The ultimate human dream has always been to live forever. But, for those of us who have lived into the stage where passion and perambulation are less ascendent than relief from aches and the need for mobility enhancement devices, it may sometimes feel as if forever is not so attractive. However, most of us at all stages of life are not eager to test the alternative. Ergo, for most, to exist is preferable than to not. So, we humans spend a great deal of time searching for the elusive mythical secret to a life without end. Of course, when we envision eternal life, we are likely to see ourselves in a pre-serpent Garden of Eden rather than a Prometheus chained to a rock as an eagle devours our liver each day forever. Or we might mine for answers where we Americans have often looked, the movies. The 1967 cult classic, The Graduate, comes to mind.
In The Graduate Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is a recent college graduate who does not worry about eternity but is more concerned about what he should do with the rest of his young life. But Anne Bancroft in the role of middle-aged Mrs. Robinson seeks to extend her youth by seducing the clueless Hoffman. However, the real secret to Benjamin’s future and the whole world’s comes from the actor Walter Brooks who plays middle-aged businessman, Mr. Maguire, who confidentially whispers the one word answer to Benjamin: “PLASTICS”. In 1967 we did not recognize the prescient advice of Mr. Maguire. A mere six years later the first plastic soft drink bottle would be invented and released upon our planet.
Gentle Reader, these thoughts came creeping into my head when I found on the internet (what could go wrong?) reports of scientists discovering consumable plastic in almost every source of water we humans drink everywhere on earth. According to researchers at Columbia University plastic in bottled water, “[M]ay raise notable apprehensions regarding human health”. Well, my analysis is, as Coach Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast”. What if we who have created plastic are now having our cells replaced with it? If our planet is being inundated by never decomposing material that is also invading our DNA, is there an opportunity here? And we know plastic lasts forever as we cannot go anywhere without stumbling over a plastic container thrown away by some insensitive jerk fifty years ago.
We have already opened Pandora’s Box so why not channel Pollyanna and turn our attention to how gradually replacing our cells with plastic infused water might enable us to be as environmentally impervious to time as that first plastic soft drink bottle invented by DuPont Corporation engineer, Nathaniel Wyeth, in 1973. Whatever happened to Nathanial whose uncle was the lover of nature, painter Andrew Wyeth?
It looks like that no matter what we say we want we humans are willing to replace all of nature with plastic. Therefore, I suggest we should now replace those pesky Greek gods who punished Prometheus and Pandora with A.I. Surely if A.I. can beat humans at chess and solve the Rubik’s Cube faster than humans can down a Coca-Cola, A.I. can be coaxed into finding a way for us to transform our plasticized drinking water into an Elysian libation that will preserve our bodies forever.
As for me, I had such a tough time with college physics that I became a judge. So, I must leave the details of eternal life to those A.I. geniuses who are most likely in India or Dubai. For now, I will do my part by eschewing soft drinks for beer that still comes in glass bottles.