Morbid title but an interesting thought exercise.

This one starts with 3D printing. It has provoked the human imagination and charge innovation in ways that was once not possible. We can build intricate parts with our imagination and will them into the physical world. From 3D printed sky-scrapers to 3D printed kidneys and bones. We are starting to see money being poured into these verticals to supercharge them and industrialise them.

There are many game changers out there but for this line of thought, I want to think about medical science of 3D bio-printing and how we think about mortality. When you look at causes of death, the majority of the causes are technical such as organ failure, toxicity or loss of blood. 3D bio-printing may advance to the level where organ failure may have a real technical solution. Imagine the companies which are already working on this area [1]. New ones are coming up quickly and they are bringing new possibilities to change how we live our lives.

This is probably one of the key technology space where it will make a difference in upgrading human lives. I can imagine the technology progressing naturally and building on a heavily commercialised health industry. Imagine walking into a life upgrading centre. Scan your body and have your calcified aortas or veins replaced. If you are diagnosed with a less than healthy organ, order a replacement liver or any other organ or even limbs to be re-fitted. The possibilities are growing by the day. The only organ I cannot imagine replaced would be the brain where we define our conscious self. Apart from that, one can practically keep replacing parts and live for a very long time.

Beyond just health, we can even imagine physical augmentation. Need stronger muscles for your legs? Need a stronger heart? Better lungs? How will this play out in the future sports field? Physical challenges such as loss of limb may no longer be a state. It will probably challenge the high tech prosthetics industry. Forget the carbon fibre, titanium, spring actuated legs, let us get the 3D printed titanium bone with real muscles, tissues and ligaments and fat that are actually legs. The six million dollar man may be all printed soft tissue. This bring god like choices to mortals.

How will this play out psychologically, culturally or even legally? Will the technology be limited to the top 1% or will it be available for everyone. Will some countries ban it and other countries allow it? Will we see birth rates drastically drop as humans find less need to have offsprings? Will we see an enrichment of wisdom quotient with the new length of human consciousness? Will we think like gods. So, if eternal life is just a technical problem that has technical solutions, will dying be a choice for the future?

[1] http://3dprint.com/88792/3d-bioprinting-companies

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