Terry Pratchett goes to Dignitas…

Significant in that it’s release also coincides with Terry’s decision to file for his own assisted death with the Dignitas organization, this is, by and large, the kind of documentary one would expect, given the sources involved. What makes it remarkable, however, is to show just how ultimately straight-forward and painless the procedure actually is.

At an hour, the video runs long (especially for youtube), but it’s worth viewing in it’s entirety simply because the narrative lends an impact to the conclusion that won’t be felt if one just fast-forwards to the end.

You are not so smart…

I’m fond of this blog, which tracks various kinds of cognitive disconnects. Here’s an example of something called ‘The Backfire Effect‘. Submitted for your inspection without comment, but I feel it captures the dynamic quite nicely.

Drama

Kurt Vonnegut offers a reductionist view of the human need to dramatize their lives.

Dear Hollywood…

The reason your sci-fi sucks?

You’re all on Macs. Final Draft on your MacBook. Twitter on your iPad. iTunes on your iPhone.

Would be a great, seamless utopia. EXCEPT YOU’RE LOST. ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Unless you’re Mark Sheppard, and if you’re not, you should hang on his every word.

Golden Age science fiction writers were all science geeks, though. Nowadays, you have to be a computer geek, too. It’s really no different than needing to learn how to handle a gun if you’re going to write a cop drama. Occasionally, you’ll catch examples of where people really get it — “Leverage” probably owes a whole hell of a lot to it’s art director, for example, but yeah — they come out a little more believable than CSI a lot of the time.

You need to put in the work, though. Get a PC, get some games, and troubleshoot your way through the installation and playing of them. THEN write about the FBI’s network infrastructure.

Why do people become stupid?

This is a question I wish I would have spent more time examining. I devoted an awful lot of time to figuring out how people should think — and almost no time at all into considering how they actually do, which bears very little resemblance to the former. In fact, I’ve found the latter so distasteful that I actually went to great lengths to avoid it.

Earlier today, I came across a post depicting a semi-redacted Facebook wall post in which the poster effectively said “Now call me racist, but I really hate people from country X” — which, as an example, is probably over-generalizing a bit much to be considered an example of true stupidity so much as general ignorance. But I started thinking about the factors likely behind the mistake.

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Self-esteem

When I was a kid, I was much more deeply affected by what other people thought of me than I am, now. At the time, I knew that a lot of people who at least claimed that they were pretty independent in this regard, but my own ‘forest for the trees’ worldview made me genuinely question whether anybody ever accomplished such a thing. It took many, many years of attempting to think my way out of this corner, and while I would not at all claim to be completely unaffected by what people tell me, now, it isn’t the end-all, be-all it once was.

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Death Grips

Start here.

I can’t say how good it is to find new music that I genuinely like. Be warned: this is not Barry Manilow. It’s somewhere between street-corner psychotic raving and skinny puppy.

Shot it up, get it hot, what
I know you know you said too much,
Did too much, way too much
Fuck that shit man that shit sucks

It’s raw enough to create the appearance of having no production values whatsoever and tight enough to slap you up side the head the instant you begin wondering if it’s just noise.