FWIW, I'm in the "Why wouldn't you want to live forever?". Think of all the things to do and learn and experience and relearn. Ask me again in 10,000 years though.
Plus, I'm kinda developing an intense curiosity about what's after death. Maybe just the void. Maybe wakeup in a simulation to some dreary existence. Maybe float around on clouds with a harp. I have no idea and it drives me crazy sometimes! (not to curious, because what if the afterlife is awful!)
A couple of items that shifted the readers' perspective were the 28 year old character who misstated her age as 104 to make herself seem more interesting, and that many people in the 400-500 year-old range picked up high risk sports as out of growing boredom with multiple careers and pursuits...
(if anyone recognizes and remembers the story, it'd be great to know what it is!)
I'd also argue that another factor in the "explore vs exploit" strategy is fear (which encompasses fear of death). If you view your world as dangerous then it makes sense that you should focus on an exploitation strategy over an exploration strategy. The world is becoming far safer (despite American perception) and I think this is helping accelerate this cultural change too. I'd expect that if we lived to 200 we'd treat people in their 50's/60's like we do people in their 20's now, and I'd expect them to act similarly too (under the premise that health degrades in this new age system as our current age system).
Though honestly we'll never know until we do it. I do think fear of trying it is dangerous though. One of our advantages as humans is the fact that we tend to use an exploration strategy more than many other species. We've also gotten pretty good at mitigating risk while exploring dangerous territories. But that's how we push forward technological advancements.
I figure it'd take 10,000 years to gain enough knowledge to know what all your options are!
If the DO ask in 10,000 years, you should ask them what they are doing there and tell them not to bother you for a few hundred thousand years while you try a few things out.
Check us out on YouTube—“Omni Artisans”. If one could reduce the amount of effort it takes to accrue knowledge and drive powerful experiences, would one need to live forever per se?
It’s a shame that so many people think about death in a personal way, forgetting that before you die, you will have to watch the last generation whom you know and love go to the grave.
Several parliamentary democracies have weighted voting, but thats usually in favor of corporations ie. City of London and Hong Kong
The problem here is that you would be brushing off the concerns of an older group by simply asserting that "they're old and holding us back" without considering that perhaps someone who had been around for 500 years might have far more insight and quite literally had already lived through whatever political experiment some twenty-somethings want to vote for. Not criticizing you specifically but I've seen this mentality before w.r.t. old people and voting.
A healthy democracy needs the young for new ideas, and the old to warn them about the experience with those "new" ideas.
It's like software. The new guy just gets 'er done. The old guy says "your quadratic algorithm won't scale. did you encrypt the password database? did you make a backup? did you set aside money for the tax bill?"
(And for my part, I'll always take those extra 40 years, no matter the condition, because that's 40 more years for medical science to advance and solve more of those problems.)
Will it? I don't see why it necessarily will do so.
And even if it does... if it gives you 10 more healthy years, and then 20 more bedridden years, for a net gain of 30 years, is that really a gain? Or do the 20 bedridden years make the 10 healthy years not worth it?
And yes, of course it's a gain. You could always choose not to take those extra years, if you really don't want them. It's good to have that possibility available.
I find it compelling, or at least plausible, that she wasn't actually the oldest person ever. Mainly just on the math of if, that if expected years remaining reduces exponentially as a function of current age, there would have to be many more people closer to the oldest age than there are.
> Genesis 6:3
> And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
"21 When Enoch had lived sixty-five years, he became the father of Methuselah.
22 Enoch walked with God after the birth of Methuselah three hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.
23 Thus all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years.
24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him.
25 When Methuselah had lived one hundred eighty-seven years, he became the father of Lamech.
26 Methuselah lived after the birth of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and had other sons and daughters.
27 Thus all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years; and he died."
After the flood things changed, and you don't have these incredibly long lived people anymore.
Regardless of whether it’s true or not, the story is describing a different type of earth; one covered with dense clouds that all precipitated at once, flooding the world and, ever since, exposing everything to UV radiation which obviously would have an enormous deleterious impact on lifespans.
A personal hypothesis is that according to the Bible, Moses lived to be 120 years, and as he was a salvific figure (not divinely) to the Jews him living to the maximum age is a pretty cool point.
Anyway, it kind of begs the question: how Jacob came to be 130 (Genesis 47:9), when max age was 120? Perhaps Genesis 6:3 was talking about something else, then? Theories include how much time was left in the life of Adam (the word used for man is in the singular number with the definite article, which could be translated as "the man Adam", instead of mankind). So it might be saying that Adam had 120 years left to live in. Another interpretation is that God gives mankind 120 years of repentance, and then the flood waters would come.
