A ball peen hammer to the forehead

You are going to spend the vast majority of time dead.  In fact, you already have, so you’re used to it.

Considering all the time that has occurred since there’s even been such a thing as time (ranging from 6,000 years to 15 billion, depending on your weltanschauung), you have already experienced what death means to the “meat existence”– you were absent, unable to participate, non-existent.

You may think that you are going to be participating in some sort of ‘afterlife’ and, who knows?  You may be right; but there’s not much going on between this side of things and that.  Lines may be open and operators may be standing by, but the dead are not the most responsive communicators with the living from what I’ve seen.  There is either absolutely no reason to tune into the living after death, or there is nobody to do the talking.

You are going to die.

Now, science may provide a vehicle allowing you to live for an AWFULLY long time.  Life extension initiatives have and will continue to go on until someone hits on something that makes the standard 80 year* limit a thing of the past, and possibly a way-point in a what might be hundreds or thousands of years of life.

But remember one thing: entropy will get you sooner or later.  I repeat: you are going to die– sorry.

I am too.  I have no illusions; but I plan on sticking around as long as I can (because I don’t want to miss what might happen next).

And you and I are going to miss a lot of stuff happening after we (as the Beave put it) croak– at the very least we will not be participating very much in the ongoing universe thing (ghost stories, angels and beyond-the-grave visitations aside).

In this little bubble of time we are allotted, is our only chance to affect things, and even then the only thing we have any chance of controlling is ourselves.

Spend it well.


*No, people did not live only to 40 one hundred years ago.  Yes, life expectancy (based on average life span) averaged 40 years; but there was this little thing called child and infant mortality that tended to skew the game a little.  Pretty much throughout human history “venerable” (that stage of life toward the end) was capped at around 80 years.  Consider my father’s family: he was one of 14 (!) children, the first two of which died below the age of 10, one in infancy and one accidentally (they lived on a farm).  When >10% of your children die, it tends to affect the average life expectancy, even though all but one of the other kids reached the age of 70 (and he died of an accident related to his drinking, but that’s another story).  I can think of about a half a dozen situations from my own childhood that, without proper medical intervention, could have easily resulted in my death and those would have certainly effected my life expectancy.  Statistically speaking, unless you were a woman (for whom death in childbirth was a common occurrence) if you reached the age of 20, your chances of reaching 80 were quite good, even 500 or 1000 years ago.  (Conclusion: Darwin hates children).

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