My father’s situation having stabilized, I’ve just got back home. Thanks to you all for your kind comments and emails.
Old age is a terrible thing. Each crisis leaves you a little lower, a little weaker, a little frailer than the last. It’s hard to see aging as anything but a terrible, progressive, wasting disease, universally fatal.
Given that the body is a machine, aging is merely a technical problem, a matter of engineering. I have no doubt that it will be solved. Then we will have some new problems to solve.
Will the solution be expensive, perhaps extravagantly so? That will soon lead to a world divided between an immortal plutocracy, with all the time in the world to learn and master everything they ever wanted to know, and the rest of us.
Will it be cheap enough to be universally accessible? What will become of the world when all the old folks stop dying and getting out of the way?
I know this: it’s hard to think of a graver affront to human dignity than what old age does to a person.