Don’t fear the reaper

August 16, 2013

A sprightly tour among the scientists and enthusiasts who hope to live forever. The transhumanists hope to do an end-run around mortality by phasing out the weak links of flesh and blood. In the near future, brain scans will allow the wetware of the brain, our memories, our personalities, our prejudices and passions, to be uploaded into cyberspace.

We will flit from one cyborg body to another, or even inhabit several at once, for all eternity, or at least as long as the power lasts.

This, of course, is pure fantasy, but easy to understand in light of how the “high priest of digital materialism,” Ray Kurzweil, who predicts that we will attain immortality within 30 years, feels about death: “It’s such a profoundly sad, lonely feeling that I really can’t bear it. So I go back to thinking about how I’m not going to die.” […]