've seen.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 11:50 AM
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The CCC have apparently been working on a parallel organization with a more distributed structure, partly to avoid the kind of confusion between ye olde charismatic leader and the rest of the enterprise that's been (somewhat) dogging wikileaks.

Also, that DoD program to combat leaks that's allegedly designed to prevent another wikileaks? It is nothing of the sort, and is designed to prevent entirely different kinds of problems.

Also, I hadn't really realized what Assange's hacker career comprised. Dude was kinda hot shit back in the day!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:14 PM
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CCC = CDC? They're still around, huh?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:18 PM
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Huh, huh?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:20 PM
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Chaos Computer Club, smart guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:29 PM
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The contrast of the Gitlin vs Ellsberg quotes was hilarious.

As far as the top post about the Politics of Mass Distraction, well, while I was walking the dogs earlier today, ari, I was thinking about why, for instance, we blame the Cultural Revolution more on Mao than on the students, and whether there was actually a useful instinct involved there. For reasons easy enough to understand.

But I have been thinking about that since somewhere around the Invasion of Cambodia without reaching a final conclusion.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:29 PM
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My second or third year in my program an ass't prof quit and got some kind of nonacademic job back in Europe (whence he hailed). He left behind a lot of books he had brought with him, among them Das Chaos Computer Buch, which I took for myself and still haven't read.

I also got an introduction to Turbo Prolog written in German.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:31 PM
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I've hung out with Frank from CCC a few times. He's super nice, and has great stories about learning to program in east Berlin in the early '80s.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:36 PM
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If we extradite Assange I might take a car trip, even if only to the Everglades to wave over the waves.

Tipping points and immediate causes of social disorder can be unpredictable, and submerging some of our favorite causes in service of unity here could be a good first step.

Look,this is exactly how THEY work it, and the issue or praxis seldom survives the destruction of its public "face", even if THEY are the ones putting the public face on them. Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, and Valerie Plame got smeared, and WMD lies didn't matter.

This is how "show trials" do their work. I am sorry, but if Assange falls, Wikileaks and the openness project probably falls with him.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:43 PM
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I support a renewal of the CCC. I mean, yay, parks, right? Ooh, it could even be part of the DREAM Act. Yeah, that'll happen.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:43 PM
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Cheers, Ben! And generalized unfoggeds.


Posted by: zunguzungu | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:49 PM
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I read, somewhere, today thus usual "Well, if some Afghan informants were harmed by Wikileaks, then the project needs tighter controls" Let's let the Security establishment redact away, since they know best.

What exactly is our acceptable level of collateral damage in this war, anyway? Zero is lose.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:49 PM
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Thank you, zunguzungu.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:52 PM
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One of the things I love about the Ellsberg comparison is how starkly it shows our official process of turning old radicals into representatives of the new, reformed system. We officially remember Ellsberg as if he was simply revealing the bad old ways the bad old state was bad and old, whereas now, of course, all that old stuff has been fixed. So you have someone like Gitlin, who is totally in favor of lionizing someone who attacked old, dead political corruption, but freaks out when someone attacks present, existing corruption. But, in fact, Ellsberg's attack on corruption-past is basically the same thing as Assange's attack on corruption present, insofar (and its very far) as corruption present is similar to corruption past.


Posted by: zunguzungu | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:57 PM
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You guys are the best. How about a hug?


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 12:57 PM
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If not a hug, will someone teach me how to conjugate a fucking verb already? I'm not very good at it!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 1:08 PM
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No hugs? Maybe a high five? C'mon, I really need some friends.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 1:14 PM
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Okay, fine. I'll just hold my breath until I turn gay.

YOU WILL ALL BE SORRY.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 1:16 PM
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And generalized unfoggeds.

Ogged Ike isn't coming back. He went to live on a farm.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 1:17 PM
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One of the things I love about the Ellsberg comparison is how starkly it shows our official process of turning old radicals into representatives of the new, reformed system.

Cf. Martin Luther King.

