Society

How will society cope with people living forever? If society doesn’t survive, then you don’t survive… technology giveth, and technology taketh away!

Lots in the news at the moment about AI and robots taking over our jobs – but if Ian Pearson is right that we’ll soon be able to live comfortably with no pension then maybe we won’t need one? Maybe everybody will be part of a world parliament or an “internet of people” (IOP) – I’m trademarking that one!!

Overpopulation

According to David Wood of London Futurists if death stopped tomorrow it would take a hundred years to double the planet’s population – that does give us a long time to figure out how to solve the overpopulation problem.

Resources

Collapse: How societies choose to fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond

National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies (2017 Edition) – UK Government
Explains the risks of major emergencies that could affect the UK in the next five years and provides resilience advice and guidance.

Latest News

How the rich plan to survive the apocalypse – The Guardian – 24-Jul-2018
Or “The Event” is this group called whatever takes everything down.
How would they pay the guards once money was worthless?
What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader?
The future of technology is just about escape.
A bubble on Mars would be a lifeboat for the elite.
COMMENT: I’ve asked myself some similar questions for a long term plan of a Live Forever Lodge

US birth rates drop to lowest since 1987 – BBC News -17-May-2018
Cultural shift as women delay motherhood.
Births among women in their teens and 20s decreased.
Rate rose in women aged between 40 and 44.
Fertility rate has dropped to 1.76 births per woman.
Declining birth rates are common as countries develop.

World War 3 could be overdue – Metro – 26-Feb-2018
Current period of “peace” may feel remarkable to us but isn’t unusual.
Computer scientist analysed 95 wars in the period 1823 to 2003.
Considered what the world was like before, during, and after a long period of conflict.
It’s been more than 70 years since the last major world war.
To be statistically significant it would need to persist for 100-140 years.
Predicts a civilization-ending conflict between 383 to 11,489 years from now.

Doomsday Clock moved to just 2 mins to ‘apocalypse’ – BBC News – 25-Jan-2018
Doomsday Clock pushed forward by 30 seconds.
Now just two minutes before midnight.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) said the world was becoming “more dangerous”.
Now nearest the apocalypse it has been since 1953.
Weakening of institutions around the world was another major concern.
Last year, the clock was also moved forward by 30 seconds.

Why a drug for aging would challenge Washington – Politico – 13-Dec-2017
What if just one medical treatment could stave off heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s?
First human studies of anti-aging drugs are getting underway.
Aging isn’t considered a disease by the FDA.
Idea is to get a potential drug approved first under more traditional protocols.
The longer they will draw from Social Security and other government benefit programs.
But healthier people will require less medical care in the final years of their lives.
Might backfire by encouraging people to skimp on healthy habits like eating right or exercising.

World’s first floating city to be built by 2020 – Independent – 14-Nov-2017
Seasteading is building autonomous, self-sustaining cities in international waters.
Blue Frontiers pilot project underway in the coastal waters of French Polynesia.
Will be first functioning ‘floating community’ by 2020 with homes for 300 people.
May sell energy and clean water back to its host nation.

Why Eradicating Age-related Diseases is Unlikely to Create Immortal Dictators – LEAF Science – 2-Nov-2017
Interesting analogy by Nicola Bagalà
Would you let a whole population die of disease to kill a dictator?
Death of a tyrants is not granted to put an end to the tyranny.
History teaches us that dictatorships rarely end due to natural death.
Generally other people, in one way or another, make it stop.

UK population to pass 70m in 2029 – BBC News – 26-Oct-2017
According to the Office for National Statistics the UK’s population is set to exceed 70 million in the middle of 2029.
This is two years later than the ONS’s 2014 projection that the UK population would pass the 70m barrier in mid-2027.
The study also says that the numbers of people aged 85 and over with have doubled to from 1.6m in 2016 to 3.2m in 2041.

