Sunday, June 05, 2011
I finally got around to watching this video by Aubrey de Grey on his work to extend life past 1000 or so. The point he makes in the beginning is that he is not claiming that we are on the verge of finding a way to suddenly live to 1000, but rather that once we learn to extend life by 20-30 years or so, that extra amount of time will give research the leeway to extend it by another few decades, and another few, and eventually further refinements will bring it into the hundreds and 1000+ years.
In the beginning he brings up some of the arguments that those opposed to his work give for why we simply shouldn't live to a few hundred and 1000+ years. Now, I do agree with him that we should work on life extension and that there should be no problem with trying to live as long as possible.
That said, I do have an actual argument against it (a devil's advocate-type argument): extending life into the thousands of years would essentially guarantee everyone a violent death. Instead of death taking place at around 80-100 on the bed in one's sleep, we would live such long lives that the way we would usually end up dying would be through violence, drowning, falling off cliffs, starving with our arms stuck under a boulder, what have you. All fictional stories about immortals deals with this issue, and that's why we have Highlander with death only taking place with a lopped off head, or vampires who can live almost forever but end up dying in burning pain when tricked into being led into the sun, and so on.