February 15, 2005

Kurzweilian Immortality

We have discussed both Ray Kurzweil and immortality before on Shepherd's Pie and this article brings them together with terrifying realism. Kurzweil is devising a plan to live long enough to see intelligent nanorobots that constantly repair our bodies from within. Clearly this theory and desire raise a heapload of conflicts. Mostly, I wonder about a world where our defining global condition is the psychological option of immortality, as opposed to global annihilation. Also, the economics of Ray's theory also raise interesting questions, and some are addressed in the article. How do we deal with the wealthy immortals? Asher claims to desire immortality, and according to Kurzweil, he will live to have that choice.

I have this quote from the article to respond...

"They've forgotten they're acting on the basic biological fear of death and extinction, and it distorts their rational approach to the human condition"

- Sherwin Nuland, a bioethics professor at Yale University's School of Medicine

To me, immortality is just bad design.



At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, I was glad to read this post because I hadn't thought before about the inherant advantages of mortality. I was also happy to see you a couple weeks ago and fear that I, being tired and stressed, didn't make a very good host. You seem to be at home anywhere, so you would be far better.

Anyway, you do good work. Have you read Dante, or St. Augustine's Confessions? There was a copy of Dante in the far stud with Italian and English on opposing pages that I used to read: it was a blast.

You know my e-mail address, or you can /msg me; I'd be glad to hear from you.



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