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Sci-Fi Books Science

Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong" 334

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-you-want-to-live-forever? dept.
destinyland writes "Hoping to inspire life-extending medical research, science fiction author Gennady Stolyarov has launched a campaign to give away 1,000 free copies of his transhumanist picture book for children, Death is Wrong. 'My greatest fear about the future is not of technology running out of control or posing existential risks to humankind,' he explains. 'Rather, my greatest fear is that, in the year 2045, I will be...wondering, "What happened to that Singularity we were promised by now...?"' Along with recent scientific discoveries, the book tells its young readers about long-lived plants and animals '"that point the way toward lengthening lifespans in humans,' in an attempt to avoid a future where children 'would pay no more attention to technological progress and life-extension possibilities than their predecessors did.'"
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Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

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  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by therealkevinkretz (1585825) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:37PM (#46498837)

    This is here .... why?

  • by flightmaker (1844046) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:42PM (#46498873)
    There's already far too many humans on the planet. If we stop dying there'll be nothing to eat and nowhere to stand.
  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:42PM (#46498879) Journal
    when quality of life is what really matters? Maybe once we can create a sustainable society where people are actually happy we can focus on resource drains like people who never die.
  • FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:53PM (#46498957)

    Grow up, death is desirable, just imagine someone like Zuckerberg alive forever.

    No one "promised" you a singularity, it was a prediction like flying cars (which are an absurdity when you think about it) and a very small percentage of population deserve such things.

  • Re:Overpopulation? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:54PM (#46498961)

    If only there was some way to prevent unwanted pregnancies... a sort of "birth control". Nah, better just resign ourselves and all future humans to the horrible infinite nothingness of death. Working on solutions to problems is hard! It's easier to just spout off some drivel about the circle of life.

  • by zerosomething (1353609) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:58PM (#46499007) Homepage

    There's already far too many humans on the planet. If we stop dying there'll be nothing to eat and nowhere to stand.

    That's a very narrow and conservative point of view that doesn't allow for any kind of technological achievement that we don't yet understand. What makes you think we will only ever live on this planet, do you really think we can't, ever, utilize the vast resources out side this planet?

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:00PM (#46499033) Homepage Journal

    Because you haven't submitted any better articles.

    Man. This is a barrel scraper 'tho.

    I have one proposition for Gennady. Why not stop killing each other first? Work that angle on the "Death is Wrong" gig. Then, when we have problem A solved, get to the advanced degree shit. You dig?

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:05PM (#46499093)

    when quality of life is what really matters?

    Because it is possible for humanity as a whole to focus on more than one thing. Besides, most of the things that extend life also increase its quality. By a large margin, the most successful life extending technologies (so far) have been childhood vaccinations and public sanitation. Having your child not die probably enhances happiness as well as average lifespan.

  • by DexterIsADog (2954149) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:06PM (#46499099)
    You do know the gp was referring to the unthinkably vast resources waiting for us in our own solar system, don't you? Warp drives not required.

    And it's the caffeine imbibers who you'll see go get those resources.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:08PM (#46499115)

    To say "death is wrong" is like saying "fly death is wrong" or "spider death is wrong". It isn't wrong. It's built in to the system.

    Naturalistic fallacy.

  • by zerofoo (262795) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:27PM (#46499267)

    and look out a window. The last time I landed in Las Vegas I was stunned at how much of the us is completely and totally unoccupied.

    Drive out to state college PA sometime - nothing but trees on either side of you for hours on end.

    I heard a stat a few years ago saying the entire population of the world could fit into the state of Texas at the density of NYC. Yes, that doesn't account for infrastructure, and food production, but the point is that the entire world would be left over for that.

    There is lots of room on this blue marble. Technology will find a way to support us all.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bitt3n (941736) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:30PM (#46499281)

    Why not stop killing each other first?

    That's a terrible idea. If immortality turns out to be possible, we'll likely need a few perpetual wars to help thin out the population until we have the technology to blast the excess into space.

  • by gIobaljustin (3526197) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @02:18PM (#46499649) Homepage

    Even if we get the population sorted out, if we live forever, what drive do we have to accomplish anything?

    Not everyone holds off on things simply because it'll be a while before they die. Lots of people just, you know, want to get things done.

    Death is the drive behind making life meaningful.

    People decide their own meaning.

  • by quantaman (517394) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @02:35PM (#46499769)

    when quality of life is what really matters? Maybe once we can create a sustainable society where people are actually happy we can focus on resource drains like people who never die.

    Why fight child poverty in North America when kids are starving in Africa? Why fight deforestation when global warming can do far more damage.

    We can fight more than one battle at once, maybe these people are content enough with their lives that they really don't want them to end so that's the quest they're pursuing.

    Btw, at any age being healthier probably translates into being happier.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tlambert (566799) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @03:04PM (#46499951)

    It may be a good survival trait to have fear of death, but it leads to things like religions, including this new technological one, and prolonging life beyond when it serves an evolutionary incentive.

    We should probably take away the insulin from the diabetics and the classes and contacts from people who are near-sighted, and undo any laser surgeries we've done on peoples eyes.

    You know, to serve as an evolutionary incentive.

    In case you were wondering, evolution is not "survival of the fittest", it's "survival of those who successfully reproduce most", or we would have weeded things like near-sightedness out of the genome a long time ago, along with all other recessive traits.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @04:22PM (#46500435)
    The original statement was "death is wrong". That's a moral judgement imposed on a natural system. His correcting it by pointing out it's built in and so isn't a breakdown of the system (the only real possible application of the word 'wrong' to life in general) isn't at all an argument, just a rejection of the original flawed reasoning. And, to get pedantic, since the system being debated is nature itself, there's nothing wrong with using nature as it works to support your rejection.

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