Monday, June 09, 2008

Alzheimer helps atheist appreciate God ... yes, really

Who would have thought that atheist science fiction writer Terry Pratchett, who was angry with God for not existing, would grow to appreciate God though his Alzheimer disease?

As the London Times's Robert Watts tells it,
The 60-year-old creator of the Discworld series has spoken of an unexplained experience shortly after his diagnosis with the condition.

“I’m certainly not a man of faith, but as I was rushing down the stairs one day . . . it was very strange. And I say this reluctantly, because I am trying to deal with this situation in as hardheaded a way as I can. I suddenly knew that everything was okay, that what I was doing was right, and I didn’t know why,” Pratchett said.

“It was a thought that all the right things are happening in the circumstances; and I thought, ‘Well, that’s all right then.’ I don’t actually believe in anyone who could have put that in my head – unless it was my dad, and he’s been dead a few years.”

- Robert Watts, (June 8, 2008) "Alzheimer's leads atheist Tery Pratchett to appreciate God"
I am so glad for Terry, because he has surely helped thousands by describing his illness as merely an "embuggerance".

He is, of course, right. Brain diseases are - like heart, liver, and kidney diseases - an embuggerance, to be sure. But like other diseases they can be fought, dealt with. Unfortunately, too many people have been encouraged to give up hope unnecessarily, so it is good to see pioneers like Terry leading the way.

But it seems he had a little Help, and good for him.

See also Alzheimer not an immediate mental death sentence


Coffee break: Indulge your popular psychology test mania!

Do you suffer from test mania?

Apparently, you can take a bunch of pop psych tests here, to answer such shattering questions as

"Are you lazy?
"Do people love you?"
"What do people think of you?"
"Can you influence other people?"

You must sign in to get a score, and I didn't. But the intuition test was certainly fun.

Disclaimer: Speaking of fun, remember the Gender Genie, which can supposedly tell your gender by the way you write (go here to see how well (uhhh ...) the Genie did with me).

I think all such tests should be taken in a spirit of fun. If you fear it won't be fun, don't do it. If you think it will be, well, if you must have coffee at your desk alone, it beats boredom.