Forecast Friday: Unintended Consequences of the Fountain of Youth

What are the consequences of medications to prolong our “youthfulness”?

Testosterone replacement. Viagra. Yeah, I know about the “see a doctor if you have an __ lasting longer than four hours – I’m talking about something more long-term, here.

I’m not a KEEP THINGS THE WAY GOD INTENDED luddite. What I’m talking about is understanding there is no free lunch. Or for each and every action, there is an opposite reaction. Unintended, and sometimes undesirable – consequences.

Why is it that medications have side-effects? It’s because we don’t truly understand all the workings of the human body (or the chemicals involved), and so while trying to tweak one characteristic, we mess with multiple points of balance.

In truth, everything is a side-effect of something else – we live in a perpetual Butterfly effect. Our design can make this less random, but turkeying with it adds possible complications that we can’t know.

Is the idea of immortality an illusion? Our bodies are designed (either through intelligence or evolution) to break down as we get older. Human beings are very similar to each other, but we are also separate, unique organisms, that have learned to be internally in balance in our own ways. Women go through more sudden and obvious transitions than men, and yet the chemical rebalances happen. Hormone levels are adjusted, growth slowed, etc., and you can’t just monkey with the process indiscriminantly. As with OSC’s character Bean, who suffers through uninhibited growth to giant proportions at which his body can no longer support itself.

Everything has tradeoffs.

If we start fiddling with our genes the same way, tweaking them like we administer medications and hormones, we have a greater chance of unanticipated side-effects.

Unintended consequences.

If we can whip aging (or parts of it), will perpetual youth keep us from developing the wisdom that our grandchildren need? Or prevent those grandchildren from valuing their own youth?

How many more unknowable changes will our tinkering result in as unintended side-effects? What will we become?

Just saying…


Since the fourth Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire story (“Baastards’ Revenge”) will be releasing on July 28th, now would be a good time to encourage all of you to read the first three stories, all conveniently collected in Cats of War I. So I’m offering a Smashwords coupon to cut the price to just 99-cents for the collection (such a deal!)

Here’s the link on Smashwords:

Use coupon code WF25Z


VictimlessCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Victimless”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s