The Internet Death Clock says that I’ll die on 30 August 2038, 30 years from this summer (it doesn’t take into account the longer average life span in Canada). That’s good news, because now I don’t have to worry about running through my preflight checklists, flying VFR into IMC, going up in severe icing, running out of fuel over the mountains, etc. — after checking the death clock, I feel a lot more confident about my flying from now until July 2038.
On the outside chance that the clock is wrong, though, I’ve made sure that everyone in my family knows how I’d most like to be remembered: not by a roadside shrine, concert, memorial web site, or grove of trees, but by organ donations.
I can’t think of a better memorial than having part of me help someone else live. My driver’s license says that I’m a donor, and I probably appear in some government databases, but all that is meaningless if my family doesn’t know and agree — few hospitals will harvest organs if the grieving family objects.
So check the clock yourself (who knows — you might already be dead), then make sure that the people you love know how important it is to you that your organs go to help someone else when you don’t need them any more.
Besides, your donations help keep medevac pilots employed rushing organs from city to city, and they need the money.
While I am a regular blood donor, I still have problems with the idea of my body being possibly “harvested” for organs at a time when there might still be a small ‘chance’-I mean there were cases of people who awake out of coma after decades, people whose organs would have normally been donated, yet in this context, I find it personally interesting to note that there’s now some research about a concept called “celluar memory” based on repeated perceptions that SOMETIMES the personalities of organ recipient’s changed in inexplicable ways some time after a donation, often seemingly resembling genuine personality traits and sometimes even complex skills (i.e. artistic or technical) that the original donor possessed, and this often in cases where the recipient never even had any sort of interest or previous experience in the corresponding field, all this without having known the donor or its family before.
There are even reported cases of people who pretty much “suddenly” developed skills to play the piano, or who became extremely adept and competent in other fields that would normally require lots of intense training or experience (i.e. playing chess or programming computers).
This in particular has been observed with several heart transplants, thus it is now examined whether there’s some more in-depth neurological connection between the brain and the heart, so that some neurons in the heart may store sort of an ‘echo’ in this neural tissue.
From a hardware/software POV, I do find this idea very appealing – as it could indicate that there might be a way to “share” (or at least pass over) knowledge to others, without any formal learning required.
In fact, if properly and fully researched it might one day even become possible to copy neural patterns from one ‘storage’ to another ‘storage’.
In some animals, this concept of neural memory is apparently already genetically pre-programmed, so that they’re born with a certain minimum set of knowledge and reaction patterns, which as a programmer we might simply call a BIOS or firmware 😉
From that angle, it might actually seem pretty appealing to be able to upgrade our own firmware, and possibly even pass -components of- our own firmware to others, once we no longer need it.
I certainly do like the idea of my knowledge and experiences being archived/recycled, re-used again.
And probably this going to be even more the case, once we get older.
Sorry for the rather philosophical, non-aviation take on things, still I appreciate your final note regarding medevac pilot employment 😉
All the best,