“We could be in instant contact with each other, wherever we may be, where we can contact our friends anywhere on earth, even if we don’t know their actual physical location. It will be possible in that age, perhaps only 50 years from now, for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London…. Almost any executive skill, any administrative skill, even any physical skill, could be made independent of distance. I am perfectly serious when I suggest that one day we may have brain surgeons in Edinburgh operating on patients in New Zealand.” Arthur C. Clarke, 1964




  • If you could pick any dead person from history and invite them to dinner, who would that be? Why?
  • How do you understand the latin phrase “non omnis moriar?” You are free to google its meaning!




Match the words to the definitions. Google the answers.

  1. immortality
  2. store
  3. far-flung
  4. far-out (e.g. technology)
  5. peg a date
  6. teeter (on the edge of something)
  1. keep or accumulate (something) for future use
  2. distant or remote
  3. move or balance unsteadily; sway back and forth
  4. unconventional or avant-garde
  5. indicate / set a date
  6. the ability to live forever; eternal life





Think about it


Answer the questions below. Pause at times indicated in brackets.

  • What resources in the universe tell us how a society/species should act if its members are immortal? (0:39)
  • What does Steven Kotler say about science fiction of the previous century? Can you think of some real life examples? (1:03)
  • Why does he mention the year 2045? (1:30)
  • What does he say about the major religions? What do they use to “steer morality and shape behaviour?” (1:47)
  • Why does he compare mind uploading to television? (2:40)
  • Why it might be rather tricky to mess around with evolutionary processes?


Practice makes perfect


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words.


artificial     –    were    –    destination    –    dump    –    behind    –    attain    –    notably   –    immortality

Humans have been chasing ________ for millennia. In some cultures, you ________ a kind of immortality by doing great deeds, which people will talk about long after you pass away. Several religions feature some concept of immortality — the body may die but some part of you will exist forever. But what if science made it possible to be truly immortal? What if there ________ a way for you to live forever?

That’s the basic concept ________ digital immortality. Some futurists, perhaps most ________ inventor Ray Kurzweil, believe that we will uncover a way to extend the human lifespan indefinitely. They’ve identified several potential paths that could lead to this________ . Perhaps we’ll identify the genes that govern aging and tweak them so that our bodies stop aging once they reach maturity. Maybe we’ll create new techniques for creating ________ organs that combine organic matter with technology and then replace our original parts with the new and improved versions. Or maybe we’ll just ________ our memories, thoughts, feelings and everything else that makes us who we are into a computer and live in cyberspace.

Answers: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/digital-immortality.htm 


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