Monday, November 14, 2016

Let's kill death




Two weeks ago, I lost my Grandmother.

She was 96. She also enjoyed good health for the majority of those years. Therefore, I've heard all of the platitudes. "That's a nice, long life." "Death is a natural part of life." "You need to just come to terms with death."

To tell you the truth, such flat and dull remarks piss this transhumanist off. They are anathema to me. There is no reason why we need to "just accept" death and resign someone to a slow and dismal decline of their intellect, senses, and physical self. The human body deteriorates with age and brings with it conditions such as arthritis or worse...dementia. The most the medical field can currently toss at the problem of aging is "diet and exercise."

That's right. I said "problem." We need to start seeing aging as a chronic disease, a disease we can cure with enough intellectual scrutiny and technological innovation. Google is already working on it with Ray Kurzweil, biohacking devices like CRISPR will make DNA editing easier, and cybernetics always has promising developments on the horizon. There's more work to be done, of course. A tremendous amount of work. There are a few researchers though who say a breakthrough is not that far off. In fact if you were born after the 1950s, you might have a decent shot at an indefinite lifespan.

To be sure, I really don't believe my Grandma would have wanted any of this. She was, in her own way, at peace with what happened. It allowed her to rejoin my Grandfather who died in 1995 and 21 years is quite a long time to be without someone you love. Naturally, I wouldn't have forced any of these life extension procedures on her or anyone else. This is a personal choice for someone. But if you've ever watched the compromise of dignity that comes with advanced age, you might know a little of what I mean. Suddenly aging becomes a whole lot less noble.

So no, I won't just accept death. I will kick, spit, and slash back at it.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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