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Aging and life expectancy

04 Jul 2022 19:42 #74934 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Aging and life expectancy
Someone brought up as a member of a race or group of immortals might get schooled on how to live among mortals.   Age of Adaline had Adaline stop aging after some kind of accident, so there was no help in figuring out how to adapt and face accusations of not matching their chronological age, like looking too young..  Not having any immortal peers would be lonely especially without superpowers.  As Fats mentioned, diseases like cancer as the body lives past its original design life.  Adaline was happy to start aging again since she was the only one that didn't age.
There would be a population problem without aging, unless offspring were forced to go far away to new planets.
 

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06 Jul 2022 03:22 #74944 by AUphoric
Replied by AUphoric on topic Aging and life expectancy

Someone brought up as a member of a race or group of immortals might get schooled on how to live among mortals.   Age of Adaline had Adaline stop aging after some kind of accident, so there was no help in figuring out how to adapt and face accusations of not matching their chronological age, like looking too young..  Not having any immortal peers would be lonely especially without superpowers.  As Fats mentioned, diseases like cancer as the body lives past its original design life.  Adaline was happy to start aging again since she was the only one that didn't age.
There would be a population problem without aging, unless offspring were forced to go far away to new planets.

 
Highlander handled all of this well, including the drive for the Immortals to battle each other to the death... no overpopulation problem!

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06 Jul 2022 03:31 #74946 by AUphoric
Replied by AUphoric on topic Aging and life expectancy

On the flip side, there have been a few stories that take the idea that the brain can only hold so much information. So, an immortal being's memory might only go back 100 years at a time. They may have flashes of important events from the distant past, like how you might remember certain events from your childhood, but the rest is largely forgotten without the use of journals. This could help them adapt to a changing world but also force them to repeat many of the same mistakes over and over every century.
 
If we combine the "brain gets full" myth with the "10% of the brain myth," we could expect superpowered immortals to easily remember experiences and lessons of the last thousand years.

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07 Jul 2022 00:41 #74964 by Jabbrwock
Replied by Jabbrwock on topic Aging and life expectancy
Was looking at a Manga called Frieren that examines the issues of mixing long and short lived people, albeit in the setting of a fairly standard fantasy world. Frieren, an elf mage who is over a thousand years old and thus a young woman, teamed up with two young humans and a middle aged dwarf to defeat the demon lord. After the last battle, they watched a meteor shower together before parting, and agreed to meet again when the same meteor shower returned in 50 years. To Frieren, it was like agreeing to meet for lunch next week. To the human members of the party, it was a very long term commitment indeed - one of them died of old age after the reunion, the other a bit later. Frieren cried at the funeral, not because she was mourning a dear friend - she only knew them for a paltry ten years - but because she realized she would never have the chance to recognize them as dear friends the way they recognized her. Their ten years working together to beat the demon lord was just a passing fancy for her.

The different time scale is a recurring theme in the manga. It's more than a bit melancholy to see her realize that the human apprentice she is training will die of old age if she gets distracted by a minor project of a few decades like she usually does.

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07 Jul 2022 02:45 #74966 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Aging and life expectancy

Was looking at a Manga called Frieren that examines the issues of mixing long and short lived people, albeit in the setting of a fairly standard fantasy world. Frieren, an elf mage who is over a thousand years old and thus a young woman, teamed up with two young humans and a middle aged dwarf to defeat the demon lord. After the last battle, they watched a meteor shower together before parting, and agreed to meet again when the same meteor shower returned in 50 years. To Frieren, it was like agreeing to meet for lunch next week. To the human members of the party, it was a very long term commitment indeed - one of them died of old age after the reunion, the other a bit later. Frieren cried at the funeral, not because she was mourning a dear friend - she only knew them for a paltry ten years - but because she realized she would never have the chance to recognize them as dear friends the way they recognized her. Their ten years working together to beat the demon lord was just a passing fancy for her.

The different time scale is a recurring theme in the manga. It's more than a bit melancholy to see her realize that the human apprentice she is training will die of old age if she gets distracted by a minor project of a few decades like she usually does.
This scenario (slow-aging being dealing with the loss and mourning of their short-lived friends) is one many of us can relate to.

I've had dogs for more than 50 years, often 2 or 3 at a time, so I'm now into my fifth generation of dogs. Which means I've lost a large number of very good dogs over the years. 

In a fictional sense, the long lived being could decide they couldn't bear the pain of loss and make no more friends with humans. Or they could do as we dog owners do -- we mourn the loss of great friends and companions, thinking we will never see their equal again, and then we get a new dog and make a new friend, knowing that we are accepting the pain of loss down the road. 

Tolkien portrayed the emotions of this fairly well with Arwen's choice, and her father's (Elrond's) grief when she chose a mortal life, knowing he would see his daughter wither and die. Something elves do not experience normally. 

There is power here in the hands of the right author. 

Shadar

 

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09 Jul 2022 09:57 #75008 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic Aging and life expectancy
During WWII, in units that had high casualties, the veterans often wouldn't even want to learn the names of replacements because they had such a short life span. It was a defense mechanism. I could see the same being true for extremely long lived beings who are emotionally affected by the loss of their shorter lived friends.
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05 Sep 2022 06:17 #75474 by Thefirstone
Replied by Thefirstone on topic Aging and life expectancy
Not sure I could do it well, but a superwoman burying her normal husband could be a good story.

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