X-Message-Number: 19123
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Immortal skills
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 10:37:11 -0700

Ed in Message #19109 in commenting on odds for immortality wrote in part:

"Although the probability of being 'hit' by an accident, interstellar
violence, etc. will always increase with advancing age, given intelligence
and knowledge, and foresight of how to avoid these mishaps could
theoretically keep the probability of a 'lightening strike' very, very low."

I am reminded o this every time I drive a car on the freeway.  Instant and
gruesome high impact death lurks at every side while I cruise down the

I see the vast majority of drivers riding within just a few feet of other
vehicles at speeds over 60 miles per hour completely oblivious to the
realities of brake application reaction time and the physical realities of
momentum.  Over the years I must have driven past dozens of traffic
fatalities resulting from this single stupid behavior though the lemmings
who also drive by these lessons from death seem to never learn from others'
experiences and continue to tailgate at high speeds.

But at least in my own case I DO look at this insanity and ALWAYS seek to
drift back with enough space between the front of my car body and the mass
of steel flying down the highway in front of me.  It is true that there are
times when I cannot achieve the necessary space but I consistently seek to
do so.  I never feel "comfortable" until that minimal stopping space is
restored in front of me.

Include all the other kinds of suicidal driving behaviors CHOSEN by these
lemmings of the road and consider how you, too, most probably have defensive
strategies you have learned or created to minimize their danger to you.  Add
to these situations all the natural dangers due to weather, mechanical
failure, etc. and it looks like a certainty that eventually your "luck will
run out" and you will certainly be killed on the highway.  The flaw in this,
pointed out by Ed, is that we can learn and apply our skills to increasingly
be prepared for and avoid these dangers as they happen.

Like the Boy Scouts we can "Be Prepared".

And NONE of this takes into account the benefits of improved technologies to
increase our chances for survival.

Just one example.  Driving speed limits are posted everywhere.  We already
have the technology to stop almost all drivers from driving faster than
those posted limits through having static devices which measure speed with a
laser and then photograph the rear or front license plate to mail a hefty
speeding ticket to the car owner.  Where this simple (now at least 25 years
old which is when I got a fractional speeding ticket this way in Munich,
Germany) technology has been put to use, the drivers' compliance with speed
limits becomes close to 100%.  Just forcing most vehicles to not deviate
wildly with different speeds on expressways will dramatically reduce the
likelihood of accidents at high speeds.  And as technologies improve (and
people USE the technologies) the safety factors will improve.

Of course this does defeat the "death defying" macho behavior of the would
be James Deans and Steve McQueens of the highways who wish to drive any way
they want to.  But for the rest of us who do not equate freedom with suicide
things overall will simply tend to become safer on the highway.

I suspect that this will eventually extend increasingly to all other arenas
of human activity as well as our skills and technology increasing shift the
odds in our favor.

Looks to me as though immortality is a very realistic probability.

So far, so good.

Just my opinion,

George Smith
CI member and Immortalist

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