The Death Divining Device

There is some interesting news today and long overdue, particularly if you are a science fiction reader.  For the measly sum of 400 pounds (a thousand cedi) you can undergo a simple test that gives you an indication of how much longer you are going to grumble and stumble your way across the planet!  Apparently chromosomes have little dangly bits which erode over time.  By checking the rate of wear a calculation will tell you how much life you have left in your carcass.  Though, as yet, the dangly bits cannot be lengthened, it is believed that their rate of decrease can be slowed by not harbouring the usual suspects of booze and fags, fast food and couch potato inertia.
This could change society as we know it, Captain.  Insurance companies could insist on the test before taking you on as a client, businesses may wish to see how long you can be reasonably seen to be employable, future wives and husbands might want to see if you are all flash and no stamina and you, yourself may wish to have conclusive proof that you should change your ways or get some living in before the great day.
Our western societies run on a strange premise and that is that you don’t know when you are going to die.  This ignorance insulates you from having truly to explore your natures with that concentration that comes at the prospect of your hanging.  Your relationships with near and dear as well as those you just about put up with would change dramatically as the dangly bits are seen to have all but disappeared.  The youthful, irresistible force of a personal belief in immortality which lasts well into middle age for most of us, will weaken until you are faced with the bare facts of the end being nigh.
Will you be more caring and empathetic to others, eschewing war and territorialism or will you become greedier for pleasure and riches and develop little instinct to love your neighbour?
The choice is yours – for 400 pounds.


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