Friday, June 15, 2012

Thoughts on Immortality

Somebody asked me a classic question yesterday: What would you do if you were immortal?

My answer came very quickly, 'Learn everything I can, learn to do things I feel as if I can't. Really, immortality is infinite time'.

It was only after I said it that I started thinking about it. Immortality is the removal of a limit...the time limit. True, you would still only have so many hours in the day, but putting things off until tomorrow would not be such a big deal.

Would that mean that an immortal would be inclined to procrastinate more than a normal person?

For that matter, would some people appreciate 'infinite time'. In Kate Wilhelm's book 'Welcome, Chaos' (which I heartily recommend), an immortality treatment is tested on a janitor. The protagonist later muses about whether the person will be a janitor forever.

Would immortality be worth it if you had to spend most of every day flipping burgers? How would people deal with having to set aside the idea of retirement as part of the American dream...oh wait, many of us are already having to do that.

How, in the end, would you fill 'infinite time'? I already know my answer...but what's yours?