Tag Archives: Death

Your Days Left

CalendarAs humans we tend to not face reality until it is right on top of us. We have all heard things like “live every day like it is your last” but when it comes down to it the majority of people ignore these statements. There is a good reason for this because no one actually wants to live like every day is their last; everyone wants to live forever.

However, Understanding our time on this planet will affect the decisions we make in life. To this end I have created something for us all to visualize our time in a more compelling way and it is called http://www.yourdaysleft.com. This free simple web app will allow you to see in a glance how much time you have left relative to today.

I knew while building it that I might find it shocking and I proved myself correct. Even if you are highly optimistic and set your expected life expectancy to a high number, you will still come to realize how little time we all actually have on this planet.

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Radical Change (Aging)

OldYoungGetty_450x300Jenny stood at the back door looking outside as it was raining, “Samuel, can we go out today? it’s been almost a year.” Samuel, who was fiddling with a widget nearby looked over at her, “Perhaps, what is our probability?” Jenny sighed a little and walked over to a nearby screen and began to talk to it in a frustrated tone, “What is our probability for today?” The screen threw up a number that said 0.0023% and then in a natural human voice proceeded to say, “The probability for today is 0.0023%, this exceptionally high probability is caused today by heavy rain.” Samuel looked back down at the widget he was fiddling with and said calmly, “not today honey, maybe tomorrow.” Probability was the chance that they could die. Several years after aging had been cured there was a paradigm shift in the majority of humanity where humans became obsessed with not dying and this lead to the emergence of probability; a real-time tracking of all human deaths with the reasons associated with them.

In previous posts I have talked about the idea of naturalization and how even when things can be radically different then in the past, we will feel as if everything is normal. If a time traveler could come from the past to the present they might believe themselves to be in some fantasy land where humans can fly or talk to each other across the globe instantly. When change happens often times it creeps up on us. This can be dangerous because we might slowly become accustomed to things we never actually wanted. This is why it is critical that we plan for radical change now.

“When we talk about the cure for aging we like to think about it in magical terms.”

Humans are living longer and longer and we are even regrowing organs. The cure for aging is becoming a reality and the problem is we don’t really consider it in practical terms. When human like life forms in fantasy live for long periods of time they pretty much live similar lives to us just over longer period. However, longer lives might not necessarily just be life as usual but longer. Here are some important ideas that should be considered when it comes to the cure for aging.

Philosophical Stagnation
One of the major advantages of death is that radical idealists can be cleared out making way for more progressive younger individuals. If we cure aging these radicals could be persistent. All humans are designed in such a way that once we get an idea established for ourselves, we hold on to it as tightly as possible. While it is true that many people can become flexible, dogmatic thinking exists in every branch of human thinking and not just religion. Dogma is coming up with arguments to justify every possible stance to the support of the individual. This is a real problem because without death dogma will only get stronger, not weaker.

Memory
Hey remember when you lived in the arctic for 10 years, 500 years ago? No, no I don’t. We have always assumed our brains are capable of so much, but our brains weren’t actually designed (as far as we know) for lives longer then 100 years. Outside of mental illnesses, think about how much we forget right now. Technology will play a critical role in storing and retrieving our life memories. The other option is that we figure out how to give everyone an improved memory through Hyperthymesia.

Relationships
Till death do us part takes on a completely different meaning when you can’t actually die by aging. There is some what of an accelerated need by humans of all types to get into relationships in order to reproduce whether they are aware of it or not. People will settle because of their limited timeline. It is impossible to predict how exactly relationships will change but I am quite confident they will.

Money
Generational wealth and power can become even a more serious problem then it is now. Without death you could have families, corporations, or groups of people hold on to significant amounts of power indefinitely.

This is just a few of the things we will have to worry about on top of the more obvious ones like over population, insurance, and retirement implications. When we talk about the cure for aging we like to think about it in magical terms. The problem is once we actually have it, it will stop being magical and we will have a ton of issues that will have to be solved.

