Thanks Galen, Keevy. This is a fascinating topic. I have great hopes for the little ones--for my grandson, for my friends' children and grandchildren, that they will not have to suffer many of the downsides of aging. For myself, I have long since made peace with the inevitable--what choice is there?--and try to see each phase of my life as interesting new territory to explore.
I remember reading an essay that Issac Asimov wrote just before he died. In this essay he said, I've spent my entire lifetime learning, packing my head full of beautiful things, and any moment now, all that I have been will be gone. Poof! As though it had never been. Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?
wrote an English poet a thousand years ago. Where are those who went before us?
In a blinking of an eye, gone.
It would be a wonderful thing to live longer and to be healthier. I would love, for example, to have the time to learn more, to push back my profound ignorance a great deal more than I have been able to. So many people and places, ways of life, arts, sciences, other fields of endeavor to become familiar with. But at some point, one has to start making hard choices. Will I attend to this or to that? Where will the remaining energy go? The world is so full of a number of things, wrote Stevenson, that I think we should all be as happy as kings. A thousand lifetimes would not be sufficient to exhaust the richness to be discovered in a life. There is doubtless a wonderful literature in Korean, but I shall probably never know anything much of it. One has to prioritize the remaining time. Too bad we don't understand that from Day 1.
But as I say, I am resigned to the inevitable, and the very transience of everything makes the time remaining all the more precious, each day with its wonders. "What will you do with your one wild and wonderful life?" wrote the poet May Swenson. Good question, that, one that becomes increasingly urgent.
BobRobert D. Shepherd
www.bobshepherdonline.com[masked]th Avenue, Apt. 213
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
"E questo dubbio [about the meaning of life] e impossibile a solvere a chi non fosse in simile grado fedele d'Amore." --Dante, La vita nuova
From: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [new-tampa-philosophers] Apropos our previous discussion on transhumanism
To: [address removed]
Date: Thu, 1 Mar[masked]:15:20 -0500
Bob, it depends on what your are asking. How will it effect us physically? Probably a near term reduction in the general aging process stemming from cell death but as Keevy mentioned it would probably increase the incidence of cancer because old cell lines would not die off naturally. If it allows us to extend the lifespan for you old folks long enough to reach Aubrey de Gray's lifespan escape velocity (thereby putting biological immortality within your reach) then it is a worthwhile interim measure, though less optimal than an actual rejuvenation therapy which restores not only the telomeres but corrects any accumulated errors in the cell's DNA. This is the true goal, not long life, but enduring youth.
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