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Old 11th June 2020, 12:34 PM   #1
carlosy
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Non-aging body - Would you change your lifestyle?

Imagine in a few years we invent the ability to stop the aging process for us humans. For simplicity, imagine it can by done with a simple injection.

You choose when you want your body to stop aging. Most would probably choose something around the age of 25 (if they are still young enough). But that's not important.

So you stopped aging, and became immortal in a sense that you are not going to die as long as you can maintain your body via energy input from the outside. You can still be killed. If someone cuts your head of, if you fall from a building, if you crash in your car... you're dead. But you won't die just by aging anymore. So, all of a sudden, your life expectancy changed from let's say 100 years, to now thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years. Imagine all the knowledge that is suddenly in reach. All the inventions you are going to be a part of. All the things you can learn. All the epxeriences. All the science you are going to witness.

Would you change your current life/lifestyle?
Would you even go outside, risking death by stupid car accident or something similar?
What risks would you still accept?
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Old 11th June 2020, 01:11 PM   #2
P.J. Denyer
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I'd probably be a little more careful, maybe reduce the alcohol intake a bit, take Covid distancing type things even more seriously (I've been pretty damn careful as it is) and might make more of an effort to get in shape... But I don't think I'd go much further. But to be fair I live a reasonably healthy (except for drinking a bit much) life, in a very safe area, don't commute through high traffic areas and for the first time in my life am doing a low stress job I absolutely love. Unless our finances collapse (which unfortunately is possible at the moment) life's pretty good.
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Old 11th June 2020, 02:55 PM   #3
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Well damn. There goes looking forward to any leisurely retirement I may have planned. Now I have to keep working for the next 99 thousand plus years just to keep paying for stuff.
So no real lifestyle change, just more of the same except I'm perpetually 25 physically. Still only 24hours in a day...5-8 of those spent sleeping.

Now, if you want to throw in an unlimited income with no need to work for it, all bets are off!
In that case it would be a life of hedonism, unlimited fried shrimp and naps.
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Old 11th June 2020, 03:08 PM   #4
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I have vices that apparently lower the present lifespan, yet I still do them.

I suspect I would still be doing them if my lifespan was extended as per the OP.
Some people just gotta have vices.
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:04 PM   #5
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I'd have continued flying tac-airlift, but would take a couple of years off to finish a degree so I could move up to the left seat. As it is, I was time-changed out.
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:37 PM   #6
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I keep breaking things like bones and teeth so I'm going to wear out eventually. For long life there is also long working /employment; kill me now.

So how do we keep the population from outgrowing the planet's ability to keep us fed?

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Old 11th June 2020, 10:07 PM   #7
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I would single-minded focus on becoming a judge with lifetime appointment.
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Old 11th June 2020, 10:39 PM   #8
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I would work until I had enough in savings that I could invest sufficient to give me an annual dividend that I could live on, and then I'd stop working and produce art and play video games for the rest of my life.
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:03 PM   #9
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As pies-in-the-sky go, this one looks nice.

Until that injection's cleared by the FDA, might HCQ help?






















If the answer's 'yes', then you face the prospect of an immortal Trump, with immortal idiot supporters, all frozen in time.

Careful what you wish for!
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Old 12th June 2020, 04:33 AM   #10
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If this could be done by many people it would be disaster. The population of the world would go up until the planet was destroyed. However if it could be given to only a few people then they could be highly educated and then put in leadership roles and other top jobs. Then the world would be a much better place.
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Old 12th June 2020, 04:38 AM   #11
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Lots of science fiction has examined this and many of them mention the idea that you would get fed up of life, that you’d eventually take more and more risks to get a buzz.

The one idea I’ve always thought would be more likely is that many of us would simply kill ourselves. Do you really want to be a shoe seller for the next 1,000 years. Becoming immortal doesn’t mean you become rich and can have a life of leisure - it just means more years of what you already have!
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Old 12th June 2020, 05:34 AM   #12
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As Darat says..... Larry Niven’s character, “Louis Wu”, from the “Known Space” tales, is effectively immortal due to “boosterspice”.
He hangs around the Earth till he can’t stand people anymore, then goes out into space till he can’t stand being alone any more.....
It may be we’re more or less genetically programmed for a certain “allotted span”.
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Old 12th June 2020, 05:41 AM   #13
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
If this could be done by many people it would be disaster. The population of the world would go up until the planet was destroyed. However if it could be given to only a few people then they could be highly educated and then put in leadership roles and other top jobs. Then the world would be a much better place.
pretty much disagree with all of this.

