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

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In summary: Basically, if you're living forever, you're going to get sick of all the the same things over and over again. It's kind of a natural stopping point, where you can't get any worse, so you might as well just stop.
  • #36
Jarvis323 said:
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.
 
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  • #37
Hornbein said:
Consider young people.
Good point. I hadn't thought about that. I honestly have no idea what it would be like.
 
  • #38
Wouldn’t an immortal be spending his time trying to reconcile quantum theory with General Relativity?
 
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  • #39
stevendaryl said:
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
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.”
 
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  • #41
chemisttree said:
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
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.
 
  • #44
Keith_McClary said:
Cost of Test Tube Babies Averages $72,000
Jul. 28, 1994
(That's a high estimate.)
Is that all ? I thought it would be more. For this post though, I implicitly included (ie: forgot to mention) that they would be custom DNA builds.
 
  • #45
Jarvis323 said:
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
TachyonGod said:
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?
 
  • #48
Jarvis323 said:
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? Do points arise where there are too many gods in the kitchen, or where acting like one becomes clique?

As sub-topics, what are the limitations, and effects on memory, when your brain has lived for millions of years, and you have the plasticity that might be needed for this? Does evolution become something a single being does, simply because their bodies and brains live for long periods, and must go through some continual changes naturally as biological tissue regenerates and maintains itself, and the brain processes and stores memories. Over the long term, does what your brain becomes depend on the information it processes and what it does in response? Maybe there is some healthy long-scale lifestyle involving optimally stimulating the mind? Can you keep living (mentally) a continuously new/advancing life, or is there some cycle like effect that needs to occur as you forget parts of the past to make room for the future? How does this work in a society?

Anyway, one scenario is they are constantly trying to find the most interesting new things they haven't seen before . They send out probes all throughout their observable universe trying to find interesting planets, civilizations, star systems, etc. to gather usable media for entertainment. In other words, they are mining the universe for entertainment. Well, but after the first 2 or 3 or more billions of years since they've been doing this, they are now dealing with unthinkable amounts of data from millions or billions of populated worlds. So what is the big industry? It's data mining all of this information, to extract noteworthy, captivating stories that people will enjoy. This is what the universes largest supercomputer is working on for sure? But wait a minute, how can you follow and document a good story (some substantially connected, substantially lengthy series of events, with quality supporting media) if it's happening thousands or more light years away? By the time you've gathered the info, it's already passed and you've missed most of it. So you would need to produce the content largely on location. Only later, throughout millions of years, will it make it's rounds incrementally throughout the widely distributed network it's produced for. Anyways, so you basically have large parts of the universe populated by film and production crews scouting the many populated worlds for good stories. So sometimes, when they find one, the story becomes so important that they have to protect it, foster it, influence it, and so forth. In some cases, this means some peoples lives, whole epochs of history, wars, extinction and emergence of new species (e.g. dinosaurs, humans), are unknowingly the centers of high value inter-galaxy productions.

My species, the Neledrax on the Xanadu Wastelands planet have a lifespan of 75-85 years (2.9 gigaBerkels in their unit system). In 2042, they have a technology allowing them to manufacture stuff for free using a molecular assembler. These devices are connected to the power grid, which runs partly on fusion, and mainly on renewables such as space based solar energy, solar, wind and hydro. In theory, a dead Neledraxian could be revived using a molecular assembler, or cells regenerated every few years. However, an international law part of the Standardized Regulatory Directives (global constitution, basically), made in 2041, said molecular assemblers must not be used to extend life or perform direct repair of a lifeform beyond the production of medicines.

Are there any legal systems set on your planet prohibiting unnecessary life extension, even if the technology exists to make your aliens or humans live 1000 years?
 
  • #49
Perhaps something to with Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
How many times in their "lifetime" should one have to croak? before being allowed to meet their maker.
 
  • #50
There are some interesting issues raised in this. While we do seem to have a limited natural lifespan, it is starting to look as if it will be possible to find ways around this. I expect one of the most important issues will be in maintaining a physically youthful state, this will be central for the motivation to continue. When it comes to our cognitive capacity, it isn't simply a capacity issue, as well as learning new information we also learn better ways of managing that information.

We see how these things change over our current lifespan, and it currently looks as if we simply don't attend to learning information which is easily accessible through technology. If the current ideas of developing a brain/network interface go anywhere, the way we make sense of ourselves and our world may be unrecognisable. I think that as humans develop many of the current problems will manage themselves, populations are already predicted to fall and there will be a greater emphasis on environmental protection.

I expect another issue in all of this is that we will actually develop the potential to control our mental state in ways that mean interests, motivation and entertainment will not be significant issues. We will in many ways become our own aliens, presuming we survive long enough. However, the huge social changes that will be involved over time may be the very stressors that push us into self-destruction.
 
  • #51
Clark's novel The City and The Stars had effective immortality. There was one large constraint however, humanity was limited to a single city. People would live for a thousand or two years, then edit their memories and digitally store them, and would be reborn some random time in the future (hundreds of thousands to millions of years, all of humanity had to have their share of time) When reborn, the memories would slowly come back at puberty. This cycle had been going on for time frames of hundreds of millions to billions of years.
The story was about someone who had never been born before.
 
  • #52
The novel is something of a dystopia as I recall. A fine read in Clarke's earlier literary style, apropos Childhood's End.

As for immortality for mere mortals, why yes, bring it on, good health permitting. The cosmos is so big and there's so much to be done. . .
 

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