> Is this a universal phenomenon? Does everyone experience this as a
> traumatic moment, after which you know that your days are numbered?
Not really. You have to bear in mind, I read _Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition_ at around age eleven or so. And even before that, I grokked the concept of medical life extension.
By the time I realized we might all get wiped out in a nanowar anyway, I no longer found the concept of death or even personal nonexistence particularly frightening. Frankly, I think the only reason we all pretend to find nonexistence inconceivable and horrifying is that there's a cultural expectation that we should.
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way