1. Don’t call it Immortality. At least not at first. Consider it a goal to work up to, like nirvana, which you may never have to reach. For now, dial it down to super longevity, or even better, plain old longevity or just, you know, staying healthy for longer, or maybe not even for longer, maybe just for now plus a little bit, let’s say. Now you’re ready to drop in that little gem: healthy aging. Too oxymoronic to analyze (where would either of you start?), you’ve got them right where you want them.
  2. Do not reflect on the depth or superficiality of your relationships, and that you have to conceal what stirs your soul, and promises to possibly redeem humanity  – friends come first.
  3. Do anticipate their disagreement or disapproval pre-emptively. You know the body language: clenched jaw, flared nostrils, white spittle at the corner of the mouth. At the first sight, or before, default to talking about something else, anything else, as if you didn’t really mean it, didn’t really say it, and if you did, it was just a passing interest, among other interests. You wouldn’t want them to think you care, and care passionately, about human life. That could be offensive. Unless it isn’t. You just don’t know. So talk about soccer.
  4. Do Identity with celebrities. Because celebrities know better. Or they wouldn’t be celebrities. Just as the Opus Dei have Mel Gibson, and Scientologists have Tom Cruise, we have Edward James Olmos. So what if he doesn’t do his own stunts. He was great in Miami Vice. If your friends don’t remember that show, tell them to get more informed about 80’s TV. (This is much less demanding than getting informed about age-reversal science like senolytics, gene therapy, exosomes, etc.) Anyway, Olmos was in Bladerunner and lots of other good stuff, so they need to shut up.
  5. If you do somehow manage to steer the conversation back to immortality, without of course, calling it that, be sure to keep it abstract and emotionally neutered. Do not, for example, make it personal by asking said friend who it is that they love, or even just like, whom they would want to lose to death? Don’t explore with them how the certain knowledge of that impending loss, through aging and death, limits how far and how deep they can actually get to know and rediscover each other and how every birthday is a really a countdown to separation and loss. This could upset them.
  6. When (and not if) they  bring up their acute concern about over-population, which until then they had completely concealed, as well as you’d hidden your interest in immorality, if not better, don’t shoot them down by informing them that birth rates correlate with mortality rates. Let them have their moment. You’re not the only one who knows things.
  7. Speaking of not knowing too much, do not tax their already cluttered consciousness by calling their attention to the law of accelerated returns in which we find ourselves, and its implications for age-reversing science. Never mind their smart phone, self-parking cars and Google glasses, which didn’t exist a few years ago — they’ll believe it when they see it, right? So why be pushy about it? Friends and family don’t like being pushed.
  8. As a corollary, do not balance that big picture view with practical steps they might take now to impact their longevity, which are remarkably affordable or free, like intermittent fasting and Metformin. You don’t want to get bogged down in the weeds.
  9. Other topics to be avoided: proven stem cell therapies, measurable thymus rejuvenation, NAD restoration or anything else that brings age reversals into the present. You don’t want to overwhelm them.
  10. Remember, most people still have not been exposed to the emerging science and psychology of immortality in a thoughtful and compelling way. So why should your conversation be any different? Nature abhors a vacuum but ignorance adores it. When in doubt, talk soccer.

Joe Bardin is the author of Outlier Heart: Essays from my Life as an Immortalist (IFERS Press). His essays have appeared in numerous literary journals including Louisville Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Superstition Review, Eclectica, and Image Journal: Good Letters, and been anthologized in the Transhumanism Handbook (Springer). His plays have been performed both domestically and abroad.  He is a messaging strategist and serves as Director of Communications for the Coalition for Radical Life Extension and People Unlimited. (www.joebardin.com).

5 COMMENTS

  1. Ask ‘intelligent’ people if they want to die they say no
    Ask those exact same intelligent people if they want to live forever they say no
    They don’t even see a problem with those answers, and just go on surviving until they don’t
    This should give us a clue to what the real problem is

  2. when you die its a good chance of ABSOLUTE nothing for us so do i want that… no

    lets milk this baby for all you can an ill justify imortality if i could to make it work.

    reproduction would be permitted to couple or something like that

  3. @ Joe Bardin, loved the way you put it.
    Went one step further, way stop at Immortality, i want to be Omnipotent.
    This i a quote from http://www.homo-immortalis-omnipotent.org

    Living in “Infinite Space-Time”! No more “human created secondhand God’s”!
    The function assigned to GOD is now available through understanding
    the Universe we are part of. We will be the Engineers of our own body chemistry, in the Infinity of Space-Time we can live forever.

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