Immortality within 30 Years
Would You Want to Live Forever?
Immortality has been a human ambition for as long as humans have walked this Earth.
Immortalists and transhumanists think that the developing sciences of nanotechnology, nanomedicine and artificial intelligence could enable us to achieve our ancient hope within the next half century. In the foreseeable future, the aging process could be treated like any other bodily malfunction.
While this idea may sound like science-fiction to many people in the year 2010, the boundaries of what is already possible have already changed and will continue to change at an ever-increasing rate.
Read on to discover why achieving real immortality is not as far-fetched as it may first seem.
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- Jason Silva's MySpace Website
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What is Singularity?
By the year 2025 computer and nano intelligence and ability will equal that of humanity's. Soon after, it will begin to overtake it.
At this point, people will be able to make use of nanorobotic implants to vastly improve their intelligence and longevity. But this stage is just the start. We may reach the point where un-enhanced "natural" intelligence will be too slow and undeveloped to keep up with the enhanced version, and so fall behind those who embrace transhumanism. This stage, then, is what futurist Ray Kurzweil calls singularity.
Ray Kurzweil has written extensively about his vision of the future, and his ideas are also expressed in a film due out in 2010 (see links below.)
More about Singularity
- The Singularity is Near
Human life will be enriched and challenged as our species breaks the shackles of genetic legacy and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress, and longevity. Futurist Ray Kurzweil presents his inspiring view of the 21st C.
- The Singularity Is Near - Movie Preview
It's a movie version of the book, with two running through lines. In documentary style, we have Ray (Kurzweil)discussing his ideas about the Singularity...
- Ray Kurzweil's Artificial Intelligence Website
Features big thoughts from today's big thinkers examining the confluence of accelerating revolutions that are shaping our future world.
Death is a Disease
How many times have you been told that death is a natural part of life, and that the cycle of life and death is not only unavoidable and inevitable but somehow good for our spirituality?
Every religion has its own death stories - tales which endeavour to make dying sound like a good experience. The usual story-line declares that life here is tough, but things will get better after you're dead so long as you obey the rules of whichever religion or social-political system wants you to remain a loyal subject. And down through the millennia countless billions of people have reacted to such tales like donkeys following the proverbial carrot.
However, things may be about to change.
A growing number of scientists, such as Aubrey de Grey, have been researching ways of isolating that which makes our bodies age. They consider death to be just another disease which, if we research its properties fully, can be conquered and eradicated like any other disease.
More about Aubrey de Grey's Work
- SENS Foundation
Founded to develop, promote and ensure widespread access to regenerative medicine solutions to the disabilities and diseases of aging.
- Methuselah Foundation
A non-profit medical charity dedicated to extending healthy human life through proven programs... and a diverse support of key technology and research generated by companies like SENS, Organovo and Silverstone Solutions.
- BBC NEWS | UK | 'We will be able to live to 1,000'
Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey believes that within the foreseeable future, human beings will be able to live to 1,000 years of age.
Great Gifts from Spooky Cute Designs!
- Spooky Cute Designs
Discover the unique charm of Spooky Cute Designs! There's even a dedicated range of gifts for immortalists and transhumanists!
A Future Rich with Potential
Imagine if people could extend their biological lives indefinitely. Through the use of emerging technologies, such a nanomedicines, nanorobotics, DNA engineering, stem cell research and artificial intelligence, this is a very real possibility - some might say an inevitability.
But how will this change society? There are some very real issues which will emerge as a consequence of these developments.
A division between those who can afford to purchase life extending processes and those who cannot might emerge. This is similar to current times, where many people the world over either struggle to pay for medicines, or who can't afford them at all. In time, life extending processes may well become cheaper - just as contemporary electronic gadgets tend to be more pricey when they're first marketed, but which drop in price as production costs decrease.
Artificially enhanced people might leave unenhanced people trailing behind, as the enhanced person could have a much higher IQ, physical stamina, more experience (having lived longer) and greater adaptability. This may lead to a split-tiered society - even more so than now, with the social divisions between poor, middle and upper financial classes. But perhaps there will always be those who are more successful than others, (according to however success may be defined by any given individual or culture.)
The Right to Die
Some people might chose not to accept artificial enhancement, just as followers of some religions today decline certain medical procedures which would otherwise save their lives. This would surely be their choice, and to be respected.
The replacement of hips and many major organs are common operations now. Not too long ago, these would have been considered impossible. Keyhole surgery was a pioneering technique only a decade ago, whereas now it is often used. Who can foresee what may be possible within two decades, or three, or five?
Population control may be a very serious issue in the future. If people can live for 1,000 years or more then they would wish to do so in comfort, with plenty of food and water for all, of course. Attempts at population control have already been tried, for example in China, and the resulting problems faced by them may yet be faced by the wider world. Perhaps population will find its own balance once the instinctive need to propagate the species in order for the species to survive has been eradicated. Time will tell. Most likely we will have to be at the bridge before we can work out how to cross it.
The real question, in the here and now, is are you ready to embrace the possibilities offered by emerging life extension technologies? Do you want to live forever?
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© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray
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