Increased longevity will bring profound social change (Financial Times)

In the UK in 1965, the most common age of death was in the first year of life. Today the most common age to die is 87 years old. This startling statistic comes from a remarkable new book, The Longevity Imperative, by Andrew Scott of the London Business School. He notes, too, that a newborn girl in Japan has a 96 per cent chance of making it to 60, while Japanese women have a life expectancy of nearly 88. Japan is exceptional. But we are living longer everywhere: global life expectancy is now 76 for women and 71 for men (clearly, the weaker sex). This new world has been created by the collapse in death rates of the young. Back in 1841, 35 per cent of male children were dead before they reached 20 in the UK and 77 per cent did not survive to 70. By 2020, these figures had fallen to 0.7 and 21 per cent, respectively. We have largely defeated the causes of early death, by means of cleaner food and water, vaccination and antibiotics. I remember when polio was a great threat. It is almost entirely gone, as is the once vastly greater peril of smallpox. This is humanity’s greatest achievement. Yet our main reaction is to fret over the costs of an “ageing” society.

Yes, the new world we live in creates challenges. But the crucial point Scott makes is that it also creates opportunities. We need to rethink old age, as individuals and societies.

we will have to reorganise education, work, pensions, welfare states and health systems. People will no longer, for example, go to university or receive training only as young adults. This will be a lifetime activity. Again, mandatory or standard retirement ages will be senseless. People must be given options to work and not to do so at various stages of their lives. Just raising retirement ages all round is both inefficient and inequitable since life expectancy is so unevenly distributed.

Read the full story: Increased longevity will bring profound social change - People will have to work longer and pension systems will need to be transformed (Financial Times)


And, related:


In the US, since we are already on the verge of pension and social security collapse, people living longer will put a huge strain on a broken system.


Absolutely - when these systems went into place, people were only living a few years on social supports before death on average, and a smaller % of the population who had paid in made it to the initial benefit age of 65 years.

Bottom line, is that politicians don’t have the stomach to do what needs to be done, but the age of retirement with the expectation of a public payment will have to be indexed to having limited average life expectancy on average thereafter. A change like this would also have to account for a good % of individuals meeting criteria for disability in any newly established higher age of retirement where there is a payment made under SS.

So long as they adjust this the year after I turn 72 … I’m all on board for it!


In the uk the state pension age has been going up for some time.

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When I graduated from high school there were only 3.5B people on the planet. Now, we’re pushing 8B. I’ve seen and ponder the social and technological changes and feel more apprehension than hope for the future of humanity and our fellow creatures. But, what do I know, I’m neither Nostradamus or Bill Gates. :upside_down_face:

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At our peak, humanity will have less than 10 billion people at the same time unless strong and easily available longevity technologies happen in the next decades. And we’re already making realistic plans about creating colonies on the moon, Mars and Venus.


I dont think thats true about venus.

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The upper atmosphere is very hospitable to humans, given plenty of sunlight, atmospheric pressure and gravity.

Who is making realistic plans about colonising venus?




Yes - but it seems reasonably likely that global population will plateau soon and perhaps go down, which has to be a good thing for the earth… and soon Elon Musk and his rapidly growing number of children will be on Mars and and that should lower the burden on the planet :wink:

Source: The World of Population Projections - Population Matters


Fertility rate is going to plummet.


Yes - most guys in the Silicon Valley will no longer need girlfriends (not that they ever got them anyway :wink:

Full NYT article: A.I.’s ‘Her’ Era Has Arrived


Sometimes you have to wonder if its a good idea that a doomsday prepper is running the top AI company… things that make you go “hmmm…”

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This is actually going to useful though for research with an AI companion that accept voice as an input to search in documents, create summaries, while you are searching stuff on the web. Basically a peer researcher next to you. Now they have multimodality in place, just need to increase the intelligence up a few notches and improve latency.

I’ll probably only have an AI companion if it’s a local LLM, though. I guess I could make an exception if they only know about Rapamycin, SGLT2 inhibitors, etc.

Zuck also has built a bunker in Hawaii with his $100 M project, and Meta has been betting, and is betting a lot on AI.

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I would not describe that as a plan let alone a realistic plan. They describe it as a concept and the issue of sulphuric acid clouds remains.

Venus will only be for women. Men will go to Mars.


Good for the Earth, but not so good for funding social programs.

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By and large:

Today we humans

  1. Cost society/the economy resources roughly half of our life - at the beginning and end

  2. Add net resources to society/the economy during the middle part of our lives

This simplification shows that if people’s healthspan goes up by even just small amounts as long as they use roughly half of that extra time in health to work or otherwise be productive (a grand parent playing a big role in grand child’s care, etc) that helps solve financial and economic problems for societies in a big way

For simplicity, Today:

  • Womb to end of school roughly 20 years
  • Work for approx 40 years
  • Retire through death roughly 20 years, of which last 10 years are sick

Longevity of 4 years extra and healthspan extension of 8 years where half of the 8 years are worked, for:

  • Womb to end of school roughly 20 years (same)
  • Work for approx 44 years
  • Retire through death roughly 20 years (same), of which last 6 years are sick

We have now increased the productive output of people by 10%, while at the same time, the cost duration to society has not changed, and in fact the time people cost society the most when sick at end of life has been reduced by 40% and the retirement time now has 14 healthy years instead of just 10 even if people stop working 4 years later.

Here is a more thorough economic analysis

We show that a slowdown in aging that increases life expectancy by 1 year is worth US$38 trillion, and by 10 years, US$367 trillion. Ultimately, the more progress that is made in improving how we age, the greater the value of further improvements.

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