Holbo has had some good Crooked Timber posts about a generalized version of this phenomenon—conservatives coming out in favor of, say, women's rights, or at least what has already been accomplished in that direction, but only after it's been accomplished, eliding the facts that (a) conservatives of the time when the accomplishments were still in the offing opposed them, and (b) they oppose contemporary like efforts. (A post in that vein.) Such and such in the past was good, but such and such in the present goes too far! Always.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 1:35 PM
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This is how "show trials" do their work. I am sorry, but if Assange falls, Wikileaks and the openness project probably falls with him.

I think this is incorrect. Assange is not, in fact, Ellsberg in this single sense: Ellsberg was necessary to the leak of the Pentagon Papers; many others can do Assange's job, and they will, whether or not Assange is able to continue.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 1:42 PM
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The morality and patriotism of the "Times" claims only to be representative, and by no means ideal. It gives the argument, not of the majority, but of the commanding class. Its editors know better than to defend Russia, or Austria, or English vested rights, on abstract grounds. But they give a voice to the class who, at the moment, take the lead; and they have an instinct for finding where the power now lies, which is eternally shifting its banks. Sympathizing with and speaking for the class that rules the hour, yet being apprised of every ground-swell, every Chartist resolution, every Church squabble, every strike in the mills, they detect the first tremblings of change. They watch the hard and bitter struggles of the authors of each liberal movement, year by year,--watching them only to taunt and obstruct them,--until, at last, when they see that these have established their fact, that power is on the point of passing to them,--they strike in, with the voice of a monarch, astonish those whom they succor, as much as those whom they desert, and make victory sure. Of course, the aspirants see that the "Times" is one of the goods of fortune, not to be won but by winning their cause.


Posted by: the other emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:11 PM
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21:There are three (?) components to the Wikileak phenomenon. People who leak, Wiki, and attention paid to, or consequences of, what is leaked. Without a trusted celebrity like Assange, will people leak? Why didn't they before?

Wikileaks is no longer accepting submissions.

And all the info about WMD not being in Iraq didn't matter. Hell, did Ellsberg matter? And his stuff was read into the Congressional record.

Takes more than the truth to set us free. Part of the politics of distraction here is to make us feel that Assange doesn't matter. But it may be his celebrity/notoriety that made people notice what was in the cables.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:15 PM
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Without a trusted celebrity like Assange, will people leak?

Probably.

Why didn't they before?

Because there wasn't already an easy and secure distribution system in place for the leaks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:23 PM
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Wikileaks is no longer accepting submissions.

Is this true? I hadn't heard of it, is all.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:49 PM
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Without a trusted celebrity like Assange, will people leak?

Assange is only a celebrity because people leaked to him. As I said, it's the Ellsbergs that really matter.

Takes more than the truth to set us free.

You raise a reasonable question when you ask how much the Ellsbergs really matter. But as long as the oligarchy controls the flow of information, we (for certain values of "we") are screwed.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:50 PM
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25. It's purportedly only temporary, pending reengineering of security protections.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:51 PM
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24.2:A one gb rarfile on Pirate Bay marked "State Dept Cables"? There has been a relatively easy and secure distribution system for years. (And remember, the leaker got caught). Not that Pirate Bay is safe for its operators. Is it still up?

Now if Pirate Bay would not accept such a file, it wouldn't exactly be because of any illegality, would it? It would be because it would attract the wrong kind of attention from too dangerous and powerful opponents.

And who would download that file, or care, or get it into the Times, or if in the Times, care. Cable destruction is interesting, because it is, I think, partly about Somebody A telling Somebody B that President X likes to dress up as Little Bo Peep. Many second order leaks, where President X knows there are three people who played lambs for him.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 2:57 PM
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Some former Wikileaks activists are launching a separate site because they thought Wikileaks was too focused on the US. I think the process can easily continue without Assange, and probably will. The internet is full of people with the requisite skills and ideology. It makes me uncharacteristically optimistic. Tyrants will tremble.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 3:48 PM
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And there's no particular reason to think, at this point, that they'll be able to take out Assange.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 3:54 PM
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Some former Wikileaks activists are launching a separate site because they thought Wikileaks was too focused on the US.

