Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A bit of science and a bit of philosophy, Riley style

If I ever turn on my TV and it's not to watch a DVD, but just for background noise, it's only on channel 4 because I don't have cable. And staying at my mother's for over a week reinforced the fact that I don't want to get it. More than half the time I spend just flipping through the channels looking for something to watch. It is a total time waster. And I have netflix.

But this isn't why I'm writing right now.

I came home and turned on the TV to see what Oprah had going. She's on channel 4, you know. And she had her new favorite guru, Dr. Oz on. And he was talking about ways to extend your life time. Like extend it to the ages of 115 and 220. Ummmm... are you serious?! Who in their right mind (or wrong one for that matter) would want to live that long?! Not me.

My great-grandma lived to be 106 and she had to live to be 104 to live in 3 centuries. On her 100th birthday my mom said to her "Grandma, wouldn't it be cool to live to be 104 and say that you had lived in 3 centuries?" And her response: "Oh for God's sake don't wish that on me!"

Well put Grandma. Well put.

Isn't there a time when you are are tired and just ready to be done? Not that you aren't happy where you are or all you did. But with what I observe with old people (and I say old, because they are. 85+ is old) they are tired and have lived their life. Plus, what about the fact of over-population? Not saying that the older you live = more kids, but when one dies there is room for the younger. And with the way this world is going, are you really going to want to see it at the age of 100+?

Are you going to be able to see at all at over 100 years old?

I know I'm sounding very negative, and maybe I am. However, so much of what they were saying on this show was extending your life through science. Like creating a new heart by taking cells from the old one, and letting it grow in an incubator, into an actual new heart. (Look it up. They have actually done it.) That is in the simplest of simple terms. But I feel about this with the way I feel about cloning. It messes with the circle of life and the balance of life in general. It creeps me out. I don't think we should have that much power. It is possible to have too much of something be it money, power, knowledge, etc.

And plus isn't there more to life than how long you live? What about all you do, all you see, who you touch, who touches you, what and who you love? Someone who lives to the end of time could possibly not have nearly as much joy as someone who lives until age 72 because they were so busy trying to extend their life, they forgot to live it.


  1. Don't forget that if you can generate a new heart, you can use that knowledge to help an infant with congenital heart disease who might not live to see their first birthday. And what about the elderly that do love their lives-like 93 yr old Helmut who was still doing step class? Just because the technology is there does not mean you have to use it. It also does not mean you should use it. But trying to learn more and do more with that knowledge is never a waste. And, if in 100 years we are a healthier people, maybe living so long would not be a drag. It is an interesting thing to think about.

  2. Huzzah. I agree 100%. I don't think you're negative - I think most people are negative about death.

    Thanks for a good day, by the way - it was so wonderful to SEE you, HUG you.

    smooches, pretty