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04 December 2019


Scott O

This business of 'living forever' is getting pretty weird. Most of the folks that are enthused about doing just that are middle-aged. There are those who have some sort of incurable disease that strikes down people in their teens or even sooner, but it seems most of the vocal proponents of living well past the norm or 'forever' are those who have:
Made piles of money
Are famous
Have enormous egos
I've talked to old folks who are dying and they all have said that they had their run and it's time. My father was in his nineties and talked about the fact that all his friends and relatives were gone and only the love of his life (my mother) was left. He certainly didn't wish to die, but it held no terror for him. He was only an hour from passing on and he was totally calm and making jokes to the end. I think that death is a horror only for those who don't know how to live.
That doesn't stop the march of technology, nor should it. Who wouldn't wish for the 10 year old with an inoperable brain tumor to have a chance at living a full life?
That being said - artificial eternal life?
So many things to consider.
Like - how does that skew the actuarial tables?
And you know damn well there will be one hell of a fight about who has the 'right' to live forever.
What if the 'donor' human doesn't croak on schedule and gets all huffy about killing his/her self?
Who warrantees the new 'it' and what happens if the uploaded person-hood becomes depressed and suicidal or worse - homicidal?
A life sentence could bankrupt the state pretty quick.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Folks sure love to chase after playing God without considering the responsibility that being a god entails.

George Rebane

ScottO 805pm - All good thoughts Scott. I'm not sure that the current human psyche is ready for 'living forever'; perhaps some day we will be. Years ago I read Robert Heinlein's 'Time Enough for Love' that had a very engaging and thoughtful treatment of living for a very long time. I would still recommend it.

The Estonian Fox

On a lighter note-
Estimates of all humans who have ever existed touch 100 billion. Let's say they have all gone into their sim-bio versions. How bad is our climate now? Surely energy is required to maintain, if not thrive, these 100B simings. (We wouldn't call them 'beings', or they wouldn't call themselves 'beings', even though they are indistinguishable from beings. Many of the simings can be just as irascible as beings are, especially when it comes to naming oneself.) All of a sudden it's getting crowded here on earth. The climate-change-is-bad people will be out of their minds. Wait - isn't that exactly what a siming is?

And if we go with your 200-300 years of broadcasting capability for a species, before going undetectable, maybe the galaxy is already being filled with these simings. After all, dark matter & dark energy still have no provable solution in Physics.

Lazarus Long (Time Enough..) was a one-off - it was never clear that anyone other than he was able to benefit from the life extensions. And even Lazarus Long was never able to answer, or worse yet, never able to contemplate an answer to, Asimov's "The Last Question", a much shorter read to see where we are all heading, beings & simings both. What goes around, comes around, especially at this Christmas season.

Are we still allowed to use that Word?

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