Kind of a strange attitude to have, as they've done a lot w/r/t other nations. It just doesn't get so much play in the media.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 4:57 PM
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A one gb rarfile on Pirate Bay marked "State Dept Cables"?

You evidently don't know much about how bittorrent works.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 4:57 PM
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32:Well, it is very nice of you to say so

Very Public Sociologist on Assange. He has a link embedded that I haven't followed. His commenters generally oppose him.

One comment states say Assange has yet to be charged with anything in Sweden.

So a non-citizen is to be extradited to a country so that that country can question him? Nice precedent here.

The nostalgia, it burns.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-10 5:08 PM
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||

Louis Proyect rips the Clair Denis latest, while recommending it. A comment compares her to Ozu.

I think Ben, and somebody else said they like Denis.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 9:06 AM
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So a non-citizen is to be extradited to a country so that that country can question him?

I think you just need a foreign warrant and probable cause. They don't charge him until they take custody. Not weighing in one way or another on the larger issue. I think wikileaks is good. I don't know if Assange is wikileaks. My gut says that the project continues and the light breaks through, bitches.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 1:47 PM
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Part of the politics of distraction here is to make us feel that Assange doesn't matter. But it may be his celebrity/notoriety that made people notice what was in the cables.

This would be so perfect as a Slate column.

The media didn't focus on Assange until the most recent set of leaks; back when the video of journalists getting gunned down in Iraq made the news, Wikileaks was just referred to as Wikileaks.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 2:01 PM
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Here's a 2007 contemptuous dismissal of Wikileaks, before the Assange media-frenzy really started to kick in. I remember reading another one around the same period that mocked Wikileaks as most likely being a CIA sting operation for would-be leakers. I do think that Assange deliberately became a public figure to draw attention to (and raise funds for) the work.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 2:11 PM
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Wikileaks as most likely being a CIA sting operation for would-be leakers.

I'm still not entirely convinced about Bradley Manning. If you were trying to come up with a test case as favorable to restriction of information as possible, you could do a lot worse than Manning's dumps. And Assange is so earnestly oblivious to consequence; he's perfect!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 2:30 PM
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39

No more frantically recruiting additional people to masturbate to Mark Madoff.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 4:03 PM
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39: You know, as much as I am usually at least ambivalent about rich people dying, this seemed somewhat sad to me. Seeing your father humiliated and excoriated, and your name the butt of hundreds of jokes -- I can empathize with the despair that would cause.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 4:11 PM
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According to the NY Times, he and his brother confronted their father and Bernie confessed. They went to their lawyers and then turned in their parents.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 4:35 PM
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Yeah, I mean, as much as I am opposed to ratting anyone out, again, that would be a gut-wrenching situation to be in.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 4:38 PM
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this seemed somewhat sad to me

To me as well, somewhat to my surprise. Quite sad. I don't (didn't) know the man from Adam, but the scattered details in the NYT story were pretty sobering: he and his brother turned his father in; he apparently committed suicide after phoning his father-in-law to come and look after the 2-year-old child in the house; and this occurred on the 2nd anniversary -- to the day? -- of his father's conviction? Truly awful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 5:03 PM
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He had a two-year-old and killed himself? Yeesh, I find it very hard to be sympathetic, I'm afraid.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 5:32 PM
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On the other hand, ari, perhaps his feeling the need to kill himself despite having a two-year-old makes him even more deserving of sympathy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 5:53 PM
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It's a head-scratcher. He must have been in a terrible state, the way people are when they commit suicide.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 5:53 PM
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45: Not for me, no. It's a terrible story, granted, and up until I think about that kid sleeping in the next room, my heart bleeds for Madoff. But then I think: change your name, move somewhere else, create a new life for yourself and your family. No doubt he was suffering terribly. It's awful to think about. But that kid did nothing to earn the pain that will likely be thrust upon him in the coming years.

