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Old 10-25-2005, 03:44 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Irvine511

what if U2 were to continue at about the same level for another 50 years?
well, 50 divided by 4 is roughly 12. so we'd get 12 more albums they sound strikingly similar?
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:50 PM   #17
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well, 50 divided by 4 is roughly 12. so we'd get 12 more albums they sound strikingly similar?




don't you be dissing the Bomb.

but, seriously, for the sake of theoretical discussion, what might human beings accomplish if they could operate at or near the peak of their powers for 50-75 years?
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:53 PM   #18
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...existence is amoral and it is flawed to apply moralistic justification to it in this context (which is different from say choosing the good person to get life saving treatment over the evil person).
I agree and for precisely this reason, have always found it difficult to muster up much of a "stance" on this topic. Alleviating suffering is, of course, a very different matter--I volunteer once a month at a local nursing home, and agree with nb that this kind of experience should be enough to convince anyone that the woes of aging go beyond the physical degeneration they originate in (the humiliation of not being able to care for oneself, participate freely in greater society to the extent one would like, feel intrinsically valued by anyone around you, etc. etc.)

Assuming we (collectively) are (through taxes, grants, etc.) supporting this kind of research because we believe it has advantages to offer: What, in fact, would be the inherent advantages of (most) everyone living to 1000? What would be the inherent disadvantages?

I am hard put to come up with a list I can really believe in for either.
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:55 PM   #19
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well first and foremost i think you would have to worry about overpopulation if everyone is living so long.

but your question is a good one i suppose. hopefully we'd be able to learn to live without religion. i bet we'd get some really great art as you've alluded to already.

having a hard time creating a well thought out response...
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Old 10-25-2005, 04:08 PM   #20
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wouldn't it be thrilling to be involved in the lives of your great-great-great grandchildren? what wisdom might they learn from you?
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Old 10-25-2005, 04:35 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Irvine511
but, seriously, for the sake of theoretical discussion, what might human beings accomplish if they could operate at or near the peak of their powers for 50-75 years?
Looks like we posted pretty much the same question simultaneously, except I worded it far more pessimistically.

I am not so impressed with the selling point of "think of what we'd accomplish!" because, while I admit it *might* be exciting to see what, e.g., Bono is writing in another 60 years, most of us (in my skeptical view) would not become proportionally any more high-achieving than we are now. i.e., if you're truly Nobel Prize material, you're just as likely to achieve that in a 70 year lifespan as in a 250-year one.

Besides, the reality is that our evaluations of Bono's work have "extra credit" built in due to an affection bred by familiarity. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but I am apprehensive about the outcome of seeing such a bias writ large, extending pervasively across all fields of achievement, and (almost inevitably) at the expense of the unfamiliar.

Contemplating my own career as a teacher, for example: while I would obviously teach thousands more students, and amass many more facts about my areas of interest, I can't really say I think it very likely that I would profoundly change my field for the better just from being in it longer, *particularly* if all my colleagues were living longer too. Besides, it would almost certainly mean there would be less "fresh blood" coming into the field on a regular basis (in the form of young scholars with exciting new ideas and perspectives, deriving as much from their unique--partially generation-related--experiences as from anything "any old fart could pick up" from reading a book). I find it hard to see this as a good thing.

I would love to live to see my great-great-great grandchildren, I suppose, but I'm likewise skeptical they'd be any more likely than today's grandchildren to acknowledge my perspective on things as "wise."
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Old 10-25-2005, 05:00 PM   #22
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Originally posted by Irvine511


what might you accomplish, though?

what if U2 were to continue at about the same level for another 50 years? might they become so expert at their endeavor, that we'd hear things no one has heard before? what if Scorcese were to continue, only not tiring or slowing down with age but simlpy accruing more knowledge, more know-how, more experience?

what might we gain by extending the quality of life where, in the future, your typical 90 year old would have the health of your typical 45 year old?
In the grand scheme, I most likely wouldn't accomplish much. And to be honest I don't think all that many people would.

I was actually going to mention my favourite band in my first post. I'd love to hear what they'd come up with over the next 50 years as I think they are better now in their mid 40's to early 50's than they were in their 20's and 30's (although they were more popluar in their 20's and 30's). I'd love to look forward to another 50 years of albums and live shows (someone would have to fix SK's tinnitus) with them (and me) all being vibrant and healthy.

