Asking the unaskable question – Do we have a right not to die?

Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber has contributed a chapter to Volume Five of the ‘Death and Anti-Death’ Anthology which has just been published by Ria University. With contributors including Aubrey de Grey and Kevin Kelly and edited by Dr. Charles Tandy, Volume Five in the series is dedicated to the memory of Loren Eiseley, the renowned Anthropologist, science writer and environmental advocate.

 

Available through Amazon the full title is ‘Death And Anti-Death, Volume 5: Thirty Years After Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)’ and is available in hardcover for $39.95.

Marcus Barber’s chapter poses the question whether any individual has the right not to die, given the emergence of the wide assortment of technological developments available in the area of health and life extension.  Barber suggests that the challenge is whether, given the wide disparity of health outcomes across the globe, any one individual with the financial means, has the right to extend their life indefinitely given the high rates of mortality elsewhere in the world.

Barber also posits four rules for identifying whether an entity can be considered ‘truly’ alive.  He suggests that for an entity to be considered alive it must:

  1. Do whatever it takes to survive;
  2. Having achieved rule one, extend the ‘survival boundary’;
  3. When life conditions require it, ignore rule two and focus  all resources on achieving rule one;
  4. At a certain point, switch off  rule one

Although this chapter is written specifically for the Death and Anti-Death anthology, these ‘rules’ also pose additional issues for cognitive scientists and those involved with artificial intelligence.

Other chapters in the book consider cryogenics, the issue of anorexia and euthanasia, technology and more

Talented Futurist Celebrates a Birthday

Aug 30, 2007

Looking Up Feeling Good would like to wish the very talented and focused futurist, Sophie Barber a happy birthday today. Sophie’s amazing talent at suggesting the possible future for a positive outcome is a true inspiration and we look forward to many more insights as the complexity of challenges continues to test our understanding, commitment…

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Leading Sustainability through Corporate Real Estate Hypothetical

Aug 22, 2007

The CoreNet Global Melbourne 2007 Summit incorporated a thought provoking Hypothetical panel discussion on the future of corporate real estate and the drivers for sustainability. With an economic futures framework provided by Melbourne University Professor of Economics Neville Norman who moderated the discussion, the panel included Aggie Aitken, Head of Workplace Development at ANZ; Strategic…

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Innovation in Employee Engagement

Jul 17, 2007

Among other great articles, the winter 2007 edition of Fast Thinking magazine highlights the ‘8 Factor’ model for effective employee engagement, created by strategic futurist Marcus Barber. Using the model he shows how organisations can develop greater flexibility when it comes to providing incentives as a means for improving productivity and ensuring longevity for staff.…

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Housing Crisis and A Difference to a Difference of Opinion

Jul 3, 2007

Last night the ABC program ‘A Difference of Opinion’ looked at the issues of the housing affordability ciris. The panel provided some quality perspectives as to what was causing the challenge and what kind of actions might need to occur in order to address the issue with Ross Gittins’ early observation that the debate completely…

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Sustainability as a Source of Competitive Advantage

Jun 22, 2007

Dan Atkins, former manager of Environmental policy at Toyota and now Director of Sustainable Business Practises and Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will speak at the South East Networks / VicUrban Business Breakfast at the Sandown Racecourse on Wednesday the 27th of June. Both Dan (who’ll discuss how Toyota applies its Environmental Policy in order to…

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Future Alerts Subscription Service now Monthly

May 27, 2007

Looking Up Feeling Good’s advanced signals reporting service ‘Future Alerts’ is now available as a monthly subscription offering. Designed to provide your organisation with signals indicating potential change, each report comes with analysis of the signals and how they might impact your business. Applying some advanced Environmental Scanning process, including the ‘VSTEEP’ model, you can…

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Marcus Barber invited to attend World Water Week in Stockholm 2007

May 11, 2007

Futurist Marcus Barber has been invited to present at the Stockholm International Water Institute’s prestigious World Water Week conference to be held in Stockholm later this year. His abstract submission ‘Life versus Lifestyle: the emerging clash between consumer demands and water availability’ forms part of the key workshop item of ‘Managing Future Consumer Demands’ which…

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May Brainnovation Session now open

Apr 26, 2007

The May Brainnovation session is open for bookings. If you’d like to be invited to attend this highly focused, creative and thought provoking session please contact us. We’ll send you an invite and as these sessions are strictly limited to no more than 15 people, it’s ‘first in – best dressed’ for acceptances! You’ll be…

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Authenticity & the Craft of Brewing Beer

Mar 29, 2007

Every now and again you discover something well ahead of the general public that is worthy of further investigation. That is the key advantage of being a futurist – you get to spend a lot of your time just looking for signals of change. In this case it is the soon to be opened Barleycorn…

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Strategy and Game Shows

Feb 27, 2007

Marcus Barber joined Brigette Duclos on the Channel 10 program ‘9am with David & Kim’ to discuss strategy and the game show ‘Con-Test’ How do game shows reflect our approach to strategy and what does it mean for the business decisons we make? This will be the subject of an upcoming ‘Ideas Piece’ to appear…

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