Woody Allen can be relied on to reflect the concerns of many of us when it comes to death. He also said "I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying."
According to claims made by American scientist Raymond_Kurzweil, 73-year old Mr Allen may yet just about get his wish. Writing in The Sun today, Mr Kurzweil (who, it should be noted, has a book to flog) suggests that the pace of developments in nanotechnology could mean man becoming immortal within 20 years.
This raises all kinds of intriguing questions – medical, philosophical and otherwise. On the face of it, you’d have to see this as a good news story – no more deaths from cancer or heart disease or whatever. But there are downsides. As Bryony Gordon writes in today’s Telegraph, "I’m not convinced that I want to live forever. After all, how do you feel alive when you know that you’re never going to die?"
And goodness only knows how Mr Kurzweil’s prediction will impact on the pensions and insurance industries. Actuaries, pension managers and insurance providers have struggled with the implications of life expectancy increasing at the rate of two years every decade in the UK, let alone the concept of death becoming obsolete. What happens to everyone in the pensions and insurance industries if no-one dies? I suppose at least we’ll all have plenty of time to re-train.