Re: Death by tempting fate.

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Turns out, with the obvious joke taken, no one will say anything until they can come up with a funny, non-obvious one. And they can't.

I know, I tried.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:50 AM
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HEY MAYBE HIS NEXT BOOK WILL BE "100 THINGS TO DO AFTER YOU DIE" EXCEPT THEY'LL ALL BE "BE DEAD"!

Yeah, I got nothin'.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:55 AM
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The mistake was when he got religion and changed the third edition of the book so that one of the 101 things was "Die".


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:56 AM
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Thing to do #101: Wear a helmet around the house.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:56 AM
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4 suggests that apo was willing to go the extra mile and actually investigate cause of death.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:00 AM
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Take a voodoo pilgrimage? What? Fuck you, dead dude. Travel is great and all, but this way of treating the world primarily as a source of awesome experiences for you, first-worlder with a list, to accumulate, is gross.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:03 AM
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"investigate the cause of death" s/b "click the link"

I'm not sure that counts as a whole mile, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:05 AM
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Take a voodoo pilgrimage? What? Fuck you, dead dude.

Now, now, rfts. Had he done that, his family might could still get some use out of him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:06 AM
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Hey, I clicked the link! The dude sounded... annoying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:07 AM
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I found the imitators (100 Things for Project Managers to do before they die?) depressing.

And what a way to go for a guy that advocates running with the bulls. Bathtub, I'm guessing.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:12 AM
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HEY MAYBE HIS NEXT BOOK WILL BE "100 THINGS TO DO AFTER YOU DIE" EXCEPT THEY'LL ALL BE "BE DEAD"!

He's relocating to Denver.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:13 AM
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I found the imitators (100 Things for Project Managers to do before they die?) depressing.

Seriously.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:15 AM
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100 Things for Project Managers to do before they die

1. Find another job.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:16 AM
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I found the imitators (100 Things for Project Managers to do before they die?) depressing.

As a project manager, I care deeply about living a full life.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:17 AM
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I wonder how many people believe that authors of life-list travel books have actually been to all of those places. Because that belief is mistaken, I can assure you.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:18 AM
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10: oof.

With all of the craziness that projects usually entail, sometimes we forget to have fun! Did it ever cross your mind to do something a little wacky? Between creating schedules and holding meetings, it is important to make time to enjoy the experiences suggested in this very different kind of to-do list.

Take a moment to see the humor in projects again! Written by best-selling PM author Rita Mulcahy, this must-have resource includes sections on Getting Your Point Across, Minding the Details, Shaping Your Success, Leading with a New Perspective, Creating Teamwork, Taking Care of You, and more!

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:20 AM
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Bet they wear a helmet around the house.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:21 AM
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Setting aside the specific merits of this guy's book, this sort of list is simultaneously stupid and useful - a lot of the things will be obvious (for the right reasons), a lot will be trite/dumb, but at least a few will be things you wouldn't otherwise hear about, for whatever random reason. What's depressing is people taking them any kind of seriously.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:22 AM
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What's depressing is people taking them any kind of seriously.

You'd be amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people treat them as holy writ when they travel. Or maybe you wouldn't. There are lots, at any rate.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:26 AM
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People don't take the notion of fate seriously in the US at all, I think. Fatalism in the face of adversity and humility in the face of success are equally shameful attitudes. To laugh at something like this is to laugh at the dead guy rather than to laugh at the world, which is a shame, because it's funny, and there should be a way to laugh at this without mocking a dead stranger.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:27 AM
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fate, fate el chocolate


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:35 AM
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You'd be amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people treat them as holy writ when they travel. Or maybe you wouldn't. There are lots, at any rate.

No, actually, I am amazed. I made sure to include the caveat "any kind of seriously" so that no one would say to me, "duh, nobody follows them closely."

How grim.

Actually, AB's stepmom is this kind of person - I don't know if she goes for these lists, but she is 100% dedicated to guided tours, tourist buses, and guidebooks. Type A personality in a an elementary schoolteacher's body, and it's not a good fit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:35 AM
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there should be a way to laugh at this without mocking a dead stranger.

