Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Who Wants to Live Forever?

Inventor Ray Kurzweil is taking care of himself in order to make it to the day when immortality is delivered.This guy has come up with some really cool gadgets, but I'm not sure that a plan for healthy living, in itself a good thing, should be focused on making it to the point where science has progessed enough to put old age off indefinitely. I don't doubt that such an advance will happen within the llifetimes of today's toddlers. It is usually safe to bet that a technology will accomplish a goal sooner rather than later. (Unless the government is involved, in which case kiss your money good bye.)

What nags at my mind with respect to living forever is, "Why?" My biggest fear is that I would exhaust all of the avenues of my interest and I have years and years of boredom stretching before me? Would I have the courage to say, "Enough"?

Another angle is if the world became bored with me. Would the tendency to lose the ability to embrace change be halted by the anti-aging advancements? If not, then I fear the coming gerontocracy and a world saddled with ideosclerosis (the harding of opinions). Bruce Sterling wrote of such a world in Holy Fire. What happens to the young in such a world? If the gap between physical maturity and social maturity is bad now, imagine what it would be like when you can't get any respect until you've hit the big 9-0? I still haven't decided if I want to be around for that. At least I'll probably be one of the oldsters who refuse to give up their grip on the world.

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