Taboo Subjects

Erich Schwarz schwarz at
Sat Mar 30 21:12:35 EST 1996

Joseph asked, about curing aging:

> ... Is it a  selfish egotistical endeavor and 
> would we cause global havoc ...

    Maybe, but what's the alternative?  What are we here for, to get
killed off like herd animals by stuff that we might in fact control?

    I think how you feel about this aspect of the problem depends a
lot on deep-rooted attitudes that really aren't open to much free
argument.  Some people like myself will see refusal to push advances
as monstrous.  Others will see it the reverse way.  About the one
thing I can suggest is that, if aging's cured, people born 50-100
years after the cure won't see it as "unnatural": they'll look at
old people today the way most of us view goiter victims 100 years ago.

> ... or would it really benefit mankind and remove 
> that "the one who dies with the most toys wins" attitude.

     Probably both.  Human beings have been radically innovating
ever since we harnessed fire.  We haven't been destroyed or turned
into angels yet, and probably won't be.  OTOH, few people I know
really want to go back to 1496 A.D.-level technology, so I suspect
that on *average* innovation is experienced as beneficial even by
its avowed critics.

--Erich Schwarz

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