Well, we're all open to additional sources of humor.

As long as we keep getting to laugh at the dead stranger.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:37 AM
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People don't take the notion of fate seriously in the US at all, I think.

I believe that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, and the He has a plan for all of us. Everything happens for a reason.


Posted by: Most of My Students | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:38 AM
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You'd be amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people treat them as holy writ when they travel. Or maybe you wouldn't. There are lots, at any rate.

So here's a half-earnest question: is it more swipple to try and accomplish the 101 Things as written, or to ignore them / scoff at them?

The fine line between true swipple and run-of-the-mill affluent white person might well turn on this distinction. It's related to the "nobody goes there anymore--it's too crowded" phenomenon.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:42 AM
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The question demonstrates your failure to understand swipple. Either option is more swipple, and denying it simply proves that you're being defensive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:44 AM
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Everything happens for a reason.

Indeed. Often the reason is that random awful shit happening to people who have done nothing to deserve it is a fact of life.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:45 AM
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Another stranger's mockable death from days of yore:

Fixx died at the age of 52 of a massive heart attack, after his daily run

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:48 AM
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One thing you can do to really alienate students is suggest that things like "gravity" and "evolutionary constraints on the size and thickness of the human scull" are the principle reasons who someone died from falling on their head at home.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:49 AM
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Skull.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:50 AM
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The question demonstrates your failure to understand swipple the inherent weakness of the 'swipple' concept. But to the extant that it's at all valid, I'd have to say that trying to accomplish the 101 Things would be more swipple. Truly swipple would be "100 Things to Own Before You Die."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:50 AM
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I love LB for 26.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:54 AM
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I believe that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, and the He has a plan for all of us. Everything happens for a reason.

Oh man, every time I run into this attitude (which I do frequently), the shrivelled part of my humanity hopes that something senseless and horrible happens to them. I know that it's a helpful and comforting belief for some people, and may be the very thing they need to get past the big traumas that happen to all of us eventually, but still. I can't explain why it elicits such a misanthropic reaction in me, but it does.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:55 AM
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I'd have to say that trying to accomplish the 101 Things would be more swipple.

Well, but not that book. It would have to be a list more SWPL-oriented, like 101 Indigenous Ceremonies to Participate In, or 1001 Unimaginably Horrible Foods to Eat Before You Die (Hopefully From Something Else).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:56 AM
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How come nobody told me "swipple"="SWPL"? I tried looking the word up before I figured it out. Didn't really work.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:58 AM
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the shrivelled part of my humanity hopes that something senseless and horrible happens to them.

Realizing, of course, that they will only double down on their comforting platitude.

Part of me has always found satisfaction in the fact that I had become an atheist prior to my mom's death, and nothing about it tempted me toward any kind of spirituality. I don't think I could've looked myself in the mirror if I had gone back to the Church or, worse, pursued some other spiritual comfort.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:59 AM
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One thing you can do to really alienate students is suggest that things like "gravity" and "evolutionary constraints on the size and thickness of the human scull" are the principle reasons who someone died from falling on their head at home.

I would be alienated if someone adduced completely general reasons that apply to people who haven't died from falls, or even fallen, to explain a specific event, too.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:59 AM
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33: Here's a guess. It's an attitude that enables people to be glib and judgmental about others' misfortunes. Though most of them wouldn't say it out loud, the attitude allows them to think "Oh, well he *must* have deserved it." This can be both judgmentalism or fatalism, depending on the context.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:00 PM
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Realizing, of course, that they will only double down on their comforting platitude.

Not necessarily. C.S. Lewis apparently got much less dickish about 'god only gives you what you can handle' when his wife contracted bone cancer.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:02 PM
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35. Absofuckinglutely. If ever, god forbid, I was offered a knighthood, I'd toy with accepting so that I could have a coat of arms bearing the motto "Shit happens".


