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If we could give you 120 years how would you use it?


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#1
kjaggard

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First off this isn't one of those 'wouldn't you get bored?' things. 

 

Let us imagine that everybody here will live to and only to some day within their 80th year of life and then die. That is the course before us all. What will you do with that time?

 

Now imagine tomorrow It's revealed that through Caloric restriction, taking NAD+ precursors, Wim Hof breathing exercises, PQQ supplements, 5 hours a week of HIT workouts, and monthly fasting to start Autophagey. You could add 20 years to that life span. Will you put in the work, and make the life changes to get those years, or does that feel like sacrificing too much and spending too much of that extra time working to get that extra time?

 

Now imagine in ten years they figure out a course of treatment that you need to go in for, almost like a vaccine each week against aging further. You won't get any youth back but the aging process seems to be stopping. But this process confirms a feared truth, that 128 is a hard limit. No one, no person has or ever will live beyond 128, most despite all efforts will be all used up and die at 124, and the only way to get to 128 would be a strictly regimented program of interventions started in the womb and managing metabolics and lifestyle options every day of your life. But that doesn't matter to most of us because the innovation can only grant us 120 years give or take 2-4 years. Would you take it? What would you do with your time?

 

I don't mean simple vague ideas like 'travel' but more like how would you measure your time out. Because underlying this question is an awareness that we have the chance to live longer than many of our ancestors did, but we've just moved milestones in life, '30 is the new 20', we start families in our late 20s not in our teens. etc. But in the midst of all that extra time living, it doesn't actually feel quite like we actually live more life. We've just changed the time signature, not the tune itself. Like the story of how a some fish expand to fill the bowl they live in, changing the bowl for something bigger never actually gives them more room.

 

I get the sense that we all have felt at some point we could use a day off, or a vacation... and then we get said time to ourselves and weirdly that day or week of time is behind us and it feels almost like it might as well have never existed, as it's imprint on our sense of life passing was just a flicker. So there is a part of me that wonders if our sense of time in life will expand, such that 3 years will become the new year, and we will simply have expanded the same sense of not enough time to live to fill any sized time we are given to live in.

 

There was a short story by Larry Niven, I believe, that involved a man in the future looking to the secret of a longer life. He was forced to search alone for many years because his obsession was not shared by the people around him. But one day he found an alien ally in his search, and in the discussions of their search the alien mentioned their parallel desire to not be limited to a tiny lifespan (i forget the actual number used) of a few thousand years... and it was a sobering realization for the man, that a lifespan that dwarfed his own would still feel like not enough. And on reflecting on it, felt that spending what life he had, seeking more of it might be wasting the time that could be better spend on getting the best value out of what he had. (now I don't really agree with all that idea but it is thought provoking)

 

And I know from my own experiences at times that you can live days that can feel like you packed a week of living into them, and a month can be had that is one of the best years in your life. Just like 3 years can go by with so little on note or value that it might as well have been a week. And so combining all of this thought, the question comes, given any number of years, how would we use them?

 

 


Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#2
PhoenixRu

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Well, there is a good saying: "no matter how many days in your life, this is only matter how much life in your days".

 

There is another saying: "life must be lived this wat that you will not be painfully ashamed for your wasted years".

 

And the last one, a bit rude but essentially the same, from my grandpa: "do not delay your work for tomorrow, and your sex for oldness".

 

Just saying... I'm not yet that old to summarize the life experience or (spare me god!) teach others the meaning of life.

 

=== === ===

 

PS in short, to know "how to use your 120 years" one should know how to use his/her 60. If you do not know the answer to the latter question, then the first one does not make much sense either.



#3
EvaWill

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This is actually a very interesting idea. But again, it depends on what state I will live in. If I were in the body of an old person, I probably would not have prolonged my life.



#4
WOLFSKULL

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For me, getting to know how 2124 will be like is enough. One of the worst parts of dying is missing all the cool stuff that would happen afterwards.

#5
PhoenixRu

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For me, getting to know how 2124 will be like is enough. One of the worst parts of dying is missing all the cool stuff that would happen afterwards.

 

That's applied to any year, be it 1824 or 1924 or 2024 or 2124... no matter when, we always die "too early to see what lies ahead". Other question is will you, at your venerable 120-years-old age (or 70-80 for that matter), are still eager to see? I don't know.



