We’ve all seen how quickly technology can change industrial, economic, and social landscapes. Even in our lifetime, many of us have witnessed dramatic changes. These changes are exponential, courtesy of the extended lifespans that come with medical innovations.
Some experts believe that this is merely the beginning. For example, Haim Israel of Global Thematic Investing Research believes that extended lifespans coupled with rapid technological development can (and likely will) result in a technological domino effect. He calls the potential and far-reaching attempts at technology “Moonshots.”
To put it simply, Israel believes that medical intervention will allow for longer and longer lifespans. This, in turn, will allow for unique alterations to the way we currently view investments. A single person could theoretically see the growth of their stocks over decades – if not hundreds of years. This is just one of the changes Israel predicts.
Ever since humanity could dream, we began dreaming of a path to immortality. Scientists and doctors have teamed up to make it possible for humans to live longer than ever. The current life expectancy for the average person is seventy-two years – though it is not uncommon for a person to live significantly longer than that.
Some scientists now believe that it is feasible to push this expectancy upwards, bringing it closer to one hundred and fifty years. Ultimately, the goal will be to expect lifetimes even longer than that.
To put it in other words – two hundred years ago the average life expectancy was a mere thirty-five years. Now it is nearly eighty years. Meaning that the average life expectancy has almost literally doubled. What will another two hundred years do?
As indicated above, many experts are already looking at all the ways that effective immortality may change the world. Some experts see hopeful outcomes, while others are naturally concerned.
Likewise, Haim Israel is not the only one looking at how the economy and investments may change alongside expanded lifetimes. Martin Reese explores this concept further for Project Syndicate in a poignant article: Is Immortality Worth It?
It is impossible to discuss effective immortality without also discussing Transhumanism. Transhumanism is a philosophical stance, a movement of sorts. These philosophers believe that the human condition can be enhanced through sophisticated technologies, but only if it is widely available.
Transhumanists see humanity changing alongside the technology that allows for longer life. In other words, they see the future of humanity as something different. That does not have negative implications for transhumanists – the opposite. It is an overall hopeful philosophy that sees the good in future generations and possibilities.