Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, Gen Planned Obsolescence

Nov 1, 2019 by

by Xavier Symons, MercatorNet:

Not a lot has changed since the mighty Sumerian king Gilgamesh explored the ocean floor to find the Ur-shanabi plant which would restore his youth. That was in 2800 BC, and in 2019 AD tech enthusiasts in Silicon Valley are still looking for life extension techniques.

What if they succeed where Gilgamesh failed — attaining unending life and enhanced qualities like sporting ability, beauty, and better memory using techniques like CRISPR?

Perhaps such enthusiasts should be careful what they wish for. For such a quest could lead finally to a diminishment of the human capacities for empathy, compassion and acknowledgment of our mutual dependence. Indeed, bioethicists warn that gene-editing may lead us to feel past our use-by date as soon as we are born.

Our brave new world

It has become rather a cliché to bring up Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in the context of bioethical debates, but it’s hard to ignore the book’s predictive power. In Huxley’s novel, citizens are biologically engineered into predetermined castes based on intelligence and labour skills. All important social decisions are made by “Alpha-Pluses.” There is thus no conflict in Brave New World, not just because of this process of biological-cum-social engineering, but because the State administers to everyone a soothing narcotic called Soma which both simulates happiness and quells every form of envy or resentment.

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