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:03 PM
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33: But "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle" isn't really comforting. It's similar to "it could be worse" in it's ability to communicate "suck it up and quit your whining already -- it's not that big of a deal." With the added bonus of self-absolving the speaker of any obligation to help you out: "God wouldn't give you anything you couldn't handle, ergo you can handle this on your own. See ya!"

Shorter: Your instinct is appropriate and humanitarian.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:04 PM
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35: I don't get the problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:04 PM
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good God what a fucking appalling concept. I therefore have no opinion, as laughing at the guy's death seems in poor taste and it is too late to wish failure on his book.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:04 PM
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40 is a very odd response to 35.

Perhaps the motto could be "swipple means SWPL," with a hyperlink for the acronym.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:05 PM
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With the added bonus of self-absolving the speaker of any obligation to help you out: "God wouldn't give you anything you couldn't handle, ergo you can handle this on your own. See ya!"

Analogous to the rabbi in the joke who turns down several rescue attempts because god will provide. Even if it were true that god wouldn't give you anything you can't handle, that doesn't mean that your handling it might not depend on the nondickishness of those around you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:06 PM
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D^2's gone soft.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:06 PM
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44. That was because it was to 33, and I can't count or something.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:06 PM
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37: That was meant to be shorthand for a longer scientific explanation which would actually refer to the specific event.

Then again, I have no scruple against alienating little bitches.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:07 PM
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How could you think of not accepting a knighthood? People would have to call you "Sir OneFat" instead of "Mr Englishman", and I think that's a step up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:07 PM
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WMYALB, rob?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:08 PM
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How could you think of not accepting a knighthood?

I dunno. I've sort of got used to having a wife and a few friends.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:17 PM
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But you could have a lady and a few vassals!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:17 PM
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How come nobody told me "swipple"="SWPL"?

Some of us still hope, against all evidence, that the term will fall out of use, and don't want to encourage its use.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:18 PM
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52: It's like you're not even listening, Apo. That was no lady, that was his wife!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:22 PM
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41: There's a hell of a difference between telling yourself that sort of thing and hearing it from someone else. IMX thinking "It could be worse, I can cope with this crap!" has gotten me through all sorts of shit over the years.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:22 PM
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55 - indeed. I'm doing that right now, in fact. If anyone was to give me the kind of "get a grip, could be worse. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" crap I give myself I'd be hard pressed not to punch them in the face.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:28 PM
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55: Very true. I do think that if one is personally going through trying times and someone tells that person "it could be worse" it is entirely appropriate to respond by punching that person square in the mouth. One should then add, "that could have been worse, too" with a look that effectively communicates "and next time it very well might be."

That is comforting.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:30 PM
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Semi-pwned by togolosh, I see.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:32 PM
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I'd be hard pressed not to punch them in the face

and then ask them if they feel stronger yet.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:35 PM
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S'OK, Di. We can both punch them in the mouth. Those bastards deserve it, and God wouldn't give them anything they couldn't handle.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:35 PM
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Also, if it were true that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," then the work of my fellow defense attorneys would be a breeze. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, plaintiff would have you believe that my client injured him. In fact, my client made that plaintiff stronger. Frankly, he should be paying us!"

Alas, turns out that sometimes what doesn't kill you sometimes leaves you permanently disfigured and/or disabled. Which isn't quite as good as stronger.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:35 PM
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That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger with the aid of the appropriate cybernetics.

They always leave that part out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:36 PM
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Aw crap. 5 minutes late. Burritos are not a performance enhancing drug when it comes to commenting.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:36 PM
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Geez, semi-pwned by Po Mo now. I give up.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:37 PM
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Alas, turns out that sometimes what doesn't kill you sometimes leaves you permanently disfigured and/or disabled. Which isn't quite as good as stronger.

Yes, but it enables you to develop inner strength.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:39 PM
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Travel is great and all, but this way of treating the world primarily as a source of awesome experiences for you, first-worlder with a list, to accumulate, is gross.

