Friday, October 23, 2009
Maybe, physical immortality really will become possible
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, Gabriella Boston wrote a lead story in the “Plugged In” section of The Washington Times, “Why stop at 100: Life spans may expand dramatically”, link here. The story starts by recapitulation the recent Lancet story that babies born today have a greater than 50-50 chance of reaching 100.
The article goes on to explore the idea that lifestyle changes and molecular surgery might eventually make immortality on this planet possible – which means to me, your soul will never go through an Event Horizon to find out what is in the next parallel universe (Heaven). Contemplate the idea that we would have to remain employed forever, and stop social security and pensions. Should we have children? In an immortal society, I’m not sure that depopulation, as Phillip Longman writes about it, is a risk. Would we have a world of permanently perfect people, clones of a 20-year-old Clark Kent? It seems that a world that is fixed on its own presence loses all sense of perspective for the future. But at least we would have a direct incentive to protect the planet; we would be around to see the results of our pillage otherwise.
Barbara Walters had run an ABC special “Live to Be 150” in the spring of 2008, and PBS has run some specials on longevity. Walters is up in years herself, and still glamorous.
The old Omni Magazine had suggested that people’s brains be downloaded and saved permanently on computers back in the 1990s. We don’t really need bodies, do we. Imagine digital copies of yourself, with only the copy protection of the DMCA.