Immortality for fun and profit

This evening a friend and I were discussing what the world might be like if people were immortal. Of course we know that if a “cure” for mortality were ever discovered, it would most likely be reserved for the one-percenters — wealthy people who would then have literally all the time in the world to enjoy their life of privilege.

What would existence be like if there were no pressure to get your life lived within a span of eighty-odd years? There would be no urgency to get a certain amount done within any given decade, and therefore within any given year, and therefore on any particular day.

Without that implicit time limit always pushing in from the ends, immortals might simply react like a bottle opened in outer space — everything inside diffusing out to fill the infinite void.

So if this really happens, it is possible most people of means will adopt an attitude of “I’ll do it tomorrow”. They will stay at home, watch a lot of TV, play video games to fill the time and order their meals in. Or they might just lie in bed all day. After all, they can always get out of bed tomorrow, or maybe the day after that.

But a small group of enterprising humans will see this as an opportunity. All those captive consumers — ordering their meals in, spending all day at home hungry for entertainment, willing to pay good money to keep the boredom at bay.

And so we will get a new class of entrepreneurs, who will understand that immortals are the ultimate business model.

As I was describing this scenario I realized it reminded me of something — H.G. Wells’ description of the Eloi and the Morlocks. Or maybe a 1987 Peter Richardson film.

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