Travel is overrated. The emphasis middle and upper-class people put on travel as a life goal is kinda sad. I meet well-off, privileged people who say travel is their favorite hobby, their big life goal, whatever, and I always think: your biggest goal in life is removing yourself from where you live and your daily life? Maybe you should change something then.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:39 PM
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Maybe you should travel more, PGD.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:40 PM
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I love nothing more than getting to know several new cities really intimately over a ten or eleven-day period. It really makes me feel cosmopolitan, a true citizen of the world.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:42 PM
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That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger with the aid of the appropriate cybernetics.

Yes, but given the inflation since 1974, that would cost about $26,800,000 today. I mean, my health insurance is good, but not that good.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:42 PM
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I snark, but my mom recently got to go to Slovenia and Italy for two or so weeks, and it looked fantastic and delicious.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:42 PM
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What doesn't kill you makes you snarkier, ben.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:43 PM
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Everything happens for a reason.

'God wants you DEAD.'

100 Things To Do Before You Die That Might Get You Killed

Better!

max
['100 Fun Ways to Cause Instant Certain Death!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:43 PM
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The best cheer-up-in-the-face-of-tragedy saying I ever heard was: "It's all OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end".

I think this is true -- depending on how you look at it, of course.

Anyway, I first heard this from a woman I met at a work lunch. A couple of weeks after I met her, she died alone in her apartment of a heart attack. That was the end, and I guess it was OK.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:44 PM
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73: That's, um... Huh.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:45 PM
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73 is pretty much "God did it for a reason" but without the reason or the agent. I suppose this is the koan version.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:48 PM
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I see 73 as a commentary on the fundamental human adaptive ability. All turbulent situations settle down eventually, and once they stabilize it's human nature to reach some state of "OK-ness" with them. Excluding, you know, being in prison or something.

Death must be OK because one is no longer experiencing any bad feelings. Sort of a neither here-nor-there type of thing.

However, I am a slightly morbid, melancholy person. Perhaps I should travel more or something.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:55 PM
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73 is like the long dark O'Henry story of the soul.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:01 PM
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All turbulent situations settle down eventually

Heat death of the universe, yes. Maximum entropy 'n all that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:01 PM
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Damn, 73's just dying to get ATMed.

I love this place for confirming my in all my grumbles. Like "Fuckin' experience whores" for instance.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:07 PM
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77 is awesome.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:07 PM
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79: what does ATMed mean?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:10 PM
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experiencing any bad feelings.
so does it mean that if one feels nothing one is dead, ok
'died happy' or this 'the ok end = death' concepts are like reconfirming my curiosity like what will be after that
i used to think that death is absolute bad and can't be described happy or ok, the state just before death could be that though


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:13 PM
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81: Atimpple.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:14 PM
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OK, "God has a plan" is what people say about other people's troubles and also allows easy dismissal of events in the world without thinking about them or feeling anything about them. I guess that I prefer to think that my weltanschauung does not cover everything.

PGD, do I have you confused with a different author of a travel book?

A big rip is currently believed to be more likely than a slow cooling for the end of the world, I think.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:14 PM
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A big rip is currently believed to be more likely than a slow cooling for the end of the world, I think.

The universe will end not with a bang, but a fart.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:15 PM
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PGD, do I have you confused with a different author of a travel book?

I'm confused. I've never authored a travel book, nor have I ever implied God has a plan. I don't believe in either travel guides or God, actually.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:21 PM
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Even though I'm familiar with multidimensionality in cosmology theories, the concept of a flat, infinite, expanding universe still boggles my mind.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:22 PM
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TRAVEL GUIDES BELIEVE IN YOU, WISEGUY.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:22 PM
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the concept of a flat, infinite, expanding universe still boggles my mind.

So I take it you've never driven across Kansas late at night?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:26 PM
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so does it mean that if one feels nothing one is dead, ok

Or totally disassociated, which works out about the same. On the other hand, at the root, the cause of death is always heart failure; so if the ticker is still banging, you're good to go.