My callousness probably emerges in part from the fact that my brother-in-law killed himself almost exactly thirteen years ago today. That remains the worst day of my life. I still remember the call from my (now) wife. She couldn't talk through the sobs. I still remember traveling to LA to clean up his apartment. He left detailed instructions about where to return his leased car. I still remember meeting with his friends and his boss. None of them could believe what had happened. And through it all, through all the anger and the heartbreak, I remember thinking, "Well, at least he didn't have kids." Still, my wife has nightmares, her surviving brother lives in a haze of guilt, and their father is a shell of the man he was.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 6:03 PM
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I should probably add that I'm not judging Madoff. I'm sure he was in agony and believed that he had no other choice. But given that he did this with his baby asleep in the next room, I'm just not terribly sympathetic.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 6:10 PM
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I don't know, the way I figure, if it actually happens, if you go ahead and do it, it kinda leaves the realm of choice and becomes an inevitability. This isn't exactly determinism or denial of free will and responsibility, but kinda judging acts and people differently before and after the event. Seems like we really do this a lot, switch from "many fish in the sea" to "it had to be him" at the instant the decision is final. The wave collapses.

He did it. It's done. If he had a choice, or felt he had one, he wouldn't have. Not his fault. Anymore.

I sometimes wonder if everyone, anyone else thinks about splitting out, or if I'm the only one. Nah, that's bullshit. I wonder how the others handle those thoughts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 6:39 PM
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But then I think: change your name, move somewhere else, create a new life for yourself and your family.

When you're in his situation, is that possible without committing a crime?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 6:42 PM
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50: I don't think so, not when he's named (and his family is named) in numerous ongoing legal suits.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 6:45 PM
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When people are suicidal they are often firmly convinced that everyone around them will be better off without them. Other times they just can't deal anymore. In either case, they're not in a sane state of mind, with the exception of those who are facing imminent and painful death.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 7:06 PM
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49:

judging acts and people differently before and after the event

If he had a choice, or felt he had one, he wouldn't have. Not his fault. Anymore.

This makes sense to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 7:18 PM
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If he had a choice, or felt he had one, he wouldn't have. Not his fault. Anymore.

No no no no no. Absolutely not. This can be used to justify anything - murder, genocide, rape. In and of itself it is not a valid justification for behavior.

Understand and forgive, if possible, but never absolve.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 12-11-10 7:25 PM
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47

... But that kid did nothing to earn the pain that will likely be thrust upon him in the coming years.

How is the kid worse off because his father killed himself? It seems possible (perhaps even likely) that he will be better off. And that perhaps this influenced his father.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 12:00 AM
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Some former Wikileaks activists are launching a separate site because they thought Wikileaks was too focused on the US.

Kind of a strange attitude to have, as they've done a lot w/r/t other nations. It just doesn't get so much play in the media.

Indeed. Long before the Afghanistand dum, Wikileaks had caused a bit of a political stir and two big legal battles involving the awesomely named but rather tyrannical "super-injunctions" with dumps about Trafigura's toxic waste "disposal" in Cote d'Ivoire and Barclays Capital's tax schemes for clients. That said, those didn't seem to involve any real self-promotion from Wikileaks, unlike the lastest US focused stuff.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 3:49 AM
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Um, Afhganistan dump.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 3:50 AM
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Aargh. Can't spell at all today.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 3:51 AM
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How is the kid worse off because his father killed himself?

JBS, this boggles. I can't imagine being a kid -- esp. one living with his father at the time -- and not being overwhelmed by something like this. I mean, maybe we live in the best of all possible worlds, and this suicide prevented some even more awful event that might occur in the future, but just looking at the suicide, by itself, how could the kid not be worse off? Apart from the guilt and shame people feel with any suicide, the kid had a parent, taking care of him, and now he doesn't.

I really, sincerely, want you to explain your position on this.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 2:20 PM
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I don't know what was said in comment number 55, because I totally didn't read it. Nope.

