229 Essays on Infinite Lifespans   Shannon Vyff gions.  What  other  people  believe,  their  histories  and  how their cultures (and even our own) are affected today by their religions. In class they also learn about community service, about  self-esteem  and  how  caring  committed  people  have affected  change.  I  see  my  children  struggling  to  balance their emerging ideals with what is ‘cool’ as seen in our popu- lar media culture versus what their own hearts tell them. It can be overwhelming for anyone young or old to hear of all the wrongs to be righted. To my children I like to mention that if the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history were represented as 24 hours, the 2000 years of written history would be a mere second or two, and in that brief time we humans have been on an increased path of happiness and wisdom. In all these wonderful, almost daily, deep, philosophical dis- cussions I get into with various people and my own children about the nature of this universe, I mainly try to instill hope. I think the ripples I create might spread. It’s not just about proselytizing  (although  I’d  love  all  to  join  the  immortalist cause). It is about the little sound bites I give people (like the eye-opening things you will no doubt read in this book) such as neural chip implants for rats, photographic memory for fruit flies, and cat brains that have been frozen and then brought back to normal looking electrical activity – things we have actually been able to do. I like to think these sound bites will come out elsewhere in other people’s conversations, and they may be inspired to learn more. In this process of becom- ing more curious and aware, they internalize how they can affect change. When younger people today (and older people who have already  accumulated  more  wealth  and  power)  think  about such things as being aware of how research money is spent and their own taxpayer money is used, they can vote in to office the people who will spend it most effectively for them. I am thankful that the Immortality Institute has been created