What is your superpower? What is your secret superpower that makes you stand out, that makes you unlike anybody else?
These kinds of questions – surprisingly to me – are frequent parts of everyday conversations and the internet is full with dubious quizzes that help one find their own superpowers in case they feel underrated.
So imagine a bunch of superheroes and the odd one out talking in a pub about the super strength or power they have and trying to compete with each other to establish which one is the coolest, the best, the most attractive?
A: I can see through walls with a super-developed thermal vision. (Demonstrates it by telling how many people are in the pub’s toilet.)
B: I have an I.Q. off the roof, it cannot be measured with any standardised tests. (Demonstrates it by asking others to give them (singular ‘they’) 3 100 digit numbers to multiply.)
C: I am invisible if I want to. (Demonstrates it by disappearing from plain sight and then re-appearing at another pub table.)
D: I’m 500 years old. I can live indefinitely long healthily…
A, B, C become visibly bored.
D finishes the sentence: … cause I have access to this cool technology called Open Healthspan, you interested?
Which is the odd one out? Which capability would you like to have?
I personally never dreamed of having a super power seriously making me stand out in every which way. I’ve always dreamt about a technology, that is accessible to everyone and provides equal opportunity to be whatever one can and wishes to be.
This capacity is not demonstrative, one cannot perform with that on a stage as opposed to the typical demonstrative and performative ‘super powers’.
People who phantasise about having super powers, enhanced features usually dream about situations to use these features in front of others to do something on a grand scale, to win at competitions, to prove their superiority in certain situations ….. to show off, to boast, in short.
Healthy longevity is anything like that. Healthy longevity and Open Lifespan as its possible upper limit provides something much more fundamental, a benefit so intrinsic that it cannot even be placed easily on the beneficial capabilities spectrum as it is so fundamental.
So I’d like to ask transhumanists, wanting to develop and possess all kinds of enhancers, cognitive enhancers, memory pills, extra arms and legs to consider taking healthy longevity off their particular enhancement list.
It is a capability unlike any others. It is such a default capability that the best is not to call it enhancement anymore.
This post is part of a series of posts investigating the default and well-established philosophical question about whether counteracting biological aging would qualify as enhancements or medical therapies/medical preventions.
See an earlier post on this from a different angle: Can you imagine a world without disease but with biological aging? Neither can I