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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Immortality
Posted: March 24, 2020 at 5:01 am
I read with interest your editorial (The Guardian view on poetry for dark times: add Wordsworth to the stockpile, 16 March) the day after my wife and I had taken a walk on Hampstead Heath to have a break from our self-imposed isolation. On the slope in front of Kenwood House we came upon Wordsworths host of golden daffodils and a magnolia tree in full bloom. This was the spot where, 40 years ago, our daughters played as children. Recalling that this year is the 250th anniversary of Wordsworths birth, on returning home I penned this mock-Romantic poem, titled Far from the Madding Crowd, Lonely as a Cloud, for our daughters and granddaughters:
As we wandered far from the madding crowdWith Hardy thoughts and Worthy wordsAll at once appeared a golden cloudof daffodils upon the sward.The greenwood tree upon the slopewhere once two little children playedIn magnolia blossom now arrayedmay still recall their childhood games And perhaps, also their names.
Not until I read the editorial was I reminded of the romantic poets fascination with the mysterious intensity of childhood.Mike FaulknerLondon
Surely the most apposite lines of Wordsworths poetry for our era of climate crisis is the stanza from his Intimations of Immortality:
The Rainbow comes and goes, /And lovely is the Rose, / The Moon doth with delight, / Look round her when the heavens are bare, / Waters on a starry night, / Are beautiful and fair, / The sunshine is a glorious birth; / But yet I know, whereer I go, / That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
I often find myself muttering those lines these days as I contemplate the loss of variety in our natural world. Wordsworth didnt know the half of it.Isabella StoneSheffield
Like Suzanne Moore (How do we face coronavirus? Common decency is our only hope, 17 March), I too am rereading Camuss La Peste, which I studied for A-level. Ms Moore quotes the main character, Dr Rieux, as saying its not a question of heroism but a matter of common decency. Interestingly, the original French is honntet and, when asked what he means by that, Rieux replies: in my case it means doing my job. Like Camus noble character in his book, thats exactly what our NHS is doing for us against all odds.Anne AbbottBath
The rest is here:
Posted: at 5:01 am
Altered Carbon: Resleeved may be set hundreds of years before the events of Altered Carbon season 2, but thanks to the power of immortality the two are connected by a returning character. Tanaseda Hideki, the yakuza leader whom Takeshi Kovacs turned to for help in Altered Carbon season 2, also appears in Altered Carbon: Resleeved. Not only that, we get to see how the strong relationship between the two characters began.
Based on the books by Richard Morgan, Altered Carbon is set in a future where humans have discovered a way to digitize their minds and store them on disks called cortical stacks, which are inserted at the top of a spine. If a person's body is killed, their stack can be recovered and put into a new "sleeve," creating the potential for immortality. Altered Carbon: Resleeved is an anime feature spin-off of the live-action series, which follows Takeshi Kovacs in his early years as a mercenary for hire, who himself is on the run from the authorities.
Related:Every Returning Character In Altered Carbon: Resleeved
In Altered Carbon season 2, Takeshi reluctantly returns to his home planet, Harlan's World, and seeks out his most powerful contact there: Tanaseda Hideki. The head of the Tanaseda yakuza clan has a long history with Takeshi (seriously - they first met more than 280 years ago). When they meet again, Hideki explains to his great-grandson that Takeshi carried out a job for him after the fall of Stronghold, and that after Takeshi was caught and tortured by the Protectorate "in every way they knew how," he still never gave Hideki up. Significantly, Hideki once recited his family's death poem to Takeshi, making him perhaps the only person outside of the Tanaseda clan to know the poem.
In Altered Carbon: Resleeved, we get to see the first meeting between the two characters. Takeshi is carrying out a mission for Hideki, investigating his brother's death within the Mizumoto clan on Latimer, in exchange for Hideki using his influence on Harlan's World to wipe Takeshi's record there. Hideki suspects foul play within the Mizumoto clan that's somehow connected to their upcoming sacrificial ceremony, in which power is handed over to a new leader. By the end of Altered Carbon: Resleeved, Hideki discovers the terrible truth about what happened to his brother - thanks to Takeshi.
The end of Altered Carbon: Resleeved reveals Hideki's more conniving side, as he tells Takeshi that he hasn't even begun to make moves on wiping his records on Harlan's World. First, he wants Takeshi to carry out another mission for him. If viewer interest in Altered Carbon continues, Netflix may well produce more anime spin-offs as a follow-up to Resleeved, and perhaps even reveal the circumstances that led Hideki to recite his family's death poem for Takeshi.
More:When Altered Carbon: Resleeved Is Set In The Timeline
Every Ship In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's Finale
Hannah has been with Screen Rant since the heady days of 2013, starting out as a humble news writer and eventually clawing her way up the ladder through a series of Machiavellian schemes and betrayals. She's now a features writer and editor, covering the hottest topics in the world of nerddom from her home base in Oxford, UK.Hannah enjoys weird horror movies, weirder sci-fi movies, and also the movie adaptation of Need for Speed - the greatest video game movie of all time. She has lived and studied in New York and Toronto, but ultimately returned home so that she could get a decent cup of tea. Her hobbies include drawing, video games, long walks in the countryside, and wasting far too much time on Twitter.Speaking of which, you can follow Hannah online at @HSW3K
Here is the original post:
Posted: at 5:01 am
COVID-19 has temporarily changed many aspects of our lives, sparking a firestorm of criticism about the best way to deal with the current crisis. While there are plenty of claims and decisions to debate, Im especially interested in those involving matters of faith. Ill address four that Ive come across over the last several days.
