” I want to live forever “

“We are not the first generation to believe the worst possible thing to befall us is death. But for the ancients, the worst possible outcome was not death, but a dishonorable death, or even just a regular one. For a classical hero, dying in a retirement home with a rude nurse and a network of tubes coming into and out of your nose would not be the attractive telos for a life.
And, of course, we have this modern illusion that we should live as long as we can. As if we were each the end product. This idea of the “me” as a unit can be traced to the Enlightenment. And, with it, fragility.
Before that, we were part of the present collective and future progeny. Both present and the future tribes exploited the fragility of individuals to strengthen themselves. People engaged in sacrifices, sought martyrdom, died for the group, and derived pride from doing so; they worked hard for future generations.
Sadly, as I am writing these lines, the economic system is loading future generations with public governmental debt, causing depletion of resources, and environmental blight to satisfy the requirements of the security analysts and the banking establishment (once again, we cannot separate fragility from ethics).”

Excerpt From: Nassim Nicholas Taleb. “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.”


Another source of harm from naive rationalism. Just as for a long time people tried to shorten their sleep, as it seemed useless to our earthling logic, many people think that walking is useless, so they use mechanical transportation (car, bicycle, etc.) and get their exercise working out at the gym. And when they walk, they do this ignominious “power walk,” sometimes with weights on their arms. They do not realize that for reasons still opaque to them, walking effortlessly, at a pace below the stress level, can have some benefits—or, as I speculate, is necessary for humans, perhaps as necessary as sleep, which at some point modernity could not rationalize and tried to reduce. Now it may or may not be true that walking effortlessly is as necessary as sleep, but since all my ancestors until the advent of the automobile spent much of their time walking around (and sleeping), I try to just follow the logic, even before some medical journal catches up to the idea and produces what referees of medical journals call “evidence.”