But I can't imagine dramatically longer lifespans for those of us already alive, as I think it would create more problems than it would solve. Striving to improve the quality of life and perhaps lifespans is a very laudable goal and should be worked on. But I think it would be best if it came about more slowly, say average lifespans of 150-200 years over the next 1000 or so years. I think having a rapid increase in lifespan, even if people remain healthy (both physically and mentally) for most of that time, would put immense strain on the world's resources.
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Old 10-25-2005, 07:43 PM   #23
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Seems to me some of you overlooked the implications of the original article. It's not talking about living a little longer with good robust health (that is not an undesirable thing, up to a point). It's talking about potentially infinite lifespan. I guarantee that is not a good thing.

At the very least it would not be a good thing for most of us, because most of us would never access such treatment. It would be utterly unaffordable.

If by some inprobable chance nearly everyone got to live for 1000 years, you would NOT be butting into the lives of your greatgrandchildren, cause there wouldn't be room to keep on reproducing more people who are not needed to replace you and your generation, since you and your generation just keep on hanging around.
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Old 10-25-2005, 07:56 PM   #24
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so, what i'm hearing, is that even if we could live maybe not forever but for what is tantamount, in our understanding, to forever, we wouldn't want to.

so there's a reason why we die beyond simply succumbing to nature?

we know why we do die.

but why should we die?
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Old 10-25-2005, 08:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
so, what i'm hearing, is that even if we could live maybe not forever but for what is tantamount, in our understanding, to forever, we wouldn't want to.

so there's a reason why we die beyond simply succumbing to nature?

we know why we do die.

but why should we die?
I think everything needs renewal, even people. Death gives us that. New people often = new ideas. I think that's important for a culture, for a world.

Doesn't mean I'm a youth worshipper or advocate killing off people (ok...maybe a few people I disagree with here and there if I can get away with it.... ), it's just that I don't think we'd be as far along culturally as we are if we still had most of the people from 1000 years ago still alive and kicking. I think you do need a cycle of birth and death. Just to keep things fresh.

Longer healthy lifespans developed over many generations can be desirable, but I've no interest in living forever and don't really see it as positive for humankind.
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Old 10-25-2005, 08:44 PM   #26
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Well, I didn't intend it as my final take on the issue, but I suppose you could paraphrase my last post as: So Someone Else Can Live.

And I can already hear A Wanderer scoffing that the concept of incipient rights of wholly nonexistent beings to exist is utter nonsense. Rationally speaking, true. But I think somewhere around here is where the potential moral dimensions of this issue come into play. What, if any, obligations do we have to submit to the the biological processes that got us as a species to where we are? Evolution is not a rationally directed process, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that wisdom of an experiential sort is encoded in our genes (and the degenerative processes they themselves are vulnerable to).

Edited to add: And I see indra just said pretty much the same thing. Seems to be the name of the game for me today.
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Old 10-25-2005, 09:22 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Se7en
hopefully we'd be able to learn to live without religion.
Are you saying there's nothing good in religion, or are you saying that hopefully religion would not be an arguing point in this issue?
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:00 PM   #28
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well first and foremost i think you would have to worry about overpopulation if everyone is living so long.
No we would not, firstly only the super rich could ever afford these treatments and secondly why have children too "live forever" if you actually can.

Secondly there are not exactly heaps of people raising their hands for such treatments, I think most people are quite happy to resign themselves to the mortal coil.
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:05 PM   #29
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Originally posted by Irvine511
so, what i'm hearing, is that even if we could live maybe not forever but for what is tantamount, in our understanding, to forever, we wouldn't want to.

so there's a reason why we die beyond simply succumbing to nature?

we know why we do die.

but why should we die?
The evolution of mortality is a real tough topic, there are sever different schools of thought on it, one is that organisms are little more than organic machines and over time their parts wear down, the other is an evolutionary model which I have to revise for an exam in a fortnight
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:34 PM   #30
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
No we would not, firstly only the super rich could ever afford these treatments and secondly why have children too "live forever" if you actually can.

Secondly there are not exactly heaps of people raising their hands for such treatments, I think most people are quite happy to resign themselves to the mortal coil.
hey thanks for clearing things up bud. i didn't realize you had information concerning economic models, cost analysis of potential science, and public opinion polls that may or may not exist decades into the future.
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