Re: The Meaning That Immortality Gives to Life

From: Larry (
Date: Tue Oct 16 2007 - 13:04:42 MDT

On Tue, 16 Oct 2007, Jack Lloyd wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 07:19:39AM -0700, Larry wrote:
>> Technology can't 'fix' impermanence. Death is a sudden big change, but
>> even if sudden death goes away, we die bit by bit. Your memories of
>> the 1990s would eventually fade to be no more than what you'd read in
>> a history book. It would no longer be real to you, your 1990s self
>> would be effectively dead.
> Presumably at some point it would be at least possible (if maybe not
> desirable) to cover the planet in a sensor network so you could later
> recall/relive any event that happened to you (or anyone else?) at any
> point, even if your own hardware (biological or otherwise) fails. So
> in principle I don't see any reason that forgetfulness, like death,
> shouldn't be optional.

Its certainly possible for maybe thousands or millions of years to
store every memory perfectly. But eventually you run out, but your not
going to stay still. With that much storage/mental capacity civilization
will rapidly expand to fill it. Forgetfulness will eventually return,
probably in years or decades when we expect to have a million years of
storage. We always manage to fill our new hard drives :)

However long before individual death is drastically postponed, I believe
individual death as we know it will cease to be a major concern. We will
soon see:

1) Technologies able to turn off fear (likely just magnetic fields or
    wires in the right place). Probably initially an anxiety disorder
    treatment, but with expanded use as its discovered people generally
    work better in a modern society with reduced fear.

2) Technologies able to repair most injuries to the body, including
    growing new skin, organs, etc.

3) A great deal of interconnectedness, off loading memory to machines even
    more than is done now.

Its very likely the concept of individual death will slowly become less
and less of a concern as the concept of "I == body" becomes very fuzzy.

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