20 December 2017

Is Living Forever That Great?

Something I really hate about real life is the correlation between time and money. Either you have time or you have money. Having both is hard especially finding the balance. However, time wouldn't be such a big problem is we could

Live Forever.

A dream many people have - I could imagine - and many people had. Frankenstein and Linus Pauling for example. But what would living forever mean? What would it be like? There are many interpretations of how it would work but most boil down to you no longer aging. To know how this would work we need to know what happens when we're

Getting Older.

To simplify what's happening. Our cells reproduce over and over every second. The old cells that died get replaced that way. We lose these cells all the time if they're stuck on our body and cling to each other we know this most commonly as dandruff. Anyways this reproduction or copying of our cells transfers the data in the DNA of the cell onto an mRNA (messenger Ribonucleic acid). Basically a string of information on how the DNA is built. This mRNA is then translated into the new cell to recreate the DNA of the old cell. If the new cell is a copy of the old one, where's the problem?  The problem is that this procedure isn't perfect. There's a mistake every now and then and these cells with mistakes in the DNA are copied too and at some point, we have completely broken cells. A common example is the loss of information in the DNA, as the hair color. We have a mechanism that tries to correct these errors that occur but it can't fix everything and trying to fix these mutations isn't always successful. So if it weren't for those errors, we would probably be immortal.

Great! Get this fixed! Get me signed up! I'm ready!

Hold On

This may sound great and all, unfortunately, there are a few problems that arise when we live forever. I know the idea of immortality is great but we need to think it through what it would mean. We can't just say we're immortal and do what we like. We might lose our immortality that way. At least if we're talking about living forever. 

Well first things first, perfect copying of our DNA means there will not be any mutations anymore. You could say, that's great! No more cancer! However, at the same time, this means no evolution anymore. We would be stuck with the body of ours at its current state. No improvements. No evolution. I guess you could replace parts of your body with technology, that might still work.

Second of all, environmental awareness has already been spread but we're just starting. If you want to be able to keep your infinite life, you need to learn to live in balance with nature.
This may sound like something an esoteric may tell you but it makes sense here. The environment and world try to stay in balance. Simply put: if we destroy this balance the world may be destroyed meaning your life ends.

Going hand in hand with the previous statement. If multiple people life forever we need to find a solution to overpopulation.
Overpopulation is already a problem. The planet we live on has only a limited amount of space. Without utterly destroying the planet how are we supposed to all life? The last overpopulation was solved by the black death. One way would be to deny oneself to have children the other way would be to bring back sacrifices. I'm not saying this is a good or fair option but it would be an option. Whatever the case is this problem needs a solution and reducing offspring would be one way to do it.

On the Other Hand

If waiving on those things I mentioned is no problem for you then be happy to enjoy your infinite life. I wouldn't mind trading those aspects for adding an in- to my finite life. No more fearing to not have enough time. You can learn everything and all you want because you have infinite time to do so. You can enjoy what you're doing and work on things in your spare time the next day after work because it doesn't matter how long it takes as time is no longer the problem. Work 5 years earn money and then lie back a few years and start working again once the money goes out. No problem.

Conclusion

I've mentioned the 3 biggest disadvantages or problems. How heavy or strong these are for you, I don't know. It differs from person to person. As I already mentioned it wouldn't be a problem for me and the advantages are much greater in my own opinion. Ain't no rest for the wicked [...] ain't nothing in this world for free. Now, of course, technically there are other times of living forever like true immortality (not being to able to die at all), near-immortality (extreme self healing properties), rebirth (being reborn afterlife) but I wanted to go into one that is comprehensible in the sense of "that would scientifically work".

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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.