What will I become? A reflection on meeting myself in the future.

black flat screen computer monitor
oval brown wooden framed hanging mirror
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I look in the mirror and stare at myself, and I see that my reflection doesn’t change no matter how long I stare into it. My body is the same as it was decades ago, but I wonder what my future self would think of me if we were to meet. Would they be impressed with my knowledge of the world? Would they find my appearance strange or beautiful? Will I still have hair on my head, or will it be replaced by wires and circuits? These are just some of the questions I ask myself about meeting myself in the future, but here’s what I actually believe might happen…

person with white lightning to usb cable

The Future Is Bright

Studies show that knowledge and technology growth is accelerating, which may mean we could make leaps and bounds in personal development within our lifetimes. Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and director of engineering at Google, has explored what he calls the law of accelerating returns. This theory posits that technological progress happens faster over time—the pace of technology innovation is itself increasing over time (and gets even faster as it approaches a singularity). If Kurzweil’s hypothesis is correct, then we’re heading into a future where human life spans can be extended greatly; cyborg-like bodies will merge with tech to enable us to augment our abilities. In short, there’s no telling what your body might look like 50 years from now or if I will still be here.

The Body Decides

The body is only a vessel for us; it carries us from point A to point B and without it, we are nothing but skin and bones (and maybe some hair). So as our bodies get older, they must eventually succumb to decay– that’s simply how life works. But what if there was an option to stop aging before our bodies became decrepit shells of their former selves? If humans could remain young well into their 90s then who knows what would happen—we may live longer than we can even imagine! As technology advances, medicine becomes more advanced and scientists discover new ways to extend human life, perhaps one day we will be able to prolong our existence indefinitely. Who wouldn’t want that? We all want to continue living long after our bodies have given up on us. It might sound like science fiction now but what if one day soon you could meet yourself in the future…in your 20s or 30s or 40s or beyond?  As a matter of fact, to survive to know whether his predictions come true, the aforementioned Kurzweil takes 150 pills a day, some 70 to 80 different substances that “radically reprogram [his] body’s biochemistry.” In a video on BigThink, Kurzweil explained what he thought were the three most important supplements on that list. The substances are coenzyme Q10, phosphatidylcholine, and vitamin D.

a man thinking of a strategy of chess move

The Mind Knows

As human beings, we have one quality that computers and machines never could replicate, no matter how sophisticated they might be: The mind. Our capacity to learn and retain information is unrivaled—far beyond any computer ever designed or conceived of (at least so far). The human brain continues to grow and develop even as we age; while some lose memory as they get older, our capacity to absorb new knowledge continues throughout our lives. We may not be able to travel back in time just yet, but if you have a chance to meet yourself 30 years ago, what would you say about your life when compared with your life now? It’s a thought-provoking question worth pondering over!  If I were to meet myself 30 years ago, I would not look too much at my physical enhancements because I was fit then.  Now I would warrant some body part replacements due to arthritis.

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