October 25, 2005

Tuesday Food for Thought

I found this article interesting, mainly for the larger question it poses:

Can we "cure" aging? Do we really want to?

My preliminary reaction is this - a longer lifespan if I'm in reasonably good health would be okay, I guess. But how would I fund my retirement? What about having a kid? If folks aren't dying at the same rate, then the overpopulation thing folks yelled about in the 70's would become a reality. I don't want to work forever, people.

And then I flash to Anne Rice again, of all people. Her vampires just get bored after a couple of centuries. Heck, my musical tastes ossified when I was 14. The rut I'd be in at 214 would be amazing to behold.

Bottom line - I'm just too damn dull to live forever.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at October 25, 2005 11:28 AM | TrackBack
Comments

There'd be a big blow to the sympathy card industry.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at October 25, 2005 01:35 PM

Why retire? Oh wait, I forgot what your job is actually like. Never mind!

Personally, I have so much stuff I'd like to do that I couldn't get it done in a thousand years. I can't imagine getting bored after only a couple of centuries.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 25, 2005 09:14 PM

Where would we get the money to support ourselves? Unless we were all rich (and don't kid yourselves, the first ones to get this treatment will be rich) we'll have to keep on working. No thanks. Perpetual youth won't keep you from starving to death.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 25, 2005 09:46 PM

Wasn't there something along these lines in "Gulliver's Travels"????

Posted by: Laura at October 26, 2005 10:50 PM

Andrea dear--

There's this ancient ritual that people used to call "work". Some say it's possible to "get" the money to support yourself that way.

Not to be picayune, but words mean things. Ten million TV advertisements not withstanding, "getting" money is not the same as "making" money.

As you probably forgot in a moment of intellectual lethargy, America was the first culture on earth to use the term "making money", as an acknowledgement of the idea that all wealth has to be created by someone.

"Getting" money is what Galloway and Chirac did with the UN oil-for-kickbacks program.

See the difference?

Posted by: snopercod at October 27, 2005 05:14 PM

Not to be too bitter or anything, but after a week or so of seeing various news stories on the Baby Boomers wanting perks 'cos they're aging (e.g., demanding "more comfortable plane travel") and the horrible, hubris-filled ads lauding them as somehow a generation more special than all the others, but I suspect if a way is found to stop aging, many of the Boomers who are sold on their image as Demigods Who Invented Everything That Is Cool will demand it.

and us proles in the Generation X will wind up working forever to fund their lavish retirements. 'Cos you know, we're not special or anything, we didn't invent Rock N Roll or drug-taking or casual sex.

Posted by: ricki at October 28, 2005 04:34 PM

Hey ricki--

I'm the baby-boomer who invented the Walkman in 1958. Does that make me cool?

Yeah, I hooked up my short-wave headset to a battery powered (vacuum-tube) portable radio, and was walking around the school yard listening to Rock 'N Roll on KFWB.

The girls liked it, and all wanted to listen.

Oh, unfortnately for me, Sony stole my idea...

Posted by: snopercod at October 28, 2005 06:38 PM

You know, if it takes Anne Rice's vampires a couple of centuries to get bored, it must be because they don't listen to themselves when they talk.

Posted by: PersonFromPorlock at October 28, 2005 10:01 PM

"Where would we get the money to support ourselves? Unless we were all rich (and don't kid yourselves, the first ones to get this treatment will be rich) we'll have to keep on working. No thanks. Perpetual youth won't keep you from starving to death."

Not only would we have to keep on working... we'd be able to keep on working without feeling miserable. Think of how easy it was to get up and face the world at 20. Now imagine actually knowing a thing or two on top of that.

Would you have to work nonstop? Of course not. Just like we do today, you could save up enough to take 10-20 years off around age 65. Go back to school, get into a completely new line of work, travel and see the Solar System, whatever.

And of course there's that whole not gradually weakening under the onslaught of a slow, painful, degenerative, disfiguring terminal disease, which is one hell of an upside as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Ken at November 1, 2005 11:51 AM