Genetic Research stops aging...

moran at hal-pc.org moran at hal-pc.org
Thu Oct 31 10:19:48 EST 1996


cam at aisb.ed.ac.uk (Chris Malcolm) wrote:

>In article <wpenrose.200.004A3E9F at interaccess.com> wpenrose at interaccess.com (William R. Penrose) writes:
>>K. Eric Drexler, the nanotechnology man, claims in Engines of Creation that 
>>one of the possible outcomes of the new science is endless, healthy life, with 
>>death caused only by accidents and violence.  He then imagines that this would 
>>make people very very cautious about their lifestyles.  It's one thing to risk 
>>death in traffic or bungee jumping with forty years of life and a slow, 
>>miserable decline and death ahead of you, he supposes, but a much different 
>>thing if you can look forward to millenia of healthy life.
>
This is, of course, why the elderly, with 1 to 15 years or so of life
ahead of them, do the most bungee jumping, driving crazy, and
generally doing stupid stuff that is likely to see them killed. :)

You know, this has been a notion for as long as humans have thought
about immortality--and if you think about it, it is just an obvious
case of sour grapes.  Children, teenagers, and young adults have the
greatest number of years of life ahead of them; however, they do not
act conservatively about their lives.  As humans get older, heading
into middle age and into their elderly years, they do not start acting
foolhardy with their lives because they figure they only have a few
years left to live, anyway.  People treat the idea of their death with
concern only when it seems real to them, i.e. only when they think
that their death is somehow quite possible in the "near" term.  If
people's lifespans were greatly extended, I think you would see people
acting  young--taking more risks, etc. because nobody who is young
thinks that *they* are the one who could be killed doing something.

moran at hal-pc.org



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