The New York Times | Life goes on and on

December 17, 2011

Source: The New York Times — December 17, 2011 | James Atlas

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As an actuarial phenomenon, the reason isn’t hard to grasp. My friends are in their 60s now, some creeping up on 70; their mothers are in their 80s or 90s. Ray Kurzweil, the author of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,believes that we’re close to unlocking the key to immortality.

Perhaps within this century, he prophesies, “software-based humans” will be able to survive indefinitely on the Web, “projecting bodies whenever they need or want them, including virtual bodies in diverse realms of virtual reality.” Neat, huh? But for now, it’s pretty much dust to dust, the way it’s always been — mothers included. (Most of our fathers are long gone, alas. Women live longer than men.) [...]