Raymond Kurzweil is planning to live forever. Kurzweil is a futurist, a person who predicts the future based upon current trends. He’s a brilliant inventor and he knows far more than most people about trends in science and technology. And based on what he knows he says that in two or three decades we’ll be at a point where we’ll be able to live forever. Wow! Eternal life! And in just ten or twenty years from now!
No one laughs at Kurzweil. (Well, maybe a few people at Critical Pages do.) The man has an astonishing record — as a student at MIT he founded a company and before he graduated he sold the company for $100,000 plus royalties. Six years later he started a company to develop a computer program that could recognize printed text; later he and others developed a system that could read text aloud. Kurzweil is also the man who pushed the music synthesizer forward to the point where it could produce musical sounds indistinguishable from those produced by musical instruments. He’s received the half-million dollar MIT-Lemelson Prize for inventive genius.
Currently, Ray Kurzweil is taking good care of himself, aiming to get through the next two or three decades to the year when science will have brought humankind eternal life. He keeps fit, exercises and eats well and, according to an article in Wired, he takes “250 supplements, eight to 10 glasses of alkaline water and 10 cups of green tea” every day and drinks several glasses of red wine a week. He figures that should do it.
Raymond Kurzweil is brilliant and helpful and and nobody will say I told you so when he dies. You don’t have to know what he knows to know he’s not going to live forever. His hope for immortality assumes that in the next twenty or thirty years we’ll acquire complete and perfect knowledge of human biology and the technology to apply what we know. Maybe we’ll have the ability to apply what we know. But thus far in history we’ve never acquired complete and perfect knowledge about anything.