Will Human Beings be Immortal by the Year 2045?
Just this weekend I upgraded my Mac to OS X Mountain Lion and I lost all of my files, but it's not a huge deal because the only thing I ever saved were photos of cats and the MPEGs of that one season of Smallville I liked enough to buy from iTunes. Ultimately, pretty unimportant stuff, right? But what if I had been storing my brain?
"I'm just gonna throw all the thoughts and feelings I've ever had into Dropbox here."
That could very well be the future we're looking at as Russian media mogul Dmitry Itskov has relayed his plan to create cybernetic, fully-functional human avatars for us to store our brains in by the year 2045. Of course, if our brains aren't limited by our ever-decaying meat bodies, our consciousness will live on forever, making us immortal.
And if Ra's al Ghul has taught us anything, it's that immortality does wonders for the human mind.
Speaking at the probably well-catered Global Future 2045 International Congress event in Moscow, Itskov announced he has assembled a team who is, according to him, is capable of building such technology. Now Itskov is writing letters to ask for funding from the only people who will, at least initially, be able to afford this technology— the world's billionaires. This is far and away the worst part about this story because billionaires are, without question, the worst people in the world. You know Mitt Romney? Imagine if every year we collected another forty five of him.
My book club used to be a lot better before it was full of Mitt Romneys.
Here's Itskov's proposed course of action—step one is making robotic copies of ourselves that we can control with our brains. Most moral, sane people would stop right there. But no! Step two is to create a method for transferring a human brain into the robot body at the end of life. Step three is to create an artificial duplicate of the brain itself, and finally, step four is to make the whole thing holographic so we don't even have to mess around with physical media anymore.
Pictured: Your new apartment.
And then, there's the question of the intangibles. If we remove the fear of death are we removing our very humanity? There's at least one summer blockbuster that suggested that the fear of death is what makes us human. And furthermore, is there a practical benefit to putting a timer on our lives? As it stands, our lives are this complex, beautiful mystery, and we see so many wonders when we're alive, and there is this impetus that, for the bravest amongst us, that gets us off the couch and out into the world. We are forced to take action because if we don't death will take from us not only all that we are, but more importantly, all we ever could be. I would argue that it's the scarcity of life that makes it special; that there's something to be said for going gracefully into that good night.
Plus, if they're around too long, grandparents get annoying.
Would you want to live forever? Let me know on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!