A 15 Minute Trip Around the World via the Internet

A mural of the god Typhon from Tuscany, Italy.  Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/71987294019683127/

A mural of the god Typhon from Tuscany, Italy. Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/71987294019683127/

Weekly Web Links:

Historical Book Review for the Week:

Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How it Drives Civilization by Stephen Cave

Immortality by Stephen Cave

I, as returning visitors to this blog may have noticed, read a lot of historical non-fiction.  This means that, with the exception of some truly outlandish theories, most of what I read has at least parts which overlap with ideas and information that I have accumulated over the years.  This is in no way a bad thing, it just means that when I find a completely new take or concept of something I tend to get really excited.  This is my excuse for doing nothing other than read this book for 8 hours yesterday.  Seriously, I had a different book in mind to cover for today’s post and I was going to read this one over the upcoming week and talk about it next Sunday.  And yet here we are.

The author suggests that there are four central concepts of immortality which are universal ideas and have been interwoven into every culture throughout every period of history.  The four immortality concepts are the following:

  1. Staying alive
  2. Resurrection
  3. Soul
  4. Legacy

Through numerous historical examples this book shows how these four ideas have been interconnected and progressed through by various cultures and key individuals throughout the progress of human history.  Obviously, on the surface, the idea of immortality seems to be an ideal which we should all aspire to.  but the author is very careful to demonstrate the holes in logic and the negative results of what could happen if we ever did manage to live forever.  Finally, once he has finished destroying the likelihood of humans ever living forever, Stephen Cave asks what i believe is the most important question of all: can people learn to live without the comfort of these ideas and accept death as inevitable?

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