So many scientists and dotcom billionaires are working on curing death. The idea is that death by old age is a terrible bug in humanity, and something that should be fixed immediately. Preferably before these guys die.
I understand this. I know personally when I think about Baby Boomers and what they’ve done to the world, my first thought is always “these guys aren’t annoying at all, and I bet they’ll only get better if they live to be 200”, and not “Mmmmmmm”.
Transhumanists like to say things like “Old age is the #1 cause of death, and takes millions of lives every year”. It’s cute, but what it made me realize is that if you eliminate death by old age, 100% of deaths are going to be murders, accidents, diseases, etc.
Basically, any situation where someone says “Oh my god, that’s horrible, so tragic, she was so young” – that’ll still be in play, those deaths won’t stop. It’s the stuff where everyone goes “Well, it was Uncle Joe’s time to go, at least he won’t keep yelling racist stuff at the TV when we’re trying to watch basketball” – that’s what they’re focused on.
What I never see addressed is that if you cure death by natural causes, people are not going to deal with it well, and the murder rate is going to way up. A lot of elderly people are great, and fun to be around, including everyone I know (not irony), but let’s be honest, there are also tons of old cranks who only get away with being colossal dicks because everybody knows they aren’t going to be around forever. If they suddenly get an anti-old-age pill, a lot of people are going to lose patience with them.
So here’s my solution: Scientists need to stop trying to cure old age, and just focus on curing murder.
If a really old person dies in his sleep, there doesn’t need to be a fix, that’s just how it goes. If they get shot, cure them up. If they drive off a cliff because they fell asleep at the wheel or something that’s kind of age-related, maybe that’s an edge case and you give them one or two freebies, and bring the body back to life. But like, the third time driving off a cliff asleep? To me, that’s too much.
I’d go into the technical details of curing murder, but I don’t feel like finishing this entry, I already spent 20 minutes on this shit and I need to keep the rest of my argument for when I get invited to do a TED talk on it.