Before we get too far into an entire issue about how science and technology are extending, optimizing, and disrupting every stage of human life, let’s get the bad news out of the way: Despite the efforts of humanity’s greatest minds, we’ve yet to find a way of perpetuating physical vitality or individual consciousness indefinitely. As of this writing, it appears that each of us, sooner or later, will die.
It’s the sooner or later, though—the stuff between conception and death—that is a moving target. We’re continuously adapting to technology as technology is adapting to us. Geneticists and biotechnologists are reengineering our bodies. Ubiquitous screens, apps, VR devices, and social media are transforming how we experience the world. We are a species rewritten, so it’s time for us to chronicle how that’s playing out for each generation.
Here you’ll find miracle babies, Ethereum-mining teens, idealistic cyber-soldiers, middle-aged gamers, and swipe-happy seniors. You’ll find scientists, surgeons, and innovators who are creating body-enhancing (and mind-altering) technologies. And you’ll find people making unprecedented choices, showing what it means to live in an age of improvisation.