Immortality Blues

“Every year, since I was old enough to read them, more books have been published than I can read in a year. My reading speed has increased many orders of magnitude in the millennia since then – I have a submind which does nothing but read, continuously – and yet the authors continue to not only outmatch my ability to read, but also my ability to keep the gap from opening still wider.

And yet there are people in the universe who claim that they would find immortality boring.

I do not think the problem lies where they think it lies.”

– Esitariel Cyprium-ith-Avalae, unpublished interview

10 thoughts on “Immortality Blues

  1. I will say, one advantage is that the people who willfully reject immortality tend to be exactly the same sort of people you don’t want around anyway.

    Pro-senescenceists are a self-solving problem, after all.

  2. “And yet there are people in the universe who claim that they would find immortality boring.”

    Depends on the quality of the books I suppose 😉 . But yes, assuming your future isn’t just, say, a post-apocalyptic hellhole for the next 5 billion years until the Sun explodes (replace with your own hellish scenario as appropriate) & takes you with it… you should be able to enjoy immortality just fine.

  3. The problem with immortality can be revealed if you think about a person born 10,000 years ago.

    What does that person want, today? What would be important to them? What would even be mildly interesting?

    • Rather depends on what they’ve been doing over the last 10,000 years and developing interests in, doesn’t it? Not like there isn’t plenty of new stuff around to keep the mind occupied.

      Space tourism! Xboxes! Making snarky remarks to history professors and archaeologists! (“Ritual object? That would be what we used to call a doorstop.”)

  4. “You know what I find hardest about living forever? Cookbooks.

    “You’re laughing, right? Cookbooks? Seriously. I can handle continuous software updates, I can handle learning new things. Hey, if you’re going to make it past your first millennium, you had better damn well be willing to unlearn the old shibboleths of your youth, even in your fifth or sixth childhood.

    “But, cookbooks. I have my mother’s cookbook and I always try to keep the format current. Used to write it all on paper note cards-that’s like, fifty years tops? Data formats change, even the classic .txt format is invalid these days, even if your stuff has the converters for it. These days, it’s all diamond-sheet inscribed, both the original and translations.

    “And, we’re not even talking about materials. Invested like a quarter-billion man-hours in trying to get just the right ricotta cheese. The stuff that you get these days, before I put the time into it, just not right. And, you can tell the difference of vat beef versus from a cow-I can do blind taste tests and win three times out of five.

    “All your friends look at you weird when you break out the hardware to do it and they don’t quite get what you’re making or if they should enjoy it or not. I only make the stuff from Mom’s cookbook three days a year-the day before, the day of, and the day after my birthday, my first one.


    “…Mom died four, five years before practical uploading. And, even so, her brain was so far gone by the time it happened they couldn’t have done anything. Hell, they couldn’t have done anything now. Just…gone, holes in her brain from all the things we don’t get anymore.

    “I got photos, have holos, hell I could make an eidielon based on her social network presence and e-mails and I would never be able to tell the difference. But, what I really miss about her? Her cooking. I can describe her kitchen, even now, right down to the cracked teapot her mother had given her.

    “Yea, I’ll be fine. Honest, I will.”

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