The story of Z was supposed to be about how biohacking had allowed her to become immortal.
She lived in the year 2040, and by most measures her life was happy. Her mother’s body had died five years prior, but her consciousness was uploaded to the global grid and they still spoke frequently. An implanted chip allowed her to order a driverless Uber car on demand. She lived in a bubble that protected her from the dangerous post-global warming environment. She had lots of friends at a community biohacking center where she hung out.
Yet, every time someone tried to talk about Z’s happy ending where she lives forever, one problem kept coming up again and again: Z was poor, and inequality prevented her from accessing many of the technologies of the future.
Z’s story is the creation of transhumanist Zoltan Istvan (who writes an occasionalcolumn for Motherboard), writer Sydette Harry, performer Fem Appeal, bio-hackerConor Russomanno, and founder of Genspace, Ellen Joregensen. It was told last night, at a talk hosted by The Standard, High Line in NYC, called “Live Forever: Hacking Death.” Her story, and the conversation that followed, focused not on whether it’s really possible to avoid death, but instead on who would be able to, given that the technology became available. Everyone was concerned that it would only be available to the elite.Read More