G. A. E.

Immortality 101

Fairy tale immortality, whereby you drink an elixir and there, you’re indestructible, is a fool’s errand. It comes from a simplistic and sometimes anthropomorphic view of death: picturing it as a man who takes souls, who you can somehow evade and thus live forever, or as the lack of a vital force that can be taken or replenished. Death is not a specific thing, it’s the cessation of life, whichever way it happens, and so there are more ways to be dead than there are ways to be alive. It’s a consequence of the laws of thermodynamics: a system has more ways to be disorganized than ways to be organized. The amount of disorganization or chaos within a system is directly correlated with a physical quantity called entropy. Low entropy means high level of organization, whereas high entropy means the opposite.

And so maintaining yourself alive is about keeping disorder from creeping up into your...

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