Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"How to Live Forever", according to Morgan Spurlock: sacrifice your chest

Morgan Spurlock told us “How to Live Forever” with his episode of “Inside Man” Easter Sunday night (link here).

He started out by visiting the Grossman clinic (in Los Angeles?) and getting a really complete physical.  The stress tests cost him most of his chest hair (the sticky pads), and the plethysmograph fit snuggly over his balding leg.  He said he was 43, and surprisingly his biological age tested at 34.  But he had some dangerous spikes in blood pressure, and the doctor said he still had ill effects from that month of junk food for “Super Size Me” (remember, he actually threw up in that film). Sonny (on "Days of our Lives") gets prepped by Will but has a much better shot of living forever than Morgan does. 
The whole idea is to stay healthy enough that stem cell technologies and 3-D printing can give you new organs, and you can essentially live forever (or at least to 150, as in an ABC special a few years ago).  Venture capitalist Austin Hines in San Francisco (who looked young and cute) provided more of the research in genomes and fixing genetic mistakes, even in the unborn.

I wondered about the social, moral, political, and ethical implications.  If we can live forever, do we remain employed forever?  Do we stop having children?  Can we collect Social Security forever?  What about the people who can’t afford this technology?  Think of the cultural rifts that would result. It seems that “death” and procreation (with mixing of genes) are nature’s answer to entropy in physics.  Can we overcome that?  Should we? (Actually, another film shows Spurlock giving intimate support to his wife’s giving birth.)

Toward the end, Spurlock demonstrated virtual reality, and talked to himself (that is, a holographic replica of himself).  He also got into discussing “Transcendence” or the “singularity”, just as in the movie (April 19), complete with nanobots or nanites.  It seems that he really believes we can reconstruct ourselves from digital copies of our consciousness on super computers – that really might happen.  But talking to a copy of yourself isn’t quite the same as real human interactions.
If you live forever, you might have to live through some horrific catastrophes that people my age might miss.  But that makes a case for sustainability.


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