This month's Scientific American has an article on a new process for rejuvenating cells ("Your Inner Healers" by Konnad Hochedlinger). Technically, a simple cocktail of genes has been discovered that can reprogram an adult cell to have the pluripotency of embryonic cells. These cells have a healing ability unknown to the adult body, like "a Fountain of Youth to escape the consequences of aging and disease."
It seems likely that within our lifetime, we (or at least those who can pay) will have full access to this power of rejuvenation. Which brings me to my question. Suppose by a simple process you could reverse aging, as much as you want. Your new stem cells would find the most worn-out of your adult cells, and replace them with shiny new ones. As a consequence, however, you would lose an equal part of the experience stored throughout your body, in a kind of fading away. You could become 20 years old again, but you would not be a sixty-year-old in a 20-year-old body. You would be a twenty-year-old, emotionally and intellectually, with vague remembrances of the 20th century.
Would you do it? How many years, and how many times? Would you live forever, eternally young and eternally forgetful?
Also, Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (author of Dykes to Watch Out For) is phenomenal. Intertwining threads of family and sexuality, lost in a forest of literary exploration, return again and again on ever deeper levels. Alison's history unfolds in a gorgeous water-color, multimedia, cinematic way that only sequential art is capable of. I want to be every character in that book.