SciFi Idea: What do you think about very long lifespans?

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  • #26
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Yes, that’s what I said further into the post. It’s a percentage thing. As an example, taking a break from work of a few days won’t impact the job but a month or more will.

Taking a trip of one to two weeks will see minor changes at home mostly grass to mow again Or some plants to be trimmed.

From the trip example and current 100 year life span. 2/(52*100) yields 0.038% of trip length to lifespan with no degradation in life issues vs say 2yrs deployment over 100 years as the upper limit of 2% where things will more radically change in your life.

In the movie Interstellar, Matthew MacCounaughey is rescued from the black hole having aged very little while his younger daughter is now old enough to be his grandmother. That’s the kind of thing the story should play with.

How to mitigate the age thing while maintaining an interstellar civilization bound by the laws of General Relativity? How can people survive and thrive with so much change?
 
  • #27
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How can people survive and thrive with so much change?
I think once you can defuse the ageing mechanisms the next problem at hand is about re-initiating the adaptive period (childhood, more or less).
 
  • #28
Office_Shredder
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I'm on board with the things will look less different than you think crowd. The average american today has a standard of living unimaginable to a person living 4,000 years ago. But we still have basically the same social structure, interpersonal issues, geopolitical conflicts, etc. There are rich people and poor people, people would rather be rich than poor, we fight over oil instead of salt, and we still lie, cheat and deceive each other on a daily basis to various extents.

What would people who can live a million years do? Probably worry about if the spark in their relationship has finally died out, complain about how their neighbor's fusion plant glows so bright they can't watch a proper sunset, and pilot spaceships across the Zort Nebula killing all who oppose the HiveMind's glorious asteroid mining.
 
  • #29
Keith_McClary
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celebrate my first great-great-great grandchild's hundredth birthday party around the Rings of Saturn
If everyone keeps having kids, Earth will be too crowded.
 
  • #30
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I'm on board with the things will look less different than you think crowd. The average american today has a standard of living unimaginable to a person living 4,000 years ago. But we still have basically the same social structure, interpersonal issues, geopolitical conflicts, etc. There are rich people and poor people, people would rather be rich than poor, we fight over oil instead of salt, and we still lie, cheat and deceive each other on a daily basis to various extents.
You can take the man out of the cave, but you can't take the cave out of the man?
 
  • #32
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Consider the position of young people in such a society. A thousand year old person cannot hope to compete with the wisdom and accumulated wealth of a one million year old person. The million-year-older can't compete with Mr. Billion, then Madam Trillion, and so on. In such a situation is almost impossible for young people (who may be a million years old) to do anything that hasn't already been done a thousand times better. Today in our world this is already the situation in mathematics.

Not that this is so wonderful for Madam Trillion, who has the lonely life of being surrounded by inferiors.

The answer is miniature worlds. Far, far beyond the primitive virtual worlds of today, they are every bit as real as anything else. The key is that they are much smaller, so life moves at a much faster pace. Its like our world's bacteria, which may have a generation every 20 minutes or so. I like a ratio of 25,000 to one. Forty years of virtual life in one day. Young people may "incarnate" in such worlds. Living an entire life in a weekend, they learn much faster. Via five such weekends per year they can gain a million years worth of experience. The other big advantage is that young people can do all sorts of stupid and horrible and disgusting things in these virtual worlds without screwing up the real world.

There can be all sorts of virtual worlds. No reason to force someone into a place they don't like. Some people thrive on war. If that's what they want, they can have it.

In order to put participants on an equal basis memory is largely wiped out during incarnation. Participants may contribute to-them original ideas to the primitive technologies of the virtual worlds. That would be a lot more fun and educational than spending a million years learning what is already known, then finding that during that million years things have progressed even further, you are still far behind, and may never catch up being a student forever. Memories and (one may hope) lessons learned are retained when disincarnating.

The Mr. and Mrs. Billions are entertained by the febrile "more fun than a barrel of monkeys" antics of the young. It would be an extremely involving hobby. They may bet on the outcomes. Things move so fast in a minature world that they are difficult for even very wise elders to control. Sometimes you have to send someone down there. They may dispatch young million-year-olders in need of experience to incarnate then intervene subtly to prevent the kids from destroying a valuable world. A miniature lifetime is only a weekend in the real world, so what the heck.

