Facing Eternity

It might not be immediately noticeable, but modern medicine has greatly increased the human life span. Sure the most drastic extension is available only to the privileged minority, but even the lower classes have benefited greatly advancements in treatment and medication.

Doctors and researchers aren’t the type to just sit back, so medical science is always pushing the envelope further, developing or adapting all the cutting edge technologies from robotics to material science. What does this mean for us? Well, because the rate of technological advancement is exponential, there will come a time when treatments can stave off death long enough for the next technology to be developed, which will keep people alive until the next one, and the next, and the next. The end result? Immortality.

I’m not talking about cutting peoples heads off and getting struck by lightning, being bullet proof or completely immune to disease, but the fact is that death from aging will become (for some) a thing of the past. How we adopt these technologies is, however, a completely different question.

Any new technology always starts it’s commercial life as an exclusive product. Only the richest people can afford the huge price tag associated with the cutting edge, but because capitalism runs best on the volume game, new technology quickly becomes old technology and gets cheaper and cheaper. So, we start off with a elitist class of immortals… but pretty soon everyone can afford it… then what?

Do we allow anyone and everyone to walk through the eons? It’s been shown that the lower we go on the social scale, the more children we have. What happens when we’ve got 300, 400 years worth of fertility? The earth is already overpopulated with people that barely scrape a century of life… I doubt it can cope with an immortal population that breeds and acts as we do.

What I find exciting, worrying and scary is that the Longevity Turning Point is not as far away as you’d think… I’ve read articles that posit it in the next 50-100 years… thats us or our children as humanity’s first immortal generation… and I, for one, don’t think we’re ready for it.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead, Google it…

In The News:

Caltech Makes Flexible, 86% Efficient Solar Arrays – Finally! we can kick escom out the house.

Chilean Earthquake Shortened Earth’s Day – not by much… but I hadn’t thought it could have such a global effect.

Long-distance quantum communication – getting that much closer to reality. This is a very important technology for our plans for space travel… communication that doesn’t take days, months or years to reach other planets? Brilliant.

Skinput turns your arm into a touchscreen – this is COOL! watch the video.

One in four Germans wants microchip under skin – very interesting poll done in Germany… raises all sorts of ethical/anthropological questions.

Your Personal Memory Device – brain scans, networking and data-centers could turn us all into perfect recall, telepathic cyborgs… I’d sign up.

The World’s First Commercially Available Jet-pack – watch out for those Nazi’s (5 points to anyone who gets this reference)

Google’s Computing Power Refines Translation – getting closer to a perfect universal translator… awesome.

New Phone Allows Bosses To Snoop On Staff – whoa… I REALLY don’t like this… too Orwellian for me.

Work’s been heavy this week… hence the late week post… but there it is, hope you enjoyed it.

-Odd

“Who wants, To live, Forever….”

 

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