For one, if people had centuries to have children, they would live for centuries before they do.
Higher life-expectancy leads to lower birthrates every single time.


Secondly, giving only, or even just primarily people in authority eternal life would lock-in the Status Quo and make progress impossible.
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Old 12th June 2020, 03:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
For one, if people had centuries to have children, they would live for centuries before they do.
Higher life-expectancy leads to lower birthrates every single time.
Maybe, maybe not. Society would change so drastically that I don’t see how any predictions can be made of what people would end of doing.

As far as I know women have a fixed number of eggs, but they could be harvested and frozen, allowing for hundreds of children over a lifetime. Some may want to do that especially if they can space them out a century or so apart.
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Old 12th June 2020, 09:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lots of science fiction has examined this and many of them mention the idea that you would get fed up of life, that you’d eventually take more and more risks to get a buzz.

The one idea I’ve always thought would be more likely is that many of us would simply kill ourselves. Do you really want to be a shoe seller for the next 1,000 years. Becoming immortal doesn’t mean you become rich and can have a life of leisure - it just means more years of what you already have!
I agree. What a load of cobblers that’d be.
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Old 12th June 2020, 10:05 PM   #16
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Even if the body stops aging there is still a finite amount of memory the brain can hold. If you lived for a thousand years you'd inevitably end up forgetting huge chunks of that, mostly the earlier stuff. Since we are, in a large part, the sum of our memories we'd end up being quite different people than we started out as. No memories of childhood. We'd forget everybody who predeceased us. We forget all our firsts--first loves, first sex, first jobs, first homes, first adventures in doing anything.

I think any human whose life got prolonged indefinitely would go mad, or succumb to ennui. Eternal life is only tempting if you get other things with it--like becoming a god, or developing superpowers. Something more, to kill the tedium. Living forever if you're a Time Lord with a TARDIS and can travel having adventures would be great. Living forever if you're a middle class schmuck of average looks and intelligence and no particular wealth...not so much.
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Old 12th June 2020, 10:15 PM   #17
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I guess that would change a LOT. Till death do us part? I really love my wife and fully expect to live my life out with her, but forever?
How long would you keep in touch with your children? And theirs? And theirs?
How long would you like your job?
And there is the fact that newer generations will still want to change society as has been the case with humanity forever. But now the old generation is not dying off so the change can happen.

My personal guess is that most would make it to 200-300 years before killing themselves anyway. as we're just not wired to live that long.
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Old 12th June 2020, 11:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I would work until I had enough in savings that I could invest sufficient to give me an annual dividend that I could live on, and then I'd stop working and produce art and play video games for the rest of my life.
That's fine if there are only a few immortals. Too many people doing that would cause a labor shortage. The value of labor would shoot up and lead to massive inflation. Soon your savings and the dividend it could produce would be worth so little that you'd have to go back to work.
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Old 12th June 2020, 11:38 PM   #19
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People who assume that a couple of hundred years of life would be too much must lead incredibly boring ones.


Would you change your current life/lifestyle?

Only to the extent that I would be forced to. As a few of you have pointed out, in the current economic system, the market economy, you would need enough retirement savings to last you ... forever. But on the other hand, you would have many more years to get get there and maybe even without working as much as you have to now. But it would give me even more incitement to replace the present economic system with one that is more suited for living breathing human beings instead of capitalism. I don't know if some people put up with it because they are thinking, 'Well, who cares? I'm going to die soon anyway.' But I don't really think that this is what makes many of them put up with it.

I might consider learning math properly or even a new language. There aren't many things as boring as learning languages - and I say this as a language teacher! I really, really don't understand people who start learning new languages after they've retired 'because now we have the time!' Don't they have anything better to do with that time? They hardly ever really learn it anyway. It only makes sense if they take language classes to meet other people, but the other people will probably be as bored and boring as they are themselves, but maybe that's the point.

