February 21, 2009
Subjunctive – by David Eagleman
In the afterlife you are judged not against other people, but against yourself. Specifically, you are judged against what you could have been. So the afterworld is much like the present world, but it now includes all the yous that could have been. In an elevator you might meet more successful versions of yourself, perhaps the you that chose to leave your hometown three years earlier, or the you who happened to board an airplane next to a company president who then hired you. As you meet these yous, you experience a pride of the sort you feel for a successful cousin: although the accomplishments don't directly belong to you, it somehow feels close.
But soon you fall victim to intimidation. These yous are not really you, they are better than you. They made smarter choices, worked harder, invested the extra effort into pushing on closed doors. These doors eventually broke open for them and allowed their lives to splash out in colorful new directions. Such success cannot be explained away by a better genetic hand; instead, they played your cards better. In their parallel lives, they made better decisions, avoided moral lapses, did not give up on love so easily. They worked harder than you did to correct their mistakes and apologized more often.
Eventually you cannot stand hanging around these better yous. You discover you've never felt more competitive with anyone in your life.
You try to mingle with the lesser yous, but it doesn't assuage the sting. In truth, you have little sympathy for these less significant yous and more than a little haughtiness about their indolence. "If you had quit watching TV and gotten off the couch you wouldn't be in this situation," you tell them, when you bother to interact with them at all.
But the better yous are always in your face in the afterlife. In the bookstore you'll see one of them arm in arm with the affectionate woman whom you let slip away. Another you is browsing the shelves, running his fingers over the book he actually finished writing. And look at this one jogging past outside: he's got a much better body than yours, thanks to a consistency at the gym that you never kept up.
Eventually you sink into a defensive posture, seeking reasons why you would not want to be so well behaved and virtuous in any case. You grudgingly befriend some of the lesser yous and go drinking with them. Even at the bar you see the better yous, buying rounds for their friends, celebrating their latest good choice.
And thus your punshment is cleverly and automatically regulated in the afterlife: the more you fall short of your potential, the more of these annoying selves you are forced to deal with.
From Eagleman's wonderful new book,
"SUM: Forty Tales from the Afterlives."
"The transformation of two stellated rhombic dodecahedrons from a cube."
[via Rocketboom Blog]
Procrastination and its delights — Episode 2: The three types of procrastinators
1. Arousal — thrill seekers who say they need the adrenaline rush from waiting till the last minute
2. Avoidance — put off hard or boring tasks to avoid being seen as failures; then they can say they didn't have enough time instead of not having the ability
3. Decisional — chronically indecisive in every aspect of their lives
Ice Orb Vertical Ice Cube Tray
From the website:
Just add a little water to the flexible ice cube orb, then place the blue bucket inside to hold the water in the pockets.
You won’t drip water on the floor on the way to the freezer like with twistable plastic ice cube trays.
Or keep the cubes and bucket in place and use to keep a bottle of wine or dip chilled at the table.
Lid doubles as a coaster for the orb and locks out freezer odors when storing ice cubes.
Not your conventional ice cube tray, Ice Orb changes the way you make ice cubes.
Makes 21 ice cubes that pop right out — the bucket stores twice that many.
No drips, less hassle — and it even doubles as a food chiller.
BehindTheMedspeak: MedicalCavity.com — 24/7 medical news aggregator
If it's medical, it's here.
From the website:
Eliminate unsightly creases by keeping boots properly supported during storage.
Special trees have an expanding bracket that provides the tension boots need.
Use with all lengths, sizes and boot types, including leather and suede.
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
schoko kids/2sweet2kill — Chocolate Pistols by Yvonne Lee Schultz
Wrote the artist, "Touching the senses, the chocolate guns are strangely
serving the pleasure for sweets, while emphasizing the irresistible thrill of the toy.
Either way, they are 2sweet2kill."