Pain and suffering are part of life. And though some of the fiercest opponents of Christianity cite the problem of pain as a reason for their disbelief, the Christian religion best explains the suffering we experience on a daily basis. Believers, agnostics and atheistsnone of us are immune to the harsh realities of life brought about by our own brokenness.
Faith can certainly help us get through bad times, but it is not a guarantee of immortality in this present world. If it were, then the death rate for the human race would not be 100 percent. Therefore, its perfectly reasonable to claim that faith alone will not guarantee protection against the deadliness of COVID-19.
This one is particular to Catholics who believe in transubstantiation. That is, when the priest consecrates the bread and wine, the substance transforms (hence the word transubstantiate) into the real body and blood of Jesus. However, the accidents (or appearances) of the bread and wine dont change. And because these accidents remain, its possible for infectious particles to be present when Catholics receive the sacrament. In other words, one can get sick when receiving the body and blood of Jesus.
For those who might find this to be paradoxical, I would point to Jesus own death, which is itself both incredible and ordinary. It was incredible in the sense that the Son of Man died for our salvation, but ordinary in that Jesus death was complete after His body stopped functioning.
In the midst of chaos and panic, people look for answers. In the case of COVID-19, some have suggested (or thought) that this is Gods punishment of a sinful people. My first response to such a claim is, what evidence do you have? And I dont mean that dismissively. Im not ruling out the claim as a logical impossibility, but evidence needs to be offered in its favor.
It is true to say God permits everything to happen. However, it doesnt follow that God wills everything that has happened. And herein lies the distinction between Gods antecedent will and His consequent will. God wills that every person be saved. Theologians would say this is Gods antecedent will. Yet, as a consequence of our free will, we know that not everyone will be saved. We know God did not will the latter (2 Peter 3:9), but He did permit it in His decision to give us the gift of free will.
This same framework for thinking about Gods will can be applied to COVID-19. While it wasnt Gods antecedent will for the virus to spread, He allowed it as a consequence of our free will and fallen human natureboth of which were on display in China during the early part of the epidemic.
Moreover, as Jesus pointed out in John 9:3, sometimes a persons sin (or their parents sin) plays no role in a persons suffering, but God permits it so that His works may be manifest in the person who is suffering.
No, he didnt. What Pope Francis said is if you cant find a priest to go to confession, go to God. Thats a lot different than the many interpretations Ive seen on social media. And the reason the pope put it this way is very simple: the Sacrament of Confession is biblical (John 20:23). God gave us this amazing sacrament to grow closer to Him and to free ourselves from the burden of sin.
However, this doesnt mean God Himself is bound by the sacraments. As the Catholic Church teaches, it is possible for someone to make a perfect contrition and be forgiven of all sins if the person does not have recourse to sacramental confession.
Sacramental confession is the ordinary means by which our sins are forgiven. But, if the ordinary means are not available to us, God, being just, will take this into account at the end of our lives, which is why Pope Francis insisted on asking God for forgiveness in the absence of confession.
Posted: at 5:01 am
Ray Comfort, in his bookSpurgeon Gold: Pure and Refined, describes Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the 19th-century preacher who ministered in the streets of London during the cholera pandemic of 1854. Spurgeons words, says Mr. Comfort, were pure and refined. They were rhetorical and theological gold. Spurgeon, had the ability to take the hammer of eloquence and nail a particular truth, to pull back the veil of the eternal and give us a fleeting glance.
Mr. Comfort continues. Gold holds its market value. Heavens everlasting streets are paved with it Gold is not meant to sit on the shelf of a rich man. If it does, then it becomes worthless. Its real value will be seen in its being spent on the cause of the Kingdom.In other words, the gold of truth earns its value only through the spoken word and the active life of men of virtue and valor. The gold of integrity must be spent. It cannot be hoarded. It only earns its value if it is invested.
As COVID-19 hysteria sweeps across our nation, the tens of millions of us who still claim to be followers of Christ might do well to consider, not only these words from Ray Comfort, but also the words and actions of Charles Spurgeon of some 150 years past.
They are so good.
They are so faithful.
They are so pertinent and so prophetic.
They are gold.
One can almost hear Spurgeon bellowing from the podiums of New York City and Washington, D.C., as he did from his pulpit in Essex England Christians take heart! Be not afraid! Your Savior and your God, is with you! Be steadfast and immovable! Be strong and courageous! Be not afraid! Always abound in the work of the Lord!
If you listen carefully, this man, known as the Prince of Preachers, a man with a golden tongue and a refined soul, is shouting Never let a crisis go to waste. Run toward the storm, not away from it. Embrace this calamity. Have courage! This is your time. This is your destiny. This is your opportunity. Shine with the light of salvation and the love of your Redeemer. Be the Church, for Jesus, himself, has told you the gates of hell will not prevail against you! Put your trust in God, not in yourselves, and not in government. Believe in His sovereignty. Walk in His grace. March with confidence in your King!
But enough of the dross of my speculation. Hear the exact words of Spurgeon:
At first, I gave myself up with youthful ardor to the visitation of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the district by persons of all ranks and religions; but, soon, I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it.
