Would You Get the Cure?
July 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
What if, within the near future, a cure for aging was found? Imagine freezing yourself forever in your prime. Life would be one great party, right?
Not quite. Like many in The Postmortal, you probably made the simple honest mistake of equating eternal youth with eternal life. I know I would have.
And it’s not even eternal beauty either. You can still get sun damage, you can still get fat, etc.
I think, though, more than anything else, I bought this book because of its format. There’s this jarring quality between the casual familiarity of the blog, written just like this one with links, news articles, interview transcripts, and quotes from other friends’ feeds copy-pasted right in, and the world it describes, which can be summarized as nothing short of a living hell. Or an apocalypse.
And the incredibly creepy, scary thought is that (in the book), we have no one to blame but ourselves. Human folly at its finest.
I’m not here, though, to write an incredibly persuasive review of this book. I don’t really want to write a review, period. (You can google plenty of those which are much better than anything I can come up with.)
I just want to hear what other people would do in this sort of situation.
Keep in mind that since people are now living for an indefinite amount of time until illness or violence kills them, there’s going to be massive issues with resources, pollution, and overpopulation. Less food, less water, less medicine, less space, less everything.
Also, though it sounds kind of morbidly insensitive, there’s a slower “turnover” rate for every kind of profession. Young people like us can get jobs because older people are retiring and dying off, thus leaving behind vacancies. However, if people can no longer get old, they can work indefinitely and kind of have to if there’s no definite end in sight. Medicine, law, business, entertainment, you name it. Fiercer competition, not to mention that the “big shots” aren’t retiring and giving a chance for “rising stars” to shine. Imagine the pressure.
Place yourself in a world like that, and your priorities soon start to shift radically.
Think about it. So many modern-day values would change: love, life, and death would take on new meanings. “Until death do you part” suddenly becomes a much bigger commitment. Your kids will grow up and if they take the cure, stay frozen around the same age as you and your parents and other relatives. You never know when your friends may become your enemies simply because they envy something you have, whether its money, career, food, water, space, or even air.
Just imagine how stiflingly claustrophobic the world would become.
There’s a minor character, Keith, in the story who decided to spend a year in every country in an epic 200-year backpacking tour of the world.
I feel like, if I became a postmortal, I would do something similar. I would do whatever job I could, just to get money and meet people, but I would always stay on the move.
Mr. Magary, the author of The Postmortal, seems to think that in such a world, the flawed nature of humanity will overwhelm itself into oblivion.
What do you think? Do you think humanity would pull through?
More importantly, would you get the cure?