Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I have argued that immortality is impossible. (see my blog of 15 October 2010) I had expected, however, that there was room for a considerable increase in human lifespan.  But Michael Ramscar of the University of Tubingen says that even at our current ages "Some things that might seem frustrating as we grow older are a function of the amount of stuff we have to sift through...and are not necessarily a sign of a failing mind. A lot of what is currently called decline is simply learning." (see The Myth of Cognitive Decline in Topics in Cognitive Science, 6, 2014, 5-42) Or, as Christian and Griffiths put it "what we call cognitive decline may not be about the search process slowing or deteriorating but at least partly an unavoidable consequence of the amount of information we have to navigate getting bigger and bigger." (Algorithms to Live By, Holt and Co., 2016, page103) I am not arguing that there are not things like alzheimers (my mother died with it).  What I am arguing is that it may not be possible to have the kind of immortality some people hope for.

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