Nanotechnology and life extension: challenge & response

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The Mark, “Canada’s daily online forum for news, commentary, and debate,” has published a commentary that primarily takes a negative view of the use of nanotech (or any tech) for life extension:

Extreme life extension raises other interesting, yet troubling questions. Significant life extension could have serious implications for individual identity; what if we change too much over the course of a highly extended life? Will we eventually lose psychological continuity with our earlier lives, thereby becoming different people and in turn defeating the purpose of life extension? Will identity and narrative have coherence? Or perhaps we humans are sufficiently adaptive to deal with a greatly extended life. At this point, there’s really no way of knowing…

What we’d do with extended life and who it would be available to begs the question, “Would it be a good thing?” There may well be merit in life extension if it helps us maximize our potential as humans and make a greater social contribution.

There is a simple answer to this debating.  Boomers should stick around, keep working, and help pay off the national debt(s).  And while we’re at it, we can help clean up the environment.  It’s not fair to leave these tasks as burdens on the next generation.  —Chris Peterson

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