Living forever, this is something that humans have been dreaming about for a long, in history, many Chinese emperors have tried to achieve this dream, they ate poison medicines drank water from the fountain of youth, but none of them made it. This time, I am going to talk about three ways that suggested by some science fiction works which may help humans to be immortal.
1. The Modification of the Flesh
In most cyberpunk sci-fi works, the notion of the cyborg is very important. In Ghost in the Shell, the world in the future can use artificial parts to replace the human body perfectly, those parts can be mechanical or biogenic.
Such replacements of the human body can not only fix the disability but also enhance abilities of the human body, such as strength, agility, perception. As long as your brain is in a good condition, the full replacement of your body can make you more “durable” than any other normal human beings. However, once the brain is damaged, whether by a bullet or diseases, you will still be dead. To prevent such tragedy, you can even upgrade your brain into a mechanical form which is like a computer, which will be quite expensive for most people. Although such upgrade can still not save from heavy damages, you can still be saved from some usual damages and diseases in the brain will no longer be an issue. But there is still a risk that your mechanical brain might be destroyed by the virus while you are plugged in in some electronic devices.
Overall, the modification of the flesh can make you immortal in a sense, as long as you use your modified body carefully.
2. “Put Your Brain in a Vat”
The most representative sci-fic work which the notion of “brain in a vat” will be The Matrix. It basically refers to a person’s brain was removed from the body, suspend it in a vat of life-sustaining liquid, and connect its neurons by wires to a supercomputer that would provide it with electrical impulses identical to those the brain normally receives, making your brain believes that it is still in the body and you are still alive.
In the film The Matrix, the robots created a virtual world that connects to every human being’s brain, humans living in the virtual world without knowing that their real flesh is being stored in pods and machines are using their bodies as biological batteries.
To make you immortal, the plan does not have to be this evil. The basic idea is that you will totally give up your physical body, keeping your brain or upload your mind and thoughts into a virtual world. Then as long as the virtual world is still operating on the supercomputer and it will never go out of power, you will be immortal in the virtual world and be your own master. If you worry about being too lonely, you can bring your friends or family with you and put their brains in vats!
However, there is a potential risk. When you get bored with the virtual world, there is no other way for you to come back to the reality. Like The Matrix, people who took the red pill see Zion as the true reality, but they do not know that Zion just another version of the virtual world, they are not truly free from the Matrix’s control, they are still trapped in the system.
Therefore, once you decided to put your brain in a “vat”, there will be no other way back, the virtual world will be your only reality.
3. Storing Your Soul in a Stack
In the TV series Altered Carbon, there is a technology that can store the human soul in a stack which placed in the neck. As long as your stack is in function, you can upload your soul to the cloud and download it in another body. If there is no new body for you, you can keep your stack in a safe place until there is a suitable body for you, the stack will keep your soul until the end of the time. For more details about this technology, you can check my post here.
Once your soul has been stored in a stack, the physical body will be like a jacket, you can change it whenever you want if you can afford the new body. Even you cannot afford the new body, the stack will keep the soul, which make you truly immortal in a sense.
A drawback of this technology will be that if you change your body too frequently, your mind cannot stand it, and it will be very easy for you to have some mental illness. However, if you are rich enough to make your own clone, such thing will not happen, because of your soul will adopt your own body quickly.
These are three ways suggested by some sci-fi works which may help you living forever, being immortal. But do not take these too seriously, they are just theories for fun!