A miniature life also serves as a test of character. What does someone do when they think no one is watching, no one will ever know? I also imagine scenarios like

"What wimps! I would rule down there, easily!"

"Wanna bet?"

"Sure!"

"OK, incarnate as a 90 pound Somalian woman. We'll see how far you get."

"You're on, chump! I'm gonna RULE THE WORLD!"

And so forth.
 
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  • #33
caz
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From The Economist 12-20-00
“Not that, even if ageing could be stopped altogether, people would stop dying. Accidents will happen. Age researchers reckon that if people were able indefinitely to preserve their maximum health and vigour (which in developed countries is reached around the age of ten or eleven), they would on average live for about 1,200 years; while one in about 1,000 would last for 10,000 years. He might get a bit lonely as all his friends bowed out. In the end, though, the incidence of death for mankind as a whole would still be the same as ever: 100%. Life is an invariably fatal disease.”
 
  • #34
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Consider the position of young people in such a society. A thousand year old person cannot hope to compete with the wisdom and accumulated wealth of a one million year old person. The million-year-older can't compete with Mr. Billion, then Madam Trillion, and so on. In such a situation is almost impossible for young people (who may be a million years old) to do anything that hasn't already been done a thousand times better. Today in our world this is already the situation in mathematics.

Not that this is so wonderful for Madam Trillion, who has the lonely life of being surrounded by inferiors.

The answer is miniature worlds. Far, far beyond the primitive virtual worlds of today, they are every bit as real as anything else. The key is that they are much smaller, so life moves at a much faster pace. Its like our world's bacteria, which may have a generation every 20 minutes or so. I like a ratio of 25,000 to one. Forty years of virtual life in one day. Young people may "incarnate" in such worlds. Living an entire life in a weekend, they learn much faster. Via five such weekends per year they can gain a million years worth of experience. The other big advantage is that young people can do all sorts of stupid and horrible and disgusting things in these virtual worlds without screwing up the real world.

There can be all sorts of virtual worlds. No reason to force someone into a place they don't like. Some people thrive on war. If that's what they want, they can have it.

In order to put participants on an equal basis memory is largely wiped out during incarnation. Participants may contribute to-them original ideas to the primitive technologies of the virtual worlds. That would be a lot more fun and educational than spending a million years learning what is already known, then finding that during that million years things have progressed even further, you are still far behind, and may never catch up being a student forever. Memories and (one may hope) lessons learned are retained when disincarnating.

The Mr. and Mrs. Billions are entertained by the febrile "more fun than a barrel of monkeys" antics of the young. It would be an extremely involving hobby. They may bet on the outcomes. Things move so fast in a minature world that they are difficult for even very wise elders to control. Sometimes you have to send someone down there. They may dispatch young million-year-olders in need of experience to incarnate then intervene subtly to prevent the kids from destroying a valuable world. A miniature lifetime is only a weekend in the real world, so what the heck.

A miniature life also serves as a test of character. What does someone do when they think no one is watching, no one will ever know? I also imagine scenarios like

"What wimps! I would rule down there, easily!"

"Wanna bet?"

"Sure!"

"OK, incarnate as a 90 pound Somalian woman. We'll see how far you get."

"You're on, chump! I'm gonna RULE THE WORLD!"

And so forth.
I think at some point it will stop being a competition in life. People living so long would be more adapted to live harmoniously alongside one another probably. They may value respect and kindness and humor and whatnot more so than showoffy things. People's egos may be mellowed way out, and there may be few feats that will seem particilary impressive.
 
  • #35
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From The Economist 12-20-00
“Not that, even if ageing could be stopped altogether, people would stop dying. Accidents will happen. Age researchers reckon that if people were able indefinitely to preserve their maximum health and vigour (which in developed countries is reached around the age of ten or eleven), they would on average live for about 1,200 years; while one in about 1,000 would last for 10,000 years. He might get a bit lonely as all his friends bowed out. In the end, though, the incidence of death for mankind as a whole would still be the same as ever: 100%. Life is an invariably fatal disease.”
They could always just invent stuff that saves you from would be accidents. If there is a will there is a way.
 
