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View Full Version : If human life span could be extended to 200 years, would that still be too short?



potoole
2012-Jul-31, 12:15 AM
Would 200 years still not be long enough? 1000 years, or longer? Could the human mind withstand such a lengthy period of conciousness without going totally, irrevocably, completely insane?
In the end, people would still have to face death.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 12:33 AM
Would 200 years still not be long enough? 1000 years, or longer?
Any number you could name would be too short for me. I hate the idea of dying. If my age was set at "indefinite" at least death would merely be a probability instead of an inevitability.

Could the human mind withstand such a lengthy period of conciousness without going totally, irrevocably, completely insane?
By 200 years from now, if not sooner, there would probably be technology to deal with excess memory storage and possibly copying or expanding consciousness.

In the end, people would still have to face death.
I'd like to put that off for as long as possible.

Nick Theodorakis
2012-Jul-31, 01:18 AM
If your life span was "indefinite" (or heck, let's just say 10,000 years), how would that change your life style? Would you never get in a car, for example, because the relative risk of death would be too high?

Nick

Charlie in Dayton
2012-Jul-31, 01:20 AM
The closer you are to your 'plant-by' date, the shorter your perception of elapsed time is. Doesn't matter if it's a minute or a millenium...

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 01:20 AM
If your life span was "indefinite" (or heck, let's just say 10,000 years), how would that change your life style? Would you never get in a car, for example, because the relative risk of death would be too high?

Nick

I'm not sure, I'd have to experience it to know what my reactions would be. But I'm pretty sure cars (and a lot of other things) would be made safer in a post-aging society. People would have more to lose, and those who were less safety-minded would eventually be removed from the population by their own actions.

swampyankee
2012-Jul-31, 02:17 AM
Heck, it would just give people more time to have their age used against them.

WaxRubiks
2012-Jul-31, 03:27 AM
yes, if be don't annihilate the planet we should develop the technology where our bodies, brains, and thought processes are migrated to a more permanent system, not up-loading, but migration, where every cell, or maybe just things like nerves etc is migrated to an alternative, and the old system dissolved....so we can carry on living perhaps in the matrix, or in artificial bodies. Then all we have to worry about eventually is the heat death of the Universe.


The system that people would be migrated to would have to be an analogue system, not digital, I think. I think conciousness needs some process that can mimic the processes we have now, and I don't think a digital computer could do that.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 03:44 AM
I think it'll be achieved by a combination of processes-- first by altering and improving our existing bodies, then perhaps replacing them with more durable selves bit by bit, possibly even cell by cell.

I know that as I get older, I become more and more interested in practical life-prolonging methods available today; exercise, healthy diet, good habits, etc. Hopefully with this I'll be able to live long enough to benefit from future longevity developments.

WaxRubiks
2012-Jul-31, 04:10 AM
yea, that seems right; a gradual migration to a new technology, while people are still walking about.

WaxRubiks
2012-Jul-31, 04:15 AM
As to the OP, I think extended lifetimes might well be problematic for people's mental health. Not just on individuals, but in the society(if any) they live in, which would feed back to the individual.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 04:28 AM
As to the OP, I think extended lifetimes might well be problematic for people's mental health. Not just on individuals, but in the society(if any) they live in, which would feed back to the individual.

Maybe. But you'd have a long time to get adjusted to it.

Ara Pacis
2012-Jul-31, 10:26 AM
200 years is already 5x too long. I don't think anyone would have a problem since we seem to adjust. We have a limited amount of memory it seems, so we forget a lot of the older stuff. Then there's the Hedonic adaptation that makes it hard to become more safe if someone is to age without senescence.

swampyankee
2012-Jul-31, 11:07 AM
200 years is already 5x too long. I don't think anyone would have a problem since we seem to adjust. We have a limited amount of memory it seems, so we forget a lot of the older stuff. Then there's the Hedonic adaptation that makes it hard to become more safe if someone is to age without senescence.

Five times too long? So, you're saying the average life span should be cut to 40?

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 12:14 PM
200 years is already 5x too long. I don't think anyone would have a problem since we seem to adjust. We have a limited amount of memory it seems, so we forget a lot of the older stuff. Then there's the Hedonic adaptation that makes it hard to become more safe if someone is to age without senescence.

Hedonic adaptation is thought to be largely a genetic tendency. Given the level of biotech needed for asenescence, perhaps those genes could be altered. Perhaps even additional memory storage will be available in 200 years.