'died happy' or this 'the ok end = death' concepts are like reconfirming my curiosity like what will be after that

How many people actually die happy? How would you tell? That is probably one of those things people say to make themselves feel better.

i used to think that death is absolute bad and can't be described happy or ok, the state just before death could be that though

So dying is like being really really high?

max
['The Unbearable White Lightness of Not Being.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:26 PM
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the cause of death is always heart failure

The heart keeps beating for a time after decapitation, doesn't it?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:29 PM
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I thought the cause of death was always lack of oxygen to the brain.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:33 PM
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89: I have, but I didn't think to look up. The emptiness is creepy enough in the daytime.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:34 PM
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I think the brain gets plenty of oxygen after decapitation.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:35 PM
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92: Unless you die by getting your head blown to tiny bits, I'd agree.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:36 PM
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94 is funny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:36 PM
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81: It's a local colloquialism for "That's what she said."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:37 PM
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I have, but I didn't think to look up. The emptiness is creepy enough in the daytime.

Makes me think of The Sheltering Sky


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:39 PM
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I'm finding the first and last halves of this article to be incongruous.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:40 PM
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89: I have, but I didn't think to look up. The emptiness is creepy enough in the daytime.

Oh no, it wasn't an allusion to the stars at all. It was in reference to the fact that, without the movement of the sun, there are no reference points whatsoever, and the drive feels, well, infinite.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:41 PM
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||

God, I'm glad that I don't have to fly today. It sucks that the FAA's computers aren't workign right.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:41 PM
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I'm relieved to report that Kansas is not, in fact, expanding.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:42 PM
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99: Some of the jokes were lame, but the bit about nickel shipments to China was hilarious.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:43 PM
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99: You clearly haven't done business in the Philippines.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:45 PM
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PGD, I thought I heard you discussing a book on Kojo Nnamdi maybe 6 months ago. But I can't find the book on Amazon to make this more specific or find your email. In any case, checklist travel is a drag, but not the only choice.

I didn't mean to imply that you thought one way or the other about god-- I had to respond to something real, so didn't see someone's students' excellent reply until I came back.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:45 PM
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100: Hmm. Maybe the drive has to be a bit longer? (And ideally alone?) It was only an hour or two we spent on the road. It takes that long just to go from building to building around there. Driving *across* Kansas (and Oklahoma, whose roads are terrible) was all during the day.

Incidentally, that's the furthest north I've ever been.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:47 PM
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99: Yeah, I've heard of starting 'em off with a joke, but more for oral presentations.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:47 PM
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108

You clearly haven't done business in the Philippines.

Does haggling with transsexual hookers count?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:48 PM
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100: They're just trying to soften the bad news, you know.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:51 PM
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110

109 -> 99.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:53 PM
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111

Works better to 108, I think.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 1:57 PM
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112

The heart keeps beating for a time after decapitation, doesn't it?

Ayup.

I thought the cause of death was always lack of oxygen to the brain.

That's the cause of brain death. You can live without most of your brain.

Quality of life is not being considered here.

I'm finding the first and last halves of this article to be incongruous.

That was the point, wasn't it?

max
['Plus, got to empty his joke file.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:00 PM
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112: Well, there's a wide range of views on the subject, of course, but perhaps one natural way of dividing them is between the views that consider the body being alive, and those that consider the person being conscious. The latter, I presume, would mainly be about the neocortex still functioning (with added points for cerebellum, midbrain, hindbrain, etc.) and the former about the rest of the body.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:05 PM
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You can live without most of your brain.

I miss Terry Schiavo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:05 PM
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There's half a brain down right there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:07 PM
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Someone should go dig up a link about that chicken that got its head cut off sloppily and lived for two years (and got shown around quite a bit) with just most of its hindbrain left intact. It was slightly stupider that a fully enheaded chicken.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:08 PM
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Freeman's relatives said he visited about half the places on his list before he died uncovered his ownmost, non-relational possibility, which was not to be outstripped, and which was certain.



Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:08 PM
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As ordered.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:09 PM
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As is well known*, we only use 10% of our brains, anyway.

