Thursday, March 14, 2019

‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’

When you live in a house of mirrors, the only way to stay alive is to believe that every reflection is real.

'Let Us Read Only the Dead Men'

Another happy convergence: While reading G.K. Chesterton’s “History Versus the Historians” (Lunacy and Letters, 1958), I came upon this:

“Let us blot out in every memoir every critical note and every modern paragraph. For a time let us cease altogether to read the living men on their dead topics. Let us read only the dead men on their living topics.”

‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’ – interview with Umberto Eco

SPIEGEL Interview with Umberto Eco ‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’ – “Italian novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco, who is curating a new exhibition at the Louvre in Paris, talks to SPIEGEL about the place lists hold in the history of culture, the ways we try to avoid thinking about death and why Google is dangerous for young people…”

What do almost all ancient myths and folktales have in common? They deal with danger and death and offer highly pragmatic lessons  

Stalin, we now know, died on this date, March 5, in 1953, and not soon enough.

DEATH FLAT PANELS: Doctor tells patient he doesn’t have long to live through hospital robot’s video screen

 The idea of a "good death" is commonplace, as if death were something at which we succeed or fail, something to achieve. Better to think of a "fitting death "

When Ernest Quintana went into Kaiser Permanente Medical Center’s emergency department in Fremont [California] on Sunday, his wife of 58 years, his son, daughter and  granddaughter all worried about the 79-year-old man.
They say it was hard enough to learn that his lungs were failing, but they couldn’t believe it when a hospital robot entered his room and they got the news through a doctor on the robot’s video screen.
Quintana’s granddaughter was in the ICU by his side, and she said at first the nurse came in.
“The nurse came around and said the doctor was going to make rounds and I thought ‘OK, no big deal, I’m here,’ ” said Annalisia Wilharm.
A short time later, a robot arrived in the room. A doctor appeared on a video screen. Wilharm took cell phone video so she could show her mother and grandmother the test results.
“When I took the video, I didn’t realize all of this was going to unfold,” she said

One more thought about the Dems and FOX

The biggest media story of last week bled into the weekend and likely will continue to be a newsmaker for some time. That’s the Democratic National Committee’s decision to exclude Fox News from its presidential candidate debates, something I weighed in on with two columns last week on Thursday and Friday.

The topic made for a meaty segment during CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday that magnified the fact that this is not an either/or discussion. It’s not just about those who see Fox News as a legitimate news organization that should host a debate disagreeing with those who see Fox News as an untrustworthy mouthpiece for President Donald Trump.

There is actually a third segment out there: those who might think Fox News can be considered Trump’s “state-run TV,” yet still should be included in the debates by the Democrats. Veteran journalist Jeff Greenfield said the Democrats missed an opportunity to go on Fox News and call out the network for the misinformation it spreads.

“One of things that’s different from 2016 (is) Democrats have learned who they are not reaching that they used to reach,” Greenfield said on “Reliable Sources.” “Not everybody at Fox is a Kool-Aid-drinking Trumpist. There are lot of marginal voters there. And if you want to win an election, you should be able to make your arguments beyond on your base. I think the Democrats are already in a little bit of trouble because they are so anxious to appeal to their base.

“It has nothing to do with respecting Fox as a real news institution. This is a forum that would have redounded to their political benefit.”

Mark Bowler-Smith, Huigenia Ostik, On the meaning of 'Tax'