Want to live forever?

June 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

Really off-topic, but I felt like posting this . . .

I was reading the story of Brooke Greenberg a few days ago, and it really spoke to me. This is a sixteen year old girl that by all appearances, is a toddler younger than my own daughter. I’m not sure whether to be sad about this girl, but I am fascinated by her. Here is a human – a living, breathing human – who quite probably holds the key to living forever. I understand that to some, this is anathema to their thoughts, opinions, and religious affiliations. I don’t understand the mindset, personally. Regardless of your beliefs regarding what will happen once you die, it stands to reason that you should make the most of your time here in this reality. Isn’t this what we do every day? I don’t want to die – primarily because there are things that I want to do that I believe are of value. Having more time to accomplish them (on the order of several hundred years, or possibly longer) would allow me the freedom to do more of the things that I believe are valuable.

We venerate our elderly, and respect the depth and breadth of knowledge that they have to offer. Unfortunately, we are not ever able to take advantage of the knowledge that could be gained over several hundred years because no one has ever lived long enough to amass that much knowledge in one mind. At best, a single person can work against a problem for 50-60 years, and in that time, whatever knowledge that they have gained that hasn’t been passed on to another person is lost. This is inefficient at best, and criminally negligent at worst. We are reaching problems in our development as a society and a species that cannot be solved easily – that require deep thought, analysis, and study in order to solve. We have to find a better process – we have give people the time they need to solve problems and work out solutions.

Of course, eternal life raises it’s own set of concerns. What will we do about population growth, resources, food, energy, and so on? These are not reasons to be scared, though – these are not reasons to stop progress – these are not reasons to give up before we’ve begun. They are challenges that we will face and solve, particularly with the increased resources we will have at our disposal.

Why aren’t we working on this harder? Why aren’t we striving towards this more? Don’t you want to slay the dragon?

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