X-Message-Number: 28611
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 13:02:23 EST
Subject: Re:Long Life

In a message dated 10/31/2006 3:01:14 AM Mountain Standard Time,  

I  reserve judgement on the message carried by the movie for after I have  
actually seen it. However, it does ask a valid question, one which we'll  
need to answer eventually. What if we could live forever? What then? Is  
eternal life really desirable? I certainly think so, and so do many people  
reading cryonet. In a way, most people find it desirable because it is  
precisely what they are trying to achieve through their religions, but is  it 
really something to be strived for?

We have no experience with  immortality, all we have are speculations. What 
happens to a human mind  after a thousand years? A million? A quadrillion? 
Will we vanquish death  only to succumb to insanity, boredom, despair, or 
something worse that  will only be revealed after countless millenia? Yes, 
the question is  indeed valid and must not be ignored or dismissed. We would 
do so at our  own peril.

The thing is, you would have choices.  Bored of life in AD 2500?   Return to 
cold sleep until 2600, 2800, 3000.  Choose to live actively for  six months 

every ten years.  Really bored?  Skip ahead a thousand  years -- *that* ought to
provide some challenges. And you can always choose real  death whenever you 
More likely you will soon (within 50 years) have control over your  emotions, 
so you can take a pill or flip a switch and go from bored and  depressed to 

happy and engaged. This is already the case with legal drugs like  caffeine and
alcohol. Cocaine and Ecstasy are far more potent, and would be fine  except 
for their side effects. In fact, in civilized lands a dying person who  need 
not worry about addiction can get a "Babbage Cocktail" (Babbage may not be  

right -- it's something like that) of fruit juice, gin, heroin and cocaine. Pain
vanishes yet he is stimulated and cheerful, and the British say they have 

people  singing hymns at the top of their voices up to three hours from the end.
In  America the John Ashcroft bluenosed puritans ban this of course.
But give it a few years and drugs or brain stimulation free of side effects  
will be available. Not just "feel-good" drugs either, but ones like caffeine 
and  nicotine that foster calm concentration, and doubtless others for every 
mood  known -- creativity, love, whatever.
And it is likely we will be overtaken by the Singularity, and when bored of  
corporeal life, be able to enter a community in a computer, sleep on a 
thousand  year journey to a distant star, and go exploring new planets.
For every problem we will invent ever-more solutions. If there is no  

solution now, sleep until there is. Death will always be available, but  
that will be seen as being like amputating your arm because your  fingernails 
have grown too long. There will always be better choices.
I'm sure long life will present challenges, and I look forward to the  movie. 
But humans manage to overcome most challenges. In fact, we thrive on  it.

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