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Christmas eve update + musings on life and death - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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December 25th, 2006


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12:02 am - Christmas eve update + musings on life and death
teaotter and I are visiting my parents in northern Virginia. The visit goes well so far, and tomorrow should bring many presents and much good food. Today was nice, but also odd and sad, we visited a family friend who I have known since I was 6. Her husband (who I knew just as long) died a few months more than a year ago, and today we visited his grave in Arlington National Cemetery (he had been in the Air Force until he retired in the early 1970s, and worked with my dad in the Pentagon). Not someone I had much in common with, but a kind and funny man who (since I am an only child of two only children) was as much family to me growing up as anyone. Oddly, Becca noticed that very near his grave was another grave, containing the ashes of fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, and his wife Catherine Crook, who both died in 2000. I read quite a number of his books growing up and remember most fondly Lest Darkness Fall (a marvelous time-travel novel, where the protagonist goes back to ancient Rome and tinkers with history to make it a better and more wonderful place, which for me is the only sensible reason to travel to the past. The other is of course, was his wonderful Compleat Enchanter series, co-written with Fletcher Pratt. I am reminded again that the death of sentient beings is nothing more or less than a waste and an serious flaw that we should work to correct in the world. I do mot believe in the existence of any useful or hopeful afterlife, merely the endless and (from my PoV pointless) recycling of random personality fragments. This life is precious, and I wish all of you reading this a life that is good, wondrous, and as long as you wish. Blessings to all.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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[User Picture]
From:alobar
Date:December 25th, 2006 10:22 am (UTC)
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I had not realized Sprague was dead. I have not been involved with SF fandom over the last 20 or so years. Sprague was the first SF author I ever met and had a converstaion with, back in 1965.
[User Picture]
From:queerbychoice
Date:December 25th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
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I have a book by them! They co-authored a book about dinosaurs together, that I've had since childhood.
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From:kitten_goddess
Date:December 25th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
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Blessings to you too!

If immortality were to be had, how would you prevent overpopulation? Sentient beings would still reproduce and eventually overrun the planet. With mankind, you could impose mandatory sterliziation, but what about other beings?
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From:heron61
Date:December 25th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
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With mankind, you could impose mandatory sterliziation, but what about other beings?

As lives get longer and more people over the world lead more prosperous lives, people are having fewer children. As for other beings, with the exception of the larger whales and possibly elephants, I'm not certain our planet contains any other embodied sentient beings, and both of these sorts of animals are sufficiently rare that there would be little problem of overpopulation. If it becomes a problem, then communicating the necessity of keeping populations in check would obviously be needed. Also, some birthrate will be necessary, since nothing in this entropy-filled world is perfect or eternal, so sentients will still die, but my wish is for it to happen quite rarely and only after reasonable lifespans, like a few thousand or more years.

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