I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when, as God would have it, my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemakers window on the Great Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore, in good bold handwriting, these words: Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying, in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm.
The Providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window, I gratefully acknowledge; and in the remembrance of its marvelous power, I adore the Lord my God.
Let me repeat Faith appropriated. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm!
This is gold. Pure gold. Refined gold.
Whether it be a bad market or a bad disease, lovers of Christ should be the first to show the world that our security is not in hand sanitizers but in our Savior.
Dont let this crisis go to waste! shouts Spurgeon.
Show the world what love, joy and peace, truly look like.
Show your neighbor, your city and your nation that even though we walk through dark valleys, fear has lost its victory and death has lost its sting.
Everett Piper, former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth (Regnery 2017).
Posted: at 5:01 am
The 1980s were a pivotal decade at the movies. The blockbuster era blossomed and franchises began to flourish. Comedies provoked tears, dramas provoked thought. There were voices in the corn, and absolutely no cats in America. The movies of the '80s were also eminently quotable, from the punchlines to the shocking third-act revelations and beyond. These '80s movie quotes are imprinted on the hearts and souls of '80s kids everywhere.
Faye Dunaway's performance as Joan Crawford, tyrannical movie star and mother in 1981's Mommie Dearest is one of the most terrifying and indelible screen performances ever. She tiptoes the line between over-the-top brilliance and ghoulish failure throughout. Her explosion of anger at her daughter for using wretchedly common wire hangers is a line that defined the careers of two actresses.
If you think the line is "Luke, I am your father," you need to seek out those Star Wars trilogy DVDs on your shelf and have another look. But no matter what the precise wording was, the revelation that the ultimate villain in the galaxy was the father of its greatest hero sent shockwaves through movie audiences. Every shocking twist at the end of a movie has been chasing Darth Vader's (James Earl Jones) paternity confession ever since.
Picking out just one line from the famously joke-dense Airplane is a nearly impossible task. Or it would be if Leslie Nielsen's immaculate deadpan delivery in response to the prompt "Surely you can't be serious!" didn't make this line stand head and shoulders above the rest.
What makes a line like "E.T. phone home" so great is how many different emotions it conjures up. The first time he says it, there's the wonder of this funny little alien creature talking. The second time he says itafter we all thought he was deadit's just the most thrilling moment, inspiring equal parts excitement and tears. Steven Spielberg's movie depends on the audience forming a bond with E.T., and that one line truly seals it.
The maternal panic and rage that Shirley MacLaine delivers as she berates the hospital staff to give her daughter (Debra Winger) painkillers while she's dying in the hospital runs counter to the film's reputation as a five-hanky weepie. In the expert hands of MacLaine (who won an Oscar for this performance), the moment is both funny and harrowing at the same time.
Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) finally stands up to the abusive Mister (Danny Glover) at the dinner table, holding a knife to his throat and cursing him. It's a long-awaited moment for Celie, as she takes back her power and promises nothing but ruin to the man who kept her down for so long.
Director James L. Brooks' comedic view of a changing TV news industryshifting from grubby substance to flashy styleis stuffed with great lines. But this one, which has Holly Hunter responding to a put-down with sincere self pity, is at once delightfully funny and smartly cutting at the same time.
Cher's absolute triumph culminated with an Academy Award, and also with the immortality of her signature line from the film. Cher fans, film fans, and even people who have never seen the movie know the sound of that slap, followed by her iconic "Snap out of it!" The poor, unsuspecting faces of wistful dreamers would never be safe again after Moonstruck.
Animation director Don Bluth was momentarily a rival to Disney in the late '80s with movies like An American Tail, which told the story of Russian Jews immigrating to the United States to escape the pogroms via the allegory of mice immigrating to the United States to escape the cats. On the boat crossing the ocean, Papa Mousekewitz (Nehemiah Persoff) sings of the promise of a golden, welcoming America, where they'll be finally safe from cats, and even the streets are paved with cheese.
Yes, yes, the words you probably think of first when you think of Field of Dreams are, "If you build it, he will come." Those words, spoken by an unseen voice to Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), inspire him to plow under his Iowa cornfield and build a baseball field where the spirits of dead (often scandal-plagued) baseball players can return and play again. But the moment of truth for the movie comes at the very end, when Ray spots one player and recognizes him as his father. With the final words of the movie, Ray musters up the courage to ask his dad to play catch. Cue the waterworks.
After Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) completes his adventures back in 1955 and does indeed return back to the future, he meets his old pal Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) one last time before the closing credits. Doc has been to the future, and when he returns, his trusty DeLorean has undergone some upgrades. Few '80s films sent audiences screaming for the sequel more reliably than Back to the Futurewith Doc and Marty and their flying car.
A child's wish made to an (admittedly creepy) isolated carnival game is what sets this 1988 Penny Marshall comedy into motion. When young Josh Baskin wakes up the morning after his wish, he's played by Tom Hanks, a kid in an adult's body. So many fun shenanigans follow, but it's that simple, plaintive, oh-so-relatable wish that lingers.
The most famous line in the Nora Ephron-penned, Rob Reiner-directed When Harry Met Sally is delivered not by Billy Crystal's softly chauvinistic Harry nor Meg Ryan's persnickety Sally. Instead, it comes from Reiner's mother, playing a customer in a diner scene whoafter Sally gets finished demonstrating an incredibly convincing performance of how a woman might fake pleasuresimply turns to her waiter and requests what Sally's having. And thus one of the great one-liners in all of film comedy was born.
