Friday, December 08, 2006

Gone for a few more days...

One of my uncles died, and I am going to drive with my my mom down to Kansas for the funeral, and I should be back Wednesday. I'll be very surprised if I find any opportunities or inspiration to post. I will advertise this blog while I am on the road, in the usual fashion, so I can look forward to getting more exposure from outside Minnesota, as some small compensation to having to encounter the fact of mortality. I don't have many close family members left.

Despite the optimism of people like Ray Kurzweil and other champions of life extension, I imagine that all humans will have to face death some day. Technology will not conquer biology and disease, especially with the bulk of our resources being devoted to develop killing technologies or frivolously squandered to provide temporary material comforts, climate defying warmth in winter, cool air during the summer, and not instead towards very cautious examinations of human genes, cancers, disease.

Most people smoke, drink to much, fail to exercise, and generally do what they can to shorten life for themselves, it is unrealistic to do that and expect some salvation from technology. That being said, I am sometimes angry that that medical technology was so primitive in the 80's compared to now, and that the routine life extension of cardiac patients totally taken for granted today would have been nice to have had to squeeze more life , time, knowledge and direction/guidance out of my father.

As far as I know my uncle who died did not have kids. He had broken his hip in a rodeo accident in high school, and avoided Viet Nam, but his brothers served. He always seemed to me, when I was little, as slightly weird, cruel and unpredictable, and like another uncle (who was a Viet Nam vet), to always have a can of beer in his hand. (fixed this a bit to reflect something I learned in the car).

The only major thing that has happened since my last no-content post, that actually immediately requires thought and action to counter is the House passage of the deal to proliferate nuclear technology to India. Some enlightened U.S. Senator should realize the hazards of this, the false promises and likely very sketchy economic arguments that this is based on. It should be delayed until the next Congressional Session, so that we can hear full and open debate on the merits and hazards of this plan versus alternatives based on technology transfer with renewable fuels, wind, solar, etc. It seems to many to be a violation of the NPT, and so this really should require the debate and level of support (two-thirds majority) to pass that it would take a traety to ratify. I am tired of agreements supplanting treaties, where treaties are logically required.

Ariana Huffington's address to the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus was really quite inspiring, and I was impressed by the other speakers who opened up for her. I will hopefully remember enough of this to write about this later, but other bloggers were there and will have covered this to. I'll post links when I find them.

And there will soon be elections in Aceh, Indonesia.


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