Societal Benefits of Rejuvenation Biotechnology – LEAF Science – 24-Oct-2017
Nicola Bagalàs thaugts on how biotechnologies would positively impact the whole of humanity and what would happen if rejuvenation biotechnologies to stave off age-related diseases were widely available?
First of all older adults would enjoy more youthful health; people could enjoy the same health as typical young adults irrespective of their actual ages.
Secondly, if rejuvenation biotechnologies gradually made people healthier for longer, then people’s ability to work would be preserved accordingly.

Should We Die? – The Atlantic – 18-Feb-2017
Zoltan Istvan wants to be the one to decide when his life ends.
Goal is one shared by many futurists in Silicon Valley.
Will Earth become a paradise of eternally youthful artists, or a hellish, depleted nursing home?
Author admits her views would change if she could stay sharp and energetic.
This feeling of abundant possibility is one of the chief motivations of the pro-longevity crowd.
Bostrom dismisses the thought that there’s something about impending death that adds meaning or motivation to our days.
COMMENT: there will be more enthusiasm for living forever as people realise it means living indefinitely youthfully

Cheating death – The Economist – 13-Aug-2016
Senescence is coming under scrutiny from doctors and biologists.
Long life will exacerbate existing social and economic problems.
Humanity must avoid the trap fallen into by Tithonus.
Biological understanding is advancing apace. Greater longevity is within reach.

Impacts of Indefinite Life Extension FAQ – IEET – 11-May-2016
Gennady Stolyarov II addresses key questions about the effects of indefinite life extension.
What would be the benefits of life extension?
What drawbacks would life extension pose?
Would governments ban indefinite life extension if it is achieved?
G. Stolyarov II is Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator and Chief Executive of the Nevada Transhumanist Party

If death becomes optional, will only the rich get to live forever? – Fusion – 3-Mar-2016
They will not be old in mind or body, only in years.
Likely to amplify economic inequality.
Those already at the top will be able to keep on accumulating assets throughout their lives.
Perhaps you’ll be able to get loan for the treatment.

Japan population shrinks by one million – BBC News – 26-Feb-2016
0.7% fewer people than 5 years ago.
By 2060 about 40% of its citizens will be sixty-five or older.
COMMENT: It would be good if the global population reduced a bit before we find the cure for aging – that would buy as some time to figure how to to prevent or cope with a population explosion.

Transcending Overpopulation With a Bionic Future – IEET – 18-Feb-2016
The topic of overpopulation is flooded with both hype and misunderstandings.
Newer resources will replace previous ones in both access and efficiency.
Rate of population growth is declining quite dramatically.
COMMENT: will fertility rate drop fast enough if cure for aging is found in the next decade?

Lifespans Are Long Enough? Most disagree – Intelligence Squared U.S. – 3-Feb-2016
What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans?
Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging?
Full video of debate available.
Debating against:
Aubrey de Grey – Chief Science Officer & Co-Founder, SENS Research Foundation
Brian Kennedy – CEO & President, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Debating for:
Ian Ground – Philosopher & Lecturer, University of Newcastle
Paul Root Wolpe – Director, Emory Center for Ethics
Post-debate Poll Results: 40% for, 49% against, 11% undecided

Foreign Office study predicts society will collapse by 2040 – The Independent – 22-Jun-2015
If no actions taken (i.e. the world carries on with business as usual) catastrophic food shortages caused by climate change and other production shocks will generate riots resulting in total breakdown of society.

Will radical life extension be the abortion politics of 2050? – The Week – 1-Jun-2015
Both left and right ring politics may be split on the issue of life extension technology – god versus freedom.

Staying alive: who pays for long life expectancy? – Public Finance – 20-May-2015
By 2030 most men and women can expect to live into their mid-80s.

James Abbott Green candidate – Braintree and Witham Times – 20-Apr-15
What scares me is… breakdown of society due to war/environmental collapse.

Global Risks 2015 Interconnections Map – World Economic Forum – 2015

Citizen wage and why under 35s don’t need pensions – Ian Pearson of Futurizon – 11-Nov-14

 

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