“The race to optimize grief”

Mihika Agarwal writes for Vox on the rise of AI-assisted grief processing: In the spring of 2023, Sunshine Henle texted her mother. She asked where she had gone, told her that she missed her, and soon received a response: “Honey, I wish I could give you a definite answer, but what I do know is … Read more“The race to optimize grief”

Aubade, by Philip Larkin (Devs, 2020)

A mesmerizing scene from the penultimate episode of Devs, written and directed by Alex Garland. Set in the near-future, the series posits the creation of a quantum computer that can be used to experience any moment of the past or future, and which may bring about the end of reality according to natural law. The … Read moreAubade, by Philip Larkin (Devs, 2020)

“What Justifies a Life? In Memory of Liam McCarty”

Jared Morningstar writes for Medium in memoriam of his friend Liam, and on the intrinsic value of life in relation to death: To be is also to experience, and the conscious experience of human life is something of both irreducible individuality and incomparable richness. In merely experiencing life as ourselves — in all its complexity … Read more“What Justifies a Life? In Memory of Liam McCarty”

“This Halloween, Let’s Really Think About Death”

Elizabeth Bruenig writes for The Atlantic: Halloween is no approximation of the firsthand experience of death. But it does foreground the visceral fear of death (occasionally via viscera itself). And it offers an opportunity to engage playfully with the idea of dying, through community celebration rather than solemn contemplation—or jarring confrontations with violence in headlines … Read more“This Halloween, Let’s Really Think About Death”

“How Do I Make Sense of My Mother’s Decision to Die?”

Dr. Lindsay Ryan writes for The Atlantic: One doctor told us of a landscape architect who drank the fatal cocktail while exulting in her garden in full bloom. It sounded perfect—except that in all my years as a doctor, I’ve never seen a perfect death. Every time, there’s some flaw: physical discomfort, conversations left unfinished, … Read more“How Do I Make Sense of My Mother’s Decision to Die?”