Would immortal humans be subject to the Nonmen Dolour?

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K∅ringhus

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« on: February 06, 2019, 12:00:33 am »
I've always found Bakker's depiction of Nonmen insanity a rather clever twist on the notion of immortal elder fantasy races. One can only imagine how LotR would have played out, had Elrond been as nuts as Incariol.

If some future advancement in life-extension technology allows humans to live for hundreds or even thousands of years (albeit in our current meat bodies, rather than as computer uploads or anything like that), and barring any sort of biological malfunction like super-centuries-long-Alzheimer's, how do you imagine human memory would hold up?

Would most people, like the Nonmen, find themselves remembering and rehearsing their trauma far more than anything else, until they become shambling piles of misery? Or would memory be more of a bubble trailing the present, so that one only clearly remembers things from the last century or two, with all else fading into obscurity? Perhaps another possibility?

Would such humans eventually become jaded to practically everything, both positive and negative? What would a society of Methuselahs look like? Supposing no one had to work, how would people spend their time?

TaoHorror

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 02:19:49 am »
For extreme extensions of longevity, I think programs/processes for retaining memory would emerge. Can't think of exactly what it would be, but something along the lines of routinely watching videos of events in our past. I think you're right, there would be moral and psychological implications for longevity - but it depends on what that longevity would be like ( 25 year old bodies for 200 years, or simply living another 200 years as elderly ). I don't think Non-men's misery was just from their memory issues, but never being able to move past the annihilation of their women - kinda like knowing their days were numbered was unavoidable annihilated their identity as well. Interesting they couldn't figure out how to clone new women from the scranc creating teckne ( I'm likely missing something from the books that would explain this ).
May your death be soon, slow and painful

Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 03:00:05 pm »
People often change profoundly with age. Think of a 10 year old vs 20. 20 to 30. Its not just 60 vs 90 vs 150 that we're talking about.

So its not just age, but accumulation of experience, that shape a person and their personalities. Loss of those memories also changes a person.

I think something closer to the Inchoroi than the Nonmen would emerge though. The nonmen don't have the benefit of making the technology that gave them immortality. I suspect humans would figure out a way to stave off the negative effects - just like how we're working to solve present day Alzheimer's which usually comes about in old age.

Even without memory issues, presently there's statistically significant changes in older populations. For one, they tend to be racist and xenophobic. Cause/effect I don't know but... Taken to a galactic scale, I can imagine a bunch of grandfathers xenociding the universe to "get off my lawn" equivalent of galaxies.

Without death, and the means of infinite abundance, what's left but limitless hedonism - a la Inchoroi.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

TaoHorror

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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 12:12:42 am »
... what's left but limitless hedonism - a la Inchoroi.

You wouldn't even have to do anything - just rig the pleasure centers in your brain to fire for long periods of time. Never have to leave your couch/pod.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 02:32:17 pm »
... what's left but limitless hedonism - a la Inchoroi.

You wouldn't even have to do anything - just rig the pleasure centers in your brain to fire for long periods of time. Never have to leave your couch/pod.
We do it to rats. Wire up their brains, give them a button that stimulates the pleasure centers.
They literally starve to death rather than stopping briefly to eat.

So yeah, I imagine leaving the pod at that point would see rather ridiculous.
One of the other conditions of possibility.