[extropy-chat] near-immortality for the wealthy ? (commentary by J. Shirley)

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Tue Jul 13 18:26:01 UTC 2004

This is from John Shirley's blog at the boing-boing site. His perspective
is one from to which to form answers to and think about, because
I think this is a typical perspective. There should be good answers
for this perspective (economies of scale, for example). If it is
not in any of the faqs now, perhaps it should be.

http://www.boingboing.net/   (go to the right side of the page)

"Of course with billions of dollars fueling research, a means to change
faces, to make them look genuinely younger in a more natural-appearing
way, will eventually be found, and it'll be found way before a cure
for AIDS or cancer. Probably you'll get a new face the way you'll get
a new inner organ; it'll be seeded from a dna sample, grown in a vat.
Some guy will have the job of tending the face vats. Hundreds of young
faces waiting to be transplanted to replace surgically removed older
faces--hundreds of faces floating in the face vats, staring up at him.
Will the job tend to lead to madness, suicide? It'll happen.

My opinion is that near-immortality, through cellular regeneration,
obviating the need for cosmetic surgery, will become a reality too.
(Eg, at this company, perhaps.) But, as I wrote in one of my daily
blogs not long ago, immortality will be only for people who have
money. People who, mostly, do not deserve immortality will have it
because the treatment will cost tens of millions and will be kept
expensive in our overpopulated world. Yes, Michael Jackson will be
alive in three hundred years. Paris Hilton, God help us, alive in four
hundred years, looking young. Can you imagine? Donald Trump alive in
two hundred years but Jimmy Carter dead? Rupert Murdock will be alive
in three hundred years but those heroic fellows working for Doctors
Without Borders--they'll be dead. The people who deserve some measure
of immortality usually won't get it. Social parasites will be forever.
And since people are getting MORE AND MORE IGNORANT and illiterate,
they will come to regard such people as GODS. Worshipping Paris


Amara Graps, PhD          email: amara at amara.com
Computational Physics     vita:  ftp://ftp.amara.com/pub/resume.txt
Multiplex Answers         URL:   http://www.amara.com/
"It's not the pace of life I mind. It's the sudden stop at the end."

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