David Brin on the Urge to Radical Life Extension

Via the IEET: "Suppose you had a chance to question an ancient Greek or Roman - or any of our distant ancestors, for that matter. Let's say you asked them to list the qualities of a deity. It's a pretty good bet that many of the 'god-like' traits he or she described might seem trivial nowadays. After all, we think little of flying through the air. We fill pitch-dark areas with sudden lavish light, by exerting a mere twitch of a finger. Average folks routinely send messages or observe events taking place far across the globe. Copious and detailed information about the universe is readily available through crystal tubes many of us keep on our desks and command like genies. Some modern citizens can even hurl lightning, if we choose to annoy our neighbors and the electric company. Few of us deem these powers to be miraculous, because they've been acquired by nearly everyone in prosperous nations. After all, nobody respects a gift if everybody has it. And yet, these are some of the very traits that earlier generations associated with divine beings. Even so, we remain mortal. Our obsession with that fate is as intense as it was in the time of Gilgamesh. Perhaps more, since we overcame so many other obstacles that thwarted our ancestors. Will our descendants conquer the last barriers standing between humanity and Olympian glory? Or may we encounter hurdles too daunting even for our brilliant, arrogant, ingenious and ever-persevering species? ... Here's the safest prediction for the next 100 years - that mortality will be a major theme. Assuming we don't blow up the world, or fall into some other catastrophic failure mode, human beings will inevitably focus on using advanced technology to cheat death."

Link: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/5068

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