Either way, it's a good question. 120 seems to have some significance in the Bible. 2 Chronicles 5:12-13 mentions Solomon's temple, where there were 120 priests singing in unity. In Acts 1:15 there were 120 people that Peter talked to. The book of revelation mentions that 12 000 from each tribe will be saved, for a total of 144 000 people (12 x 12000).
Thanks for the prompt, even though I have no answer.
Disclaimer: I am a Christian and in pursuit of my BTh, so I am probably biased.
But seriously it’s quite interesting that Moses number is so close to the current limit!
It isn’t interesting or surprising that a collection of nonsense might be occasionally (and even then vaguely) correct.
Lottery players are occasionally correct about the numbers, even if they chose them by superstition. But even they don’t get to claim the jackpot when they choose and the drawn numbers are merely “close”. Yet being close is the first step in how superstitions get generated.
Likewise, the Bible: no more or less interesting than any other collection of Just So stories, fitting a narrative to an existing observation.
Noah was said to have reached over 900 as did Adam, etc.
But it's not like years were unknown to people in antiquity either. But maybe it's just something that we don't have a good translation for and "year" is a close enough guess.
For instance, someone who has lived to 80 has lived about 960 months, which, if you notice, is really close to 969. And people living to their 70s and 80s seems reasonable. Considering that life expectancy in the past typically jumped up once you reached adulthood.
The pronouncement related to the Flood: it occurred 120 years after the pronouncement.
There’s some confusion in the chronology, due to Noah’s genealogy, age, and the births of his sons being kinda garbled up in the same chapter. (That is, some might say the flood happened 100 years after the pronouncement instead of 120.)
But no fair reading would assume it has to do with lifespans as even in the authors time (Moses, presumably) people were living longer than 120 years. For instance, Sara lived to 127, Abraham lived to 175, and Jacob made it to 140 or so.
If one wrote down millennia again that men tend to die from decapitation, that would still hold to this day as well, much more than that as there are people that lived beyond the age of 120.
Of course not everyone will eat themselves to death, and there have been advances in both other areas of medicine as well as public information. But it seems like the top causes of death are basically linked to eating wrong and not using the body the way it was meant, both of which are not so simple to fix, even if you solve the difficult problem of the telomeres and all that.
While we don't have the jumps due to time dilation, I contemplate how the human mind would adapt to the changes of society over an even longer period of time. The societal and technological advances of the 20th century were immense. I'm assuming even more changes for the 21st (if we don't blow ourselves up). How much longer can we go before our brains revert to the "mean" and stagnate somewhere in the middle?
This was observed in scientific contexts by Max Planck:
> A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. . . . An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning: another instance of the fact that the future lies with the youth.
This is generally paraphrased as "science advances one funeral at a time".
Long lifespans would probably correspond to society changing more slowly and making more conservative choices. On the plus side, maybe those in power would have more incentive to take the long view, and optimize for results that won't happen for a long time. Climate change might perhaps be taken more seriously if our elderly leaders had a plausible chance of living long enough to see coastal cities underwater.
I'm also very suspicious of people who advocate turning to wonder drugs or treatment to stop aging. For the most part these are just untested treatments that do not have any clear criteria for what they should be doing.
But there are clear criteria: there are the seven categories of cell damage proposed by Aubrey de Grey over a decade ago:
If treatments are developed to tackle these types of damage then I suspect they will rapidly supersede conventional geriatric care in terms of cost and convenience, a significant side-effect being that the patient subsequently fails to die of natural causes.
But I'm not completely on the pessimistic side because there's one thing that could change everything: the moment someone discovers how to effectively revert human cell decay (which has already been done in lab rats btw), then reality changes completely and living to 200 and beyond is achievable.
It could very well be like turning lead into gold, an ideal so close but never achieved. But on aging, I think humans already know what needs to be done, so I wouldn't put all my bets against it.
So there is a "meaning" to death, when understood from nature.
I'd be really hesitant to try to attribute any one specific reason as to why we age, or why that has benefited some life.
Would you trade the chance to pass on your genes for the chance to live personally for an extended period?
I'm set on not having children for moral reasons, so your question becomes a no-brainer for me. On that note... I wonder what people who already have children would think of this "deal"? On the one hand, they've already made their babies, but... on the other hand, they may be disinclined to outlive their children.
I just think that if one wants to continue using the worlds resources for a very extended period of time then one should not be allowed to produce children. I think there are many good reasons for this. One example: many youngsters today are already struggling to afford anywhere to live with wealthier grandparents and parents owning more and more property. They are often stuck living with their parents well into their 30's or older. Imagine being stuck living with your parents for 200 years lol.