Damn, life is short. I’m about halfway through grad school, and the beginning seems lit it was so recently. My youth is gone! I have a finite length of time remaining! When I was a kid, a month was an enormous length of time, but this semester everything has flown by. And once I’m out of grad school, well, that’s about as far into the future as I’ve ever planned. Can one have a life after that? Can I have my own existence, even if I have children? I’m not sure, and I don’t even know if I want to find out.
I guess I have to remind myself that while “Life begins at 40” is obviously a lie, life certainly doesn’t end at 40, or 30, or any of the other ages at which I look at people and think, “You’re unimaginably old.” Because, frankly, I’m unimaginably old right now.
Or, I could put faith in Kurzweil’s upcoming Singularity, the point at which technology changes the world past the point we can predict. Of course, he goes on to make predictions, and one of them is that human death will be essentially eliminated. (Vernor Vinge is inclined to agree; by the way, I highly recommend his new book, Rainbow’s End.) I sure hope he’s right. I think that as a Strong AI proponent, I agree that in the long run, death will be more or less eliminated. I’m just not convinced it’ll be in my lifetime. Still, I’d be glad to be wrong.