Saturday, December 03, 2005

Immortality


I heard an interview on NPR the other day. Ray Kurzweil was on the Diane Rehm show. Ray is a futurist and inventor who thinks he's going to live forever. You might think he's a nutcase, but he actually is pretty lucid when he makes his point.

He feels that--if he can survive the next 20 years through diet, exercise and vitamins (he takes 230 vitamins a day or something like that)...that science will have reached a point where--through nanotechnology, gene therapy, and bioengineering--that we can regenerate/rejuvinate aging flesh and defeat all chronic diseases. Essentially, we would all have nano-robotics inside of our cells, repairing the wear and tear of daily living.

Personally, I think he's a bit optimistic. Even if it were true, I wouldn't want it. Why do I want to live forever? If you gave me the option of traveling to other planets and stuff...then we'll talk.

A religious lady called in from AZ and said this: adults shouldn't be any more afraid of death than children are of life. It's part of the process of living. Ray said, essentially: that's a mantra we tell ourselves because--up to now--there's never been any option BESIDES death. An interesting point. I suppose it's easy for me to say that I'd rather die when the option of immortality seems a bit of a fairy tale. Who knows what I may say if I actually had the opportunity?

Then again, I've never been afraid of death.

2 comments:

Shasta said...

hmm. intense. i don't know that i want to live forever. i don't know that i want to carry the same memories in the same body for millenia. seems like too much baggage. i kind of like that buddhist idea about the eight levels of consciousness, wherein the memories associated with the 5 senses that are directly associated with your ego dissolve, and the remaining "levels of consciousness" that constitute the deeper combined impressions from your life live on in the form of good or bad karma imprinted on the collective unconscious.

Glasnost said...

If you take away other aspects of mortality, like pain, feeling tired, and temptation, then I would not mind living forever. Otherwise, let me die when the test of life is over for me (I personally believe it is a test)(and a school).