*By all of us kids growing up way back when. Is this annoying factoid still "out there"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:10 PM
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I, internet search engine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:11 PM
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Hey JP! Your epidermis is showing!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:12 PM
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119: Snopes has a pretty good write-up on it. But it would be nice to know where it started.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:13 PM
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120, 121: Just pretend that I am dead. I've already done everything on *my* list.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:15 PM
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If I used all of my brain I could be TEN TIMES AS STUPID as I am now!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:15 PM
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Blame William James or Einstein.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:15 PM
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Just pretend that I am dead.

Holy shit, Stormcrow has internet access in the afterworld!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:17 PM
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There is a ratio of about 10 glial cells to 1 neuron in our brains. Glial cells play a distantly secondary role to neurons in cognition. According to Wikipedia and the end of that SCIAM article Sifu linked, it's possible this fact got distorted over time into the claim that we only use 10% of our brains.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:32 PM
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Yeah, but it's like really, really fucking slow and they filter all of the porn sites inbound and they have "unspeakable truth" scramblers on outbound traffic, so for instance I can't even tell you that %SFEP HSxx0$$# IDnstst ajas345.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:32 PM
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Sheep hax0rs aren't ajay45? Sounds OK to me.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:36 PM
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Glial cells play a distantly secondary role to neurons in cognition.

Nonetheless key.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:36 PM
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There is a ratio of about 10 glial cells to 1 neuron in our brains.

Perfect! I needed one more word problem about proportions that wasn't a chemistry problem, to round out this worksheet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:38 PM
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130: So key, in fact, one might say the system as a whole is irreducibly complex?

I.e., yes of course they're "key" in that stuff wouldn't work if you simply took them away, but they're not "key" in the sense that an expert in neurophisiology couldn't imagine an alternative evolutionary pathway in which they had been eliminated for one reason or another.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:42 PM
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133

"Death by tempting fate" sounds like "Death by chocolate".

Mmmm...tempting fate-flavored dessert.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:42 PM
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134

132.1: no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:46 PM
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They're key in that they're currently a necessary part of the brain, same as neurons. I can imagine an evolutionary pathway where our brains are made of tinker toys; so what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:47 PM
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134: Just prodding.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:47 PM
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135: I'm annoyed by the sloppy usage of "key".


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:48 PM
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"Key", like, "if you don't have them the brain doesn't work". How is that sloppy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:49 PM
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"Key", like, "if you don't have them the brain doesn't work". How is that sloppy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:49 PM
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Double-posting is a little sloppy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:50 PM
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112: Well, there's a wide range of views on the subject, of course, but perhaps one natural way of dividing them is between the views that consider the body being alive, and those that consider the person being conscious. The latter, I presume, would mainly be about the neocortex still functioning (with added points for cerebellum, midbrain, hindbrain, etc.) and the former about the rest of the body.

But read is wandering into the discussion of souls or something that performs a soul-like function. Further, large parts of the nervous system are not housed in the brain.

Way back whenski the Greeks (I think) [Ja!] considered the seat of the mind to be the liver, and that seems wrong now, but the modern idea of the brain as the sole seat of the mind/soul/whathaveyou is basically shorthand (like 'he died happy') and may or may not be true.

If I cut your head off and put it on some form of life support, are you still completely you, what with a large chunk of your nervous system missing? Maybe. What's "you"? Hell, to you (if you exist) I'm just an HTML symbols, or dots on phospher blinking LEDs or just an information wavefront.

Given the above, the only common point of failure across all mammals is heart failure. And that only gets me to the point where an organism is dead to me.

max
['I think there was already a thread about this which amounted to a great deal of verbage to conclusively say not very much.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:52 PM
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there was already a thread about this which amounted to a great deal of verbage to conclusively say not very much

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this statement can be used in reference to any Unfogged thread of the past two years without reducing its truth value.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:57 PM
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And that only gets me to the point where an organism is dead to me.

Like if they betray your brother to a rival gang.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 2:59 PM
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142: Some of them contain useful cooking tips!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:00 PM
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I miss Terry Schiavo.

And that only gets me to the point where onanism is dead to me.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:02 PM
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there was already a thread about this which amounted to a great deal of verbage to conclusively say not very much

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this statement can be used in reference to any Unfogged thread of the past two years without reducing its truth value.

