If you are under-40 today and if you are healthy and relatively wealthy, there is a good chance of living past 140.
Maybe even living past 340. that’s a long time. Technology is going to change our lives.
In general, this is a very good thing. One of the biggest miseries about life is death. Death sucks. And if we can prevent it, or postpone it, all the better.
But people getting older will likely have a few unpleasant consequences that we, as a society, are going to have to think about.
how will aging of our decision-makers change our society? Imagine Rupert Murdoch living for another 500 years. He certainly has the money to do it once the technology arrives. In the past, leadership succession in business has yielded new opportunities and innovation. In general, change is good. But imagine a world where the media titans of today are still the media titans of 50 years from now.
Or think about policy making. Older people resist change more than younger. Their views are sometimes less elastic. imagine when George P Bush becomes president in 2033 and he names Don Rumsfeld as his Sec of Defense again … here we’ll see Rumsfeld as Sec of Defense three different times over a period of 60 years.
ok .. i know … far-fetched … but an instructive example to think about how society will be changing in the next few decades …
I like to think that age isn’t the only determinant of mental agility.
I know seniors who know their stuff.
I know young people who seem like they’re already crotchety old men.
True, getting older tends to make you stodgy, but it doesn’t have to!
I don’t think “death sucks” (that’s rather simplistic) — it’s the way we grow old and die that sucks. The fact that the elderly are not valued in our society (often left to wither away in convalescent homes) and that many people will not be able to afford proper health insurance is what sucks. If I had to live to be 150 but couldn’t live lucidly, healthily, and with dignity, then what’s the point?
Hmmm – are you reading the Singularity or hanging out at kurzweilai.net?