April 13, 2008

Pills to forever

1. Ordinary life is sometimes boring. So what?
2. Eternal life will be as boring or as exciting as you make it.
3. Is being dead more exciting?
4. If eternal life becomes boring, you will have the option of ending it at any time.
Ed Regis, Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition, quoted on p53 of the worth-a-read Transhumanist FAQ

The above are the pills that Ray Kurzweil [aged 60] takes every day to help ensure that he's around for the Singularity and the concomitant eternal life. The picture and the following quote [from the reporter, not RK] are lifted from a recent Wired profile.

...immortality will arrive in stages. First, lifestyle and aggressive antiaging therapies will allow more people to approach the 125-year limit of the natural human lifespan. This is bridge one. Meanwhile, advanced medical technology will begin to fix some of the underlying biological causes of aging, allowing this natural limit to be surpassed. This is bridge two. Finally, computers become so powerful that they can model human consciousness. This will permit us to download our personalities into nonbiological substrates. When we cross this third bridge, we become information. And then, as long as we maintain multiple copies of ourselves to protect against a system crash, we won't die.
I had a post on this while back, when I was just getting into this page, and it includes more color on Kurzweil and praise for the very good post-Singularity sci-fi novel Accelerando, available for free and legal in pdf form at the link. I'm very, very skeptical, but I like the idea, and I like ideas to play with. But all my bets are on getting older and dying, on not having eternity to play in.

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