Smartphone = crack pipe?

via Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones? – The New York Times

You could read this as “See Mr Whiteside, at least I’m not doing drugs”

OR

“I am hooked, and I don’t even know on what – just whatever this device pushes on me.”

It does make me think about Marx’s line: “Religion is the opiate of the masses” and how completely he underestimated technology.

Death, the West, and the Gita

via Have Your Wishes For Care Known Before A Health Crisis Strikes : Shots – Health News : NPR

Given our recent readings and discussions in the Gita I found this to be an interesting look at the way we currently think about and treat those close to death in our culture. We have discussed the role of dualism in Western thought and this seems like one of the consequences of a dualist way of thinking about death. What I wonder is if the thoughts expressed towards the end of this article are beginning to take on thinking that is similar to what Krishna expresses in the Gita.

And then there is the notion that any day you think about death – and by extension the life you have now – is a good day. Enjoy.

Death and Food

via In Many Species, a Family Dinner Means Something Else – The New York Times

As we move into the realm of other perspectives and other cultures, this seemed fairly timely. Here is a rather interesting and detailed look at cannibalism in both the non-human and the human world. It’a a fascinating read, the pictures are cool, and it ends with recipes.

Well, not really, but it does hint at other ways of thinking about the corporeal world we inhabit. Best if read right before dinner.

A banner day for ideas

I started this post by wanting to say something like, “Somedays there is a lot that strikes you and …” but then I thought – that isn’t really the case. For me teaching ToK has been a way to heighten my awareness of ideas, it is something I ma learning to do a better job at and as I practice, I find more and more stuff interesting. For example, these have struck me recently:

digital connectedness – good or bad? – more on the role of our digital devices in the world

Perceptions of Americans – we often think about Others but how about when the Other thinks about us?

Tibet-China-Buddhism – what is the role of a religion in politics? or, what is the role of the State in religion?

David Foster Wallace and geography – on this one I can’t help myself. A new way of looking at one of my favorite authors and my home state. All of which leads to the question: what is the role of place in the person we become? is place more or less significant than our language in shaping our thought?

Waiting – embedded in this fascinating look at waiting in line is the idea that yet again, we don’t know ourselves like we think we do.

See, and to think I thought it was just a Tuesday.