“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
~ Terry Pratchett
When it comes down to it, although our day to day lives may be driven by envy; what we want, what we really, really want, as conscious human beings, is immortality.
Traditionally, this has taken one of three routes :
- Through our seed (that is, through good old fashioned procreation which allows us to achieve a sort of genetic, biological “immortality” – although, we have no guarantee that our decedents will keep up their end of the bargain.)
- Through our creed (that is, through believing in some form of life after death, or post-material existence – this is nice work if you can believe it, but, let’s be honest, not all of us can even if we really want to.)
- Through our deeds (that is by leaving behind some artefact or idea that will outlive us, whether that is a building, a book, a melody, a space rocket, a digital clone, or any other less exciting footnote in history – unfortunately, by definition, this method is reserved for the few, those chosen by destiny to impress their peers rather than be impressed by others. Ah vanity, thy name is human.)
Now, however, we have convinced ourselves that there is another way to achieve immortality – that is by figuring to how to actually live forever (or at least, indefinitely).
We have declared war on ageing and illness.
And, like the ill-fated, apparently endless War on Terror, the War on Death is infinitely elastic.
Infinitely elastic in terms of time, budget, and biological control measures.
You will be healthy. And you will be happy*.
That is a commandment.
(*Side effects, and economic scaling issues sold separately.)