  • #36
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I think at some point it will stop being a competition in life. People living so long would be more adapted to live harmoniously alongside one another probably. They may value respect and kindness and humor and whatnot more so than showoffy things. People's egos may be mellowed way out, and there may be few feats that will seem particilary impressive.
Consider young people.
 
  • #37
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Consider young people.
Good point. I hadn't thought about that. I honestly have no idea what it would be like.
 
  • #38
stevendaryl
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Wouldn’t an immortal be spending his time trying to reconcile quantum theory with General Relativity?
 
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  • #39
caz
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Wouldn’t an immortal be spending his time trying to reconcile quantum theory with General Relativity?
To no avail. Everyone knows that no good physics comes out of a person over 10035 Years old.
 
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  • #40
chemisttree
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I would plan to take over the world. Try everything to accomplish that.
Then I would plan to destroy everything.
Then I would plan on rebuilding everything back. If I wasn’t satisfied with the new, I would destroy everything again and build it back differently.

I call this existence the “Microsoft Model.”
 
  • #41
Keith_McClary
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Then I would plan on rebuilding everything back. If I wasn’t satisfied with the new, I would destroy everything again and build it back differently.
That could explain the Fermi Paradox.
 
  • #42
hmmm27
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The usual sci-fi tradeoff is that the immortalification process results in sterilization.

Realistically, when cultural equilibrium is reached natural childbirth would be banned and test-tube babies would cost as much as a house.
 
  • #45
dlgoff
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Assume you have effectively cracked immortality (or very long lifespans), have already solved all of the feasible interesting problems, and are now living million+ year lives. With nothing to challenge you, boredom and sense of purpose, should be the last unsolved problems right? So how do beings which have lived these long life times stay entertained, when they've already seen thousands of reruns of thousands of TV shows, read every sort of wikipedia article they can stand to read, and experienced every virtual reality sceneareo in the book? How do they live meaningful lives and what does that even mean over these ultra long lifespans, and with having incredible technological capabilities?
I saw a TV program lately about living "forever". It all depends on whether people really want to:
from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/science...ve-forever-33-Americans-immortality-pill.html
The survey asked 911 Americans if they would want to live forever
  • This was done by telling respondents that they would take an immortality pill
  • Only 33% said they would take it, 42% declined the offer and 25% were unsure
  • The results also showed that more men said they would take the pill
  • The survey also asked respondents what age they would like to freeze at
  • The youngest group of people, ranging from 18-28, said 23 years old
  • While another group that averaged the age of 72 wanted to live forever at 42
 
  • #46
Don't forget the Yoda Syndrome!

Given that we have various biological events that happen throughout the aging process. i.e. babies grow rapidly in the first 2-3 years because there is a relatively massive release of growth hormone in that time. There is another growth spurt during the teenage years, Menopause in middle age, and various diseases that occur in old age. They are all triggered by genetic signals.

The Yoda Syndrome describes what happens when, what is normally considered junk DNA begins expressing itself in extended older ages. Since evolutions never considers genetic various expressed beyond procreation, during the child rearing years. We really don't know what changes the body would goes through with extended life.

How the body could change in just the first 800 years, could very well start looking like Yoda.
 
  • #47
caz
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Don't forget the Yoda Syndrome!

Given that we have various biological events that happen throughout the aging process. i.e. babies grow rapidly in the first 2-3 years because there is a relatively massive release of growth hormone in that time. There is another growth spurt during the teenage years, Menopause in middle age, and various diseases that occur in old age. They are all triggered by genetic signals.

The Yoda Syndrome describes what happens when, what is normally considered junk DNA begins expressing itself in extended older ages. Since evolutions never considers genetic various expressed beyond procreation, during the child rearing years. We really don't know what changes the body would goes through with extended life.

How the body could change in just the first 800 years, could very well start looking like Yoda.
Don’t forget that Yoda’s incompetent leadership led to galactic collapse and billions of deaths. What if one starts thinking like him?
 

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