Worth noting, there are Ben W-lfs-n posts for which that statement does not accurately describe the comments . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:05 PM
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139: Sloppy in that it doesn't quite accord with what I think of when I read the word--what I consider its meaning to be. I would say that when one's considering cognition, one's not really concerned *too* much too often with the blood cells that keep the brain fed with energy, or the glial cells keep the electrical impulses insulated from the cerebral fluid, among other things. And so I wouldn't call either blood cells or glial cells "key", since they don't meet what I consider the conditions for that word. I think I would use "key" more to indicate something that's conceptually important to understand the brain, and further something somewhat non-obvious required at some point to understand further. You seem to be using it more as a synonym of "necessary". But, you know, no harm done, we're still friends, here's your fine and let's move on.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:08 PM
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I can imagine an evolutionary pathway where our brains are made of tinker toys; so what?

I'm hoping that this imagination of yours isn't imagining something like Turing Machine functionalism young man.

At times like these, I'm reminded of George Black's last words to his son Conrad:

"Life is hell. Most people are bastards. And everything is bullshit"


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:20 PM
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So a lot of people have made good careers for themselves in the last few years by studying glia, perhaps chiefly because the sexy introductions to their papers all write themselves: "Glia have long been thought to be lame and boring. We're going to show that they're not!" Iconoclasm, and all that. And they have found that glia do surprisingly more than previously thought. Take this recent paper (Science subs. req.), for example.

The background is the primary visual cortical neurons famously fire a lot of action potentials when bars of light are oriented in one direction, and very few action potentials when those bars are oriented in the direction orthogonal to that direction; that is, they are "tuned" to an orientation. This paper shows that not only are the calcium levels (an assay of activity) of astrocytes—a type of glial cell—also orientation tuned, they are actually more tightly tuned (i.e., they respond over a narrower range of orientations, or their responses give more specific information about the stimulus) than are the adjacent neurons. So there's definitely usable information in the responses of these glia. The end of the paper cites other studies as having shown that glia can release glutamate (the main excitatory neurotransmitter), and in doing so modulate the form of postsynaptic potentials, and that they can influence synaptic strength.

So I'm not a glia specialist but I think we can say at this point that glia can have big effects on the nature of neural signals on fast timescales. Whether that makes them "key" or not for cognition I will not opine, since I'm not sure what that would mean and I don't know much about the neural basis of cognition anyway. (Does anyone?) But yeah, just wanted to say that glia can definitely signal.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:46 PM
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147: It seems to me that you're the one defining 'key' as 'necessary' as opposed 'to required for cognition in the brain as it currently exists', i.e., it's not key because it's not necessary under all possible conceptions of consciousness (which would be the point of imagining other evolutionary models.)

Not that I really care, but if we're handing out fines, I'ma tax 'em.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:50 PM
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147: I don't think it's at all settled that glial cells play no information role in cognition. But even if they don't, they're part of the works, and they're definitely important in brain development, which is key to understanding cognition, by my lights. Anyhoo.

148: multi-dimensional tinker toys made of flesh, pedant. Anyhow I wasn't, I was thinking of this, which, as fate would have it, turns out to not be made from tinkertoys at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:51 PM
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Pwned, but pwned by people talking about how I'm right, so that's fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:51 PM
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Shorter me: Glia can do cool stuff, neurons are probably still more important (they make muscles contract, after all), but really, AFAICT we're still a long ways away from being able to say what is key, and what is not, for cognition.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:53 PM
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Someone should go dig up a link about that chicken that got its head cut off sloppily and lived for two years (and got shown around quite a bit) with just most of its hindbrain left intact.

I think I remember reading about this as a kid, in my grandma's old Ripley's Believe it or Not book. Or at least a similar thing. The chicken lived for a while and ran around just as stupidly as chickens do.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:53 PM
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or the glial cells keep the electrical impulses insulated from the cerebral fluid,

Whenever I read stuff explaining in detail how body functions work I feel a little queasy/sick, thinking about all the fluids and junk sloshing around inside of me, and how it could all go wrong at any moment and then it would be extremely painful and disastrous, etc.

