Re: SOC: Immortality and Historiography

Natasha V. More (
Tue, 30 Dec 1997 18:24:45 -0600

At 08:22 AM 12/30/97 EST, GBurch1 wrote:

>I wonder what other factors we might look to to offset the negative impact
>immortality may have on historiography? What might the long-term effect of
>this restriction on the historical record be?

An adjustment in one's thinking and reactions to being "exposed" would
deemphasize the affects of disclosure on one's privacy. The longer we live,
the less affected we are by the consequences of our behavior -- in part due
to the fading of memory and also, and importantly, due to the gains in
wisdom from life experiences.

Historical recordations might rely on computers rather than author or actor
for information gathering. Certainly, there could be on/off switches
editing out crucial facts, but will we care to edit events out when we
become more confident about our actions and less embarrassed by our pasts?

The methodology of historical research and presentation itself may change.
When time is not categorized by events such as wars or disease, it will be
recorded by other types of events -- the events of merit in our posthuman years.

Time itself will become abstracted. Our minds tend to still frames of our
own historical importance in our memories - one to the next - just as the
news broadcasts leading stories. Our emotions are tied into these images
very tightly. As we live longer and longer, we will have less and less need
to be emotionally tied to our own leading stories. We may begin to enjoy
the pauses inbetween. These pauses might become years and even centuries of
living with no featured "historical event" occurring. (Much like working in
the garden, absorbed in the act of life.) Events such as reaching another
galaxy or designing a new species might be historical events to be recorded,
and perhaps the technology producing the events might be the author also.

I do think that immortality will affect historiography. I don't think that
immortality will necessarily restrict historiography. I do think that
immortality may change our approach to it.

Natasha Vita More [fka Nancie Clark] -
Transhumanist Art Centre - Extropic Art Universe
PRESS RELEASE: Extropic Art Manifesto orbits Saturn in 2004!

"The best defense is an aesthetic offense."