immortality and how we see the world differently...

From: john grigg (
Date: Thu Feb 03 2000 - 02:04:16 MST

Hello everyone,

Randy Smith wrote:
I recently rented (and subsequently bought) a videotape of the Truman Show.
Incredible movie. I think the idea of someone suddenly seeing that the world
was not as it appeared to be is quite relevant to us as
extropians/cryonicists/transhumans. When Truman came up against the wall at
the end of his world, it reminded me of my own revelation that death,
although accepted as inevitable by all those around me, may not be so
inescapable as it appeared to everyone else. I recall that there was quite
a bit of discussion about The Truman Show on this list. Is there any way to
search the Extro list archives and read those messages? When I asked a
couple of other people who saw the movie, they thought it was a "good
movie," and that was about it. Are we weird, or what?

I suppose we are a slightly wierd bunch! lol I found that with the film
"Matrix" the public got the point so many missed with "Truman Show." I
remember my younger brother (who I gave a copy of "Great Mambo Chicken" to
for Christmas) talking about how a person could enjoy "Matrix" on two
different levels.

Eric wrote:
>I can relate to that too. Very often when people bring up the topic >of
>death, I will inevitably mention that death "may" not be >inevitable. When
>I try to explain that it is really just a problem >with biology and it can
>be corrected, I usually get a look as if I >just tore off my face and
>revealed some terrifying Sci Fi creature.

I usually keep the fact that I am a terrifying Sci Fi creature to myself! :)
  The natives of this planet are easily frightened and that can turn to
revulsion and angry mobs wielding torches. Ironically, most people I talk
to about this subject claim they don't want to live that much longer, they
just don't want to grow old. Something along the lines of the people in
"Brave New World."

>I never understood why this should come as a shock to people these >days.
>As a species human kind has been searching for the answer to >immortality
>from the moment we realized that we are alive.

And now we are on the verge, relatively speaking! I remember in a history
of China class where we learned of an emperor who in vain tried to have his
learned men discover immortality for him. They finally duped him by giving
him a daily tablet of substances that we know now actually shortened his
life. Health scams go back a long time, obviously!

We are a very fortunate generation. Many have dreamed in vain to be where
we are. But as Max More said awhile back he realizes he may not make it.
We may have all been born too early to take full advantage of the life
extension techniques that will be developed when we are old men and women.
They may still help us but not to the extent of a twenty year-old in the
year 2040 who will be young enough to take full advantage of these
technologies and will have enough years ahead of him to win the waiting game
in the search for real emortality.

I believe cryonics is the way for us but as most know this is hardly a sure
thing. Sadly, even though there is the money within the
cryonics/transhumanist community to fund the research needed to perfect
methods, it has not been forthcoming.

>We have been searching for answers and now we are coming up with >answers
>that don't involve having to die to get there. Seems to me >that there
>should be less "faith" involved in physical immortality >than the leap of
>faith or gamble that there may be a spiritual after >life involving a
>transference into another dimension, an alternate >reality or even an
>unseen UFO in the tail of a comet. To me these >are no longer valid

The faith comes in the form of you hoping that within your lifetime the
scientific advances will come to save you from death. Many do see religion
as a very valid option. I am fascinated by near-death experiences and have
read many books on the subject. I realize that brain hallucinations caused
by a dying brain are one explanation but I think there may be more to it
then that.

>Then there is the old why would anyone want to live forever refrain. >If
>someone truly does not care if they die than they are not really >living to
>begin with. Ask the same person if they would be willing >to die tomorrow
>and the answer is almost always "no". It should be >obvious... That is the
>wholepoint! Perhaps it's just another step in >evolution or natures way of
>choosing it's Immortals.

This has been dealt with by the cryonicists in their literature many times.
The other day I talked to a friend about these things. We got on the topic
of immortality and she said what bothered her most was the idea of cultural
stagnation which I think is the largest problem a world of immortals would

I think most immortals will be "chosen" simply by being alive when the final
breakthroughs are made. And the other immortals will be "chosen" by being
born into this world.

John Calvin wrote:
>I do however think that I will one day cease to "be" in the flesh, >and I
>secretly hope that it is via being shot by the jealous >lifemate of some
>alien babe while orbiting a massive Black Hole.

Won't there be plenty of single alien babes out there? lol My own secret
hope is to die gloriously by stopping the conquest of humanity by hostile
aliens! Hopefully, I will not have done this singlehandedly, because I
worry that immortality will rob us of our courage to rise up and risk our
lives against tyranny.

Afterward, a copy of me will be created that being identical will think just
like the old me and say, "hey, I'm just a really good copy.. not the real
thing." This will be because as the original I now say, "a copy of me is
just not really me!" Endless arguments that used to involve me will now
still involve me. :)


John Grigg

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