Re: virus: Re: Future man, immortality and memes

Bill Godby (
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 22:30:04 -0500

David McFadzean wrote:
> At 12:31 AM 28/03/96 -0500, Bill Godby wrote:
> >Personally I like the idea of death and mortality. The idea of death and
> >finality has an effect that is essential to human character. The idea of
> Do you like the idea of pain and suffering for the same reason? (Honest
> question.)

Of course I don't "like" the idea of pain and suffering, however I do
accept it. I recognize in my own life, which has been filled with more
than its share of pain in the last few years, that joy is contrasted
against pain. How can you really understand pleasure without having any
conception of pain? As a blues guitarist I also recognize how much I am
able to bring my angst into my playing, the happy comfortable artist
creates happy comfortable art, no thanks.

> >choose. Regarding meaning, those who recognize the "meaning" of life
> >recognize that there is no "meaning". Joesph Campbell in addressing this
> >question asks "what's the meaning of a flower", illustrating how strange
> >the question is. Of course you could answer that the meaning of the
> I don't think the question is at all strange. The meaning of life is
> what makes life worth living, hence art, religions and children.

My point is that there seems to be a lot of energy exerted into
obtaining the "meaning" of life versus just living it. There is
definitely no immutable meaning for anyone, it changes continually. I
believe the meaning of life is created and recreated as it is lived.

> How do you feel about people who kill themselves in their teens? Don't
> they seem awfully naive? Maybe if people could live to be a thousand
> they would consider their first century to be their childhood.
> I think that suicide is very difficult to generalize about. I believe
Durkheim's Suicide contributed a great deal to understanding it,
particulary as it relates to social circumstances. If one were to speak
of teenage suicide as a phenomena I would say that it relates to a
social malady that is related to extreme future shock. Things are moving
way too fast for the development of mentally healthy individuals.

> > I like the idea of my own mortality, it's challenging. Ihave no desire to live forever in any realm, and other than the comfort
it seems to bring to consider an idealized otherworldly existence is
not a very useful concept. Be here now.
> How is desiring to live forever mutually exclusive with being here now?

"Be Here Now" was the title of a book written by Ram Dass aka. Richard
Alpert back in the 70's. I read the book and had an epiphany (a 16 year
old epiphany). What it taught me was that true happiness is obtained by
gaining the most from the moment, understanding it and using it to its
fullest, this is not to deny the future or the past or it's relevance,
it's to deny worrying about it, which I did. To follow this philosophy
one would not be particularly concerned about whether one will live
forever or not. If the possibility arose then great, if not great. It's
a very Buddist idea, which is to say it is very passive whereas
transhumanism is not.

Bill Godby