Immortality and the things that stick with us.
It’s a bit weird to think about the problems that come along with things that I like. For one I would like to live forever and I think that is all I’ll really talk about in this particular post. When thinking about living forever you come into a few complications.
The first is obviously aging, you would need to find some kind of way to stop aging or to reverse it for short periods of time. There are jellyfish that already do this but it might not be possible for something as large or as complicated as us. Likely if you were to regenerate your physical body you would still have a degenerate brain.
This sort of gives me an idea lets work down the body from top to bottom and I’ll go over some of the understandings I have with the problems.
Obviously I’ve already mentioned the brain, this to me would be the major hurdle. You may have to figure out some way to slowly replace the brain medium with some sort of system that does not decay. This raises nervous concerns for me about losing myself and only leaving a doppelganger behind, however anyone who has read my existential rants here before would know that I feel we basically already do this. I know in a few years I will read this post and think it the ramblings of a moron whom I hope to never meet.
Beyond your brain you have the eyes but a new pair of these could be regrown I suspect. It would be strange to replace your eyes because they are an organ you can see easily. If you replace your liver it probably doesn’t hit you very hard, but new eyes? I don’t know how I could handle that seeing as I’ve had these eyes at basically the same size for my entire life. We’ve become good friends, they help me to see and I keep them from shriveling up.
Tongues, lips, and hair are all low problems. You might get a deadened sense of taste after a very long period of being alive but I suspect any damage could be reversed. In fact for the most part actual degeneration wouldn’t be your major problem, something coming in through your nose and mouth though IS a major problem.
As best I understand it you take in enough asbestos just being alive through your mouth and nose that in about 300 years you would die from it. So we would need to replace our lungs (and any other systems damage by this build up of asbestos). Similarly if you’ve been taking in small quantities of mercury your whole life this will eventually catch up with you in your immortality.
Various filtration organs in your torso will need replacing as pollution from humanity has left them ravaged over the course of your many lives. I guess I could be hopeful that a society that can regenerate bodies is also smart enough to not be burning coal anymore (honestly, it is moronic).
I’m interested in what would happen to your reproductive system, I’m not aware of how fragile the entire system but much like the brain I don’t know how well you could “repair” egg sacs or sperm cells. Perhaps it is ridiculously easy, who knows, lots of biologists I bet.
Your bones and veins, as well as your skin, are probably all smaller issues. You would want to use a lot of sunscreen because getting cancer with your new regenerative powers might be bad. Cancer is already immortal and giving yourself more cells that act similar to it could leave you exploding like something from Akira.
Overall the basic fears I have for immortality are the build up of pollutants in my body. Some things (like asbestos and mercury) get into you and they just stay there. They build up like unwelcome bums and eventually take your life if given enough time.
Ironically I don’t think that immortality alone would make space travel possible, unless we have a wolverine like system that also automatically attacks cancer (perhaps nanobots). Otherwise the super high energy particles flowing through space would pierce your ship like it wasn’t there and rattle your body something fierce.
Just some random thoughts on my mind, I had never really thought about what is building up in me over time. I wonder how much of the problems I’ll have in my life will be because of pollution that is, largely, out of my individual control.
Food for thought, hopefully clean food.