1000 Years Old (2) — Eight Ways Longer Lives Will Change Us


My last post on Human Longevity touched on the prospects of a scientific breakthrough in the area of human longevity. It was based on a lecture by Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist and chief science officer of the SENS Foundation, which I heard in San Francisco last December.

Embedded in an article about Human Longevity written by Aubrey de Grey, The Futurist magazine includes a summary of 100 Plus by Sonia Arrison, Pacific Research Institute senior fellow and a founder of Singularity University, called 8 Ways Longer Lives Will Change Us. I’ve included the list below.

The first list called “Short Version” is for those of you in a hurry. Underneath that I’ve included the “Long Version” which contains the complete list with the commentary from The Futurist. See if you agree with how life will change and chime in with your ideas.

Short Version
In her new book 100 Plus, Sonia Arrison, Pacific Research Institute senior fellow and a founder of Singularity University, asserts not only that a new era of ultra-long life and health is coming, but also that it will bring more choices, more opportunities, and more wisdom to apply to society’s challenges. Human longevity will effect these profound changes in everyday life:

1. People will be more personally invested in the planet’s health.
2. Divorce rates will decline.
3. Parents will be older and wiser.
4. You’ll never be too old to keep working—or learning.
5. You’ll have time to pursue more dreams.
6. More time is more money.
7. There will be more chances to enjoy the good things in life.
8. Healthy competition will heighten among the world’s religious faiths.

What Do You Think?

LONG VERSION(from The Futurist Magazine)

1. People will be more personally invested in the planet’s health. It can be hard to motivate people to action on climate change or resource depletion when the impacts will most likely hit hardest decades from now. “It’s the next generation’s problem,” some might say. We may think otherwise if we expect to be around when the years of reckoning come. The threats will personally matter to us, and we will act in the present to avert them.

2. Divorce rates will decline. Statistically, couples who marry young are more likely to divorce. So are couples who have completed fewer-than-average years of formal education. As people live longer, they will probably pursue more education and marry much later. Chances are better that, when they do marry, they will stay married.

3. Parents will be older and wiser. Adults will have children at later and later ages. Such advanced ages could turn out to be the best years for childrearing: The parents will be more financially stable, more self-confident, more patient, and have many more years’ worth of life experience to impart to their children.

4. You’ll never be too old to keep working—or learning. Fewer people will spend their “senior” years in retirement. They will keep working and advancing their careers toward the ends of their lives. Ergo, they will also keep learning. Educational systems will adjust to become ever more personalized to best serve each of the millions of adults who continually enroll in their training programs.

5. You’ll have time to pursue more dreams. People won’t have to settle on a single career path for their lives. They’ll have time to spend a few decades pursuing one line of work and a few decades embarking on a completely different one.

6. More time is more money. Savings and investment accounts accrue progressively more interest as time passes. So if we live longer, our retirement accounts will reward us for it—we’ll each enter our later years with many more years’ worth of compound interest at our disposal.

7. There will be more chances to enjoy the good things in life. There is no need to spend all those extra years of healthy life working and studying. You’ll have the time and money to fit in more vacations and new hobbies, as well. Meanwhile, with the boosts to your health that life-extension therapies will have given you throughout your life, you’ll have far fewer medical bills to worry about.

8. Healthy competition will heighten among the world’s religious faiths. People living longer and attaining more education will be more prone to question their existing faith affiliations and to switch to new faith communities if they deem the new ones suit them better. The onus will be on every religious denomination to be as welcoming and responsive as possible and to do its utmost to meet congregants’ personal and spiritual needs.—Rick Docksai

(Source: 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith by Sonia Arrison. Basic. 2011. 251 pages. $25.99.)

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have other ideas? My next article on Human Longevity will include my commentary on these 8 Ways Longer Lives Will Change Us.

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