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Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don’t define you
In 1991, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was, he says, “a drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol.” Jailed for second degree murder, that could very well have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was the beginning of a years-long journey to redemption, one with humbling and sobering lessons for us all.
Kevin Briggs: The bridge between suicide and life
Thomas W. Laqueur: Why Do We Care for the Dead?
When his friends asked Diogenes the Cynic what he wanted done with his body after he died, he told them that they should throw it over the wall to be eaten by the beasts and birds. And why not? It was no longer his; he would not notice.
For more than 2,000 years, conversations in the West—and elsewhere—have acknowledged that Diogenes had a point. And yet we as a species care for our dead. This lecture by Thomas W. Laqueur offers an answer for why this should be the case from both a general anthropological perspective and from the vantage of particular historical cases.
The living need the dead more than the dead need the living.
Thomas W. Laqueur is a professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley.
Stephen Cave: The 4 stories we tell ourselves about death – Lugen Family Office
Philosopher Stephen Cave begins with a dark but compelling question: When did you first realize you were going to die? And even more interestingly: Why do we humans so often resist the inevitability of death? In a fascinating talk Cave explores four narratives — common across civilizations — that we tell ourselves “in order to help us manage the terror of death.”
Philosopher Stephen Cave wants to know: Why is humanity so obsessed with living forever?
Why You Should Listen To Him?
Stephen Cave is a writer and philosopher who is obsessed with our obsession with immortality. In 2012 he published Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization, an inquiry into humanity’s rather irrational resistance to the inevitability of death. Cave moves across time and history’s major civilizations and religions to explore just what drives this instinct — and what that means for the future. Cave writes for The Financial Times and contributes toThe New York Times, The Guardian and Wired.
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.
Judy MacDonald Johnston: Prepare for a good end of life
Thinking about death is frightening, but planning ahead is practical and leaves more room for peace of mind in our final days. In a solemn, thoughtful talk, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares 5 practices for planning for a good end of life.
By day, Judy MacDonald develops children’s reading programs. By night, she helps others maintain their quality of life as they near death.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Judy MacDonald Johnston is the Publisher and Cofounder of Blue Lake Children’s Publishing, which develops educational reading tools for preschoolers through a program called the Tessy and Tab Reading Club. Johnston’s credo, “love words early,” and her focus on the earliest years of life, is an interesting foil for her other passion: Planning for end of life. Johnston’s side project, Good [End of] Life, deals not with happy babies decoding symbols, but with a much more morbid topic: Death. Good [End of] Life is a set of online worksheets and practices that aim to help deal with difficult questions — like who should speak for you if you cannot speak, and whether to fill out a do-not-resuscitate form — before it’s too late.
In the past 15 years alone Johnston has founded two other companies in addition to Blue Lake Children’s Publishing: PrintPaks, a children’s software company, and Kibu, a social networking site for teenage girls. Previously Johnston was a Worldwide Project Marketing Manager at Hewlett Packard.
“[Johnston]’s leveraged every single advantage she’s been given into creating a hundred times that for others, never holding tight to wisdom or resources, but investing them where they’ll do the most good next.” from 50-for-50
How Michael Jackson’s death unfolded
CNN’s Randi Kaye reports on the death of entertainer Michael Jackson and the ensuing investigation.
Every man dies, not every man really lives
Stewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?
Throughout humankind’s history, we’ve driven species after species extinct: the passenger pigeon, the Eastern cougar, the dodo … But now, says Stewart Brand, we have the technology (and the biology) to bring back species that humanity wiped out. So — should we? Which ones? He asks a big question whose answer is closer than you may think.
Since the counterculture ’60s, Stewart Brand has been creating our internet-worked world. Now, with biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, Stewart Brand has a bold new plan.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
With biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, the revival of extinct species is becoming possible. Stewart Brand plans to not only bring species back but restore them to the wild.
Brand is already a legend in the tech industry for things he’s created: the Whole Earth Catalog, The WELL, the Global Business Network, the Long Now Foundation, and the notion that “information wants to be free.” Now Brand, a lifelong environmentalist, wants to re-create — or “de-extinct” — a few animals that’ve disappeared from the planet.
Granted, resurrecting the woolly mammoth using ancient DNA may sound like mad science. But Brand’s Revive and Restore project has an entirely rational goal: to learn what causes extinctions so we can protect currently endangered species, preserve genetic and biological diversity, repair depleted ecosystems, and essentially “undo harm that humans have caused in the past.”