30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Violence Must be Considered Proportionally When Compared ...

In absolute numbers, of course, civilized societies are matchless in the destruction they have wreaked. But should we look at absolute numbers, or at relative numbers, calculated as a proportion of the populations? The choice confronts us with the moral imponderable of whether it is worse for 50 percent of a population of one hundred to be killed or 1 percent of a population of one billion. In one frame of mind, one could say that a person who is tortured or killed suffers to the same degree ...
Folksonomies: violence quantification
Folksonomies: violence quantification
  1  notes
 
22 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Man is Nothing Special

The power that produced Man when the monkey was not up to the mark, can produce a higher creature than Man if Man does not come up to the mark. What it means is that if Man is to be saved, Man must save himself. There seems no compelling reason why he should be saved. He is by no means an ideal creature. At his present best many of his ways are so unpleasant that they are unmentionable in polite society, and so painful that he is compelled to pretend that pain is often a good. Nature holds no...
Folksonomies: nature evolution purpose
Folksonomies: nature evolution purpose
  1  notes

If we fail, nature will move on to try other things.

30 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Discovery is the Greatest Possible Reward in Life

The indescribable pleasure—which pales the rest of life's joys—is abundant compensation for the investigator who endures the painful and persevering analytical work that precedes the appearance of the new truth, like the pain of childbirth. It is true to say that nothing for the scientific scholar is comparable to the things that he has discovered. Indeed, it would be difficult to find an investigator willing to exchange the paternity of a scientific conquest for all the gold on earth. An...
Folksonomies: wonder discovery
Folksonomies: wonder discovery
  1  notes

Any scientist who would trade it for all the gold in the world is working in the wrong profession.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 A Mastectomy Without Anesthesia

In September 1811 the Herschels’ old friend Fanny Burney, by then the married Madame d’Arblay, underwent an agonising operation for breast cancer without anaesthetic. It was carried out by an outstanding French military surgeon, Dominique Larrey, in Paris, and so successfully concluded that she lived for another twenty years. What is even more remarkable, Fanny Burney remained conscious throughout the entire operation, and subsequently wrote a detailed account of this experience, watching...
Folksonomies: surgery horror dark ages
Folksonomies: surgery horror dark ages
  1  notes

Fanny Burney's horrific account of undergoing surgery to have a breast removed.

15 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Controlling Pain with Meditation

In the study, a small group of healthy medical students attended four 20-minute training sessions on "mindfulness meditation" — a technique adapted from a Tibetan Buddhist form of meditation called samatha. It's all about acknowledging and letting go of distraction. "You are trying to sustain attention in the present moment — everything is momentary so you don't need to react," Zeidan explains. "What that does healthwise is it reduces the stress response. The feeling of pain is a ver...
Folksonomies: meditation pain
Folksonomies: meditation pain
  3  notes

Highlights from a study of meditation being used to control the sensation of pain.