August 20, 2010

TECHONOMY: Bullish On Life Extension.

Olshansky doesn’t just think we’re going to get that 7 year pill. He also thinks it’s going to extend healthy life, rather than simply prolonging us while we’re hit by a flurry of debilitating illnesses. The technical term is “compression of morbidity”: The period of life beset by disease-related suffering and impairment would be compressed, and essentially come right at the end. You live long, you prosper–and then you die fairly quickly.

Of course, the prospect of extending healthy human life by just 7 years on average (the current life expectancy for women is 80 and men is 75) would have dramatic consequences. The retirement age would have to change, or else you could forget about Social Security. And would people then explicitly set out to have multiple careers? Would marriage contracts have an end date, so that people could go on to another one?

I had some thoughts on that in Forbes last year.

And just a reminder, if you want to got to Chris Peterson’s life extension conference, you can get a hundred bucks off by using the code INSTAPUNDIT.

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