It's probably good I didn't go to medical school.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:54 PM
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All I was saying, really, is that if you don't have glial cells, your f'in' brain will not work. This is slightly less controversial than the wetness of water.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:54 PM
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156: Don't get stuck in the past Sifu.

150: Well, "necessary" in that sense is a different sense of necessary. Sifu's point was that glia are proximally necessary for cognitive functioning, my assertion was that "key" isn't appropriate for being proximally (and trivially) necessary. In 150 you're using necessary more as "distally necessary".


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:04 PM
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Oh, and I'm not contradicting that glia probably do slightly more than Wikipedia says they do.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:05 PM
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i started to take piracetam for my forgetfulness
should restrict a bit my coffee consumption


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:13 PM
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Piratecam? Sounds like a great website from 10 years ago.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:16 PM
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i hoped that the cognizance experts would say something pro or con of my self-treatment
piratecam is cute, itadaku


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:24 PM
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s


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:25 PM
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BTW, Fatman -- you're fairly new around here, right? I'd link to the fruit basket, but I can never find it, and it's not a pleasant fruit basket anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:28 PM
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159: Does it make your brain light up?


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:29 PM
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i thought Fatman and OFE are the same person


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:29 PM
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160: I experienced a mix of amazement and puzzlement upon first learning, ca. 1995, that I could see live images of a coffee pot OVER THE INTERNET!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:32 PM
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Anyhow I wasn't, I was thinking of this, which, as fate would have it, turns out to not be made from tinkertoys at all.

That's a cool thing. I wonder what it's thinking about.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:32 PM
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165: We really hope people aren't posting under two names, mostly. There's some slack for special circumstances, and occasional jokes are fine, but mostly it's strongly preferred that everyone post under one and only one name.

I'm sure Fatman isn't OFE, but it's perfectly possible he's been commenting for years and I just noticed over the last month or two.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:35 PM
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light up/ how? like the weight sensation or light light?
i don't feel anything different by now, hopefully in two weeks i'll be able to concentrate more or at least to not forget people's names like coworkers' or classmates'


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:36 PM
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168. What happened to the kitten?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:40 PM
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It turned to a dolphin for awhile. Um, that was a page that showed up when some error happened that I think only happened at an old host -- at our current host, the error that triggers the kitten page doesn't occur anymore. I think. Becks knows this stuff, as does Ben. I know nothing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:42 PM
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i think my eyelids are twitching


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 6:41 PM
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172: that's a good sign.

No, I dunno. I hear good things about piracetam. Keep us posted!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 6:42 PM
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superstitiously speaking if the upper eyelids twitch it's a good sign, if the lower - bad, like as if one is going to cry something
well, if you say good things about it, i'll continue to take it for a while


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 6:47 PM
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I don't know why you'd trust me, but cool. Keep us posted.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 6:48 PM
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if sifu says good things about a drug, you should definitely keep taking it for a while.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 4:44 AM
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I'm pretty sure Fatman is American.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:11 PM
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Yeah, he doesn't sound like you at all. I always feel weird about saying hi to new people, because I'm terrible about identifying people as new -- it's possible Fatman's been here longer than I have, and I just never noticed him before. But I think I've just been aware of him for a month or so, and he seems to be around enough to be eligible for the fruit basket.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:16 PM
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For some reason I had Fatman pegged as another of Ned's new pseuds.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:25 PM
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I think he arrived about 3 months ago, but I have a complete cloth ear for commenting style, so he could be Unf with a new pseud and I'd be none the wiser.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:26 PM
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Aw, geez, if it's Ned again I'm going to be really annoyed. I don't think it is, but I've got no ear for style either -- anonymous posting day confused me completely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:29 PM
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anonymous posting day confused me completely.

Which was why it was interesting. Also why it wasn't anonymous posting week, I suppose.


Posted by: Reilly A. Noid | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:34 PM
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