Friday, March 9, 2018

Moonshot Thinking towards the Eternal

How old would you have to get to to feel like you are experiencing eternal life?  The oldest-lived human was Jeanne Calmest who passed away in 1997 at age 122.
"Classical mythology brings us the tale of the Sibyl of Cumae, a prophetess who bargains with Apollo for endless life, and centuries later comes to yearn for death. She failed to negotiate for eternal youth, you see, and with the years she grows shrunken and decrepit and miserable. The story echoes a sentiment that endures in contemporary life: However much time that kale, yoga, spa weekends and wonder drugs may buy us, we accept at some point we’ll become so enfeebled that we’ll be ready to pack it in, once and for all." 

That humorous summary comes from a review of the novel titled "Eternal" by Dara Horn.  

We are experiencing a scientific debate on the length and nature of the human life span.  It was set at 115 years last year by researchers in a Nature article.  There has been a flurry of rebuttals since then. 

Companies such as Google are pursuing projects in this area.  It announced it would make a significant investment in Calico, the California Life Company, to advance research into new approaches for extending life. "With some longer term, moonshot thinking around health care and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives," CEO Larry Page said when the announcement was made. (I am enamoured of the expression "moonshot thinking")

I think about the everyday impact of someone who is really old for decades.  I estimate it would be from 90 to 110.  The advice on what things not to say to your aging parents would go on for decades.  Moreover, we would also be the subject of such advice.  Isn't this already familiar?
  • You've already told me that
  • I showed you how to use the DVR yesterday
  • What does that have to do with what we're talking about?
  • You could do that if you really tried
Our pictures today are digital painting abstracts - we transition from winter to spring with "Elizabeth's Winter Colours" to "Love Birds in Spring, to "Spring Equinox" and conclude with "Birthday Cake". 

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