This current wave of trying to cheat death, predicting the future state of humankind and the consideration of moving to Mars — is becoming something like a tsunami. Seems like masses of humans are on the run, trying to outrun life and humanness.
So, who wants to live forever? All the Transhumanists in the building — say ‘aye!’
Ever since our very beginnings as a species, life and death have gone together like ying and yang — you can’t have one without the other. Sure, it may seem like a shitty deal — but that is the Tao of the human.
Transhumanists and the like, would like to hand back the cards we humans have been dealt — as they put their middle fingers up at death — and deal themselves into the game of winning immortality. In other words, try to transcend humanness.
But how? Well, let’s see — there is Cryogenics — which from what I understand is basically the freezing of freshly deceased people. The thinking being, that these folks can one day be thawed out to then ‘live’ forever — when medical and technological advances have superseded all our current human frailties, like famine and disease. Did you note the caveat of having to be dead first?? Ergh, this defeats the object of immortality if you have to die first *shrugs shoulders*.
I guess you could say we’re already on the edge of our biological capabilities with organ transplants, genetic engineering as exploited shamelessly with the use of Henrietta Lacks DNA known as HeLa cells.
Cryogenics perhaps sounds quite far fetched to many folks minds — and of course to date — remains an unproven theory. Here’s what Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku believes. The desire to preserve and extend human life — beyond its natural end, is not new. You could liken this latest wave, to a modern day version of mummification. Were the Egyptians outside of their right minds — when they mummified their Pharaohs? They may well have had some other nations — throwing quizzical side eye’s their way at that time too, like ‘Bro — what the what!’ Hmm.
Maybe, we’re ready to jump far beyond mere life extension.
Folks like the Neuroscientist and Neuroengineer Randal Koene — whose work towards uploading all of the brains functions to a computer — place them at the forefront of this latest movement. Yeah, that’s right — they call it ‘mind uploading’ — so basically, cutting the cord from mama Earth and move humanity to ‘The Cloud’.
I confess, technology confuses me — so understanding how my mind would be able to function outside of its biological home (my brain — skull and body) and operate as me within a computer — is hella confusing and exhausting.
Then there is Elon Musk, who is on a mission ultimately not to find life on Mars — but to put life on Mars — yes, human life. Maybe the more familiar term of colonisation, paints a clearer picture of this proposal. “It’s a fixer-upper of a planet, but eventually — you could transform Mars into an Earth like planet.” — Elon Musk
Or maybe — Mr Musk, we could use our resources to fix up the planet Earth that we came from — and transform our lives here and now. *shrugs shoulders*
2024, that is the year according to Elon Musk — that those astronauts who have signed up for their tickets to ride — will be all aboard on his SpaceX rocket to be the first to experience ‘multiplanetary life’ on Mars.
2024, seems ambitious — until I look back at history when President Kennedy announced in the 60’s that he and Nasa were conspiring to put the first man on the Moon before the end of the decade — and then enter 1969… “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” — Neil Armstrong
The rest is history.
I teach my children, that just because you can do something — doesn’t mean you should.
I have no expertise in any of the Science’s, I know very little really about why we came to be. I remain fascinated by human beings, why we do the things we do and what it means to be human. Love — empathy — jealousy — rage — excitement — fear — curiosity —discovery — grief — survival — etc. Will these quests for immortality and taking up residence on other planets, preserve our humanness? Or will it be a trade off, whereby humanity gets jettisoned for this new ‘life’?
Personally, I’m still skeptical about the idea of Science Fiction — Science fact — Biology and Biological engineering etc, — meeting at their intersections to birth a bastard child to be ‘Christened’ a ‘future human’ or a cyborg or something resembling us — yet not quite us. So, I deal myself out of the immortality and life on another planet game. I’m not trying to outrun life, I am trying to live it.
Evolving is the wonder of the world. It keeps happening whether we interfere with it or not. We are a part of this extraordinary movement called life. We are experiencing humanity, and humanity is mortal. Let that simmer.
“You and I are as much continuous with the physical Universe as a wave is with the ocean. The ocean waves and the Universe peoples.” — Alan Watts
Liberating ourselves from this attachment to everything including life itself, might just allow us to live better right now. Perhaps re-frame our casting of death as the enemy to life that must be defeated, and understand its role as a necessary part of our evolution.
“You wanna wake up in the morning and think the futures gonna be great.” — Elon Musk
Actually, I wanna wake up and think — today’s gonna be great. Because the future, well — it doesn’t exist