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September 11, 2006


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And the leap to 50, to 75, to the century mark, when all of us who lived to see this will be, despite miraculous medical advances, dead, most likely, and this will be just another moment in history, rather than a significant moment in our personal history, a "where were you when . . .?" moment.

I wonder. They (you know, 'they') are promising some startling medical advances. No big jumps, but just enough (perhaps) to keep anyone now alive in their 30s hale and hearty for a long, long time.

What happens in a world where (say) people who are now alive and remember 9/11 vividily don't die and get out of the way? We're used to our memorials becoming rather dusty and distant. Gettysburg was a very evocotive place while the veterns were around, then a mmemorial for a bunch of old guys to return to and now .. it's still evocotive if you have have a brain and some empathy. You can't walk Pickett's Charge without pondering what those guys went through but there is a bit of distance to the affair.

What happens if we truly never forget?

Lee Kottner

Hmmm, interesting idea. I'd like to think that the persistence (or in this case the insistence) of memory would make us less likely to repeat such atrocities, but I suspect the ability to walk old battlefields and imagine the pain and fear lingering there years or centuries later has less to do with memory or longevity than with empathy. Until we can find the genes for that, along with the genes for longevity, there are still going to be people for whom killing is an acceptable behavior.

(BTW, Brian, congrats on the plug for Liftport in New Scientist. I was very excited to see it.)


BTW, Brian, congrats on the plug for Liftport in New Scientist. I was very excited to see it.

Thanks - it's very nifty to see the press talking about us. I keep thinking about 'Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel' - ". . . the more people watched them the faster and better they dug."

We're digging away. Of course if you follow that analogy too closly that makes the guys on the team either stubborn Irish blue collar labor or obsolete earth moving machinery so you have to watch those analogies.

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