The Connectome and Radical Life Extension

In case you haven’t been following the radical life extension community lately, the movement no longer seems to be toward freezing your body, pot belly, irritable bowels, birthmark on your hip the shape of New Jersey, slightly off-kilter big toe and all. That costs $150,000, as opposed to a cool $80K for freezing just your head, and who has an extra seventy grand in these trying economic times?

But now even head-freezing is on the outs. Instead, radical life-extension commandos are speculating on information mapping. Speculation, thank God, is free.

Much of this life-extension speculation relies on the idea that as technology develops, it accelerates ad infinitum. At some point, it reaches something called “the singularity,” when a positive feedback loop will mean technology, rather than advancing faster, will advance faster than faster. Then, faster.

In considering this matter, I’m reminded of the discourses I heard in Santa Cruz, circa 1987, about the coming “ecocrisis,” and the “rise of consciousness” that humankind would attain when forced to face our worst fears about collapsing ecosystems. Which reminded me, then and now, of the Age of Aquarius. the introduction to a ’60s Asimov paperback I just picked up, in which he is induced to see the musical Hair. Asimov’s response?


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