Monday, April 5, 2021

Longevity – Reality and Appearance

It seems to me that deeply layered as it has become over time, materialism is one of the reasons that long life—and the longer the better—and even when it is maintained by drugs and machinery—is viewed as a highly desirable condition. A minor side-effect of that view is that some in science and medicine are laboring hard to prolong life well beyond its utmost range, say 100 years.

Long life as actually experienced by most of us in our 80s and 90s is viewed more as a burden than delight. And if the life oldsters live would extend 20, 30, or 40 years longer, we’d dread the prospect rather than celebrate it as a wonder of science.


The physical side-effects of "being old" are obviously the most evidently undesirable—but these science might mitigate. A deeper problem is boredom and disgust. The "thrillingly new"? We’ve seen it all before. The trends, the trajectories? They are obviously down. We grieve for our grandchildren’s children’s future. No medication can cure that boredom and disgust; they are caused by cultural decline; and we’re not likely to live hundreds of years longer when, perhaps culture will be reborn.


These thoughts as a starter. The subject of aging is deep. The young can’t write about it effectively. But with a little help from lots and lots of drugs and vitamins, we can.

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