For this post, I thought I'd show some holiday spirit and share with my fellow netizens a few things which I'm thankful for. I'll spare you all the lovey-dovey friends, family, health, and lack of senility mumbo-jumbo and jump right into the more interesting tidbits.
To start off, I am grateful to be in grad school. I cannot think of another plausible situation I could've ended up in where I can worship my secret gods of education, work towards my PhD and eventual goal of becoming a priest of learning, as well as exercise my ever-growing academic power over my hapless students. It is indeed a life to be envied.
I am grateful that there are smart people out there who are even more enthusiastic about the human potential than I am. It reassures me that my friends and I aren't nuts for dreaming of what future advances might bring about. A recent article talked about Ray Kurzweil's predictions on technological advances in the near future. In particular, he focused on how advances in computing and biology can potentially extend human lifespans indefinitely. Cancer will no longer be such a life-threatening condition. Deteriorating organs can be repaired. We'll be able to "backup" our memories to guard against any unforeseen brain trauma. I touched briefly on this topic in a previous post, but my discussions pale before Kurzweil's bold proclamations.
I am grateful for the growing influence of the scientific community from a cultural perspective. I've long thought that tradition in general is overrated. It encourages thinking along a number of dogmatic principles which I find undesirable. My experiences the past year have completely obliterated any notions I had in support of belief in God, Jesus, Muhammad, Vishnu, Shiva, Thor, Jerry O' Talton my Talton, Zeus, Dionysus... well, maybe not Dionysus, but you get the idea. I'm not against spirituality, just the baggage that comes with organized religion.
Some other things I'm grateful for include South Park, Family Guy, the Star Wars Kid, Lavina's hair, Captain Planet, Kung Pao chicken, Kazakhstan, and Japanese photobooths to name a few.
And last but certainly not least, I'm grateful to be spending Thanksgiving in Arizona and its mighty fine November weather.
I hope everyone takes a little time out this weekend to reflect upon how they the can help make the lives of the people around them happier and brighter... like that fine Arizona sun.