In the future, we’ll all be famous for 15 minute eternities. We will live on, in digital form, as long as artificial intelligence, computers, and our robot overlords allow us. This is a new phenomenon. Thousands of years ago, it was much harder to live forever.
We believe the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt constructed the pyramids in Giza for their afterlives.
The pyramids are a mystery, and every question we answer only seems to bring up more questions. Where did a barely stone-age people, without astronomy and the value of pi learn to point their structures true north? How did a technologically primitive people learn to build a 400 foot structure? (It was the tallest structure in the world until nearly the Renaissance. Insert your favorite alien conspiracy theory here.) How many people were used to construct the pyramids? Were they slaves or hired hands? On and on, the questions seem to have no answers.
But Egyptologists tend to agree the pyramids were built as tombs, even though we can’t seem to find much evidence of burial inside the structures. That’s beside the point. And perhaps I’ve gone on a little too long to make my point.
Five-thousand years ago, it was really hard to be remembered forever. There were no birth or death certificates. Most people were illiterate anyway. And in the ancient world, why would someone 100 years after your death care you ever existed? You would likely be forgotten forever. Unless you took decades, millions of dollars of wealth, time, vision, technology, and thousands of tons of raw materials and built pyramids. This would keep people talking about you through the millennium at least.
But, in present day, you can live forever. You will never be forgotten. Your images and words and music and photos will live forever, in digital form, on the internet or other similar artificial platform. All the information you place online is converted into little ones and zeroes and possibly stored forever. So far, there is no evidence that it is ever deleted or forgotten.
100 years from now, someone will likely research your life and read all about the person you were. There will be videos and documents and addresses and your own personal writings. It’s like they knew you personally.
This type of eternal life is beyond the wildest imaginations of the ancient prophets and Pharaohs.
Living forever. And it only costs some social media company a few pennies a day to keep our online personas alive.
What will the world be like when personalities no longer die? Infinite talking heads ceaselessly chatting into oblivion. Suddenly, that trip to Mars seems like a great idea.