Dangerous times for the Wheel of Time

Was sad to read today that Robert Jordan the author of the popular fantasy saga Wheel of Time have been diagnosed with a disease called amyloidosis, which according to Jordan has a median of 1 year until fatality from diagnosis if untreated. If treated the median jumped to 4 years which isn’t that much more. It made me think about my uncle who died two years ago after having been diagnosed with cancer about one year before that again, which again made me realize I tend to accept the occurence death quite quickly. I guess it comes as a byproduct of having a lot of doctors, nurses, vetrinerians and biologists in the family, all who comes in close contact with the cycle of life through their jobs almost on a daily basis, which in turn I guess have made them very ‘comfortable’ with such events, something which has rubbed of on me I guess. Combined with a complete lack of religiosity in the familty which has removed words such as ‘unfair or unjust’ in relation to death and instead quiet acceptance that death is direct result of being alive. So while there are of course the sadness and sorrow which comes when someone close dies, no energy or anger is spent looking to the heavens asking ‘why’.

6 comments ↓

#1 Vincent Noel on 04.03.06 at 22:06

You might enjoy the short story “The Median is not the Message” by the famous biologist Stephen Jay Gould (who outlived his estimated median lifespan by several years) :
http://www.cancerguide.org/median_not_msg.html

#2 Christian on 04.03.06 at 23:09

Thanks for that link Vincent, it was a great article. I took the liberty of posting it upstream to Robert Jordan’s blog too :)

#3 Ed on 04.04.06 at 02:29

>Combined with a complete lack of religiosity in the familty which has removed words such as ‘unfair or unjust’ in relation to death and instead quiet acceptance that death is direct result of being alive.

Which religion is it that calls death ‘unfair or unjust’ and doesn’t accept it as a direct result of being alive? Buddhism sees it as the waterfall we all head toward; fearing death and swimming the other way is vanity. All of the Christian religions that I know of see death as “part of God’s plan for man.” Where is this whacked religion that sees death as unfair? It certainly isn’t mainstream.

So, what’s “unfair and unjust” is drawing a completely false caricature of religion in general to justify the benefits of your personal lifestyle choice.

#4 Colin Marquardt on 04.04.06 at 07:59

What I learned from having cancer in the family is to find it very strange to see people throwing away their lifes. And I’m running http://folding.stanford.edu/ all the time.

#5 Michael Dominic K. on 04.04.06 at 17:04

> Which religion is it that calls death ‘unfair or unjust’ and doesn’t accept it as a direct result of being alive?

The “declared” values of christianity are that death is a part of “God’s plan for man”. Yet, the values rendered in practice consider death as an “unjust incident”. The whole media show around Pope’s death is a good field for observations.

It’s the christianity that builds immortal cathedrals. It’s the tibetan monks that compose mandalas shattered by the wind.

#6 Tom on 04.05.06 at 17:44

It’s not surprising that you aren’t scared of dying, when you’re not dying.

I don’t think that any of us will really know how to deal with death until we reach it. To simply say, “Death, meh” seems naive to me.

But, you seem to have it all worked out. So I won’t write any more :)

Tom