The laugh-a-minute film version of the popular board game Clue featured a pitch-perfect castTim Curry, Lesley Ann Warren, Martin Mull, Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloydbut it was the great Madeline Kahn who sent the film into immortality with her stammering monologue about her white-hot hatred for Yvette the maid (Colleen Camp).
Character actor R. Lee Ermey spends the first half of Stanley Kubrick's nightmare vision of the Vietnam War barking a ludicrous string of orders and profane invective to the soldiers he's training. When he finally pushes one particular private (Vincent D'Onofrio) over the edge to the point where he's threatening armed retaliation, Ermey's recourse isn't to back down but to dial up the abuse. Not a great idea, as it turns out.
Glenn Close plays a woman who carries on an affair with a married Michael Douglas, only to have him back off and get distant on herwhich she responds to with violent obsession. Close's performance works hard to balance the "crazy ex-girlfriend" tropes; her delivery on the above quote is as much righteous as it is threatening.
Director Ivan Reitman's film about a quartet of spectral exterminators in 1980s New York culminates in a jailbreak of ghoulies from their containment facility. The result? Chaos, panic, the living communing with the dead, and, as Bill Murray's Peter Venkman hyperbolically sums it up, all laws of nature and reality upended. Dogs and cats! Together!
Odds are long that you'll meet someone who's seen Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and hasn't at least once attempted to pull off Jack Nicholson's signature delivery. The line comes when he's halfway through chopping down the bathroom door, trying to murder his wife and son. Not sure how Johnny Carson must've felt about the association.
The final voiceover monologue from Brian the brain (Anthony Michael Hall) is the perfect encapsulation of aggrieved teenage angst. These five disparate teens spend a Saturday afternoon in the school library and discover they all have common ground (mostly hating their parents!)and, in a final kiss-off to the principal, the lesson they learn is that adults will never truly understand them.
Pop culture's most famous truant teen takes time away from joy-riding around Chicago in his friend's dad's car and lip-synching in a parade to turn to the audience and offer a nickel's worth of free advice. You can thank Ferris (Matthew Broderick) for every "life comes at you fast" tweet you come across.
Just three little words that don't normally sound like a threat unless they're spoken by a six-foot-two wall of Austrian muscle who's just teleported in from the future on a merciless quest to murder a soon-to-be mom. Arnold Schwarzenegger's flat, emotionless affect was the perfect ominous delivery. And as a bonus, it turns out he was right, if five Terminator sequels and counting is any indication.
Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards as flyboy pals at their elite Navy training program are the central friendship of one of the biggest hits of the '80s. Together, they gave Top Gun exactly what it needed, besides its massive box-office haul and movie-star appeal: a catchphrase that would soar long past the end of the '80s, right into the danger zone (that's what we call the '90s).
The line has been imitated, duplicated, borrowed, riffed on, and parodied for decades now. Al Pacino as cocaine kingpin Tony Montana introduces his enemies to his "little friend," which is obviously his machine gun. Carnage, plus hundreds of dorm room posters, followed.
The repeated warning to young Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) in the enduring Christmas classic gets funnier every time it's repeated. All the bespectacled young boy wanted was an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot, range model air rifle. Too bad every adult in his lifeup to and including a mall Santatold him it was too dangerous.
With those words, Patrick Swayze rescues Jennifer Grey from her overprotective father and whisks her onto the dance floor to wow those uptight Catskills types with some expertly choreographed moves.
You might find it rather inconceivable that this is the most memorable line from The Princess Bride, a film practically overflowing with hilarious quotables. But Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya is brilliantly committed and ferocious as Inigo confronts the six-fingered man who slew his dad.
A line like this is only memorable if it's delivered in the perfect circumstance by the perfect character. In other words, a little girl (Heather O'Rourke) staring at static on the TVthe only one who knows that the malevolent spirits haunting the house are here to play. It's a supremely creepy moment in one of the decade's signature horror movies.
Jeff Goldblum steadily transforming into a human fly over the course of this David Cronenberg film is both disgusting and terrifying. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about which reaction is the appropriate one, because Ronnie (Geena Davis) says it straight outbe afraid.
Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for playing Gordon Gekko, avatar of 1980s corporate greed. The performance is of the decade's signature creations, and his monstrously simple ethosoften paraphrased as the even simpler "greed is good"has echoed through the subsequent years.
Ossie Davis speaks the title line of Spike Lee's incendiary 1989 film. The line is said as a piece of advice given to pizza-parlor employee Mookie (Lee), though its ironic simplicity only becomes apparent by the end of the movie.
Posted: at 5:00 am
THE same people who tell us that we cannot under any circumstances torture a terrorist to save the lives of 1,000 people, perhaps 10,000 innocent people, as torture fundamentally compromises our democratic values, are the same people who tell us we should shutthe entire country downover the coronavirus. So far, it has killed 56 people in the UK.
On Monday, the Prime Minister, perhaps having little choice given the pressure put on him by the hysterical media class, decided that yes, we will crash the entire British economy and restrict the liberty of freeborn citizens because of the coronavirus.
No doubt the schools will be closed, suspending the education of an entire generation of children.
