THR Web Features   /   March 4, 2016

The Hedgehog’s Array: March 4, 2016

Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Dissolving the Dead,” Graeme Bayliss

“Bio-cremation is the funeral industry–approved term for alkaline hydrolysis, a method of corpse disposal in which lye and water are heated under pressure, dissolving flesh and leaving only bone fragments and whatever surgical oddments the body contained. The process is often faster than traditional cremation and costs about the same, and the end product takes up less space than a standard burial.”

“The Pyrrhonian Skeptic,” Richard Marshall and Katja Maria Vogt

“In the end, I guess the fact that we want knowledge and find it valuable doesn’t go away, even if knowledge is elusive.”

“As a God Might Be,” Meghan O’Gieblyn

“Among the modern-day Gnostics, says Gray, are the techno-futurists who believe that technology will usher in a state of spiritual perfection and emancipate us from our mortal forms. Many have contributed to this dubious gospel, but its chief prophet is Ray Kurzweil, who for several decades has been heralding the day when technological enhancement will facilitate unlimited knowledge, transforming humanity into an immortal and essentially divine super-race.”

“1916: The funeral of the Master,” Philip Horne

“James’s niece Peggy arrived in the first week in January. Her impression, she later told Edel, was that her uncle did have lucid intervals, but that whenever he said something characteristically Jamesian such as ‘“Now I must rest from my sensibilities and discriminations,” the nurses thought he was delirious.“‘

“Both Sides, Now,” Sam Sacks

“There’s no arguing with any of this because no argument has been made in the first place. Scott positions himself on both poles of each proposition so that he’s everywhere and nowhere at once, the Schrödinger’s cat of critics.”