#6
kjaggard

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I can remember discussing with somebody that if I knew the my death was going to happen in such a way that all other people died with me, like the extinction even astroid or something, then that death doesn't leave me with as bad a feeling of missing out on things. Which I think points to a habit we have of being upset by feeling like we are being denied something others will have, a sort of objection to the unfairness and inequity of life.

 

It also suggests to me that it's not the death that bothers me, but the sense that something is being taken away from me, while other get to keep theirs and it's not because I've done anything wrong to lose it. And that that feeling can be gotten rid of by changing how i think of the situation.

 

as to whether i might still be eager to keep living and see what comes next. I think largely that as long as I was healthy enough to live and enjoy experiences, yes. And that a lot of wiggle room for me. Because I can imagine a lot to still enjoy if I was bed ridden and hooked to machines keeping me alive. And wandering the void of space as a scout where there are endless stretches of nothing, I could still enjoy myself with activities and learning. So it would take a lot to make me not want a little more life.

 

even the loss of friends and family wouldn't do it. friend exit ones life all the time, and family members die all the time, we mend, and go on.

 

When would be a good time to die? I'm not sure. There was this idea I had years ago that we might get to a point where we kept pushing the boundries of what it was to be human/post-human that whatever it is that make the difference between me and an identical clone with copied epigenome and my memories might thin down so much that I'd have been lost without knowing it. That there might be something out there that thinks it's me, and remembers my life but is in essence my heir, and they too may go on to live long lifetime before also unknowingly dissolving into their own heir.

 

Which to me makes me think that again it's less about the dieing, and more about the anticipation of a sharp and abrupt end. And a preference for not knowing if it happened or is about to happen or never actually happens. 

 

I mean I cannot prove right now that each night I go to sleep I don't die and when this body wakes some new consciousness fills in the gaps in my brain where I was, but uses my memories and feelings and thinks it's me. So this post human immortality thought experiment may be just another version of that writ more expansively across broader implications. But it doesn't consume me to think that the me who started this thread died and I'm a new person in their body with their memories contemplating my own mortality even as I may blink out of existence tonight and another being will fill this place tomorrow. It's a weightless thought experiment and I feel like that unknowable truth of whether or not I'm still around or if somebody else has filled in after I dissolved out without knowing it and nobody knows exactly where I end and they begin and if maybe there was some overlap at some point.


Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#7
Yuli Ban

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For me, getting to know how 2124 will be like is enough. One of the worst parts of dying is missing all the cool stuff that would happen afterwards.

 

That's applied to any year, be it 1824 or 1924 or 2024 or 2124... no matter when, we always die "too early to see what lies ahead". Other question is will you, at your venerable 120-years-old age (or 70-80 for that matter), are still eager to see? I don't know.

Funnily enough, this is my response to those who say living forever or for at least a very long time is a curse because of how bored you'd become.

 

If a wizard gave someone circa 2021 BC the "curse" of 5,000 years of immortality, the only real cursed aspects this person would suffer is watching loved ones come and go as well as watching humankind make the same mistakes time and time again. Besides maybe the daily minutia becoming a grind, this cursed individual would certainly never get bored throughout those years, especially as time goes on and he sees that, yes, bizarre changes are happening to this world and the civilizations that compose it. It might start out slow, but once he makes it to the year 1500, things are already becoming addicting to follow, and by 2000, you're not going to be bored. You're going to be astounded that mankind's begun infringing on things you used to believe were only the realm of the gods. And you still have another thousand years to go.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#8
TranscendingGod

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It'd take me 120 years to get a date... Another 120 to get laid... And probably 250-500 to get married, so you tell me.
The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#9
PhoenixRu

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If a wizard gave someone circa 2021 BC the "curse" of 5,000 years of immortality, the only real cursed aspects this person would suffer is watching loved ones come and go as well as watching humankind make the same mistakes time and time again.

 

Reminded me the old sci-fi story of young Greek warrior from Alexander The Great army who saved the Indian girl and, as reward, was taught by her grandpa (the great yogi) to fall into hibernation for a hundred years. Initially, the warrior was full of enthusiasm (after all, he lived in the age of great changes), but after each new "jump into future" his enthusiasm faded until, finally, the protagonist (not so young already) decided that he had seen enough and stayed in our time.






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