If You Don’t Live Forever, You’re a Sucker

Plastic mannequin head with futuristic v shape

Mannequins are going to have scary faces in the future. You don’t want to miss out on that. Photo by Horia Varlan, on Flickr.

I kind of want to live forever. I know it’s crazy. I just…I do. Because I just have this feeling that if I die—if I slip in the bathtub and break my neck or die from an aneurism while pooping (those are real reasons people die, y’all)—I’m going to miss out on AMAZING stuff by like 5 minutes. And wouldn’t that be terrible? I mean—to die right before life and science get REALLY cool? I don’t know if I could stand it. Even beyond the grave. I’d be haunting the crap out of a bunch of people.

I think it was the iPhone that did it. Not the first iPhone, but the comparison between the first one and the current one. Because here’s the deal: if you bought the first iPhone, you got an 8GB cool phone with texting and apps and stuff for a whopping $599. That’s a pretty penny. No subsidies. No free phones for AT&T users. You just walked up to the counter, gave them your entire wallet, coughed up a little blood, and you got a fancy doodad in return. Now—just five years later—I can get an iPhone with eight times the storage space, more battery life and a much better camera for $200 less. Or, if I don’t feel like paying ANY money for it, I can get the iPhone 3GS that’s still better than the first one for exactly zero dollars. What a difference 5 years makes. In 5 more years they’ll be stuffing iPhones in boxes of Cap’n Crunch.

And that, friends, is the world we’re living in. Except the iPhone—as cool, glorified and worshiped as it is—is no where near the coolest thing on our horizon. If we can make it another 50 years—shit’s gonna get crazy cool. And that’s why I want to live forever. Or at least for another 50 years. Or 100. Yeah, 100 sounds better. Reasonable.

Anyway…

For your enlightentainment (mashing words together is fun), here’s a brief review of stuff that is going to happen to you if you don’t go and die like a sucker before the tech evolves. Better go get you some vitamins, because it’s gonna be worth it.

Fix Skin Cancer with a Band-Aid

Umm…yeah. With a freaking band-aid. Or, rather, a patch. Same thing. You put the patch on your arm for 3 hours, then a few days later for another 3 hours and—shazam!—no more skin cancer. That’s being tested right now. Isn’t that crazy?! The current treatment for Basal cell carcinoma involves burning, freezing, scraping or zapping with radiation. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather slap a patch on my arm. It’s like those stickers from Trader Joe’s, except that it HEALS YOUR FREAKING SKIN.

Print Some Organs on Your Home Printer

“Keep your liver, Mr. Donor-face-guy,” said everyone on the transplant list, “I’ll just print one up after I’m done printing the banner for my daughter’s birthday party.” Okay, it might not be that simple, but I kid you not, people are PRINTING. ORGANS. Printing them! Like a coupon for Trader Joe’s. Except that it goes in your body to save your life. (Trader Joe’s really needs to up their game.)

Anthony Atala at the Wake Forest School of Medicine has done some stunning work with regenerative medicine.  The school is working on printing skin with a souped-up inkjet printer that would totally change the way wounds and burns are treated.

Skin is cool, but they’re also working on printing hearts. Hearts! It takes 40 minutes to print with a desktop printer, then 4-6 hours later the muscles are contracting. And because these things are comprised of the patient’s own cells, there’s no need for rejection meds. The body just says, “Oh, sure. That’s cool. You belong here.” Work is being done with all kinds of 3D printing, and an 83-year-old woman just received the first 3D-printed jaw transplant.

Is your mind blown? Mine is. Cra-zi-ness. This stuff is happening right now. Can you imagine how cool it’s going to be when I’m 132? Real cool, you all. That’s how cool.

Stop Driving the Car Like a Schmuck—Let the Car Drive Itself

This one’s already happening, too. Steve, the first user of Google’s Self-Driving Toyota Prius, is legally blind, and—I assume—feeling like a badass. Granted, he used the technology to drive to a Taco Bell, so clearly he needs some guidance on where to actually go (Umm…Trader Joe’s. Obviously.), but hey…we all gotta start somewhere. Clearly, the technology is perfect for people like Steve because it opens up really practical solutions to problems he faces. But it would also be perfect for people like me who are tired of wasting drive time not practicing hip-hop finger dancing. I mean, come on.

This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of stuff that’s being developed right now. Like I said, 50 years from now—who knows!? We’re in a time where the technologies that are being developed are working in synchrony to create exponential growth, understanding and revolution. And, dammit, if I die two years before I have a Speech Jammer gun, a cyborg mouse, or an iPhone that can cook me lasagna, I’m gonna be pissed.

So what do you think? Will you be drinking bloody marys in a space car with me? Or does a robot-filled super future scare the plasma out of you? Don’t be shy, friends, let’s talk this business out.

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12 Comments

  1. As the price of an all day rock gig in 1970 cost the same as half an ice cream costs today, then yeah, I wanna be alive in the future. By then, I can swap an ice cream for a… a… well, something really expensive that I can’t think of. Except by then the ice cream will have melted. Won’t it?

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  2. I think the difference between thirty something and fifty something is that while you want things to speed up, I want things to slow down. I hate the cell phone and leave it in the car as much as I can get away with. Modern medicine not withstanding, I’m still getting tired and older far too fast. It’ll be interesting to see what goes first – my heart or my brain (I hope the former). Now, if someone could invent a Star Trek-like transport that could get me to Paris witout having to deal with the airlines, that I’d be interested in. Of course, with my luck, my particles would probably end up in Helsinki.

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  3. Very smart post. Glad I started following you. (my hubby and I were just having this very discussion last week, though not as smartly) :)

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  4. Could I print washboard abs and stick them on me with gum I would (obviously) buy at Trader Joes? I can’t wait for the future to get here. But I know I’d print my washboard abs and stick them on then 2 days later Apple would come out with even better washboard abs because they’d be called iWashboard and I’d be like “Ah man! Why couldn’t I wait another day or two?”

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  5. I love the image on the grandma jaw article (http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/image13.jpg), it makes it look like grandma needs a bullet-resistant jaw… maybe THAT’S what happened to her first jaw! No she knows better!

    Fun enlightentainment, sis!

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  6. I’m still unsure about a inkjet heart. Especially using MY inkjet printer. Stupid heart wouldn’t last 5 minutes.

    Also, I need you to join Instagram. I need my 100th follower and it needs to be you. You like pictures, right? Yay, pictures! Do it.

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    • I know…customer service would be a nightmare when the issue is that someone’s liver stopped working. But hey, customer service professionals will just have to up their game.

      Oh, and I’d love to be your 100th follower. But I don’t have one of these fancy iPhones that I speak of so fondly. I have a crapPhone. It’s very similar, but minus anything cool. I hope #100 is special.

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  7. i’m glad i didn’t die before i read this post because it was loads of enlightentainment!

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