Nothing seems more easy to be defined than death. According to a common technical description, death is the permanent cessation of all vital functions. This short and unequivocal definition has nevertheless the inconvenience of not giving us the true dimension and real meaning of what death implies.
According to the Spanish essayist and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations, Madrid 1912), pain is the universal human experience of vulnerability and woundedness. It has an objective dimension usually given by the presence of physical damage and a subjective perception conditioned by the religious, cultural and psychological background of the involved person.
Last Sunday, an average summer day, I was driving with my family from Florence to the Tyrrhenian sea, in the beautiful Tuscany landscape. My thoughts were absorbed in organizing my weekly schedule when suddenly Daniel, my oldest son, put music on for his submissive audience in the car. It was Dream Theather's song, “Peruvian Skies”. Similar to E.
Johan Cruyff, “In Memoriam” (1947-2016)
Johan Cruyff, the worldwide prophet of modern soccer, died some weeks ago leaving behind a particular ludic and anthropological legacy. Applying Max Weber’s sociological ideal-type classification, he showed persuasively that discipline and tactics are blind without beauty and elegance, as much as pleasure and creativity are empty without rigour and hard work.
In a Europe struggling with the rise of Islamophobia, torn by debates about the refuge flood and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes, London has elected its first Muslim mayor – Sadiq Khan. Such a move is, arguably, confirmation that Britain’s capital is one of the most liberal and secular cities in the world – even as the country contends with unprecedented immigration and rising radicalization.
Notwithstanding the enormous and consistent development of today’s medicine, disease has not disappeared from our lives. It has just changed form, rhythm and mechanism of presentation. We realistically could just say, compared to other less industrialized cultures of the past and present, that we have invented novel ways of getting sick. This simple, empirical finding should push us to a double attitude. First, to keep resisting and fighting the rampant medical conformism and pessimism that tries to persuade us to embrace a deterministic view of disease.