There has always been talk about extending human life. In my lifetime I’ve seen the mortality rates fall and the average life expectancy increase significantly for the developed countries. Now I see literature discussing the possibility of increasing even further so that living to 100 will not be the exception, but the expectation. I wonder the cost if we were to achieve this for the few who could afford the path to this longevity?
We already see the impact of disparity in wealth, the economic costs of health care, and the increasing the dependency on the state. We don’t talk much about the magnitude of impact on the global climate of having 7+ billion humans hanging around. Instead we blame the problems on hydrocarbon based fuels, and now our politicians come together to find ways to make life more expensive as they push agendas that will make the few very rich at the expense of the many.
As the population swells in the lessor developed countries, and diminishes in the industrial states, I suspect the problems we see in America will serve as a model for the issues on a global scale. Will there remain an expectation the richest nations pay the poorer nations to help balance the books? But I digress!
So back to my original question, will this increased life expectancy make the world a better place, or even make our individual lives better? For at the end of the day, no matter how long we live, immortality is achieved not by how long our lives, but how full in terms of impacts on others. Those who’ve made a difference, either good or bad, have found the only kind of immortality we humans can understand.