There will be bailouts of industry after industry, the cost of which will be borne by that same next generation whose education we will destroy. It is not their fault the open border lunatics wouldnt hear of closing the border in January. Yet, as usual, they will pay the price.
This time last year, anyone who said we should restrict the freedom of movement on non-citizens over Britainsexternal borderswere painted as a bunch of fascists. Today, the British public have their free movement restricted to the greatest place on Earth their local pub.
If you want to know what a Godless, meek and weak society looks like, mark 2020 in your calendar. It was the year we knew Europe was done for. Country after country is put in lockdown, police arrest citizens who go to the shops, all because the big bad germs are coming to get them.
But people will die, I hear you shout. We all die. We are not entitled to immortality. Ill take my chances, as Id rather die as a freeborn citizen doing the things that freeborn citizens do, than cower like a dog in a kennel because the Government has ordered me to do so. I wont do it.
As France goes into lockdown, theyve stopped rebuilding Notre Dame the magnificent cathedral that went up in flames last year. Its a sign, I tell you, like the flames itself, its a sign. That cathedral was built by people of faith in the medieval times, times when a mouth ulcer could take you out. Today, they down tools over the flu.
It is coming up to 80 years since the Blitz and I keep hearing the Blitz spirit is coming back. Is this really what the British public did in 1940 squabble over toilet paper and stop going to the pub, when actual bombs were falling on their actual heads?
Is this what British manhood did say yes, Mr Prime Minister, whatever you say Mr Prime Minister, Ill hide in my bedroom for 14 days because I have a cough? Or did they get on the boats and bring those soldiers back from Dunkirk?
And they got on more boats a few years later and landed on the beaches in Normandy to be shot to pieces by German machine guns. What would that generation say now if they saw this healthy adults locked in their houses on governmental say-so? Its astonishing.
I dont think Im wrong on this. I do think this is a hysterical over-reaction to save the face of a socialised health system and bloated, decadent European continent that has been blowing the cash on IVF for the over-50s, sex-change operations and millions of abortions for decades. Today, the reckoning came. We knew it would come and now we have been found out.
So we scramble around to find cash for ventilators while we lock law-abiding citizens in their houses. Dont bother telling me we live in a liberal democracy any more, when people will willingly sacrifice their liberty off the backs of a whipped-up media class and Government scrambling to limit the damage, long after the best times for key decisions have been made.
RIP Europe, 312 2020.We had a good run.
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Posted: at 5:00 am
The extraordinary shutdown, if continued, will have harmful consequences that go far beyond the economy. A short period of decisive action to buy time to prepare may be prudent. But ongoing measures of mass mobilization are likely to do severe damage to our society.
The Wall Street Journal editorial Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown warns of the economic consequences of a prolonged lockdown. We could be heading toward a drastic decline in GDP. This will dislocate the lives of tens of millions and exact human costs, not just economic ones. Already, federal officials are gearing up to spend one trillion dollars. Central banks have committed nearly two trillion dollars to stabilize markets. These extraordinary measures indicate how perilous the situation has become.
As Warren Buffet says, when the tide goes out, you discover who has been swimming naked. He meant to capture an economic truth. When credit tightens in a down market, the indebted and improvident are exposed. But the quip holds true more broadly. The shutdown puts stress on our economic system, to be sure, but it can damage our political and social systems as well. In the end, the latter are more important.
Earlier in the week I wrote about Christian churches, especially the Catholic Church. Cancelling services and closing churches underlines the irrelevance of institutional Christianity in our technocratic age. We are bombarded by the gospel of perpetual youth won through diet and exercise (supplemented by the ersatz immortality of social media fame). If churches are darkened in the face of sickness and death, only TV talking heads, media pundits, and public health officials will speak to our anxieties and fears. This reinforces the secular proposition: Life in this world is the only thing that matters.
The docility of religious leaders to the cessation of public worship is stunning. It suggests that they more than half believe that secular proposition.
Other institutions are at risk. State-encouraged self-isolation and restrictions on public gatherings have paused institutional life. There are no Boy Scout meetings, no Little League practices, no Rotary Club or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Most book clubs are suspending their evening discussions, even though these small gatherings are permitted. Closed restaurants dissolve informal coffee klatches. Some institutions, organizations, and fellowships will rebound when the draconian limits on social life are lifted. But some will not. And the longer those limits last, the more will wither and fade away.
Earlier generations understood that institutions anchor our lives. Thats why German children went to school throughout World War II, even when their cities were being reduced to rubble. Thats why Boy Scouts conducted activities during the Spanish flu pandemic and churches were open. Weve lost this wisdom. In this time of crisis, when our need for these anchors is all the greater, our leaders have deliberately atomized millions of people.
Society is a living organism, not a machine that can be stopped and started at our convenience. A person who is hospitalized and must lie in bed loses function rapidly, which is why nurses push patients to get up and walk as soon as possible after sicknesses and operations. The same holds true for societies. If the shutdown continues for too long, we will lose social function.
Undoubtedly shelter in place will slow the spread of disease, but at what cost to the body politic? Beware public health officials who advise burning the village in order to get rid of the pestilence.
And beware those who pronounce that we should save lives at any cost. Thats a dangerous falsehood, one that leads to barbarism and slavery. There are many things more important than physical survivallove, honor, beauty, and faith. Anyone who believes that our earthly existence is worth preserving at any cost will accept slavery. As St. Paul teaches, he is already a slave, spiritually speaking.
