‘Associative Trails’

Screenshot 2014-06-24 19.26.48




In a word that pretty much describes the center of attention throughout my browsing. Sticking to the ‘associative trails’ metaphor, euthanasia is the main trail which all the others diverge. The experience began with a site called debate.org, a forum for debates, at about 6:20pm. After finding a debate that caught my interest, one arguing the legitimacy/legality of euthanasia, it seems the rest is browser history.

I tried to forget about the assignment and just go with my stream of consciousness, but it wasn’t quite that easy. Still, I managed to browse and explore quite a bit. I ended on an article by The Atlantic regarding capital punishment in America.

For me the connection is right there but just to make it perfectly clear, the way my thinking went (not without influence) was that from euthanasia I saw several links and mentions of the death penalty. And I began to think about the somewhat paradoxical connection between the two. In the United States, capital punishment is overwhelming seen as morally permissible and legally permissible, while on the other hand assisted suicide is overwhelmingly seen as morally wrong and not acceptable.

I wasn’t thinking about it entirely before this post, but it interesting to see that this two topics were closely related to one another on the web and in my thoughts. But it seems like they are for two totally separate reasons.


Euthanasia refers to the lethal injection used both in assisted suicides as well as criminal executions. It appears to me that this is the connection the web found, most likely powered by Google, which allowed me to click from one to the other. However, the connection between capital punishment using euthanasia and assisted suicide using it is much deeper and more complex in my mind.

This post by chartmann discusses the connection our own associative thinking and the algorithms used in search engines, which seem to mirror each other in a way.


This is the direction my thinking has headed since I started this concept experience and that is the direction it goes still. Somewhat like the spontaneous spin-offs off of the main trail that it seems we all couldn’t avoid, I don’t think that our thinking is perfectly linear. But I also like to think that we all aren’t imagining cat videos every 3 minutes during our college seminars…


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