My story is pretty similar to ari's in 47.2. But it was my mother-in-law rather than brother-in-law. It was absolutely, absolutely devastating, most of all to my then wife. I agree with teraz in 52, though; she was not in a clear state of mind, had a history of bipolar disorder, was acting paranoid just beforehand, was faced with a divorce, had gone off prozac to get chemo for awhile then had just gotten back on it... we wished she could have just held on through that time a little longer. But I don't feel like I blame her, anymore than I would someone who'd drowned.

Still, any shred of romanticism I might have felt about suicide was gone for me after that day. If you ever feel that desperate, please remember that though it may feel in that moment that others would be better off without you, your death would hurt them indescribably. Call a hotline, do whatever it takes to find help.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 2:55 PM
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Kay Redfield Jamison on the "Selfishness of Suicide":

I reminded his friend, who knew it well, that I had tried years earlier to kill myself, and nearly died in the attempt, but did not consider it either a selfish or not-selfish thing to have done. It was simply the end of what I could bear, the last afternoon of having to imagine waking up the next morning only to start all over again with a thick mind and black imaginings. It was the final outcome of a bad disease, a disease it seemed to me I would never get the better of. No amount of love from other people--and there was a lot--could help. No advantage of a caring family and fabulous job was enough to overcome the pain and helplessness I felt; no passionate or romantic love, however strong, could make a difference. Nothing alive and warm could make its way through my carapace. I knew my life to be a shambles, and I believed--incontestably--that my family, friends and patients would be better off without me. There wasn't much of me left anymore, anyway, and I thought my death would free up the wasted energies and well-meant efforts that were being wasted on my behalf.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 6:24 PM
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I just went through another episode of watching an 80-yr-old spend a year in intensive care because his family couldn't bear to let him go. (And they could afford the bills.) That is usually considered the easier call.

But why so? Are we so competent at measuring another's pain, and then on our assessment declaring their pain endurable?

But why do we say the thirty year old must endure unbearable pain, at least as she perceives it, for the sake of the six caring for her. And call the suffering one "selfish" and the six who define and sustain their existence by "caring" as the "unselfish" ones?

We can't have it both ways, that caring for another is in some sense an emotionally profitable act and yet always simultaneously a selfless act.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 8:25 PM
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We abhor suicides because they make us wonder that it all might not worth it. Part of the way we make it all worth it is by saying that we are enduring for the sake of others, but saying it does not make it so.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 8:34 PM
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People do what they do, Bob, and it's hard for me to be resentful of suicides, since I've got so much resentment tied up in other things, but it's also hard to deny that friends and relatives of suicides feel like shit because they miss the departed, and wonder, most often mistakenly, about things they could have done, and not out of jealousy.

Now onto pleasanter topics. Where should we be burning shit this week?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 10:27 PM
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We should burn shit on the prairie, for warmth.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 10:31 PM
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Prairie winters are just killer without the flaming poop.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 10:34 PM
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Taken out of context, the Sympathy vs. Fuck-Your-Sympathy dynamic on display here is pretty funny.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 10:38 PM
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63— No, I don't think so. I think it was abhorrent (to use your term) both in the loss, and that their pain was simultaneously so unbearable and so inexplicable. So subjective; not that it wasn't real, just that it's so hard for someone who wasn't in it to comprehend it.

I don't think I really disagree with anything in 62, though. I'd just refer it right back to 52.

Oh, crap, I'm supposed be talking about burning shit now. Isn't that supposed to be a Halloween, neighbor's porch kind of thing?


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 12-12-10 11:05 PM
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68: You could always commit suicide by burning yourself alive on the neighbour's porch I guess.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 12-13-10 4:20 AM
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61 shoudl be "Selfishness" of Suicide


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-13-10 5:34 AM
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Prairie winters are just killer without the flaming poop.

Prairie summers kind of suck without the flaming poop as well. Otherwise it's just a lot of grass.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12-13-10 8:50 AM
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