As a lifelong strength athlete, I have toiled in filthy gyms and basements to maintain my own physical condition. I would like to say that remaining “natural” or practising intense physical discipline offers some intrinsic reward. Unfortunately, it does not; it is a hard-to-follow path made more tortuous in my case by my stubborn unwillingness to take any effective shortcuts (even though the stem cell injections I received worked like a charm). But a resistance to emptying my wallet, and an aversion to some of the side effects from these drugs — cancerous tumours in the case of Ozempic — has hindered my route to body optimisation.
I think Bateman is far too pessimistic about our supposed future of rich Eloi taking advantage of gene splicing and anti-aging technologies to live utopian lives while we Morlocks live, suffer, and die like any other farm animal. Today’s rich people live lives of luxury that would have been unimaginable to even medieval royalty. Are they any happier, more well-adjusted, less prone to stupid decision-making? Of course not. Why is it going to be any different next time? Isn’t this just the photo negative of naive optimism, the idea that more money and technology will “solve” the human condition? I guess you could say I have faith in unintended consequences. Whatever we expect to happen once genetic editing becomes the norm, I suspect that the biggest impact will come from variables we haven’t yet considered. To me, the intrinsic reward of refusing to take shortcuts is the knowledge that those who take them rarely end up precisely at their intended destination.