I assume that carlosy's injections will make brains as good at learning new things as when you're 20, and it that case, it might be worth the boredom.

Would you even go outside, risking death by stupid car accident or something similar?

Isn't it supposed to work the other way round? You know, 'Life is so precious because it's only temporary and short.'

Anyway, the idea that that's the way it works was always wrong. Hardly anybody takes up bungee jumping, skydiving or mountain climbing when they are in their seventies or eighties because now they don't risk losing as much life as when they were in their twenties. On the contrary, they usually want to get as many years of retirement as they possibly can. (And a lot of them no longer have the physique to do any of those things anyway.)

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 18, and it was not because I didn't know that it doesn't tend to put a damper on longevity. I'll pick up a new one next week, #6, and the first one with ABS.

What risks would you still accept?

Since Carlosy didn't mention if his injection also makes us immune to the 'rona, I might consider wearing a face mask.


ETA: A stark warning against the idea that injections with synthetic DNA introduced into the human germ plasm will arrest the process of aging and extend human life almost indefinitely.
It can go horribly wrong!
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Old 12th June 2020, 11:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
That's fine if there are only a few immortals. Too many people doing that would cause a labor shortage. The value of labor would shoot up and lead to massive inflation. Soon your savings and the dividend it could produce would be worth so little that you'd have to go back to work.
All depends on how it was invested. If it was invested in companies the value of these go up with inflation. An alternative to inflation if too many people retired would be to produce machinery that did not require much labor for what it could produce.
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Old 13th June 2020, 01:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
All depends on how it was invested. If it was invested in companies the value of these go up with inflation. An alternative to inflation if too many people retired would be to produce machinery that did not require much labor for what it could produce.
Nope retirement in ease and "fabulous" wealth is only ever possible for a very few people in the system we have. And by fabulous wealth all I mean is an income similar to those working. If you are immortal do you want to spend the majority of that time cutting out coupons, darning your socks, finding a 2nd hand mattress that isn't that stained?

As Dann says for it to become something great for a lot of people we would have to drastically change our entire economy and society.

Again touched on by a lot of science fiction authors, immortality/very long life are often paired with a post scarcity economy.
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Old 13th June 2020, 04:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nope retirement in ease and "fabulous" wealth is only ever possible for a very few people in the system we have. And by fabulous wealth all I mean is an income similar to those working. If you are immortal do you want to spend the majority of that time cutting out coupons, darning your socks, finding a 2nd hand mattress that isn't that stained?

As Dann says for it to become something great for a lot of people we would have to drastically change our entire economy and society.

Again touched on by a lot of science fiction authors, immortality/very long life are often paired with a post scarcity economy.
Most of this is correct. There should be very few people who are immoral. They should start out by being very bright. Then add in more education than most of us could ever do, like 20 years and they should be able to then generate huge amounts of wealth. Then there would no need for them to look for a 2nd hand mattress. They would be able to afford the gold plated version. And invest heavily in areas that are inflation proof. Then they can work on improving society. This may mean being the head of a large company or going into politics. Whatever choice they make they will be able, due to their superior intelligence and high levels of education, to do a far better job than any normal mortal. I think this last point is what other people have overlooked.
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Old 13th June 2020, 04:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
There should be very few people who are immoral.
Sadly there are billions.
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Old 13th June 2020, 07:35 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lots of science fiction has examined this and many of them mention the idea that you would get fed up of life, that you’d eventually take more and more risks to get a buzz.

The one idea I’ve always thought would be more likely is that many of us would simply kill ourselves. Do you really want to be a shoe seller for the next 1,000 years. Becoming immortal doesn’t mean you become rich and can have a life of leisure - it just means more years of what you already have!
That's way to simplified imho. The world will be very different in 1000 years, even in 100 years.

Saying, no thanks to non-aging just because you don't like to be in low-income forever is very naive.