DonM435
2012-Jul-31, 12:28 PM
I could see stagnation setting in on a massive schedule. There'd be no particular pressure for anyone to do something now rather than later.

"Uhh, Son, you're almost 65 now . . . shouldn't you be thinking about getting a job?"

"Later, Dad!"

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 12:38 PM
I could see stagnation setting in on a massive schedule. There'd be no particular pressure for anyone to do something now rather than later.


Jokes aside, I can't see that happening. The same needs, drives and instincts, would still be there, they'd just be there for a longer time. People would still get impatient or restless or broke and have to do something.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-31, 12:39 PM
So 100 more years of dementia? No thanks.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 12:42 PM
So 100 more years of dementia? No thanks.

That's one of the aspects of aging that may be done away with in the process of reversing senescence. I doubt the medical research community would consider their job finished if all longevity produced were a society of doddering diaper-wearers. I'm pretty sure suicide laws would change too, as some people would get sick of it.

Buttercup
2012-Jul-31, 12:49 PM
Whoever wants to live to be 200, be my guest.

I've still got quite a ways to go (supposedly), and have already had enough of traffic lights, screaming kids in stores, rude people.

Yeah, I think 75 years of this will be plenty enough.

R.A.F.
2012-Jul-31, 06:19 PM
...I think 75 years of this will be plenty enough.

I happen to essentially agree...all the marvelous things we would see if we had an extended life span in my opinion would almost be cancelled out by all the truly horrendous things we would also "see".



My Dad lived to be 84...absent any health complications, I imagine I can do "better" by at least 5 years, perhaps more.

Now will those final years be worth living is another story entirely...

Ask me in 30 years...when I'll be 87.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-31, 07:11 PM
Don't worry, I'm fairly sure no one will put guns to your heads and force you to live longer. ;)

Ara Pacis
2012-Jul-31, 10:58 PM
Five times too long? So, you're saying the average life span should be cut to 40?
It's a thought.


Hedonic adaptation is thought to be largely a genetic tendency. Given the level of biotech needed for asenescence, perhaps those genes could be altered. Perhaps even additional memory storage will be available in 200 years.I was reading about neurons today and saw something about neurogenesis and the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs and it made me wonder if we might somehow use that information to increase memory in the future, as opposed to cybernetic solutions.


Jokes aside, I can't see that happening. The same needs, drives and instincts, would still be there, they'd just be there for a longer time. People would still get impatient or restless or broke and have to do something. Some other biological imperatives might still be limited to the early years if we can't extend their timeframe, such as fertility.


That's one of the aspects of aging that may be done away with in the process of reversing senescence. I doubt the medical research community would consider their job finished if all longevity produced were a society of doddering diaper-wearers. I'm pretty sure suicide laws would change too, as some people would get sick of it.Or some sort of suspended animation where one can ripvanwinkle oneself into a more interesting time.


Whoever wants to live to be 200, be my guest.

I've still got quite a ways to go (supposedly), and have already had enough of traffic lights, screaming kids in stores, rude people.

Yeah, I think 75 years of this will be plenty enough.But from when do you count the 75? I got bored of it all earlier than lots of eager, young people.


My Dad lived to be 84...absent any health complications, I imagine I can do "better" by at least 5 years, perhaps more.

Now will those final years be worth living is another story entirely...

Ask me in 30 years...when I'll be 87.Grampa passed last thanksgiving a few months shy of 98. And he was still going strong building homes until a weird aggressive cancer up and killed him in short order. I can't imagine living that long. Heck, I can't imagine living half that long.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 04:06 AM
Some other biological imperatives might still be limited to the early years if we can't extend their timeframe, such as fertility.


Limiting fertility would probably have to be one of the first things we do, or risk a Malthusian catastrophy.

That would probably be one of the biggest fights to result from longevity. Reproductive rights is a touchy subject. The early Larry Niven Known Space books actually had police going on "mother hunts", on an Earth with 18 billion people on it.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-01, 06:47 AM
Or some sort of suspended animation where one can ripvanwinkle oneself into a more interesting time.
Read Transmetropolitan #8 for an answer to that. It's not a pretty answer.

You'd wake up each time in a society you don't know, which doesn't give a damn about you because you're a burden fostered on it by a past it doesn't care about, you'll likely have no marketable skills and nothing with which to pay to get new ones, you'd have to be extremely lucky to have anything of value left in your name if you're even legally a citizen anymore.


