The Implications of Decommissioning Aging - Essay
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
A Short Meditation On The Benefits Of Long-Lived Societies by Jed Lye
The most basic and obvious goal of humanity has been a forest hiding amongst the trees in the collective consciousness of the majority. I’m talking about survival – of the organism; not just the species.
Human life extension continues to be a concept which many have trouble dealing with, certainly in any kind of conceptual volume beyond "a little more than they already have". Yet for some, it has been an inescapable and overwhelming pre-occupation of desire. “To stay the F*** alive.” Not really that much of an absurdity when you say it like that.
Indeed, this has been the case, even since the dawn of the written word, evidenced by the Epic of Gilgamesh — the oldest written work ever discovered, which details one man's quest for immortality.
The ‘I’ word is a bit of a taboo in longevity fields; it conjures up all kinds of negative connotations. Moreover, it’s ultimately not what longevity advocates are aiming for, and this has to be cleared up. We’re talking about medicine that stops us from growing old. In the last decade, after taking a close look at all the evidence available, the greatest minds and most powerful people in the world have come to the inescapable conclusion; we are not that far away from stopping aging as a person.
Whilst this type of statement causes the majority of people, who naturally are terrified of anything this obscure, to start shrieking like harpies about any one of a number of ill-conceived objections, it’s happening. If you’re in disbelief at this stage, you can Google some terms and see that everyone from Bezos, "the Zuck", Musk, Kurzweil, and Thiel, to Google’s sister company Calico, are all set about racing to get there.
You see, for much of history, whilst the tech was so far away from maturity, it has been irresponsible and absurd to spend time chasing after this pipe-dream. But now, as we stand on the precipice of the greatest feat of science and engineering ever to be conceived, it becomes irresponsible not to.
Simply put: the faster it happens, the more of our treasured loved ones we can save.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to skip right past the technology and science, and dive right into social implications. Unfortunately, as with many technological advances, the perception of this idea, or of the people who desire it, has been a negative one, with flavors of narcissism, megalomania, or worse: fanaticism. But again, as with so many technological advances, the reality will manifest regardless of these perceptions, and in all likelihood, be rather less exciting.
Now, that is not to say that staying alive isn’t exciting, or indeed, very exciting. But it will fall short of the marvelous depictions through the realms of cinema and books, which present the entire world in states of dystopia or utopia. The world will not overpopu