Monday, June 25, 2007

Too rich, too thin

The skinny on summer fashion: these chicks are guaranteed to give you a bone!

Grave Matters

From a book on eco-friendly burials, via Marginal Revolution:

Over time, the typical ten-acre swatch of cemetery ground, for example, contains enough coffin wood to construct more than forty houses, nine hundred-plus tons of casket steel, and another twenty thousand tons of vault concrete. To that add a volume of formallin sufficient to fill a small backyard swimming pool and untold gallons of pesticide and weed killer to keep the gravehard preternaturally green.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Resistance is Futile

Those Japanese are at it again, bringing the world wonderful technology.

but News Alert! Robots' rights activist arrested. Good! Stop defending those job-thieving chrome-backs, you meat-traitor. They shouldn't even be in this country (Silly robot, inalienable rights are for humans!). Of course, if human-ness is a quantifiable concept, then perhaps we could draw up a point system to measure their value to us, and have that be commensurate with the levels of rights we give them. I mean, seriously, most of 'em can't even speak English. They're all "beep blip bloop beep" and shit. Go back to Mechs-ico, and lay off the tech-quila, 53ñ0r. We only want to take the best parts of you. You keep the scrap.

Really I'm of course just sad that robots don't die like people do. They don't have to wrestle with the meaning of death. BUT AT LEAST THEY BRING IT! (with their laser eyes, chest-missiles, and crushing power-claws!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

War: what is it good for?

Absolutely everything!

War is really the only mechanism the world has left for controlling the human population. Your mortality and your inability to get along with each other combine to limit the acceleration of your otherwise infinite growth.

Predators won't do it because you exterminate them. Disease won't do it because your medical technology is too clever. Starvation won't do it because you engineer efficient food systems. Resource depletion may not even do it because you're working on alternative energy sources. But one thing can always be counted on for sure - you'll find things to fight about.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. ~Bertrand Russell

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. ~Voltaire


Monday, June 4, 2007

Suicide Commando

Emile Durkheim's groundbreaking monograph, Suicide, established that phenomena once thought to be exclusively psychological and quintessentially individualistic could in fact be sociological in origin. What does this mean? Well, with a little well-planned social engineering, governments can get their suicide rates shooting through the roof! (of the mouth! (budum-bum!))

Suicide is a fundamental human right. This does not mean that it is morally desirable. It only means that society does not have the moral right to interfere. ~Thomas Szasz

Now, physician assisted suicide is another kettle of fish. If a shriveled old soul sans social utility is just sitting around suffering and sucking up air, then surely a society should interfere. More specifically, a Hemlock Society.

[The prosecutor] calls it a crime, a murder, a killing... this could never be a crime in any society which deems itself enlightened... I call it a medical service. You came to me and said, 'Please help me.' The aim was a final solution to incurable agony. ~ Dr. Jack Kevorkian

Plague of Babies

There are too many people in the world. For realz. If we're not going to eat them, having more babies will just add to the problem. Seriously. Death is the best option for most embryos. Besides, there may not even be a limbo anymore (thanks, Ratzinger!) so they'll basically get a straight shot to Heaven - a heck of a lot better deal than the tribulations the rest of you mortals have to go through in your vale of tears. Oh yeah, and women should have, like, rights and stuff, to control their own bodies, I guess. It's like William Harrison says. And hey, if you're a woman, you'll do better in your career without a kid anyway! According to Cornell sociologist Shelly Correll, childless women are twice as likely to receive call-backs for job interviews. But mainly, MORE DEATH!!!

Here's some info on the abortion controversy.

Childless-by-choice info here, here, here and here.

These fools feel that "the [over-population concerned] extremists are only drawing out the underlying philosophy of environmentalism to make it more explicit... If you hold that human life is worth less than the natural order, then you will have less respect for its sanctity. The ecological outlook is an expression of middle-class rage at the masses... Environmentalism, like all political discourses that take shortage as their starting point, will tend towards misanthropic solutions. Any movement that begins with the view that mankind must be curtailed to reduce the pressure on the environment will have to start thinking how it will select those who must make sacrifices," and then they self-righteously admit to being anthropocentric speciesists.

And in all seriousness, ecologist Garret Hardin (the "Tragedy of the Commons" dude) concisely makes my point thusly:

Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children - but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born.

Feministe points out that pro-choicers are like, "here, have some contraceptives to prevent having to have abortions in the first place," while idiotic pro-lifers are like, "f*ck that!"

And, less seriously, some posthumous humor (take that, Crypt Keeper!). Stop reading now if you are offended by tasteless jokes...

Why did the baby fall out of the tree?
Because he was dead!

Why did the dead baby cross the road?
It was stapled to the chicken.

What's the difference between a bucket of gravel and a bucket of baby guts?
You can't gargle gravel.

How do you make a dead baby float?
Take your foot off of it's head.
and of course...

What's the difference between a Cadillac and a pile of dead babies?
I don't have a Cadillac in my garage.
Thank you, thank you, I'm here all night.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Capital Idea

Capital punishment. So many romantic images: the chair, the gallows, the gas chamber, burning at the stake, crucifixion, stoning, the firing squad, lethal injection, the guillotine.

It can be a tricky issue. On the surface, it seems like a freebie: state-sanctioned homicide, clean and orderly, score-one-for-the-good-guys. However, supporting the death penalty is often at best a zero-sum proposition because it is generally reserved for murderers, who would obviously be more productive in terms of the death rate were they to live. These cases should be dismissed. Other types of criminals and dissidents are certainly fair game for society to glut its taste for vengeance on. While the process may be expensive in the legal environment of developed democracies, at least there is no opportunity cost of future death prevention, for they are of no consequence to the death rate except in their own demise.
Capital punishment is a good way of making miscarriages of justice irrevocable while reducing murder rates not at all. ~C.D. Hare. Awesome!


Friday, June 1, 2007


Hi, and welcome to Pro-Thana, a blog and web-portal dedicated to the promotion death. I take inspiration from a combination of Pro-Ana, the anorexia support group movement, and Thanatos, the Greek god of death.