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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Microstory 998: Turnover

This is a really morbid one, which is why I put it near the end, in case I came up with something more positive. Believe it or not, that actually did happen with another topic. The previous installment was a last-minute replacement for something I ended up deciding I didn’t think you would like, and even then, I altered the subject matter while in the middle of writing it. For as much as I talk about how curing death can help the world, I’m not going to pretend it alone can solve all our problems, or that there isn’t potential for it to cause more. We can all surmise that immortality, without accompanied by other advancements, can lead to terrible consequences. If we don’t solve this world’s distribution problems, and move out to other worlds, we won’t be able to provide for the dramatic increase in population. Already we’re seeing the cost of better global health. Try driving from one side of town to the other without passing at least three separate postretirement facilities, of varying calibre, for varying needs. But there’s another reason death has been of benefit to us. In some of my stories, I have a race of “aliens” called Maramon. Their creator was a naive child who wasn’t interested in his creations ever dying, so he subconsciously made them immortal. What he couldn’t have realized was that meant the worst of the worst individuals were free to keep going through the centuries, unchecked. Can you imagine how awful life would be if Caligula, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Adolf Hitler were still alive? How much hope could we have if we knew that Donald Trump and Jared Fogle would always be around? We would never get through this. Turnover lets us rid ourselves of our history’s sickening mistakes, and gives rise to new ideas. Progress doesn’t happen just because a new generation wants things to change, but also because they’re eventually free from the burden of the old fogies who are incapable of that change. As wicked as it sounds, death is sometimes the only way. Maybe I’m wrong, and all those kids at the tiki torch rally who are young enough to become immortal in the future can eventually learn to become better people. Maybe if humans never died, we would all be totally fine, and living in the paradise our still-living ancestors built for us. But I doubt it.

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