Another great seminar from the Longnow seminar series.
Ken Dychtwald discusses not the technologies or breakthroughs which might lead to longer life, but considers that the longevity revolution is already taking place now - and is mostly interested in its consequences for us.
Truely remarkable is that this aging-wave has never happened before - it is the current frontier. And is certainly not business as usual.
The 'retirement age of 65' was basically chosen by Bismarck, and at that time it was the average life span + 20 years. Consider what this means for us now with average lifespans in the 70+!
Looking at the statistics for the various countries, longer lifetimes always go together with smaller number of children per couple - pronouncing the aging-wave. Therefore for these countries, immigration is basically a must!
He spoke also quite a lot about what it means to be alive for longer: nobody wants to be longer old, but wants to be able to longer healthy and active. This also means that the current linear lifeplan (grow up, learn, work for family, one relationship for life, get old, stop work, die) changes to a more cyclic lifeplan: why not reinvent yourself with 60, 80, ...? Why not get a new relationship, after the old one faded? Have midlife crisis with 40, 60, 80, ...
"Of all the human who have ever lived over 65, two-thirds are now alive now."
"Heart disease kills more people than all the other leading causes of death put together, including cancer. Cure heart disease and you create 20 million demented people. Our health system is not geared for chronic disease."
"In the US the old used to be the poorest segment of society. Now they're the richest. For instance, they buy 80% of luxury travel. So why are they still getting discounts?"
"People vote their age. 30% of 30-year-olds vote. 50% of 50-year-olds vote. 70% of 70-year-olds vote. We have a gerontocracy."
"The old do the least volunteering of any age group, and for every 11 cents that children get from government, the old demand and get a dollar. The concept of giving back is still foreign to them. If the now-aging Baby Boomers decide to reverse that, they'll earn the title, "The Grandest Generation."
"What people really want, and what they're going to get, is longer HEALTH span. We should be asking now, What is the PURPOSE of longer life?"