Thursday, February 24, 2011

I have to say I'm kind of sad that I won't see 2100...

Ever since I was little, I've thought about mortality.  Yes, in a morbid-fearful-squeamish sense, but also in a more... limiting sense.  Well, I don't know if "limiting" is the word I'm looking for; I'm trying to describe the sadness--disappointment, really--in the knowledge that I will not live to see the future.  I'm not talking flying cars and androids and living on other planets necessarily (although probably within our grasp now or in the near future) but more about the progression of life and the world and all that.

When I was little I did think more along those lines; I envisioned a future that I now recognize as some variation on steampunk, full of Wells-ian time machines
time machine

Oooh, flying cars!
Now, I'd like to imagine I'm more realistic, and my conjured images include cures for African sleeping sickness (alternatively, effective treatments [read section "treatment"] that aren't as deadly as the disease) and music players that read your mind and time machines.

gotta love time machines
All these fantasies and imaginings and ideas are a source of woe for me.  Because I probably won't live to see them.

Granted, the things I just described that I dream of now (in my 20s) may be close enough that they'll happen in the next decade or so, but of course I've no way of knowing.  No one knows.  It just makes me sad that I won't be around for new things.  I'm not planning on checking out anytime soon (at least for the next 80 or so years), but even if I make it to 100 I won't see the year 2100.

I think all this stuff about chronological milestones (the decade, the century, the millenium) hits people alive now with more oomph.  We all lived through the turn of the millenium (unless you're under 10, then you're SOL).  That's friggin' huge.  That's only happened 3 times in recorded history (I start counting with the Romans, maybe the Greeks and Egyptians so 4).  It makes me feel like I have a place in history sort of.  'Course everything's history when you get right down to it, but we as humans feel the need to ascribe particular significance to certain events, and the turn of the millenium was one of them.

The prospect of a human living to see 2 century-changes is fairly slim, and that occurs to me more clearly than I suppose it would to someone born in 1918 who lived to 77.  We're so damn close to surviving two century-turns!  Ah, pointless frustration!  Perhaps at some point humans will be able to live that long; I seriously doubt it, as aging seems to be in the framework of our cells and scientists are having little success with "anti-aging" treatments.

I seriously doubt that I will see another millenium.  Though you never know...

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