They share a common ethos, an ideal of attitude, behavior, and lifestyle that characterizes something they all share, though they don't agree how closely any one of them must adhere to that ideal to still be considered one of them.
They often dress alike, across the different cultures and nations they live within.
They have a body of writings they all admire and repeat to one another, with strange expressions that outsiders don't understand. They often feel these writings are among the most beautiful and meaningful in the world.
Many of these works are openly acknowledged to be extreme, yet those who say this often celebrate the extremism, believing it is a more true form of what they value. Some of the most extreme leading people are the most admired by even mainstream followers.
Even the writings that are considered more mainstream, not extreme, often include passages that celebrate violent or destructive and illegal actions and images. Followers will tell you they would never actually carry out such actions, but these writings remain very important to them.
Gatherings of these people often have ritualistic and ceremonial characteristics. Religious images are displayed, a lead figure exhorts the crowd to group chanting, shouting, stylized simulations of violence, and it is not infrequent that participants are injured.

They can be found in nearly every country.
As religions go, heavy metal may have more followers than Mormonism and Judaism together.



american football
american libertarian



Carl Sagan is one of the people I've most admired in my life. The Cosmos series helped instill in me, and so many others, an appreciation for the wonders of science, and an understanding of science as a method for approaching Nature, rather than what schools too often beat down to a list of approved answers to be repeated. Sagan eventually developed a blood cancer, myelodysplastic syndrome, for which he received blood stem cell transplants. In 'Billions and Billions', he muses in one of the essays about how receiving a stem cell transplant from his sister means that for his life afterward, part of his body would be from hers, and genetically female. I now share this life step with him.

If, for some pointless reason, you went back to the earliest entries of this blog, you'd find a few made from the 8th floor BMT unit at LDS Hospital in Utah. That was about six years ago, and in many ways my life since has been focused on not coming back here. But here I am.

In 2008 I was here for relapsed Hodgkins lymphoma, a disease where the first-line standard treatment is usually effective enough, meaning relatively less research was put into second-line treatments. The medically standard next step after a relapse was autologous stem cell transplant (if your own bone marrow is still clear of the disease) or allogeneic stem cell transplant (if you're marrow's not clear or if you've already had an auto). I was here for an auto, and typed some things into this blog.

My Hodgkins is refractory, it doesn't ever go away forever. When I relapsed a year later, the next-line standard treatment was an allogeneic transplant, but I looked at the life survival numbers they had and decided no way. Through my oncologist and clinicaltrials.gov, and with help from my mom who's skilled at researching things, I found some clinical trials for current cutting edge drugs for Hodgkins, and got into one for what's now called Brintuximab (always be SGN35 to me).

That set up a life pattern for the following years. Always a salvage treatment or a clinical trial to try to contain the cancer, maintainig a relatively normal life for many years throug various chemos and some radiation. That lasted until December 2013. My oncologist and I had put one chemo to an end because the last scan showed only mixed results, some shrink some growth. We'd figured to try another chemo for containment, or look what was on the clinical trial horizon, but there was a problem that my blood numbers were falling even without the chemo. I had a bone marrow biopsy and on the 9th they called me with an alarming new development: Leukemia.

Leukemia changes the situation tremendously. Hodgkins I know, I can deal with in various ways (including a few nutritional/herbal things I've come to trust --my standard is if someone with actual medical credentials is researching it somewhere, and I've also had reliable results from Chinese nutritional and herbal medicines). Even if I gave up and did nothing about Hodgkins, it would probably take a year and a half to actually kill me. Leukemia will kill in weeks, or a couple months at most. Now the allogeneic transplant I'd been avoiding seemed the likeliest option.

It turns out I'd made the right choice in avoiding the allo transplant five years ago (and the team leaders here had been subtly encouraging me to avoid it). In recent years, they've developed a new standard of donor transplant using haplo donors --relatives exactly half-matched. Hodgkin's patients do worse than other cancer patients at allogeneic transplants, but haplo transplant seems to be giving Hodgkins history patients good odds. It's still very new, so there aren't long-term results to compare. But the horizon looks hopeful.

It's been a difficult process. I was checked in days after diagnosis, started standard Leukemia induction treatment the 16th of December. After that the expectation was watch the blood numbers and plan for the transplant treatment. It took them awhile to decide exactly how to treat (Hodgkins and Leukemia together make a rare and challenging combination), then to get my health provider to approve. I'm now Day 7 post haplo, and the worst is over for now. I've been in the hospital far too long and hopefully can be out in a couple weeks.



..an exercise, I'll just leave this here..

People who work for a living should earn a living.

If a company cannot afford to pay production- and service-layer employees enough to meet their needs for housing, food, medicine, and still enjoy leisure and prosperity, how can that company afford to pay its managers even higher salaries and benefits? How can it afford to pay its executives salaries and bonuses? How can it afford to pay its investors dividends?

If the claim is that managers and executives are much more critical to the company's success than production and service workers, then that is an argument for centralized, top-down command decision-making in an economic structure.

If the claim is that investors' right to growth is more important than workers' right to a living, then that is an argument for the right of a minority (investors) to live in ease off the hard work of a majority (workers).



Weapons are used, knowingly, to compel a change in states of mind and courses of action.

Too much martial arts class brooding, and a nod to one of science fiction's modern greats.
A Personal Statement From Iain Banks



What Arises also Ceases.
Species is a temporary local phenomenon.
Local and temporary, spacetime itself
may be emergent and conditional.
What then are your nations and your laws?
Rejoice that empires fall, but then take no shelter in them.
We must communally build system and structure
to enable our greater liberty,
but not idly let what is built become entrenched and enshrined,
a power over our liberty.
Polis, community, harmonic structure
are continually examined and rebuilt,
and continually examined and torn down.
To Alter or Abolish



The future might be like Star Trek after all.

Actually if you read the thing, "more feasible" means instead of needing a large planet's worth of hypothetical exotic matter they've never detected, they'd only need 30kg. And "working on building one" means trying to detect the hypothetical phenomenon on extremely small scales.

I'd mostly written off FTL, but hey if they think it's worth a shot, go for it. Solving the "infinite energy to accellerate to c" thing doesn't solve the time paradox thing where FTL would allow information to be sent to the past. Let's-try-it-and-see-if-causality-itself-breaks might be a most recklessly awesome future experiment.

Of course, FTL is one of the things that might make the aliens step in and say, "okay, NOW you people might be a problem."
klaatu barrada nikto



I think a more serious issue is, if Chick-Fil-A employees wanted to donate to political issues (on any side of any issue), it would take many thousands of them seriously tightening their belts to just barely match the influence their big boss can donate as a trivial gesture with no impact on his living. His wealth is only possible because of them, but his voice makes theirs irrelevant.

If you're gonna buy mall fast food, go to Hot Dog On A Stick which is owned by its employees.



Stumbling bleary half conscience-ness.
I am just aware enough to sense I haven't really Woken Up.
The words "still a good person" sound like hollow excuses.

Aren't I too not-Catholic for Catholic guilt?
The word "catholic" is said to mean "universal."
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