“The good death has increasingly become a myth. Actually, it has always been for the most part a myth, but never nearly as much as today. The chief ingredient of the myth is the longed-for ideal of ‘death with dignity.’”—
Dr. Sherwin Nuland, author of How We Die
How We Die was written at a time when the prevailing medical practice was to use all means available to extend the life of terminally ill patients for as long as possible, even if aggressive treatment also caused extended suffering in the final days of life. Nuland’s book made an impact on the national debate about end-of-life care, at a time when palliative care and the hospice movement were beginning to assume a bigger role in the care of terminally ill patients.
L.A. Times photojournalist Mark Boster captures chilling scenes from supermax security Pelican Bay State Prison.
Thursday on Fresh Air:
4 alleged leaders of rival prison gangs worked together to coordinate a hunger strike last summer, at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, in protest of long-term solitary confinement. We’ll speak to journalist Benjamin Wallace-Wells about how they organized the strike while in solitary. Then we’ll speak to Professor Craig Haney who has interviewed about 1,000 prisoners who have done time in solitary about its psychological impact.
Reporter Julia Angwin spoke to Fresh Air last week about the extreme measures she took to escape the clutches of data scrapers. "I want all the benefits of the information society; all I was trying to do is mitigate some of the risk," she says. You can read her recent opinion piece in the New York Times:
LAST year, I spent more than $2,200 and countless hours trying to protect my privacy.
Some of the items I bought — a $230 service that encrypted my data in the Internet cloud; a $35 privacy filter to shield my laptop screen from coffee-shop voyeurs; and a $420 subscription to a portable Internet service to bypass untrusted connections — protect me from criminals and hackers. Other products, like a $5-a-month service that provides me with disposable email addresses and phone numbers, protect me against the legal (but, to me, unfair) mining and sale of my personal data.
In our data-saturated economy, privacy is becoming a luxury good. After all, as the saying goes, if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. And currently, we aren’t paying for very much of our technology.
“Harold Ramis was the master of the smart dumb-movie, which he could only make because he actually was one of the smartest guys around – he could fence, speak Greek, joke about Trotsky, and do the ritual drumming he learned attending Robert Bly’s men’s groups. Like [Bill] Murray, he was always more serious than people originally supposed.”—John Powers on the late Harold Ramis
“I have a portable Wi-Fi device called a MiFi, that I use in coffee shops and hotels and all the places that give you supposedly free Wi-Fi. The truth is, what we’re learning in today’s world is that nothing is free. If something is supposed to be free, then it really means they’re taking your data. So what I’ve decided: I have to buy my way out of it. … Privacy is becoming a luxury good.”—Investigative reporter Julia Angwin speaks to Fresh Air about ways to mitigate data surveillance