Interesting times is from a curse not from a blessing.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-01, 10:28 AM
Read Transmetropolitan #8 for an answer to that. It's not a pretty answer.

Or watch the movies Sleeper or Idiocracy.

Or Pandorum or Aliens or...

Noclevername
2012-Aug-02, 03:05 AM
Depending on the type of "suspended animation" (certain types of non-temperature-dependent nanotech or biotech, or temp-dependent methods like parking your corpsicle in Antarctica or Pluto or the Oort cloud, or some unknown technology like decoupled entropic separation) you might just never wake up. They might lose you in the mail or accidentally dump your pod into the trash or you fall off a truck or they forget your file number or civilization collapses or the hibernation company goes bankrupt or religious zealots start a "let the dead stay dead" movement, and you just wait forever for an awakening that never comes.

Worse still, you might have nightmares...

DonM435
2012-Aug-02, 12:57 PM
...
Worse still, you might have nightmares...

I seem to recall someone making that point a few years ago . . .

"For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come ... ?"

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-04, 07:17 AM
So 100 more years of dementia?

Which raises the inevitable question of whether 200-yr-old land tortii are demented, and if so, how in the world would we know? They move too slow to have tantrums. Perhaps their episodes run their course between movements.

TrAI
2012-Aug-04, 03:24 PM
Whoever wants to live to be 200, be my guest.

I've still got quite a ways to go (supposedly), and have already had enough of traffic lights, screaming kids in stores, rude people.

Yeah, I think 75 years of this will be plenty enough.

That view seems to me to be an outgrowth of the current life cycle of people. It is a common problem when discussing the subject of life extension and immortality that people view the issues and results based on the current state of things. It seems likely to me that if aging could be retarded or stopped, the factors would be very different, and really, any issues would depend on the way the artificial life extension was implemented...

For example, people say immortality would be bad since there already is limited resources like food and water, but this is based on the assumption that people would still have to eat and drink the same amount and be limited to the current sources of such things, an immortal may very well be able to sustain existence on things normal people couldn't. An extreme example of this would be if your body is teeming with tiny little machines that can repair and maintain it, you may find that you need much less normal food or drink, but rather have some way to provide energy to the machines(so that they could recover, rebuild or retain nutrients instead of you having to eat more), of course, such devices would probably be made so that they could use energy in the form of sugars and other compounds like that(so you might have to eat more of those), but perhaps they might also allow inductively coupled energy from external power sources, so that as long as you were in a suitable field you might have to eat only very small amounts of food and drink of any sort.

The mental effects of continued life might seem very different to someone maintained at a young age than someone who is aging, after all, it seems that at least some of the mental effects are inherent to the aging process.

Anyway, it seems strange that people interested in space and such should be skeptical to life extension and immortality research, after all, advance along these lines might be quite useful for manned space research, exploration and utilization.

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-04, 07:29 PM
Anyway, it seems strange that people interested in space and such should be skeptical to life extension and immortality research, after all, advance along these lines might be quite useful for manned space research, exploration and utilization.

Just because a person wants something doesn't mean they expect it to happen, or want other people to have it if it is possible.

publiusr
2012-Aug-04, 07:50 PM
Anyway, it seems strange that people interested in space and such should be skeptical to life extension and immortality research, after all, advance along these lines might be quite useful for manned space research, exploration and utilization.

Right--I want to live long enough so that every 50 or so years humanity builds an HLLV bigger than the last, so you can all read posts like:

"Only 50 meters in diameter?--you can do bigger than that!"

starcanuck64
2012-Aug-04, 09:14 PM
Would 200 years still not be long enough? 1000 years, or longer? Could the human mind withstand such a lengthy period of conciousness without going totally, irrevocably, completely insane?
In the end, people would still have to face death.

I'm guessing we'd start running into totally new issues that would make quality of life questionable with the elderly approaching 200 as it is now with many reaching 100.

People are living much longer now than they use to, but many of them are barely aware of their surroundings, at age 85 1/2 of the population is in some stage of Alzheimer's.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-05, 01:08 AM
I'm guessing we'd start running into totally new issues that would make quality of life questionable with the elderly approaching 200 as it is now with many reaching 100.

People are living much longer now than they use to, but many of them are barely aware of their surroundings, at age 85 1/2 of the population is in some stage of Alzheimer's.

