Closing some browser tabs.
Discover magazine has an article about the post-human message in Pixar’s films. Since we’re living in a time when people choose to (for example) have a useless hand amputated and replaced with a bionic hand that responds to neural impulses, thereby creating the first cyborgs (how cool is that? in so many ways!), I think we’re going to be grappling a lot more in the future with what it means to be human, and debating the personhood of those who aren’t exactly like us. (Hell, the personhood of those who aren’t exactly like us is already being debated, and has been for a long time. Look at the abortion debate.)
And speaking of Pixar, Pop Bioethics had this Defense of the New, praising and discussing Pixar’s Ratotouille. It’s a few years old, but still relevant.
But the key line, “change is nature” is something special. That simple assertion is still one of the most difficult concepts about evolution that one can grasp. Species, biospheres, cultures, companies, internet memes, and fashion are always changing and it is by changing we know they are still relevant, still alive. The reverse is also true: living things will and should change into new, different, and perhaps unsettling things.
Finally, not necessarily related to the above two articles, but interesting, is a First Things piece about social justice, which then changes into a discussion of education. The first bit is really the semi-relevant one, though. After all, treating persons as persons is sort of the theme for these links.
The social reality of contemporary America is painfully clear. By and large, the rich and powerful don’t desire more wealth nearly as much as they desire moral relaxation and the self-complimenting image of themselves as nonconformists living a life of enlightenment and freedom in advance of dull Middle America. Meanwhile, on the South Side of Chicago—and in hardscrabble small towns and decaying tract housing of old suburbs—the rest of America suffers the loss of social capital.