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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Graduational Geometry

I was trying to write a speech for graduation, and this is what came out. I’m pretty sure I won’t be speaking at graduation.

A short while ago I thought that I had discovered the secret to living forever.
“It’s simple,” I said to a few of my friends, “You see, with medical technology consistently going up, people have been starting to live longer, right?”
I could sense their anticipation building as a few of their eyes glazed over a bit.
“Well, when you compare the two rates…” I struggled to verbalize the idea, “Here, I made a graph to make it easier to understand.”
I showed them a graph similar to this one. (Show graph).
I continued, “The red line denotes the average age of a person’s life throughout history.”
“How long did it take you to make that graph?” Dave Ridge chimed in. He’s always good at putting his two cents in, just at the wrong time.
I glared at him, “Most of last night, but that’s not the point. As I was saying, the red line denotes…” another interruption.
Nate Perkins had just walked in the room. Nate Perkins, a boy whose interruption skills are only rivaled by his lack of graph appreciation.
“Hey dudes,” he blared, “I just got back from longboarding and it was killer!”
“Um, Nate, not that that isn’t interesting and all, but I was just in the middle of showing these guys this graph and…”
“A graph?”
“Yes, a graph. Now you can let me finish, or you can just keeping repeating everything I say in question form.”
“Question form?”
After a brief pause, I begin again. “Anyway, back to my graph. The red line shows the average age of a person’s life throughout history, while the blue line shows our potential average age with medical assistance. In the past, medical help did little to affect how long we live. But I believe that medical technology’s ability to help us live longer has surpassed the rate at which we are aging.”
Several faces looked at me. They all looked confused or disinterested.
“Let me explain,” I continued, “We’re all in our teens, but we all expect to live to at least 70, right?”
They were beginning to catch on. Those who weren’t dosing off, anyway.
“Well, what if by the time we’re 70, the human race’s potential age was up to 90? We’d get to live another twenty years! And then what if twenty years later, our potential age was up to 120? And so on and so on.”
Blank stares.
“Do you know what this means?!” I shouted.
“So how long did you spend making this graph?”
“We could live forever! That’s what it means!” And I went on ranting about the repression of the enlightened geniuses and such.
They walked away after about 2 minutes of my incoherent speech.
Who wants to live forever if it’s with those guys anyway?