Saturday, August 20, 2011

Strategies for how to live forever

Every human is mortal. Our time on earth is limited. This ultimate truth motivates us to find ways to overcome our mortality.

For example, 
A) by extending your lifespan [body immortality], 
B) by preserving your unique self [mind and soul immortality], or 
C) by creating a legacy that reminds people of you [social immortality].

[Click to enlarge]
There are different strategies to delay or beat the inevitable [See concept map above].

Social immortality: You can try leaving a legacy that reminds people of your unique self, for example by creating artwork (writing books, composing songs, paint a picture, etc.) or donating money (aka to have something named after you).

Mind immortality: You can try preserving your unique mind, either actively by uploading your mind (see technological singularity), or passively by passing on your ideas (for example through educating your children or through your artwork).

Body immortality: You can try preserving your body as long as possible through a healthy diet, sports, and medicine. Beyond that, you can enhance your body through robotic replacement parts, freeze your body (cryogenics), or use cloning (to get new body parts). The most common way to achieve body immortality is passing on your genes to your children. This comes with the additional benefit that you can also pass on some of your values and ideas to your children [See mind immortality].

Soul immortality: The concept of an immortal part of ourselves - the soul - is promoted by numerous religions. 

People are often heavily invested in a particular belief system that promises eternal life. Many wars have been fought over different immortality systems [For example, see the interesting and humorous book on death and afterlife "Heidegger and a Hippo walk through those Pearly Gates"].

No matter what immortality strategy you pursue, ultimately we are all on the same level - we are all mortal and should try to make the best out of the limited time we have.

Some more ideas for how to extend your life [see infograph below]:

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