My favorite line (among so many) was, "If you really love yourself, you’ll love yourself enough to grow.” I wish more of my peers grokked this. Thank you!

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This is the most important problem in the world. It would be cool if we were able to lower the temperature on our cold war with China and Russia and collectively declare war on aging and death instead.

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Whenever I fear aging, I remember this from Iain Banks:

Stars die. Why not us?

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Mar 10Liked by Mike Solana

Man, watching the reactions to the filters made me cry.

Oh, Heinlein is my favorite as well. The worlds he imagined and described were amazing.

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That Lana Del Ray song still gets to me. I remember listening to it repetitively when it came out with the Great Gatsby redux.

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So great. And this:

"Imagine a *realistic visual promise* of our fitness results some weeks or months in the future, given some specific set of changes to our workout and diet."

There's actually decent research that says building a new identity first is key to lasting habit change.

Imagine if you could *prompt your best self* to see a generative visual of who you could be.

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A rare disagreement! You can tell me if it is as much a disagreement as I might think.

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher died in the middle of class. My understanding now that I’m older is that he had an aortic defect since birth that he hadn’t known about and it just chose that moment to finally burst. This all happened during silent reading time and he was a notorious prankster so no one was quite sure if it was real or if we should do anything so we all sort of just froze for about fifteen minutes. His death murmurs started somewhere in the middle of that.

When one of us got brave enough to go get another teacher —it wasn’t me— they turned him over and his face is something I’ll never forget. All the blood had pooled on his front since he was face down. His eyelids were about half an inch think. He looked not unlike one of the Borg, but more purple and blue.

That was my first experience with death and I felt like you feel in this article. It’s just the most genuinely awful thing in the world and if you don’t think it is then you’re lying to yourself. His whole family was at the funeral and the pain on their faces is something I’ll never forget.

Might seem random but this is a good video to consider for where I eventually wound up:


You might be thinking, “that’s a bunch of dust on a plate with some sound waves moving it around. What has that got to do with living forever? This seems New Agey.” It’s intended as a metaphor.

We evolved something like the way the sand moves around on that plate. Little invisible pressures over time moving us from one state to the other. Pressures that remain to this day and keep the pattern held tightly to its shape. Not for any individual human but for humanity as a whole. Maybe a grain of sand gets budged around here or there and it gets reused in a different part of the pattern. We see the sand on the plate and think that’s us, we are that specific pattern. But we are not only ourselves, but the pressures that form us, and the shape created out of that push and pull.

Now break our ties to the universe, to selection, to Darwin. It’s like someone turned the sound off on the plate. The force that sustained the shape is no longer in place. Now what takes over as the new force? Human choice. Bit by bit there are obvious choices for what we should remove and improve about ourselves, and we will have a lever to move any part around even what we want. Why be heartbroken when you can take a pill full of nano bots and erase ever having had something not work out? Why feel pain at all? Grain by grain the sand shifts to a new pattern.

There’s a paradox here that I have no answer to: If humanity’s ultimate destiny is to become something that isn’t human how can that be our ultimate destiny?

To be clear, I wouldn’t stop someone from making this choice. Or from choosing to live much longer. It isn’t my right or my place. But I think everyone who makes that choice will eventually cease to be human in any meaningful sense, even if it takes centuries, unless they repeatedly choose to do something so close to dying as to make choosing to be immortal in the first place not as alluring. I also think all humans who do so will eventually die. The choice of unmerciful pressures is built into the fabric of reality.

I wouldn’t mind a few more years. I think it’s better to be healthy than not healthy. I’d happily cure the blindness of someone who was born without the gift of sight. If I lost an arm, I’d gladly slap a robot arm in its place. I also think if you can right a wrong that it’s wrong not to do so. But at some point, if I could just make a permanent choice to live forever then you are choosing to stand in the place of your descendants. We can’t become this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_Devouring_His_Son even if it’s a polite devouring where the vast majority of us simply choose to never have children.

Call it God or whatever, but I could feel that whole cosmic oneness of the pattern of humanity when I watched my son being born. It was like it was a dormant sense in my spine, a sense like sight or taste or touch and I just hadn’t ever used it before. I could feel us, whatever we are. I could feel his little life blossoming and even though I didn’t think of it consciously at the time, I knew that was the beginning of my death. I’d been moving toward since forever but this was the beginning of me being okay with that. And I was okay with that because by spending my years building up a life and world for him, I knew that I was in some sense already immortal. The things I most consider to be myself, my love, my care, the things that will actually make me turn off a MacGyver marathon and go nudge the world around will all be carried down through him and the world I shape for him. When I die it will be to leave a place for him to grow and become a man in his own right. There’s a peace in knowing that I never would have thought possible in the fourth grade. It also made me braver. I almost doubled my income during the time I knew he was going to be born. It made me write down my crazy thoughts for whatever they are worth. Whenever I watch the news now I don’t think “oh that’s so unfortunate” I think “Like hell is that touching my kid.”

All of that comes from the pressures that make me human. I don’t know at which point I’d look at some kind of ultra stem cell rejuvenation as something other than great, but I do know in my bones that the pattern I’m talking about is sacred and if I have to become the singularity version of Amish at some point in the future then so be it. I’ll even leave the Earth on a generation ship so me and the other Space Mormons —that’s the funniest thing I can think to call it— can go bring life to other planets and keep the pattern going somewhere else. To say I love humanity the way I love a well written poem would be wrong, since it’s the thing and the context that allows me to enjoy a poem like that.

I hope there’s a stable Greek God like pattern out there where you are walking around a million years from now surrounded by a glowing golden aura but I worry it’s all old school unworldly Elves.

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As a septuagenarian, I have a lot of skin in the game to extend the human life span. But I know intuitively that this is a very bad idea. Clearly, we should not cease our efforts for all to live long, healthy lives but 1000 year lifespans will bring a host if societal ills that I won’t list. Yes, the diminishment of faith has reinvigorated this effort, but returning to faith is a deeply satisfying antidote to anyone’s insecurity about how long they will live.

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

i like the idea of advancing life-preserving technologies because if we can figure out how to get someone from 80 to 200 we can probably figure out how to get someone who would've died at 20 to live to 80. and that would be incredible

but im out on millenarians. anyone who gets augmentation to live past 250 is probably insufferable

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Team mortality over here. It will be ok ❤️

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