Redefining forever

As is really not that surprising, we had plenty of interesting and deep discussions regarding the topics in the keynote over lunch. It was certainly interesting and in depth for the few of us that had actually read of some Kurzweil's books, but pretty open to all. The primary interest of the conversation was based off of the postulation that Kurzweil made regarding the eventual eradication of human mortality within the next two decades. So, for the sake of this post, bear with the science fiction and believe the plausibility of this science becoming realized.

The social and global implications would certainly be huge, given how many assumptions our laws, economy and lives have on our life cycle - social security would no longer exist, and if we really could live productive lives for thousands of years or more, we would potentially be in a state of constantly learning, jumping from job to job, furthering our personal knowledge in much less finite ways than we currently do. Perhaps our required knowledge sets would evolve and we would all be learning and moving higher along the intellectual food chain, which our jobs would then reflect. However, what struct me as most interesting (which will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me) was something that a close friend of mine at work stated. He read The Singularity while we was dating his wife, and before he felt comfortable marrying her, he wanted her to read The Singularity, understand and accept the possiblity of a less traditional existence in their lifetimes. That this could be more infinite than they could comprehend right now.

Certainly not surprising to hear that from Paul, but certainly an interesting concept. Removing the concept of death to part us, the romantic vision of a "forever" that lasts longer than our inidividual lifetime, and a potential existence of infinite change, would you be able to jump headfirst and without looking back at the concept of being with another person literally forever? Once that contract of marriage extends longer than the 70, 80 or a 100 or so yaers that currently times them out, does anything change? Already we've proven as Americans that the statisical chances of staying with soomeone over the span of your current life expectancy is less than 50%. For that matter, look at your current girlfriend or boyfriend - would you be as happy or happier 200 years from now still walking by their side? Hell, is there anyone in your life that you could make that claim with, blood relatives as well? Or does the fact that the timeframe of that connection extends longer than we expect even matter? Shouldn't the fact that you could remain so deeply in love with this person and the other people you care about in your life for infinitely longer than you originally anticipated just heighten the potential joy of the experience? Shouldn't the ideal of being able to live an infinite range of lifetimes to be able to experience new adventures and challenges with that person in the context of one lifetime be the most exciting thing in the world that overshadows those other worries?

I certainly don't know, but I would love to stick around to find out.

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