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Can billions buy you forever?

by Sarah Morris - Copy Editor
Tue, Feb 6th 2018 05:00 pm

jamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” It seems that now, however, modern medicine has proven Franklin (half) wrong, as a group of billionaires are using their money to try and live forever, instead of doing something that positively impacts humanity.

Tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation Aubrey de Grey, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and a fair number of billionaires are pouring money into a cause to stop aging and eventually become immortal.

“The proposition that we can live forever is obvious,” founder of ZeroCater Arram Sabeti said in an interview with The New Yoker. “It doesn’t violate the laws of physics, so we can achieve it.”

Not only is there so much danger in tampering with the laws of natural life, but it’s also a terrible investment. As the world falls apart, these billionaires are using potentially helpful money to live forever. That’s not to say they can’t spend the money they earned on themselves, but to take advantage of their wealth is selfish.

Calico, the research and development company in California dedicated to perfecting immortality, has already invested over $1 billion in just one lab. The lab includes research equipment and capsules filled with liquid nitrogen for people to either freeze their heads for $80,000 or their bodies for $200,000, in hopes to be thawed and resurrected in the future. Some of the billionaires have already reserved pods for their own bodies.

So what’s wrong with living forever?

For starters, think about population control. In the long run, staying alive forever is actually harming human existence. As immortality becomes a more and more normal thing, Earth will start to become overcrowded, which will probably lead to population control; the government will only allow a couple to have one child and extra children would be executed. It’s already a huge problem today, so imagine a world that keeps growing and never stops. Of course, this could change if we ever colonize Mars, but that’s a whole other story. 

An even more self-concerning issue is how evolution will, or rather, won’t, affect you. Take a look back at just 500 years ago, only a blip on the timeline of modern human existence. Simply look at Google paintings of people from the 1500s. How many of those people would you bang? The answer is none, because as humans, we evolve in even the shortest amount of time, getting taller and healthier. We’re also getting better looking, or at least our standards of beauty are getting higher. A Forbes article, titled “How the Human Face Might Look In 100,000 Years”, shows the possibility of what humans will look like in 100,000 years. Their large heads and alien-like eyes are enough to make anyone uncomfortable, but in the future, we’ll be the ones hard to look at (think about our ancestors, the “cavemen” from 500,000 years ago and the what beauty standards must’ve been like back then).

So think about this: if you become immortal by the year 2518, you’ll be, well, very ugly and short. And just 10,000 years after that, you’ll be a straight-up freak and probably treated as an animal, a depressing life for anyone.

You could also freeze or kill yourself, which begs an ethical argument that’s far too complicated to fit in this article. Science may one day go as far as to make you entirely unable to die, if the human race lives that long to see that kind of technology/medicine. This means, hypothetically, that if an asteroid hit the earth, demolishing the planet and all that inhabits it, you’d survive it, spending the rest of eternity a freak and floating through the endless void of outer space with no oxygen; that is, if you don’t get pulled into another planet or star’s orbit.

As you lose perception of time and space with only vast nothingness below, above or around, you begin to beg what you realize is an absent God for the sweet, sweet release of death, because even hell is not as barbarous a punishment as immortality.



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