be more precise, our perception of that which can be done.[/nb] is increasing more quickly than the number of things that have been done. However, given an infinite amount of time, we would eventually reach the point in which we will have written every book with every possible genre in every possible way.
I can agree with that so far as it goes, but I have two objections - one mathematical, one practical.
The math one: I agree with what you say talking about books - or, as you say, with respect of any medium or genre or whatever. But we're not talking about just one thing and its permutations - there's all manner of media, all manner of hobbies, all manner of all kinds of stuff, each subject to the multiple combinations.
Now, I accept that "lots of things" x "lots of variations" does NOT equal infinity, no matter how large the "lots" in each parameter may be......but I was presuming that we were putting a maximum boundary on the universe? That - one day - there will be no universe for me to exist in? In other words, that we were bounding "immortality" as tied to the lifespan of the universe, not immortality=infinite existence (and I said already, no fun living past the end of everything anyway!)
Point being, lots of stuff, lots of ways, assuming continued people to produce it, will keep me entertained forever. After all, once I've read the book and seen the movie, I can then look forward to the holographic version, then the implant version, the VR version, the 4D sensorama version.....and who knows what yet to come? All, essentially, the same plot, but enjoyable again in the different version. (e.g LOTR - the books, the Bakti (sp?) version, the Jackson versions - long and short,......and who knows what the VR version will be like in 2147? I'll still expect Boromir to die, but I'll enjoy seeing it again in a different way.
Which brings me on to the second point, which may be where our difference really lies?
I know there are some people who can't bear to do the same thing again, no matter how much they enjoyed it first time round. But that's not me, not by a long way. I've read "The Stand" about 6 times now, and seen the TV series 3 or 4 times. And I know full well I will do both again. Read LOTR at least 10 times, seen the films 4 or 5 times. Every Pratchett book I've read at least twice, up to 7 or 8 times for the older ones. Ditto my Stephen Kings, my George R.R. Martins, my Dilbert books, Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County (I'g going along my shelves
), Asterix (a dozen or more times), Dr.Doolittle, Fritz Leiber, Robert Heinlein, Tove Jansson, Narnia, Oz, Pern, Charlie Brown & Snoopy, Sharpe, the Stainless Steel Rat....then DVDs of Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, The Prisoner, The Mighty Boosh, A Very Peculiar Practice......
I'll stop now because you get the idea. But each thing above I have read/watched several times, and I know I will happily do so for each of them many many more times. And I'm equally sure that I will only be adding to that "happy-repeat" list as time goes on, not just because more stuff will be coming out, but because there's a lots of stuff I already KNOW I want to add to it, but haven't yet through lack of cash or space: This Is Jinsy I know will get more watchings. "God? No!" will get read over and over.
And that's just books and DVDs. I've played Warhammer over and over. Starship Troopers. Ankh-Morpork. Caylus Magna Carta. God's Playground. Munchkins. Maori. And more.....and that's just the "physical" games. On the PC, I've been playing X-Com (Ufo: Enemy Unknown) for decades. Ditto Lords of Midnight. Umpteen game on Yucata.de (I'm Anfauglir there too!). Cosmic Encounter Online (ditto!). Grand Prix 3, Elite, Total War, Wii Sports......and again I could go on and on and on.
Already, I have enough OLD stuff that I love and enjoy, that would take a couple years to cycle through even if I didn't do ANYTHING new. And at the end of that cycle I'd be thinking "hmmm, time to start over again at the beginning". And I honestly, honestly can't see that stopping - especially if with the time and resources I could get that cycling up to (say) ten years between repeats? Could I enjoy re-reading "Reaper Man" again every ten years forever? You bet I could - its been read half a dozen times already, I haven't read it just for a couple years, and already my memory of the details is hazy, certainly the actual language and sequence of events. And I honestly don't believe that reading it every ten years or so, that I would reach the stage where I remembered it word for word, not even after ten thousand readings.....certainly not if it were only 1 book in a ten (or twenty, or more) -year cycle of the things I love.
And, like I say, that's without all the new stuff coming out. I could happily live forever with what I already have - almost 1400 books (blimey!
) for starters.
But I appreciate that's not for everybody. But seriously - I could deal quite happily with immortality, at least so far as there is stuff around that I love.