Fighting Nature

Ants, my favorite insect, have been known to build very large and impressive nests. Hypothetically, if ants could get to the point where they could regularly build sky scrapers, would we look at ants and call them unnatural? Only with humans do you have such a level of arrogance that we believe the things we make are outside the scope of nature. Some humans go to great lengths to defend primitive nature, sometimes even going as far as putting their own lives on the line to do so, but not only is this wrong, but the value of what people call “natural” is relative to where we are at as a human race.

If we as humans don’t make ourselves the #1 priority there is no value to the universe and every creature that has died, or will die, in the process we have identified as evolution has died in vain.

Nature doesn’t exist to exist in some kind of harmonious nonfluctuating state, it also doesn’t exist to support us in particular and we don’t exist to support it either. Nature exists for one reason and this is to promote evolution and progression. If it wasn’t meant to do this, simply put, we would not exist. Cities are are our forest. While I am aware that my views of this will not be popular with many, there are some very important delusions I must point out regarding nature.

1.  Nature is Peaceful
When strolling through man made parks we get a skewed view of what nature is actually like. If you believe that humanity is so bad with our murders, you haven’t seen murder on a larger scale until you enter a rain forest. If you’re any creature in a rain forest (heck even if you’re a human) you’re death by murder is around 50%+, so that means you will likely be killed for food or defense by another creature if you’re living there.

2. Nature is Efficient
Trees while the best mechanism we have right now for cleaning the air, and creating oxygen (and really one of the primary reasons we want to defend primitive nature) are horribly horribly inefficient. If they were actually good at their jobs, we wouldn’t need a ton of them, and Global warming wouldn’t be an issue. Tree’s weren’t designed to support us, instead they were designed to feed off us. In fact, using technology we are coming up with better and more efficient ways to not only clean the air but also create oxygen. However, that said, clear cutting down forests wouldn’t be suggested since we don’t have such systems implemented yet.

3. Humans are “unnatural”
We are completely natural, everything we do and all of our inventions are made in this universe. To believe our cities are doing some kind of disservice to the world is an illusion of arrogance; that we are some how outside the scope of reality. Imagine for a moment that you are an ultra advanced entity that is living in an ecosystem that we can barely fathom right now and you looked at the human race. Not only would you see a mix of forests and cities, but you also wouldn’t point to one and say that forest is nature and that city is not. In the same way we wouldn’t point at an ant nest and say that’s no longer nature.

Conclusion
Protecting primitive nature is important because it provides us a significant amount of resources, however, trying to create sustainable solutions that some how have to work with primitive creatures and plants is a waste of time if we can create our own ecological systems that are sustainable and benefit us directly. We should not focus on trying to make things work with what is already here if it is too difficult. If tomorrow all the humans died off because of a nuclear war, nature would come back, because that is nature. There is no guarantee that any of those creatures that come back will have any form of compassion at all, or ever even have the possibility of exploring space or creating universes like we currently do.

If we as humans don’t make ourselves the #1 priority there is no value to the universe and every creature that has died, or will die, in the process we have identified as evolution has died in vain.

Don’t Just Function

Steve Job’s speech on death is becoming highly quoted, but the underlying message is probably being ignored by most. When all is said and done, it won’t matter how you made your living or if you made a living at all. Your instincts will drive you to function, society will pressure you to make the choices they want you to make. If you ignore them, they will resent you for not living the way they are living you, and if you’re successful? They will hate you.

This is not a conversation on conformity or conforming to some subculture in an attempt to be unique – this is about making choices that contradict what society would like you to do. This is about staying in The Flow so that you can carve the world. Staying in The Flow is not easy, because life is unfair but if you are here chances are it is too late to turn back. Contrary to popular culture, I won’t tell you that success is guaranteed if you just try hard enough; this fallacious message is spread by the already successful to contribute to their own success (usually in the form of books). However, what I can assure you that the effort will always be valiant even if in the end you lose everything.

That said, while you can’t choose for anything to be successful, you can increase your chances. Make sure everything you do has a reason, do proper research before jumping anywhere, and then strap on your goggles and prepare for an insane ride.