<-- Immortalist | Transhumanist Terminology Index | Imp -->


A term that refers to the entirety of technologies, real and theoretical, that are related to and/or required for radical life extension (or in extreme cases, even immortality).

First, what do we mean by radical life extension? We don't mean a few months, or even a few years. Centuries, millenia, and even longer. This may seem insane, especially the thought of the ability to live for a million years, but I would hazard a guess that managing to break through the limits on the human body's lifespan that we see now, relating to aging and disease, will take us to a place where there might well be few to no limits on lifespan - perhaps the only one would be "filling" the brain - where it has as much experience as it can handle, and technologies are being considered that may help with that.

What kind of technologies? Cryonics, for example - freezing someone, so that someday later in the future, the person can be thawed, any problems fixed, and return to living. Calorie restriction is another, as there is some evidence that it can dramatically increase someone's lifespan, perhaps long enough for other technologies to take over from there. Uploading is a more exotic idea, and one that could quite concievably open the possibility to incredibly long life spans.

Much of these ideas might be called pipe dreams, nonsense by many people, as thinking has often been influenced by the Tithonus Syndrome, or conscious or subconscious deathism.

"When I decided to write this article, I tried these ideas out on several groups and had them respond to informal polls. I was amazed to find that at least three quarters of the audience seemed to feel that our life spans were already too long. "Why would anyone want to live for five hundred years? Wouldn't it be boring? What if you outlived all your friends? What would you do with all that time?" they asked. It seemed as though they secretly feared that they did not deserve to live so long. I find it rather worrisome that so many people are resigned to die. Might not such people be dangerous, who feel that they do not have much to lose?"

           -- Marvin Minsky, in his article "Will Robots Inherit the Earth?"

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.