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There can only be one

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Winterbike, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Winterbike

    Winterbike
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    Inspired by this video:


    It's old, but there's a French one that just came out and expanded on the idea:

    Focus: Immortality. Would you like to live forever if you could? You stay young, and suicide would be an option at any moment.

    Alt focus: Discuss the videos. For those of you who don't have enough time to watch it, the idea is that you don't need to have to technology to be immortal right now, you only need to stay alive until the next big thing gives you an extra edge. Right now, life expectancy keeps growing steadily and doesn't show signs of stopping. Every year, it increases by three months. If you make it to the point where it increases a year every year, you are basically immortal. Of course, there's hope that at some point we'll have found how to stop growing old too, not just survive death.

    Focus: Fuck yeah I would. There are so many things to learn, it sucks that we have so few time for all the awesome things in the world. Imagine having the time to master (not just ''be ok at'') 20 completely different skills over 400 years, or build gardens knowing you can plant trees and expect them to reach maturity during your lifetime. I keep improving so much as a person every year, I don't see why I wouldn't want that to last forever, or at least a few centuries.

    Alt focus: Two things give me hope. First, the way technology improved during the last century. The average person went from no electricity, no telephone, going around on a horse and dying of pneumonia to USB keys that can hold millions of books and the possibility to go around the world in less than a day in a plane (that has internet!). Second, the way analyzing the human genome has gotten cheap as fuck lately. In 1990, they didn't think it would ever be possible to do it. In 2003, they did it. At the moment, it costs around a hundred dollars to get your own genes analyzed, it's totally insane. I work in the field, it's the next big thing in medical research, and everyone is jumping on it. Expect medical treatments adapted to your genome in the next 30-40 years, probably sooner.
     
    #1 Winterbike, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  2. R_Flagg

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    Live forever in a youthful body? Sure! In the span of about a hundred years, I could build up a nest egg that'd make Bill Gates look like the bum standing on the street corner yelling about cats selling meth. In a few thousand years I could damn near declare myself God and rule this planet from a throne made of human skulls gilded with gold and rubies. What a man could do with a few hundred thousand years or more... It's beyond imagining.

    However there's a few downsides you'd seriously have to look at before signing up for this sort of deal...

    Long term health... You live forever in the body of a 20-something-year-old. Nowhere did you say that you'd be invulnerable from eventually winding up a quadriplegic or brain dead and living forever in a hospital bed. Which would be a fate worse than dying of natural causes in your old age. You'd have to toe a very fine line until medical technology brought about a miracle cure for any number of long-term ailments. Basically you'd still have to keep the drinking at a moderate level, give up the smokes, and take it easy on the bungee jumping lest you spend a few centuries living in a crippled body.

    Emotional Baggage... Most of us are going to outlive our parents and other older family members. If you live forever you'll outlive all your children, spouses, grandchildren, friends, hell if you live long enough you might even outlive your nation. What about the high school girlfriend you never quite got over? Multiply that by all the women (or men) you'll come to love and perhaps marry and raise families with. You'll run the risk of outliving all the descendants you'll sire over the centuries. The only other option is to cut all ties with humanity as you wander the globe for countless empty eons.

    But the benefits of living forever have the capacity for accomplishing things that most people can never dream of. If you were so inclined you could build a spacecraft, or wait til they're available for purchase, and fly from one end of the Universe to the other. The political connections one could forge, the business connections, the wealth you could accumulate... I wasn't quite kidding about eventually winding up with the power to declare yourself to be God.

    Unless you kept a very small profile, moving every few years, owning little more than what could be carried on your back, you'd attract attention at some point. How is it going to look in 2875 if you have birth certificate showing you to be born in 1984 with the fingerprints to match? You'd have to get a new identity every 30 years or so just to avoid those sort of questions, and you'll eventually wind up getting found out anyway.
     