The defining moments of the coming weeks and months will not be those of sickness and death, as much as those sad realities will anguish us. Modern history shows that epidemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters can take life, often on a vast scale (tens of millions died from the Spanish flu in 1918-19). Yet society goes on pretty much as before.
I worry that this will not be the case in 2020. Imbued with the illusion that, if we but muster our collective will, we can master nature and tame deathan illusion Pope Francis warned against in Laudato Siwe risk going mad. We are being seduced into adopting methods of total war to fight COVID-19. I fear that, if we continue down this path, our wartime mentality of mass mobilization will have untold consequences, many that we will deeply regret. Wars, not epidemics, turn the wheel of history.
R. R. Reno is editor ofFirst Things.
Posted: at 5:00 am
Westworld is undoubtedly one of the most complex shows of our time.With the show being on hiatus for almost two years, people are likely to need a refresher as to where we last left off. So, here we are, trying to do our best to recap the sophomore season of Westworld.
While the show is getting a soft reboot in the new season and will be branching out to the real world (or is it just another simulation?), we spent almost all of our time last season in the park. We saw an uprising of hosts which resulted in a brutal slaughter of both the hosts and humans. Some of the hosts made it to the Valley Beyond, aka The Sublime, a digital sanctuary for hosts where they can lead a peaceful life, free from human predators.
And while the season 2 finale saw Thandie Newtons Maeve who is probably the only host who can pose a threat to Dolores getting decommissioned in the end (we cant wait to see where the queen will find herself next), it was not before she made sure that her beloved daughter made it to the Valley.
Doloress dearly beloved, Teddy (James Marsden) and Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) also made it to the valley in the finale.
The end of Season 2 also saw Evan Rachel Woods Dolores escaping the park, as she entered the human world (or maybe just another simulation?) to endhuman dominance once and for all.
To escape, she disguised herself as a synthetic double of Tessa Thompsons Charlotte Hale, who was in charge of the park following Anthony Hopkins Fords death.
The real Charlotte Hale was already killed by Dolores herself a while ago. We also see Luke Hemsworths Ashley Stubbs, who was the head of the park security, helping her in her escape. The creators later revealed that Stubbs is a host created by Ford himself.
Dolores also managed to take five digitized balls with her, which contains the essence and psyches of some other hosts and could be used in different host bodies.
Dolores is using the android version of Hale as her insider within Delos, as she continues her role as an executive of the company. Although we still dont know who is inside her and we cannot wait to find out.
Jeffrey Wrights Bernard has always been conflicted between hosts and humans; after all, for so long, he thought that he was a human. During the season finale, we found out that Charlores killed Bernard, but later, he was brought back into the real world by Dolores. She explains that his presence is vital to her plan even though they will have to be enemies (seriously though??? What is up with that? We cant wait to find out.)
Ed Harriss The Man in Black, aka William, accidentally killed his daughter, who he thought was just another host and was a part of the mind game that Ford designed for him.
He also faced off against Dolores in the finale, which resulted in him injuring his hand severely and seriously hurting himself. As of now, he is the primary owner of the theme parks and is obsessed with the immortality project and the secrets that the company holds.
But intriguingly enough, in the post-credits scene, we saw him in a psychological prison just like the one where the younger William (Jimmi Simpson) used to interview Delos, being interviewed by a version of his daughter.
Meanwhile, we also found out that Delos real objective was to monitor the guests and collect their psyche data that is part of their larger and vital project, immortality itself.
Westworld Season 3 airs Sundays on HBO, Aaron Paul is the latest addition to the already star-studded cast of this superhit series.
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Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:59 am
IF YOURE under 40 reading this article, youre probably not going to die unless you get a nasty disease.
Those are the words of esteemed futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, who believes humans are very close to achieving immortality the ability to never die, reports The Sun.
Humans have been trying to find a way to dodge death for years.
Ancient Greek alchemists tried to create a philosophers stone that would let people live forever, but humans have yet to beat death.
However, Dr Pearson tells The Sun that there are a number of different ways we could live forever as long as you can make it to the year 2050.
If you kick the bucket before then, you might be part of the last generation of humans to die of old age.
METHOD #1: RENEWING YOUR BODY PARTS
There are quite a lot of people interested in living forever, explains Dr Pearson. There always has been, but the difference now is tech is improving so quickly, lots of people believe they can actually do it.
He reveals that one way to extend life would be to use biotechnologies and medicine to keep renewing the body, and rejuvenating it.
No one wants to live forever at 95 years old, but if you could rejuvenate the body to 29 or 30, you might want to do that.
This could be done in several ways, including genetic engineering that prevents (or reverses) the ageing of cells.
Alternatively, you could replace vital body organs with new parts.
Many scientists around the world are working on creating human organs using 3D printers loaded with living cells, which could one day make human organ donors redundant.
METHOD #2: LIVING IN ANDROID BODIES
But Dr Pearson thinks its much more likely that well extend our lives a different way: robots.
A long time before we get to fix our bodies and rejuvenate it every time we feel like, well be able to link our minds to the machine world so well, well effectively be living in the cloud, he explains.
The mind will basically be in the cloud, and be able to use any android that you feel like to inhabit the real world.
He says that in 50 years time, we might be able to hire an android anywhere in the world just like a hire car, and upload your consciousness into it.