Since when does rich and life of leisure is the one single goal in life?
Conversely it would mean that all the people on the lower end of income are happy to die in 50 years, because they can't stand their life any longer.
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Old 13th June 2020, 07:43 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
I guess that would change a LOT. Till death do us part? I really love my wife and fully expect to live my life out with her, but forever?
How long would you keep in touch with your children? And theirs? And theirs?
How long would you like your job?
And there is the fact that newer generations will still want to change society as has been the case with humanity forever. But now the old generation is not dying off so the change can happen.

My personal guess is that most would make it to 200-300 years before killing themselves anyway. as we're just not wired to live that long.
Again, the job thing.
As if you would expect the world to 'freeze' along with you.
Look back and see how much the world changed in the last 100 years.
And now you really think there will be the same jobs in 100 years form now? Or even in 1000 years?

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Old 13th June 2020, 07:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
P


Isn't it supposed to work the other way round? You know, 'Life is so precious because it's only temporary and short.'

Anyway, the idea that that's the way it works was always wrong. Hardly anybody takes up bungee jumping, skydiving or mountain climbing when they are in their seventies or eighties because now they don't risk losing as much life as when they were in their twenties.
But the ones who are doing that, are actively looking for the thrill.
And hardly everybody in that age is doing that stuff. It's more the exception.

The shorter your life, the bigger the pressure to make the most out of it in the time that is left, accepting more risks. Physically old people are getting tired and probably won't be risking bad injuries in their last 20 years. Body is old, more prone to injuries and less likely to heal.
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Old 13th June 2020, 08:05 AM   #27
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If I could get the chance to stop my body from aging (and getting sick / getting deseases) I would do it in a heartbeat. Even though I am not 25 anymore.

Why wouldn't I ?

If there is ever time I would like to leave, there is always the way out.
But I'd rather have the chance to wait for that moment when I see fit, than being forced into it.
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Old 13th June 2020, 08:59 AM   #28
dann
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Most of this is correct. There should be very few people who are immoral. They should start out by being very bright. Then add in more education than most of us could ever do, like 20 years and they should be able to then generate huge amounts of wealth.

If Trump has taught us anything (and I'm not thinking of Trump University), it is that the way to get yuge amounts of wealth (or just enough to retire and live comfortably for the rest of your imaginary close-to-eternal life) is definitely not by being very bright and get 20 years of education. It's by inheriting yuge amounts of wealth from your parents and being good at giving the impression that your fortune is solid enough for you to guarantee yuge loans.
I don't think that much brighter guys like Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg had 20-year-long educations. Both Gates and Jobs dropped out of college. I don't know about the others.

Quote:
Then there would no need for them to look for a 2nd hand mattress. They would be able to afford the gold plated version. And invest heavily in areas that are inflation proof. Then they can work on improving society. This may mean being the head of a large company or going into politics. Whatever choice they make they will be able, due to their superior intelligence and high levels of education, to do a far better job than any normal mortal. I think this last point is what other people have overlooked.

You are aware that many people's reason for electing Trump was that they thought he was a successful businessman and therefore had to have superior intelligence, aren't you?
We haven't seen his tax returns yet, but we do know that he fraudulently created the impression that he was those things.
He can probably afford the gold-plated version, also for a couple of centuries, but he would never spend any time on trying to improve society.
I don't think that improvers of society tend to be particularly wealthy. But the very wealthy are often rich enough to pay people to create that impression.
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Old 13th June 2020, 11:01 AM   #29
Lukraak_Sisser
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Originally Posted by carlosy View Post
Again, the job thing.
As if you would expect the world to 'freeze' along with you.
Look back and see how much the world changed in the last 100 years.
And now you really think there will be the same jobs in 100 years form now? Or even in 1000 years?

