Ain't it neat?

Not all my posts are gonna be like this, but it's Christmas and I just finished finals so I've been away from the interwebs for a while. I'll come back one of these days and write something actually interesting. But I'm still alive.

For now, I hope you guys like this video. NY Loose is a band that people forgot about all too quickly, and sports a hard, grungy rock sound that's just badass. And I always like a girl that knows how to rock a song. By the way, the audio isn't the greatest on this clip; if you want to hear the real song, check out the following version (or you could try syncing the video/audio if it means that much to you).

Have a good new year.

Soft, easy winter

Another music video; I'll have more substantial posts later (though you might want to check out my last post, btw)... but for now, the anthem to my Phys Chem studies. Kidneythieves with "Serene Dream".

... Don't let the cover fool you, this is a really sweet song.

Patient's death; a right or a privilege?

Here's a hypothetical situation:

You are the primary physician for the care of 60-year-old Patient. Patient, though approaching his old years, has remained very physically active and enjoys playing tennis and golf. In fact, since he has retired, most of the time he spends with friends involves these activities, including a fair amount of the time he spends with his wife.

On a dark and stormy night, Patient is struck by a car run off-road. his neck is broken and, though he is rushed to the hospital, it quickly becomes clear that he will be permanently quadriplegic. Fortunately, his life is saved; however, he will likely depend on the use of an artificial respirator for the rest of his life.

Gaining consciousness a few days after the incident, Patient is distraught over his condition. Having never wished for a life like this, he demands to be put out of his misery. His wife states that, if he were asked before the incident whether or not to have his life maintained via respirator, he most likely would have said no.

You ask a psychiatrist to evaluate Patient, and he decides that Patient is likely suffering from post-traumatic distress and depression. He tells you that 75% of people in Patient's position repeal their wish for death within six months of the incident; in other words, there is a 75% chance that, within six months, Patient will decide that he no longer wishes to die. This does not include patients that die of natural causes during those six months.

As Patient's primary physician, you have four possible choices:

1)Participate in euthanasia/assisted suicide, "put Patient out of his misery"
2)Respect his wishes for death and turn off the artificial respirator
3)Reject his wishes for death and maintain artificial respiration; reevaluate your decision after six months
4)Reject his wishes for death indefinitely.

Assume that no action will get your ass sued/arrested.

Wat do?

Collide-- "Euphoria"

Another great song, one I just discovered a few days ago.

I'll make a more legitimate post again soon, after I finish a physical chemistry final.

Not sure how I feel about the video, but the song is great.

A quick video y'all should watch

This is How to Destroy Angels coming out with "The Space In Between."

If you like this then I like you too.

He couldn't believe how easy it was

Here's a question that seems all too simple, but really isn't: why is it wrong to kill someone? What is bad about death?

(Let me just put this out there right away, I don't think murder is right, okay? But "killing" doesn't always equate to murder, and that's what I want to talk about here)

The conventional moral idea, one of the most stoic ones we humans have got, is that killing is wrong. But what is it about the act that gives us this idea?

The first possible reason is that the act of killing is inhuman and thus wrong; i.e. the problem lies in the means. This would imply that the intentions of our actions have bearing on whether or not those actions are right or wrong. Law currently reflects this pretty heavily-- if you were to reject this principle, then manslaughter would receive equal punishment to murder. IMO, this principle points to the consideration of a higher moral truth.

The second possible reason is that the act of ending someone else's life is wrong-- and what's wrong about this?-- a proponent of this idea would say that the killer is robbing the victim of his future, which is a personal commodity of worth. In other words, the amount of wrongness involved in killing someone is proportional to the value of the life s/he would have had were s/he still alive. This makes makes intuitive sense; most people would agree they'd feel worse about a child's death than an old man's for example. This principle points less to a higher moral truth and more to viewing life as personal property.

In the standard case of asshole X killing victim Y, we can see that both of these principles kind of work together-- you could say that asshole X is an asshole because he killed a guy AND because he stopped the guy from eating his next birthday cake.

But things get a little more complicated when  you consider other kinds of killing. Think of abortion; how does that fit into the models above? What about suicide? Further yet, what about assisted suicide?

This topic is more broad than I gave it credit for when I started writing. I'll probably touch each of the above cases in separate posts, but I have to go take care of some cells.

In temporary closing I'll complete what this title was referring to.

He couldn't believe how easy it was
To put the gun into his face
... So much blood for such a tiny little hole.
Problems do have solutions, you know.
A lifetime of fucking things up fixed
In one determined flash...

Everything's blue.
Everything's blue in this world,
The deepest shade of mushroom blue.

All fuzzy...
Spilling out of my head

~Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral

K, Imma get started now

I'll introduce myself first. Then maybe I'll actually look around and find some blogs to look at. I'm obviously new to this deal, and like I said, most of my time is occupied by work anyway...

I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin, majoring in Biochemistry and Psychology. My reason for picking those two? I love psychology and have a pretty strong personal drive to alleviate some of the psychopathologies that affect us humans. There's something inherently interesting in studying the science of thought; it really only feels like introspective logic, in that anyone could probably independently learn everything we've achieved so far in psychology if he really just looked into his own nature honestly. However, any smart person in the department knows that there's also a ton of bullshit and sensationalism in the field, because any idiot can make a shitty questionnaire and, as long as they make enough variables, find a significant difference somewhere. The real quantitative stuff lies in the chemical functions of the brain, as every process and connection in that pile of meat is carried out by discrete chemical and electrical impulses. That's what I want to work with.

I'm also really into music, and I'd like to talk about that some more here as time goes on. I might end up splitting into another blog, but I really doubt I have the motivation to do that. I like music that has an edge to it. The kind of music that would cause a change in you even if you were chained naked to the floor of some guy's basement. Deep enough to relax you, or strong enough to make you break free. No, not Jack Johnson, or Cannibal Corpse. If I had to give you one band to summarize my musical taste then it would be Nine Inch Nails, but I go way beyond them (although I'll NEVER get tired of good ol' NIN). Over the years I've played violin (well, okay, before late high school anyway), guitar (between physical chemistry exams anyway), and I enjoy singing (especially when driving or walking around friends when they're boring). I don't do any of it to be good per se but just because it feels good, and right.

I'm guessing a lot of my posts are going to be about ethics, especially medical ethics, because the field is important, overlooked, and has its share of idiots just like the rest of the fields. I have pretty strong opinions about what is right, what is wrong, and what should be done based on personal sentiment rather than by law. Opinions that quite a few people find offensive, but as of so far I've never met someone able to change my mind about anything, let alone put up a really good case in their defense. And I think that stuff is always fun to talk about.

Thanks for reading this, if anyone actually is. Hopefully this blog will be of some interest to you, and on a related note, hopefully I haven't already given up this blog.
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