If you want to live forever here are a few ideas:
First of all it’s unlikely anyone can agree on what the extent of any given person’s life actually is. Is it just your best lived quality of life experiences? Is it your mere existence in physical form? Does it begin at conception and end at brain death? Are you more alive as a naive child than you are as a wise elderly person? Is forgetting parts of your life akin to not living them? To what extent is your impact on others within the scope of your life? Is your memory and stories being played out in others memories and day dreams part of your extent? Is your likeness on the web and in virtual worlds part of your life? Part of your life to you and/or part of the experience of you/your life to others?
Assume that things change. Environments, planets, the laws of physics and certainly the conditions for survival.
- this has happened a lot in the known universe literally as well as figuratively at the level of our understanding of things.
Assume that no one or anything really can fully predict and/or control these changes.
- most physical reality is forever beyond our ability to predict meaningfully. Even the building blocks of reality (quantum things) are inherently probabilistic and unknowable.
Assume that the optimal strategy for living forever involves being very open to the redefinition of life (existence) (particularly your own).
- we have redefined life many times in our human history and we certainly are going through a redefinition and augmentation/scope change of our own humanity through technology and biomedicine.
Assume that any of your assumptions about what you are and how you are and what your beliefs will not be completely shared by anyone or anything else. Be open to interpretation.
- we have yet to ever figure out how to actually have ontological duplication with anything sufficiently complex. Various scientific theories pretty much suggest reality will forbid such a thing anyway.
Based on these well founded assumptions one should deploy an ensemble of approaches to increase the probability of life extension.
Pick an ensemble of mediums in which to extend the scope of your physical being. Procreate and/or clone and donate genetic material and organs as a bodily extension strategy. Put your physical likeness into as many digital and analog mediums as possible for future re-creation and remixing. Be sure to deploy these strategies in a variety of non-profit, government and commercial constructs as it’s not clear what nation states, populations, corporations, and technologies will last longest.
Pick an ensemble of mediums in which to extend the scope of your personal/intellectual/mental being. Fill up hard drives, cloud storage, social media channels, books, letters, and any other media, particularly a social kind, to ensure the largest distribution of things about you and of you and your lived experience. Again, assume that you cannot predict which particular companies or mediums will survive with any reasonable certainty. Add an assumption that each medium will provide a slightly different perspective and fidelity.
Pick an ensemble of actual other living creatures to share and experience things with. Assume that in the above physical and mental being extensions some of those strategies will only work if there are a network of living things to continue to drive distribution of your extensions. In some sense you have to increase the probability that the signals you’ve put out will a) still be recognizable b) interesting enough for other living things to re-imagine/re-animate/re-create/re-engage.
In the three strategic areas outlined above there is very little guarantee that anything will go according to plan even if you had one. The correct way to think about this is to increase the quantity and quality of possibilities for your extension. This involves being interesting and varied enough in the deployment of your scope extension and at the same time being intelligible or coherent enough that other creatures and systems can keep reverberating your signal.
Now all of that said forever is a long time and it is far from clear that you can ever truly escape thermodynamic entropy. It is very likely that the universe itself will “end” likely in heat death or a singularity in which all information will be diffuse and in no sense will a body, mind or network of creatures be able to extend anything anymore. However, if the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics turns out to be how reality works and/or there ends up being a strange entanglement thing going on in the multiverse your only viable strategy remains to get entangled with as many wave functions/particles out there.
And, of course, living forever may not be your thing. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out how not to live forever. This should be a trivial exercise for even first year undergraduate and some advanced high school students.