Jun 13, 2023

How to bring back the dead

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, ethics, internet, quantum physics, transhumanism

Here’s my new article for Aporia Magazine. A lot of wild ideas in it. Give it a read:

Regardless of the ethics and whether the science can even one day be worked out for Quantum Archaeology, the philosophical dilemma it presents to Pascal’s Wager is glaring. If humans really could eradicate the essence of death as we know it—including even the ability to ever permanently die—Pascal’s Wager becomes unworkable. Frankly, so does my Transhumanist Wager. After all, why should I dedicate my life and energy to living indefinitely through science when, by the next century, technology could bring me back exactly as I was—or even as an improved version of myself?

Outside of philosophical discourse, billions of dollars are pouring into the anti-aging and technology fields—much of it from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. Everyone from entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg to nonprofits like XPRIZE to giants like Google is spending money on ways to try to end all diseases and overcome death. Bank of America recently reported that they expect the extreme longevity field to be worth over $600 billion dollars by 2025.

Technology research spending for computers, microprocessors, and information technology is even bigger: $4.3 trillion dollars is estimated to have been spent worldwide in 2019. This amount includes research into quantum computing, which is hoped to eventually make computers hundreds—maybe thousands—of times faster over the next 50 years.

Despite the advancements of the 21st Century, the science to overcome biological death is not even close to being ready, if ever. Over 100,000 people still die a day, and in some countries like America, life expectancy has actually started going slightly backward. However, like other black swans of innovation in history—such as the internet, combustion engine, and penicillin—we shouldn’t rule out that new inventions may make humans live dramatically longer and maybe even as long as they like. As our species reaches for the heavens with its growing scientific armory, Pascal’s Wager is going to be challenged. It just might need an upgrade.

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