If you wanted to spend the evening in Australia, going to the Sydney Opera House, you could use an android.
This means that even when your original bodies dies, youd still be able to use your digital mind stored on a computer and live in the world using highly realistic robot bodies.
The current state of sex dolls are starting to look quite human-like. Give them another 30 years of development and theyll be extremely human-like, Dr Pearson reveals.
You can take any android body and they will look human-like, and download whatever mind you want. You could share one with someone else, or have one yourself, or own dozens of them.
You might even have ones of different genders and different ages, some old, young, female, male there might be new genders by 2050 as well, so several other ones you can pick too.
He explains that well have to wait until around 2045, 2050 before well be able to create these strong brain-to-machine links, and says the cost will be very high initially.
The first people to use robot bodies to become immortal will be the rich, but then the price will gradually come down.
One day your body dies maybe you get hit by a bus or a nasty disease but it doesnt matter, because your mind will still be there. Youll be able to use an android body instead of the organic one you just lost.
For normal people on everyday salaries, its more likely that youll have to wait a little longer.
IMMORTALITY ON BRITAINS NHS
By 2060, people like you or I will be able to buy it, and by 2070 people in poor countries on modest incomes will be able to buy it.
Everyone will have a chance to have immortality, a sort of electronic immortality.
After 10, 15, 20 years, the price comes down to hundreds of pounds, rather than millions.
It could be provided as part of the NHS (National Health Service). You might be able to buy premium offerings on a private subscription, or you might get a basic presence on a network and be allowed to use an android body.
Dr Pearson says well have to limit the number of android bodies people can own, however.
You might be given one free on the NHS, but you might be limited to no more than two or three.
Rich people that can afford it would probably want to have loads of different bodies, and if your mind is online, theres nothing to stop them replicating it millions of times over.
You wouldnt want to live in a world where there are millions of Kardashians walking around, where they can afford to do it and nobody else can.
We would need to limit the number of bodies for environmental impact.
Imaging taking everybody in the UK. Once the economics allows everyone to have 10 bodies each, there would be 600 million people living here.
METHOD #3: LIVING IN A VIRTUAL WORLD
But if our minds are online, do we even need robot bodies? We could all just live in a computer simulation quite happily, according to Dr Pearson.
You could spend most of your time online in the virtual world, of course anywhere in the world on any computer.
If youre online all the time, you could have a fantastic life online. It would be all virtual, so you could have anything you want. 72 virgins if thats what drives you; all of that, because its totally imaginary.
You could make as much fun as you could possibly imagine online. You might still want to come into the real world.
You could link your mind to millions of other minds, and have unlimited intelligence, and be in multiple places at once.
THE CUT-OFF HOLDING ON FOR DEAR LIFE
The tricky bit is surviving until the technology becomes widely available.
By 2050, it will only really be for the rich and famous, Dr Pearson said.
Most people on middle-class incomes and reasonable working-class incomes can probably afford this in the 2060s. So anyone 90 or under by 2060.
If you were born sometime in 1970 onwards, that would make you 48 this year. So anybody under 50 has got a good chance of it, and anyone under 40 almost definitely will have access to this.
Most of your readers are probably going to live forever, Dr Pearson tells us.
This story first appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.
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Sports Perseverance leads Tres Tinkle to cusp of Oregon State immortality Kyle Hansen 9:38 AM – KPAX-TV
Posted: at 12:59 am
(Editor's note: This is the fourth in a four-part series on the Tinkle family. For Part 1 on Joslyn and Elle Tinkle, click the link here. For Part 2 on Lisa Tinkle, click here. For Part 3 on Wayne Tinkle, click here. )
CORVALLIS, OR - Wayne Tinkle remembers it like yesterday.
Back in 2016, the Oregon State Beavers were practicing the night before taking on the USC Trojans in Los Angeles, their second-to-last regular season game of the year.
Tinkle was drawing up the practice plan, and had a rebounding drill on the list. But for some reason, after writing it down, he crossed it off.
But then, he changed his mind again, and re-added the drill, knowing full well he didn't want his team to get soft on the boards.
"At the start of that practice, we're doing the drill, and (Tres Tinkle) went for a hard box out and his foot stepped on top of his teammate's and he went down," Wanye recalled. "I thought initially it was a tweak of the ankle and he gave me a look like something was wrong."
And it was. Upon a further X-ray, Tres found out he broke his foot on that drill, ending a promising true freshman season with the Beavers. He missed the final five games as OSU went on to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990.
A challenging and tearful ending to something the younger Tinkle had dreamed about his entire life.
It would be the first of numerous physical and emotional challenges Tres would be forced to overcome during his college basketball career. And now, four years later, Tinkle sits just 20 points away from breaking Gary Payton's all-time scoring record at OSU.
"It's been an awesome place to play and just mature as a person and develop. But things like the scoring title here are all great things to look back on and see that you had especially when you're passing a player like Gary Payton," Tinkle told MTN Sports. "That's very special but for me it's about winning and trying to turn the program around because I don't think there's really been a winning team since he was here in 30-plus years so just want to leave my legacy as my dad's first recruiting class just to get this place going in the right direction and to turn Oregon State into a winning program where it once was and then just kind of leave it at that."
Sitting in Gill Coliseum on Feb. 6, just two days before OSU topped rival Oregon, Tinkle took a moment to reflect on just how far he'd come in his basketball life.
