A Beginner's Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/11/a-beginners-guide-to-immorta.html

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I was so much more excited when I thought it said, ‘Immorality.’


A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality:

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Call me old-fashioned, but I still find that the best way to achieve immortality is simply avoiding to die.


Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.
-Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic


Do you want to be infinitely wide, infinitely tall or infinitely thick?
No? Then why would you want to be infinitely long?

I’d be good with about four or five hundred years. That’s how long it would take me to work up the nerve to suicide by black hole.

I follow the Order of the Good Death…

After I kick the bucket, I plan to host a sing-along funeral like Andy Kaufman.

Cool book though. Bought for my nephew who’s at that age that he’s fascinated with mortality/immortality.


If the idea of dying from old age has got you down just read this book and the prospect of your own mortality will cheer you right up.



I want to be cremated, then have my ashes shot out of the machine that makes puffed rice. And dyes added berforehand, so my remains look like fluorescent Fruity Pebbles. And instead of an urn, a nice china bowl for them in which to reside. And a…a…platinum spoon encrusted with jewels! And…and…oops, getting carried away. But I think you get my drift?


I’ve seen a buncha relatives die from old age, including my mom, so I kinda know what it’s in store for me. Not that it helps all the time, but sometimes it does.

It’s not always fun but it beats the alternatives.

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My mom used to say that before she died. Like, two years. After that, she got disillusioned, I think.

I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

  • Woody Allen

One of the main reasons I wouldn’t want to live in a world where no one died of old age: once you take away that cause of death then every parent stands at least a 50/50 chance of living to see their child die. By all accounts one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a human being, and as a parent of two I’d stand a two-out-of-three chance of experiencing it at least once before some violent death did me in. So our current lot may be depressing but I’ll take it anyway.


I lean toward the notion that we actually are eternal, although what “we” means is much weirder than most people can handle, and eternal life does not mean eternal life as the human life forms we currently inhabit.

You mean besides the primary cause of death being crushed by the masses around you?

That would be a huge problem too obviously, but even if they worked out the overpopulation thing (say, by government-regulated limits on reproduction) there would be lots of other downsides.

It’s cryonics, not cryogenics.

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E.g. I suspect cannibalism would have little or no social stigma at that point. :stuck_out_tongue:

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