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Why does science fiction portray extended human lifespans negatively?

Illustration for article titled Why does science fiction portray extended human lifespans negatively?

So many of our big media stories about living to be over 120 are negative or take place in a dystopia — from Dorian Gray to In Time. Why is that? Sonia Arrison, author of 100+, tries to explain — and predicts that this could soon change.

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Arrison talked to Slate as part of their Future Tense series, that has been looking at extended longevity and some of the challenges and opportunities that could result. Here's what she has to say about science fiction's dark view of extended lifespans:

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DISCUSSION

I think it goes back to that old idea that mortality gives life it's meaning. I never understood this. But I think it's a way of coping with the fact that we're probably bound to die sooner or later, so we might as well make peace with the idea.

Essentially it's another happy white lie. Maybe for those who don't believe in God or heaven.

At least this is my take on it.