Live… Forever?

Interesting.  His thesis is that if we start researching a lot on technology that will work to massively regenerate bodily damage, we will live to be thousands or years old.  His argument isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds.  Here’s why.
If a new tech extended lives by 30 years, and after 20 years that technology extended life by 50 years, and after another 20 years another 20 years… eventually we could “live for forever” simply by small incremental change.

Who needs religion?

7 Responses to Live… Forever?

  1. Ross says:

    I think the first five minutes of this lecture definitively prove that this guy is a fucking lunatic.

    Eliminating aging would easily be the single biggest social change in human history. It might be a good idea, it might not be, but to claim that it’s obviously desirable is absurd. I can think of two advantages to immortality (death is bad and aging sucks) and a shitload of disadvantages, which I’ll begin listing here because they’re kind of fun to think about.

    1. Ecology/overpopulation. They’re problems now. Immortality would make them worse. The guy says “well, we’ll just reduce the birthrate.” I think there’s several more possible disads to that solution:

    A. Enforcement mechanism DAs (Enforcement causes government coercion, that’s bad; social backlash; enforcement mechanisms fail/are politically impossible, causing ecological disaster).

    B. Children good DAs (Psychological wellbeing of adults; intellectual stagnation DA [children can learn to think in new ways]; other reasons why children are a good thing [they’ve gotta exist, right?])

    2. Social stratification. Who gets access to anti-aging tech? Causes social backlash, classism, Gattica-type dystopias, etc.

    3. International relations. How would immortality affect security competition? Would a billion Chinese get to live forever? Would we be okay with that? New multilateral frameworks would have to be constructed, and it’s difficult to imagine this could happen in a way that would satisfy everyone.

    4. Economy. Possible internal links: Anti-aging treatments are expensive; jobs might be eliminated; productivity might decrease as people got bored with their careers.

    5. Politics. Not everyone would like anti-aging tech. Causes social cleavages.

    6. Kritik-ish arguments. Technologization of the body, biopower, medicalization, etc.

    Clearly, a lot of these arguments could be link or impact turned. But to pretend they’re not debatable is asinine.

  2. joeyglick says:

    Ross, thank you for putting time into a post, I don’t understand why no one has posted in so long…

    But anyways, I think that his point about saving “100,000 lives a day” is pretty epic. Also, it might give me immortality. Those two “voters” are huge.

  3. zuch50 says:

    I like to think of myself as still in the air about stopping aging but i cant get over my huge value on my own life, because i really really want to be immortal.

    Nonetheless, I still find it funny that he said “we cant impose our values on future generations” as his only defense to all arguments like ross’s, while simultaneously saying we need to decide we want to have a birth rate. If so many people became practically immortal and population problems did ensue, wouldnt we just stop having kids, therefore eliminating the “future generations” he reffered too?

    odd inconsistency that brings us into some weird territory

  4. Joey says:

    I think that when people say “we don’t want to impose “our values” on population x (be it our children, other nations, or whatever) they are simply using it as a catagorical imperative to stop us from taking a certain action they dislike. We ALWAYS impose “our values” on future generations, and we ALWAYS impose “our values” on other nations. People only have a problem when we impose certain values. I assume these values are ones that they disagree with, or, that the passage of those values comes with certain actions that offend them.

    I totally want to be immortal. End of Story.

  5. Ross says:

    I don’t really care about being immortal. I wonder what accounts for that difference.

  6. Joey says:

    I don’t know what you mean by that Ross. I don’t feel upset if I am not immortal, but I would be happier if I was.

  7. Ross says:

    What I meant was that, for whatever reason, the “you’ll live forever” argument in favor of anti-aging holds almost no emotional value for me.

    I wasn’t under the impression that you were upset about it, I just think it’s an interesting difference in values. Not interesting in a “you’re fucked up and I’m not” way, either. I think the question “why wouldn’t you want to be immortal?” is much more difficult to answer than its inverse.

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