“If I’d known I’d live this long I’d have taken better care of myself.” —Eubie Blake
If given the opportunity, would you want to live forever? I’ll wait while you ponder your answer…Well, what do you think? Yes? No? When first posed this question, I thought my answer would be easy, but it wasn’t. I’m not sure that most people could come up with a definitive answer without considering all the facts and or consequences.
During the past century, the universal life expectancy has doubled and continues to increase every year. People are generally living longer due to a combination of better nutritional choices, healthier lifestyles and advancements in medical science and overall healthcare. Modern science has opened up an assortment of new ways to improve survival, and now people are adopting these new approaches in an attempt to extend their own lives.
James Strole, the director of the Coalition of Radical Life Extension —an organization which brings together scientists and enthusiasts interested in physical immortality–
asserts that ‘…millions of people won’t see death if they choose.’ At present our bodies are built to last – “if you took perfect care of your body” — you could potentially live to 125 years, according to Strole. The problem is that if someone did live to be 125, they would unlikely remain agile into their final decades, which is one of the implications of having an exceptionally long life span. This is where the super-elite and billionaires come into play. A number of wealthy individuals such as entrepreneurs, hollywood actors and the like, have contributed money into research that aims to keep people from experiencing the traditional signs of aging–like loss of mobility. Super Longevity is a health venture started by proponents such as Sergey Brin–co-founder of Google, who created an initiative called Calico , which is aimed at combating the effects of aging.
Humans have long harboured an obsession with living forever. But what about the implications of this? Russian tech mogul Dmitry Itskov, who founded the “2045 Initiative”, predicts that by 2025, an artificial life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot will allow people whose bodies have worn out to continue living. But would we want our minds to keep going if our bodies couldn’t keep up? Some researchers also believe that if and when these technologies became available, they would likely be fantastically expensive. Besides that, everyone living much, much longer would cause many other problems. Where would the children of these centenarians live? Herein lies the darker side of longevity extension: the inevitable physiological trade offs that seem destined to hold us back.
So let’s not wait until the future to start the process of living longer. Beginning today– ‘take even better care of yourself, produce work that fuels your best self, be with people who inspire [and rejuvenate] you, make time to rest, exercise, meditate, walk in nature, and study books that reveal new territories of unimaginable possibilities.’