Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Changing? Yes. New? Not So Much.

From the BBC Future WORLD-CHANGING IDEAS SUMMIT website, we have this:

"On October 21, BBC FUTURE will present the first-ever WORLD-CHANGING IDEAS SUMMIT, which will showcase the power of bringing forward-thinking leaders together to build a better tomorrow."


Right off hand I'd say that the folks who bring us the TED conferences might argue that the BBC's WORLD-CHANGING IDEAS SUMMIT, may not be the first-ever.

Be that as it may, let's look at a few of the ideas which will be put forward by these "forward-thinking leaders".

Some of the topics which the event's "diverse community" will discuss include:

"Why We Need to Live On Other Planets"
"Why Everyone Needs a Drone"
"Robots Everywhere! Can’t Live with Them, Can’t Kill Them"
to list just three.

And let's not forget Rahm's older brother, Ezekiel J. Emanuel's topic, "Just Because We Can Live Longer Doesn't Mean We Should".

If you want to get up to speed on Emanuel's idea, you can read his recent article in The Atlantic, Why I Hope to Die at 75.

Unlike novelist Martin Amis, who advocates euthanasia booths for the elderly, Emanuel maintains that he is against euthanasia and says that he will not engage in euthanasia or suicide, but that he will simply give up any medical treatments after the age of 75.

He said, "I won’t actively end my life. But I won’t try to prolong it, either."

For Emanuel, "This means colonoscopies and other cancer-screening tests are out—and before 75",
and -
"After 75, if I develop cancer, I will refuse treatment. Similarly, no cardiac stress test. No pacemaker and certainly no implantable defibrillator. No heart-valve replacement or bypass surgery. If I develop emphysema or some similar disease that involves frequent exacerbations that would, normally, land me in the hospital, I will accept treatment to ameliorate the discomfort caused by the feeling of suffocation, but will refuse to be hauled off."

Basically, Emanuel believes that after a certain point, life just isn't worth the hassle. I can't understand how Emanuel can say with a straight face that his attitude won't lead to an increase in euthanasia or suicide.

For Emanuel, life just isn't worthwhile if it isn't on his terms.

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