Friday, December 10, 2004

The physical mortality imperative

I just read an article about how a mobile telecommunications technology developer is making it possible to use your cell-based radio telephone on an airplane. This will be done by installing a pizza box sized "tower" inside the plane and turning the entire passenger cabin into a "cell". The phones' transceptions will be relayed by a master antenna mounted on the plane to the ground-based networks. Pretty impressive stuff, no doubt. Nice that such a creative solution can be applied to the problem of people not being able to user their radiophones during air travel. This is excactly the sort of energy and creativity that needs to be applied to the much more pressing problem of physical mortality.

Woody Allen once famously said, "I don't wan't to be immortal through my work. I want to be immortal by not dying."

Now it can be argued that plenty of people don't really care much about their longevity. Just look at the poisons they dump into themselves, the fattening, artery-clogging foods they eat. But why then do they spend so much to cure themselves when they become injured or ill, especially in older age? In my opinion, most people do want to live and would spend quite a bit if they were offered a way to live longer.

A concerted effort could be made. If a convincing business plan were put together, it would certainly find investment, eventually all it would need. The concept explored below is my favored starting position. Have a genetically-modified clone made of yourself that can be produced to maturity in a relatively short time and has only a brainstem, and no brain. Then have your own brain transplanted into the new body and have nanomachines connect all the nerve endings. Sure, it sounds far-fetched. But people have new engines put into their cares. It is certainly imaginable. And with a concerted effort to master the workings of the human body, it could be done. We just have to start and proceed in the same manner that industry pursues the sort of innovations described above.


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