Roger Ebert on losing friends

"We exist in the minds of other people, in thousands of memory clusters, and one by one those clusters fade and disappear."


    1. Eff you. Your post is neither art nor a nice turn of phrase. Wait until you experience significant losses, and then make a positive contribution to the world.

    2. What the hell? Who said anything about “art”? What is the point of your douchey, condescending comment?

      BTW, the idiom is “turn OF phrase”.

      1.  Ebert said something about ‘art’ and about how video games are not it.

        Needless to say it got the video gamer ‘community’ to get their rage on and certain people are struggling to get over it.

        It’s obviously untrue, but it also doesn’t matter.

        Gamers: Ebert is like a billion years old and doesn’t understand games. That’s OK – it doesn’t make him a bad person or all his views inherently flawed.

        People who aren’t into what we’re into won’t understand it. Just let it go. Raging makes us look like immature brats.

        1. Yeah, I forgot about the video game thing. Thanks for the reminder. I get why people disliked what Ebert said (I don’t agree with him), but it still had NOTHING to do with this linked essay.

          LogrusZed’s snide comment is even more cringe-worthy now that I know he made it only because he is bitter about Ebert having an opinion.  Childish.

          Anyway, Roger Ebert is awesome. He’s very kind, and very much a thinkin’ man. I can appreciate that. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says; that would be impossible.

          1.  “Cringe-worthy”? If you’re not exaggerating then you need to up your dosage.

            Oh wait, I just got a twit from Rog (we’re tight like that) and he’s all crying and shit. He said he’s thinking of self-harming because I snarked at him based on some shit he said. He said he was going to eat a whole bottle of pills, but I knew he couldn’t because he can’t eat solids anymore.

            Now see that was maybe “cringe-worthy”.

        2. Good thing you put and the word community between two apostrophes otherwise people might get the idea you respected a group that you don’t identify with.

          And snark = rage. Got it.

          1. Sure, sure, you can snark about something completely unrelated on a post regarding a very touching and sad essay. You have that right. I can also think you’re a bitter douchebag for doing it. Your very defensive responses are not helping.

            ” If you’re not exaggerating then you need to up your dosage.”

            And seriously? WTF, lol?!

            I said “cringe-worthy” — it’s not like I said “Omg I was sooo offended that I am totally going to jump off a bridge!” I said … cringe-worthy. That’s pretty mild. It took me like, a millisecond to cringe at your bitter “snark”. Not exactly a big part of my day.

            You seriously have issues with hyperbole and being bitter, don’t you? My “dose” is fine. Yours … I’m not so sure about.

    3. i thoroughly disagree. that IS indeed art. it’s poignant, beautiful, truthful, and it touches people. i realize your comment is probably borne out of his wrongful dismissal of videogames as “not art”, but it’s also equally flat-out wrong to dismiss this the same way.

      1.  Of course you’re correct. Not only in your observation on the origin of my comment, but in the observation that my judgement of the is and isn’t of art is inherently just as facile as his original dismissal of video games as art.

        1. It’s not art, but your compulsion to defend yourself from every single response sure is amusing.

          1. Because the only thing worse than making a mildly inflammatory comment and then disappearing, is making a mildly inflammatory comment and then hanging around to discuss it.

            I love Boing Boing, but there seems to be a silent agreement among its commenters to deliberately misconstrue every post as to allow for maximum outrage. If we can’t make a little snarky poke at an otherwise-brilliant man for opining something foolish, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

            (This is a cue for someone to excoriate me for my treasonous abandonment of the Earth in its time of need)

  1. This is essentially the main concept behind Douglas Hofstadter’s  book ‘I am a Strange Loop’, often referred to as a follow up to his seminal ‘Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Umlaut’.

    Basically the entire basis of I am a Strange Loop is that our personalities are self-referential patterns of responses which are somewhat encoded and internalised in the patterns of others, allowing us to live on when we are dead. I didn’t agree with it particularly, but it was still a very interesting read – not as good as GEB though, which is possibly the best book ever.

    1. The best book nobody’s read, that is! ;) BTW, I thought Mathemagical Themas was the sibling book to GEB?

  2.  This is more than interesting. I know a number of people who are going through this now and it is exceedingly difficult. You are losing all of the connections to your past that you take for granted each day.

  3. The Japanese have a good ritual handle on this.  When someone dies they get a plaque in the household shrine and their life is celebrated at various anniversaries of their death up until D+60 years.  At that point the spirit is assumed to have de-rezzed to the point where it is just part of the big ancestral pixel bucket in the sky: kama.  The plaque is then removed and they’re just celebrated en masse with the rest of the ancestors at one yearly festival.  The ritual pretty much track how the person’s capital in various memory banks goes down after they pass on.

  4. The start of the final credits of The Fountain puts these words out there as imagery – white to black as individual cells flicker and fade away. I can’t find a video link of it but it’s worth checking out if you have the film.

  5. “A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realisation that you can’t make old friends” Christopher Hitchens

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