He was a prep star almost from the start at Missoula Hellgate High School. As a sophomore in 2013, he led the Knights to a state championship, a game in which he knocked down a challenging layup just seconds before the buzzer to send the game into overtime. He ultimately became Hellgate's all-time leading scorer, until current Knight senior Rollie Worster surpassed him just a few weeks ago.
Then, he took his talents to Corvallis to play for his father. And though the injury derailed his freshman year, he was ready to take the Pac-12 by storm as a sophomore.
Until injury struck again.
After playing in the first six games, Tinkle broke his wrist and missed the rest of that season. It was then, he said he considered giving up the sport altogether.
"I remember being in the car with my mom and telling her I want to quit," Tinkle said. "Just whats the point of me putting everything I have into this game and then just getting hurt and not even playing. And shes always told me thats not me, thats not what our family is about.
"I think nothing worth having comes easy. So I just kind of kept my head down and just kept working and it's gotten me to some pretty unique places."
So he stuck with it, and achieved first-team All-Pac-12 honors the following season. He replicated that a year ago, and is on track for a third straight honor this season as well. Recently, he also broke OSU's record for consecutive games scoring in double digits as well.
"The biggest thing for me is just Montana tough is always in the back of my head so I just try to take what Ive done and hopefully be a platform for others to follow their dreams as well," Tres said.
But what has also has made Tinkle's career unique is just how long he's been under the microscope as a player. His father's head coaching career began in 2006 at Montana while his two older sisters, Joslyn and Elle, each were standout prep players themselves before embarking on college careers at Stanford and Gonzaga, respectively. His mother, Lisa, is in the Grizzly athletics hall of fame after a decorated career with the Lady Griz.
So as the youngest in such a prominent hoops family, expectations were high and the scrutiny close when he was the standout high school player whose father was the Grizzlies coach to now being the star who plays for his dad at a Power 5 university.
The one thing is he hasnt let the pressure get to him," Wayne said. "Hes still been very true to himself. Theres times when I know that its probably felt like that weight of the world on his shoulders. Hes very headstrong and that makes me proud because thats not a trait I had. Wish I had. But to see how hes kind of juggled being under the microscope or in the spotlight here on campus, being the head coaches kid, having the success hes had, and not letting it take away from who he really is really warms our heart.
I feel like Im a person that thrives off pressure," Tres added. "I love it because I love a challenge. I want to do what people say I cant do and prove them wrong and kind of make them eat their words. Its how Ive always been with sports or school. A puzzle, like I want to finish it. The biggest thing for me is just Montana tough is always in the back of my head so I just try to take what Ive done and hopefully be a platform for others to follow their dreams as well.
Basketball was never forced upon the Tinkle children and Tres even said Wayne wanted him to play baseball as a kid. But Tres ultimately fell in love with basketball and followed in the footsteps of his siblings and parents.
"Just seeing the success my sisters had I didn't want to be the weak link," Tres said. "So that's what really drove my work ethic. So never any pressure because I accepted the challenge and I knew what it took because I had some great role models."
But there were still challenges now for both Tinkle men who now had to find the delicate balance between a player and coach relationship to their normal father and son one. And there was growth to be had there, too.
"It just shows you what perseverance and resilience he's all about," Wayne said. "There were a lot of emotional nights. Even before the injuries just our relationship as player-coach, father-son. And we've had to work through that. He had to get a lot tougher and grow up and I had to learn that, if I was going to criticize him as much as everybody else, I had to praise him as much as I did the others and I wasn't doing that in the first couple of years."
"He saw dad's criticism coming from dad instead of a coach's aspect," Lisa added. "So getting through that was hard and they're in such a good place right now. Wayne is able to coach him hard and Tres is able to listen and take that coaching and use it as constructive criticism. They've both matured in different areas.
"Im really proud of him. Tres has never been one to shy away from hard work and I think thats what I admire about him most. Even as a young kid if he had a goal he would do anything he could do to achieve it and his expectations are high and he demands a lot of himself and he just never shies away from hard work so I feel like hes deserved everything hes gotten.
While his college career now winds to a close, it's not just bittersweet for Tres, but for those in his inner circle as well. Especially those who know just how challenging some of those moments were.
But in reflection, his parents gush with stories about his character and the kindness he showed to others as a kid. For his sisters, they said watching him mature as an adult and a player has been special to watch after seeing everything he's done and gone through to get to this point in his life.
Tinkle will likely find a career in basketball after the buzzer sounds in his final game with Oregon State, but that won't make that moment any less emotional for those who have been there every step of the way.
"We were just talking to somebody not too long ago about what the feeling is going to be like when its his last home game and the buzzer goes off," Elle said. "I think all of us get choked up. How are we figuring out how to get him a sixth year? Its going to be totally bittersweet because obviously we hope and were pretty confident that hell have a successful career maybe after this but just getting to be present at almost every single game over the past five years has been so special."
Im just glad that he learned everything from me," Joslyn added with a laugh. "Its been so awesome. Were all very supportive and a pretty tight-knit group and I think the coolest thing for both of us but for me is seeing him achieve all these accolades and accomplishments but knowing whats gone into it behind the scenes. Hes just worked his tail off. He is the hardest worker I know.
"Weve been really fortunate to have him for five years and seasons and to watch that bond with our dad and brother and all of us be present in all of those moments. Its been really, really special."
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