Sunday, February 21, 2010

Will life extension cause tyrants oligarchies?

Life extension technologies are almost here.
Soon it will be possible to cure bodies from aging.
These cures will be probably very expensive, and initially access will be limited to the extremely rich.

What will this bring?
Here are a couple of possible futures:

Very Scary scenario:
Life extension treatments will be accessible only to a very small elite, made of ultra-rich, political and biotech leaders.
They will actually perpetuate the chain of power in their own hands, tightly controlling drugs and treatment access.
Masses will not have access to life extension, because of cost and sociopolitical control issues.
In this scenario, obviously the leaders will oppose to whatever change, as normally happens in dictatorship. This status will last indefinitely, because dictators will extend their lifespan.

Scary scenario:
Life extension treatments will be outrageously expensive in the beginning, then gradually the price will go down, becoming accessible to high class and middle-class citizens of developed countries. Since people will not die, population will be controlled by blocking, sanctioning or prohibiting reproduction.
New births will virtually cease. Children will not exist any more. Work will become eternal routine. Most people will become bored. Someone will decide to die/suicide, stopping taking the medecines.
Middle-age will become a sort of dull eternity. A gray limbo in which to stay, er... forever.
Psychotherapies will extend for centuries.
Time will lose or change its current meaning.
Interstellar trips will become feasible.
Digital transitionism will develop. People will be ablt to decide to go digital, evaporating into bits, leaving physical body and jumping into some digital virtual world.

Is anyone willing to share some other ideas for a hopefully happier future?

Marco  ( @mgua on twitter )


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