No, so I'd be a redundant fossil incapable of keeping up with the world.
Who'd have to keep retraining and retraining just to keep living.
Because resources would be stretched thin VERY quickly, so we'd all have less and less to go around, with more and more generations behind us that have little or no chance of promotion as the bosses would just stay in place.
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Old 13th June 2020, 11:26 AM   #30
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The problem isn't resources as much as who owns them. And who doesn't:

Quote:
Just prior to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address, media reported that the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation's wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%. The gap between the top 10% and the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1,000% for the top 1%. The average employee "needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour." Although different from income inequality, the two are related. In Inequality for All—a 2013 documentary with Robert Reich in which he argued that income inequality is the defining issue for the United States—Reich states that 95% of economic gains went to the top 1% net worth (HNWI) since 2009 when the recovery allegedly started. More recently, in 2017, an Oxfam study found that eight rich people, six of them Americans, own as much combined wealth as half the human race.
Wealth inequality in the United States (Wikipedia)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
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Old 13th June 2020, 02:50 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
<snip>
I don't think that much brighter guys like Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg had 20-year-long educations. Both Gates and Jobs dropped out of college. I don't know about the others.
<snip>
Imagine these people being immortal. They could go on having success after success. This assumes that their mind keeps being very good.

As for other people they could keep on trying until they work out how to be successful and then after 20 years of trying be successful. Getting educated does not always mean going to school or university or the like. It can mean going to the school of hard knocks and graduating with honors.
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Old 18th June 2020, 05:00 AM   #32
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Personally, I was never interested in that kind of success. And many of the people who achieve it probably weren't either. I don't think the prospect of immortality would change that.

Bill Gates was a computer nerd, and that get to where he is now. I doubt that his primary concern was, 'How do I make an awful lot of money?'
And now that he has it, he seems to have become interested in other things.

I can imagine that Jeff Bezos might have been interested in becoming a multi billionaire on the outset. I'm not even curious about what he'd do with immortality. He would probably try to figure out a way to cash in on it by turning it into a monopoly so you could only get it by subscribing to Prime or something.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 18th June 2020, 05:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Even if the body stops aging there is still a finite amount of memory the brain can hold. If you lived for a thousand years you'd inevitably end up forgetting huge chunks of that, mostly the earlier stuff. Since we are, in a large part, the sum of our memories we'd end up being quite different people than we started out as. No memories of childhood. We'd forget everybody who predeceased us. We forget all our firsts--first loves, first sex, first jobs, first homes, first adventures in doing anything.
We already have large parts of our memories stored externally (a journal, for instance, or a photo album, or a shelf of books that you've read but only vaguely remember the contents of, enough to know where to look for details, but not to remember the details themselves). I expect that we'll get better at that as time goes on (there's a lot more film and then video of my childhood than there is of my father's). And the rate at which information can be exchanged between internal and external memory will also go up (again, it already has, photos can transfer more information/unit time than words and video more than photographs).

If I live for a few thousand years and can't keep more than 100 years of memories in my head, I'll just keep the rest outside of it.
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Old 18th June 2020, 05:49 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
That's fine if there are only a few immortals. Too many people doing that would cause a labor shortage. The value of labor would shoot up and lead to massive inflation. Soon your savings and the dividend it could produce would be worth so little that you'd have to go back to work.
That assumes that by the time everyone is getting to the point that they want to retire, we still need human labour in our economy. If it becomes mostly automated, the dividends on his savings should still keep producing plenty of wealth.
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Old 18th June 2020, 05:55 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I can imagine that Jeff Bezos might have been interested in becoming a multi billionaire on the outset. I'm not even curious about what he'd do with immortality.
Bezos would probably spend it trying to colonize the solar system.
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Old 18th June 2020, 06:02 AM   #36
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I think the OP is right to mention safety concerns. Rationally I'd probably try to make my life safer. A risk that has a 1/10000 chance /year of killing me is probably something I'm willing to live with given my current life span makes it unlikely that it will kill me before something else does, but in the OP's scenario it becomes more relevant. In real life, I'm not sure to what extent I'd actually change my behavior, though.

Something that I think would change is a desire to pursue different careers. I'd probably commit a little more of my free time to studying things unrelated to my current field (I already do a little, but I'd be more diligent and probably spend not only more time but also more money). If your time is virtually unlimited, you can take 5 years every so often to learn a new field and start a new career. Would probably make life more interesting. There's several things I can imagine myself trying out. So during normal periods, like now, I'd put in some of the ground work to study the basics of those new fields, which would also help me to decide which of them to go in to when I started to get bored with what I'm doing.
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