Monday, March 28, 2005

Email to K

Here's an excerpt from an email to a friend of mine concerning Teri Schiavo.

Based on the videos of Teri, I'd say she is still a "sentient" being. She could remember stuff. If you have seen "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" you might be led to the conclusion that, in such a state, all we are is a collection of memories. If the memories are still there, then perhaps the person is.

I think a lot of the polls on this are biased to state that people would want her to die. What I don't get is why that Dr. Kevorkian was such a villain. Somehow we are able to delineate and rationalize the pulling of a feeding tube and assisted suicide. (by "we" I mean the court of public opinion). It's not okay for a person to make the conscious choice to have assistance in their own suicide. The case being made here seems to be that Teri is incapable of making her own choices, so others have the right to do it for her. I find the latter to be stranger than the former.

Some things that help me make sense of it are:

* The parents want to see her live, but the husband doesn't. Put yourself in his shoes. He wants her dead so he can move on with life. But that's his choice, and by law, as husband, he has the right to decide on her behalf, even if I disagree with him and think he's a creep.

* A lot of the people who claim to be supporting her are, to an extent, advancing their own agenda.

* This decision will prove convenient to allow governments off the hook for keeping "useless" people alive in hospitals. I mean, you know Paul Boothe's claim that health expenditures are increasing at a rate twice as fast as the real economy's ability to grow, so either taxes will go up or we make cuts to other areas. Economics of the future will require that the euthanasia (assisted suicide or whatever) will soon be tendered as a means of stemming the expenditures of keeping people in this state alive. It's disturbing. But then again, if this were the 50's, people like Teri would not have survived for the past 15 years. Assisted suicide in Canada is inevitable (or at least a debate). The age dependency ratio indicates that this is the case.

Now, back to my shite-pile of work.

Paper topics:

Transport: Critter crossings (wildlife highway crossings)

Econometrics: Gender and telecom

Doug West IO: Airline mergers

McMillan Pub Exp: ??

I've started a blog with nothing but command files at

If you have any old command and data files, email them to me.