  3. audreymonroe

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    No way. I don't even want to live that long (at least relatively) so I'm pretty sure I would never want to opt in for immortality. Sure, part of the not-wanting-to-live long thing is that I don't want to spend the last years of my life doing nothing but dying, so the not getting older part is kind of appealing, and the thought of being able to relax a little because I literally have "the rest of my life ahead of me" doesn't sound too bad, but still, I would say no. I'm going to try to word this so I sound as little like a 14 year old Goth kid as possible, but, I think essentially I'm kind of driven by the idea of mortality. I'd like to think that even if the thought of "I don't have that much time here, I've got to make the most of it" wasn't relevant anymore that I'd still be ambitious and adventurous and curious, but I think it might make me start to feel very nihilistic and depressed and lazy. I like setting goals and accomplishing them, and I think to me goals start to lose their meaning if they never have a deadline. And what if even if you literally had all of the time in the world that you still never really accomplish anything? That's one of my biggest fears in life.Just because you're living forever doesn't mean you're suddenly going to be awesome at life forever. Plus, I'm only in my twenties and I'm already really tired. I'm pretty okay with the idea of dying one day. (WOW that sounds way more dramatic than I'm intending, but hopefully you get the idea.)

    Also this:
    No fucking thank you.

    Now, excuse me while I run to the local Hot Topic, pick up some studded leather bracelets, and listen to Staind.
     
  4. lust4life

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    Focus: No thanks. I'd rather move on to the next scene.
     
  5. Superfantastic

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    I most likely would do it, mainly because of what's mentioned in the first post: that we're so close to something huge (extra edge) that could extend our lives indefinitely. There are definitely a few big draw backs, some of them already mentioned, but what excites me is the things we can't even think of right now, but could actually happen in the next few decades. Just seeing the way humanity would change would be worth sticking around for.

    When I talk about 'The Fu-cha' with friends, we always bring up video games and porn going truly virtual reality mode, to the point there's no discernable difference between them and reality. Killing zombies, playing with your favourite sports star, being the only dude in a ten (hundred?) girl orgy? I mean, come on.

    Then there's the whole uploading your brain/thoughts to a computer, which I don't understand in the least but I want it now. Winterbike mentioned suicide as an option, but if you somehow got bored with the way things are, you could go digital. No idea what that would be like, but I doubt the novelty would wear off quickly.

    But mainly the super porn.
     
  6. FreeCorps

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    Now, would this be me simply being able to live on still in my youth, or would I heal up, Wolverine style? Because the latter is the only way I would do it.

    Imagine if you stay young forever, but you're in a terrible accident that leaves you paraplegic. Or an accident with a pot of boiling water leaves your face ruined and your eyesight gone. Or you literally get buried alive. Unable to move to somehow kill yourself, trapped forever.

    You guys think of it as simply living forever in your current life. Eventually, bad shit will happen to you. And it might be the kind of bad shit that would usually kill you, and it would be a mercy for it to do so.

    You might just end up like the kid in The Jaunt.
     
  7. lust4life

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    Or, a life sentence without possibility of parole, ala The Twilight Zone.
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

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    Since when is life expectancy being prolonged by three months every year? I thought mine was the first generation that wasn't going to live as long as the previous generation because all this technology has spoiled us.
     
  9. Esian

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    It is great to think that with unlimited time I would be able to accomplish so much, but a big part of me is afraid that I would just have the perfect reason to procrastinate forever. There would always be another day to do something... so I just might never actually do anything.

    On the other hand... I'm really afraid of change, growing old, and dying.
     
  10. Revengeofthenerds

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    If you have immortality, I think they answer here is a pretty clear 5-step process:

    1) Verify that you cannot die (take your pick as to how).
    2) Get sponsored by Red Bull.
    3) Do every insane thing you can imagine. Ever. And make sure you're blind folded, on fire, and certifiably drunk off your ass when you do it.
    4) Profit.
    5) Rule the world.
     
  11. silway

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    I would choose immortality in a heartbeat. Now, for definitional purposes, I'm assuming that I will live forever as a biologically youngish man, can commit suicide, but am otherwise a normal guy. No special regenerative/resilient powers (though I'd love that too of course).

    Anyway, let me put it like this, I'll go ahead and take the chance that not dying of old age winds up being horrible. I can always opt out. It's a risk. If only one of us gets to do this, I'll go ahead and jump on that grenade for you all. That's how much of a hero I am.

