The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

But Would We Want To?

I wrote a little about this some time ago but after watching last night's episode of Futurescape, it rose in my mind once again. Living forever, that is... or at least for a very long time.

I was reminded of a short story I read many years ago, I no longer recall the author or the main characters but the basic premise was that an alien hired a detective to find a certain other alien race. The race was supposed to be immortal or as near to it as anyone decide was close enough. The twist was that the race of the alien who hired the detective already had a lifespan of some twenty thousand years. Apparently, that wasn't enough.

I used to tell my mother that I intended to live forever, pause, and then say "so far, so good." A friend of mine says he wants to live to be 150... he's a little over halfway there. And plays better golf than I... though that isn't all that hard to do. I live in a town that has a median age for its population of 47.3 years (Florida, overall, has a median age of 41.3 years). You get that median age by having a lot of old people. People tend to come here to retire or when they get tired of maintaining two homes; one in some northern state and one down here. Let's just say, at 67, I am one of the "kids" around here.

In a story, a novel (The Annals of the Heechee, I think), by Frederik Pohl, the protagonist (Robinette Broadhead) meets a race (the Heechee) who keep the minds of their ancestors with them to help and advise them. Humans do something slightly different with the technology; they transfer all of their knowledge (their "essence", if you will) into a computer which creates a virtual world in which they live on, perhaps forever.

All of which makes me wonder...  Would I want to live that long? The Futurescape episode suggested that people might not want to, that they might seek out death at some point. This is a common theme in vampire novels. It might be incredibly boring to live a couple hundred years... or longer. Even if, say, 90 becomes the New 40.

The Bible speaks of ancient patriarchs (such as Methuselah) who lived 800 or more years (Methuselah allegedly lived to age 969). Even though it might be fascinating to live far into the future and see the amazing advances man makes, it could also be possible to see the destruction of civilization in a few hundred years.

Not sure I'd want to see that.

Oh, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Tom Sightings said...

Well, I guess I'd want to stay alive until they came up with something better. Anyway, congrats on your new wheels. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Douglas said...

I feel a blog post rising to my consciousness.. Why do people so often congratulate someone for succumbing to a sales pitch (buying a car) and purchasing something which immediately loses value?