Two future scenarios that I have tracked are healthy life extension and radical life extension. To extend our heathy lives is to ensure that we not only live longer, but we do so in a healthy and productive way. The implications of healthy life extension are wide reaching. When combined with several other societal shifts, we find ourselves moving from a four-segment life cycle to a five-segment life cycle.
Radical life extension has something else in mind: reversing the aging process. Cellular reprogramming is the approach pursued by Calico Labs, a longevity company announced in 2013 by Google co-founder, Larry Page. Cellular reprogramming enables the reversing of aging and the pursuit of immortality.
Given our past record and our current values, humanity’s next targets are likely to be immortality, happiness and divinity. We will now aim to overcome old age and even death itself
Yuval Noah Harari — Homo Deus
Living longer lives is not stuff of science fiction, as global life expectancy has been on a continual rise since the 1970s. Living longer, healthier lives seem within reach, as breakthroughs are happening every day and promise to accelerate. The notion of overcoming death on the other hand is sure to raise a few eyebrows. However, they wouldn’t be future scenarios if they were not dripping in uncertainty. What if the opposite happened? What if our life expectancy begins to drop? That’s exactly what has happened globally.
The global life expectancy has dropped for two straight years. This is the first time that’s happened since the 1950s. And to make it even more dire, global life expectancy has been on a continual rise since the 1970s, without a single year of a drop in that time.
Tim Newcomb — The Global Life Expectancy Keeps Dropping. This Is Now a ‘Mega Event.’
That quote from a recent article describes how additional diseases and illnesses could keep the trend on the downward slide. Factor in the anticipation of more frequent extreme events and we can see how this could become a trend. A great reminder of how difficult it is to understand the ultimate path of these scenarios.