Your Immortality Application – The New Yorker

Posted: October 24, 2019 at 10:43 am

We regret to inform you that your petition to not die has been denied.

We had a tremendous number of applicants this year, more than five hundred million, as awareness of our services, once considered a hoax, spread across unedited social-media platforms.

We assure you that we reviewed your application thoroughly. We remind you that omission of any material was cause for rejection, and you wrote N/A on the areas marked heirs, life-insurance policy, and number of times youve used the expression I could just die. However, we conducted our review with the information available.

According to your Statement of Eternal Purpose, you have an idea for an app that decodes dreams and then recommends charities based on those dreams; you fact-check people who post misleading information on Twitter about your favorite TV shows; and you plan to adopt a dog from a rescue shelter. These attributes, while encouraging, describe more than ninety per cent of our applicants, many of whom are children.

A few judges were initially persuaded by your argument that your parents told you that your death was so far away it would practically never happen, and therefore it would be unfair if you actually had to die. However, we ultimately concluded that if we granted you immortality on these terms we would have to spare everyone whose parents told them this, which would create an insurmountable logistical and metaphysical problem for our systems.

We are pleased that your yoga practice has helped you recognize the light in all beings, and that you dont even feel weird about having the loudest ujjayi breathing in the class. But your story about meditating for thirty minutes did raise some questions among our panel about your ability to handle an eternity of the mind.

The judges were unclear whether you have a fatal illness or another imminent threat to your life. A few members of our panel argued that your answer to the adversity questionBody pains that could be cancerwas the reason for your petition, but others pointed out that the doctors report you submitted indicated that you are in excellent health.

Which made us wonder whether your impetus for submitting this application was simply your realization that you would one day die. And, Madam, we must admit, this gross lack of understanding, only recently corrected, did not recommend you to our judges as a candidate for eternal life.

In terms of a future resubmission, we suggest that you take another look at your references. The descriptions your boss provided of the skills youve acquired and the projects youve managed at the media company where you work were impressive, but they offered our judges little insight into how you would perform when faced with the burden of infinity. The rest of your references appear to be recommendations for college written by high-school teachers.

Madam, we caution you: immortality is not for everyone. If you have a cowlick, you will have a cowlick for all time. You will have to forgo any plans to haunt anyone. You will have to forgo fantasies about your own epic funeral.

We hope that you understand how incredibly selective this process is. We wish it could be different. We wish all human beings could be afforded the giftor, some might say, the cursethat we provide. Every day, were working to bring you new solutions. But, at the moment, our immortality options are limited to cryogenic freezing, vampirism, and really, really good gut bacteria.

We know this news must be devastating. We appreciated the opportunity to read your application, including the supplemental childhood drawings you submitted of yourself beside a bearded figure with a wizard hat labelled GOD. Its always disappointing to hear that your entire existence, your body, soul, and consciousness, will rot into the soil of a temporary earth and disappear into vast nothingness. We encourage you to reapply, reminding you that we accept application fees on a rolling basis.

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Your Immortality Application - The New Yorker

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