X-Message-Number: 28708
Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2006 13:42:29 -0500
From: Francois <>
Subject: The Fountain, reply to David Stodolsky

>> I would, however, make
>> one suggestion to the cryonic enterprise. Why not create our own
>> story about
>> immortality, one reflecting our view of the subject?

>There is no 'story' here. What is interesting about a healthy
>individual going about their affairs without problems?

Ok, lets see, possible storylines for such a movie.

#1. Medical technology has reached a level permitting the reanimation of 
people put in cryonic suspension with the primitive techniques of our time. 
Reanimations begin and people wake up in a world much different from the one 
they died in, and much different from the one they envisionned. How do they 
cope and adapt? What sort of help are they provided with, what kind of 
obstacles do they have to overcome? Will all of them make it, and how well 
will those who do be accepted by the immortals living in that future time?

#2 The sun is reaching the end of its normal star status and is about to 
enter its red giant stage. This, by the way, will happen in about 5 billion 
years and is exactly the kind of problem immortals will have to deal with. 
The trillions of inhabitants of the solar system must find a new place to 
live or undertake a colossal engineering project to restore the sun to a 
more benign state. Politics, financing problems, opposition by inhabitants 
of other star system who don't want to deal with so many refugies, 
techological difficulties and many other problems conspire to make the task 
a difficult one.

#3 Once a star system has reached its maximum sustainable population, its 
people stops having children, except for the very few needed to replace the 
unavoidable accidental deaths. How do people who have not seen children past 
the time they reached adulthood deal with raising these few necessary 

#4 Machine intelligence reaches a level that can rival and even surpass the 
intelligence of the immortals. How would their society deal with that 

#5 Violent sects of fanatical "deathists" launch deadly terrorists attacks 
on the immortals. How do they respond?

#6 How would murders be committed in a world populated by immortals? What 
sort of motives would make someone commit a murder in such a world? How 
would investigations be handled?

Well, you get the idea, and I'm no writer. There is plenty of story 
potential in a world populated by immortals, and many ways to make the side 
of the immortals look appealing, to make them the "good guys". The "healthy 
individual going about their affairs without problems" image is an appealing 
one, but it just won't happen like that. Immortals will have to deal with 
problems, maybe not our problems, maybe not problems we can imagine today, 
but problem nevertheless. That's a good thing if you ask me. Effective 
problem solving is a good part, maybe even the main part of what makes life 


Good health is merely the slowest
possible rate at which one can die. 

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