Technology and Immortality

by Jon Follett

On the podcast this week, we discuss advances in the digital life and in biological engineering that are fueling the human search for immortality. It seems like humans have always been obsessed with living forever. The path to immortality, however, has necessarily been more fantasy than reality. Even The Fountain of Youth, one of the most famous fables of immortality, was erroneously connected to the biography of the conquistador Juan Ponce de León, perhaps to give the legend more weight.

It’s a natural human desire is to try to extend our lives as much as possible. We’re getting better at fighting off diseases, although we’re encountering new ones all the time — obesity, various cancers, and even West Nile virus are all examples of relatively new threats. Digitally, we’re finding better and better ways of preserving our perspectives in 0s and 1s. And, there’s an interesting sociological thread that’s tightly connected with such technological advances: Who gets to live the longest, and most desirable life? Whose ideas are maintained and propagated? Join us on the podcast, as we discuss.

What are the ethical consequences of immortality technology?


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Topics: Podcast