But with 200 year lifespans, you might live long enough to see a cure for Alzheimer's discovered.

potoole
2012-Aug-06, 07:31 AM
That view seems to me to be an outgrowth of the current life cycle of people. It is a common problem when discussing the subject of life extension and immortality that people view the issues and results based on the current state of things. It seems likely to me that if aging could be retarded or stopped, the factors would be very different, and really, any issues would depend on the way the artificial life extension was implemented...

For example, people say immortality would be bad since there already is limited resources like food and water, but this is based on the assumption that people would still have to eat and drink the same amount and be limited to the current sources of such things, an immortal may very well be able to sustain existence on things normal people couldn't. An extreme example of this would be if your body is teeming with tiny little machines that can repair and maintain it, you may find that you need much less normal food or drink, but rather have some way to provide energy to the machines(so that they could recover, rebuild or retain nutrients instead of you having to eat more), of course, such devices would probably be made so that they could use energy in the form of sugars and other compounds like that(so you might have to eat more of those), but perhaps they might also allow inductively coupled energy from external power sources, so that as long as you were in a suitable field you might have to eat only very small amounts of food and drink of any sort.

The mental effects of continued life might seem very different to someone maintained at a young age than someone who is aging, after all, it seems that at least some of the mental effects are inherent to the aging process.

Anyway, it seems strange that people interested in space and such should be skeptical to life extension and immortality research, after all, advance along these lines might be quite useful for manned space research, exploration and utilization..

Very Interesting

P'ot (op)

Noclevername
2012-Aug-07, 02:08 AM
Maybe longevity would finally teach us to set and accomplish some truly long-term goals.

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-07, 04:39 AM
Maybe longevity would finally teach us to set and accomplish some truly long-term goals.

Masterplans always sound like a good idea to the masters.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-07, 01:20 PM
Masterplans always sound like a good idea to the masters.

That's the exact opposite of what I was implying. I'm saying if we become long-lived, it may teach us patience as a society and as individuals.

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-07, 07:04 PM
That's the exact opposite of what I was implying. I'm saying if we become long-lived, it may teach us patience as a society and as individuals.

I know... And there's something you should know about patience... there's an old saying, The man who has his revenge at 39 years has acted too quickly.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-07, 07:14 PM
I know... And there's something you should know about patience... there's an old saying, The man who has his revenge at 39 years has acted too quickly.

There will always be some who misuse any gift, even more life. Unless you can change human nature, there's no way to totally prevent it.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-08, 11:59 PM
Right--I want to live long enough so that every 50 or so years humanity builds an HLLV bigger than the last, so you can all read posts like:

"Only 50 meters in diameter?--you can do bigger than that!"

And then they'd replace rockets with Lofstrom loops or laser launchers and you'd be heartbroken. ;)

wd40
2012-Aug-09, 12:13 AM
We assume that average lifespans are going to inexorably rise.

But what if the actuaries notice that it is gradually starting to fall? (eg due to pollution, obesity, new degenerative diseases, dysgenics, cosmic radiation, declining quality of medical care etc)

The current average lifespan in the US is 76. If ten years from now (barring a war or cataclysm) it was 72, what would you say?

Noclevername
2012-Aug-09, 12:23 AM
We assume that average lifespans are going to inexorably rise.

But what if the actuaries notice that it is gradually starting to fall? (eg due to pollution, obesity, new degenerative diseases, dysgenics, cosmic radiation, declining quality of medical care etc)

The current average lifespan in the US is 76. If ten years from now (barring a war or cataclysm) it was 72, what would you say?

I'd say it's a temporary setback.

starcanuck64
2012-Aug-09, 02:32 AM
But with 200 year lifespans, you might live long enough to see a cure for Alzheimer's discovered.

Getting to a 200 year lifespan would probably involve augmented immune systems, so maybe issues like degenerative diseases like Alzheimers would be a thing of the past.

Maybe the big hazard in that case would be rogue nanobots malfunctioning and doing physical damage.

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-09, 03:40 AM
I'm over 50, and although I'm in very good shape, I wouldn't want live another 200 years. Not unless they figure out how to give me an 18-year-old mind and body, that is.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-09, 01:34 PM
Getting to a 200 year lifespan would probably involve augmented immune systems, so maybe issues like degenerative diseases like Alzheimers would be a thing of the past.
There's no known link between Alzheimer's and the immune system.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-09, 08:39 PM
I'm over 50, and although I'm in very good shape, I wouldn't want live another 200 years. Not unless they figure out how to give me an 18-year-old mind and body, that is.

With my luck, they'll probably do that in 201 years.