    If this comes out because of a fluke accident of some sort, so be it. But if it's simply a natural progression of living in the 21st century, I'll be much happier knowing my wife can live forever as well. Two much more difficult questions are: What happens to society if everyone can do this? If only one person can do it, and it's up to me, do I choose myself or my wife?
     
  12. Dude

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    If you live forever naturally, but can still be killed in an accident, then I'd rather just live out a normal life span. If, on the other hand, you actually can't die, then I'd totally be for it. There are a lot of extremely risky cliff diving/base jumping types of things i'd like to do, and without worrying about death you could raise the bar on that kind of thing immensely.
     
  13. Angel_1756

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    Wait - but you can still be injured, right? Because I'll be honest - living out eternity like Terry Schaivo doesn't really hold any appeal to me.
     
  14. TX.

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    One of my friends has one of those microchip hands. He provides feedback to the developers. It's basically an $80,000 toy that needs a lot more work to actually be functional. Cool idea for the future, though. I bet in our kids' or grandkids' time it will assist someone without a limb.

    Focus: No way. Mortality is what makes life precious. Without it life would gradually become completely meaningless and devoid of any joy.
     
  15. Superfantastic

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    The thing that really trips me out, is that it seems like suicide-as-commonplace is the direction we're heading as a culture, not just for terminal disease/pain (which I think should be an option now), but for boredom, basically. We're even talking about it in this thread like it will be no big deal come next century. I personally think things will continue getting more and more interesting, so I would always want to see what's next, but when I picture the not so distance future, it's not too difficult to imagine 200+ year old people (with the bodies of 30 year olds) deciding to opt out of life...just because. This would mean we'll have gone from a 30-50 year life expectancy, to double that, to so long we start offing ourselves for no real reason, all in about two-and-a-half centuries, or about 5 generations. Fuck. Ing. Trippy.

    I would choose the brain-uploading-to-a-computer option though, again for the super porn.
     
  16. PenetrationStation

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    I thought it was interesting that one of the earlier posters asked if his wife would be immortal, too. The idea of a marriage starts to look somewhat foolish when you consider being immortal. Spending 50-60 years married to one person is very quaint and all, but fucking one person for the rest of eternity? This is some Sperm Wars shit on a whole new level.

    I think the best way we could deal with this type of technological breakthrough would be periodic memory wipes or the insertion of false memories to produce new histories. I have no idea how we could do this. I would suggest expanding the NFL to athletes of lesser calibers and see where we end up in 20-30 years.

    There's also the question of malleability of the brain. At some point, I believe in our mid to late 20's, our brains become far less flexible and useful in learning new things. Immortality doesn't seem quite so sweet if you can barely understand the advances taking place around you.

    Fun power fantasy, though.
     
  17. downndirty

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    Nope. Immortality can fuck a stump, as far as I'm concerned. Life is interesting now, I'm healthy, happy and having a good time. That's temporary, and for everyone life has a moment where you just want off the ride. I'm not afraid of that, and I highly value the quality of my life over a large number of years watching Matlock and bitching about younger generations.

    One of my strongest fears is Alzheimer's. In a lot of ways, all I have are memories and I'm investing in new ones as often as I can. If I could live forever, but couldn't remember shit, I'd want out.

    I do agree that suicide for the elderly isn't going anywhere but up, especially in the US. Turn my family into beggars or pull the plug when I have a stroke at 70? Easy choice for a lot of people.
     
  18. lust4life

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    Memory wipes and new memories installed? What would be the point? You'd just be living an eternal false existence. As for your brain, it typically is fully developed around your mid 20s, but plasticity remains.
     
  19. silway

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    I find it interesting how many people assume that living forever automatically means doing nothing interesting. Quite the opposite for me. I figure if I knew I'd live forever the *early* years would be boring while I laid the ground work for a wealthy and anonymous rest of my life. Then, after that, is when I'd go and really explore and experience the world.

    To reply to a post a couple up, I was the one who mentioned my wife. It's pretty simple. Even if, not like we really know, we divorced 150 years from now because we were sick of each other, I'd still want her to live forever.
     
  20. Now Slappy

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    Just plug my ass in to the Matrix. Ones and zeros baby...ones and zeros.