I recall how actor and comedian Woody Allen, in writing about his metaphysical agnosticism and his struggles with religious, ethical, and metaphysical issue, noted that he did NOT aspire to being world's best-known agnostic (or atheist).
That self-deprecating spirit is very different from the militant and seemingly hostile atheism we see around.
But then, it might be occasioned by a sensitivity to what appear to be public professions of faith (typically INSIDE buildings, thanks to property protections in the name of "freedom of religion").
To me, it always seemed impossible to deny something we could not coherently define; so, in that sense, a clear statement of atheism seemed irrational, where agnosticism is not because we could describe, with growing bodies of analysis along with neurological and other evidence how certain kind of knowledge, how some kinds of knowledge may be impossible for us.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Halamka not worried by report linking microchips to tumors
Dr. John Halamka (left) is used to fielding questions about the radio frequency identification chip embedded in his arm, and not just when he sets off security alarms atHome Depot.
The chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,who had the microchip containing his medical data implanted in 2004, says he isn't worried by an Associated Press report that the US Food and Drug Administration ignored studies linking the chips to cancer in mice when it approved the devices.
"The chip is ceramic, surrounded by medical-grade glass that is, to my knowledge, invisible to the immune system," he said in an e-mail today. "Thus, I cannot imagine how a chip could induce tumors."
Halamka said he has talked to veterinarians who have implanted thousands of the chips into dogs and cats, with no side effects. He suspects that the studies of mice are not applicable to humans because mice are predisposed to developing tumors at the site of any injection.
"I've had no side effects or tumors," he said. "Should I ever develop any issues with my implanted chip, you'll be the first to know!"
Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 04:12 PM
Exploration of the World Wide Web by following one interesting link to another, usually with a definite objectiveand a planned search strategy. In comparison surfing is exploration definite in objective but not in strategy, andbrowsing is exploration without a definite objective or search strategy.
I think this headline hurts the cause. The issue is how one leader's personality works against the growth and gradual development in the general public's minds - on their own terms - of pro-vegan (and animal-friendly) personal and social values.
Attacking someone who isn't quite 'there' yet (even when he tries heroically) is IMHO not in the interest of the goals we're trying to seek, nor even in the spirit of the argument that is made here.
Gary is not a fascist; he is a law school professor who may not really listen very well. He instinctively wants the bully pulpit all the time, but he's a good-hearted man with a curious sense of humor (that I oddly enjoy in a Homer-Simpson-like way).
Let me share a Francionism:
"Folks often ask me, and surely they ask all of you, too, 'What do you eat as a vegan?'. For me it's very simple. Black coffee and cigarettes."
Now, I think that's all pretty awful and it perpetuates the socially endogenous image of the animal rights advocate as someone doing potentially wise things poorly in order to 'do it for the animals' in a self-sacrificing (and thus self-destructive') way that is both unwise and unhealthful.
But I think that our community is larger than our problems. I've watched Prof. Francione mature amazingly well during this past decade, and I cheer him on.
Newcomers are tempted to make cult figures out of any of us who are 'out there' in a public, effective, productive, diligent way. As Patrick Battuello argues, the 'movement' (which once was not a movement, but now is, I would argue) is not any one person, group, or perspective, but the deeper, broader theme, so that any of us can defer or back away from any of the tangential, side issues that are often co-packaged with vegan advocacy (and there ARE a multitude of confusing side 'social issues' which COULD be fundamental to any one vegan's personal veganism, multiplied by however millions of other vegans feel that way, but which may not always be inherent in every OTHER individual's 'personal veganism' (and thus, not inherent in 'veganism' itself.
I've been attending Friday evening contemplative evenings with vegan buffets and meditative talks long enough to appreciate the value of graciousness in the lives of vegans and vegetarians. Let us cultivate a spirit of generosity.
As Gary Francione himself has been noted saying of late:
In my graduate Contracts class, I was assigned to criticize a contract, basing all my arguments on the IRAC writing method.
Some claim that the IRAC method is based on answering questions based on identifiable fact patterns.
While others have criticized the IRAC writing method online, I found this site online, also.
It has a nice but short analysis, yet the LEEWS (method/program website) is offering us a sales pitch for the LEEWS method (and training in the LEEWS method). I won't cry COI, but note that legal analysis BEGINS with FACTS - a list of facts (observed or acknowledged facts), from which the ISSUE is discerned.
How would medical, scientific, or business reasoning proceed?
So 'fact patterns' are the observations from which one discerns relevant facts - facts relevant to the conversation or controversy.
However, we would hardly enjoy the ambiguity of discussing IRAC/Iraq in the 21st century if we terms this the FIRAC system, would we?
Ambiguity might be as fundamental as death and food and sexuality - for mentally active persons way up there on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
It's SO nice to know that World Vegan Day is ALSO (in America, at least) National Weatherization Day. Brrrrr, the 'weather' can become SO very cold. Think of all those farmed animals out there in the open, as well as in the heated factory farms, sweating from ambient heat and walking in their own excrement.
Celebrating National Weatherization Day
November 1, 2010
Today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the following statement on National Weatherization Day. The statement can be found on the Energy Blog.
Celebrating National Weatherization Day
Posted by Secretary Steven Chu on November 01, 2010 at 1:55 PM