Some dismiss the view that the world and the technology that will be impacting it will be substantially different (or worse) in 2030 versus now. Even a thread on betterhumans has this discussion. The original poster is confused or purposely misinterpreting various predictions related the Singularity and to life extension.
I believe that we will see substantial progress in many areas and in this article I will focus on life extension. I am very confident in the power of specific social and technology changes that I see developing or spreading over the next 23 years. I will review what has happened from 1984 to 2007 (the same amount of time between 2007 and 2030). I will review the state of life expectancy in other places in the world now. I will look at some “mainstream” work to improve life expectancy and health. I will discuss what I expect from SENS.
Many might look at the differences between 1984 and 2007 and think that there will only be similar differences bettween 2007 and 2030.
Changing life expectancy shows that life expectancy in the USA at birth in 1984 was 74.7 years overall and 78.4 for women and 71 for men. In 2007, it is estimated to be 78 years overall and 80.97 for women and 75.15 for men
4 to 5.5 years longer overall (for best countries versus USA 2007)
3.3 years overall (USA 2007 versus USA 1984)
3.4 to 5.5 years longer for men (best countries versus USA 2007)
4.1 years longer for men USA 2007 versus USA 1984
4.6 to 5.7 years longer for women in best countries versus USA 2007
3.5 year longer for women USA 2007 versus USA 1984
A Harvard study shows that there are eight large demographic groups of americans in terms of life expectancy. Asian Americans have life expectancies similar to what Japan has overall.
The primary cause of the disparities between racial and geographic groups is early death from chronic disease and injuries, an analysis of data from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics showed.
Asian-American women living in Bergen County, NJ, enjoy the greatest life expectancy in the US, at 91 years. American Indians in South Dakota have the worst, at 58 years.
The differences were attributed to a combination of injuries and such preventable risk factors as smoking, alcohol, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diet and physical inactivity — particularly among people from 15 years to 59 years of age. They were not due to income, insurance, infant mortality, AIDS or violence, said the study’s lead investigator, Christopher J.L. Murray, director of the Harvard Initiative for Global Health.
Seventh day adventist claim their lifestyle choices enable 4-9 years of life expectancy increase for men and 2 to 7.5 years for women Lifestyle and health advisors and academic studies also seem to indicate that lifestyle and diet choices can add 4-10 years to life expectancy This is about 5-13%.
I believe that by 2030 gene therapy will be widespread and fairly advanced. I base this on the 1200 some current clinical studies of gene therapy This would help people to get closer to the genetic advantages of the longest lived groups now and enable the mimicking of lifestyle longevity benefits using pills or other treatments.
Substantial progress against major pathological killers such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases are occuring.
I believe that the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) is a good plan. SENS could help contibute to a far greater increase in life expectancy. However, SENS success is dependent on both successful science and development and on the funding that it receives.
For public health, we would need to clean up environmental air and water pollution using cleaner energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear etc…). I see this being achieved with the nuclear resurgence and other energy trends. We would also need to reduce traffic deaths. I see this being achieved with robotic cars and advanced collision avoidance systems.
Achieving three times or more progress in longevity from 2007 to 2030 versus 1984 to 2007 seems very achievable. This will be from public health improvements, disease cures or treatments, lifestyle improvements (from behavior or with medical assistance) and success from direct progress against the processes of aging. This would mean going from a life extension increase of 0.1 to 0.2 years each year to 0.5 years. For individuals, one needs to look at the progress being made for the age that you are. If you are 65 years of age in 2030, then what would effect you personally is the year after year improvement in life expectancy for those aged 65. Progress is also being made on that front.
Initial SENS success would go beyond what is described here to increase the maximum lifespan. Going from life expectancies of 90-95 years up to 120-125 years and maximum lifespans of 150 years with initial treatments. Continued progress would be from further advances such as from nanomedicine.
The future can arrive earlier for you if make the lifestyle adjustments now. You can give yourself a very good chance to live to 90 and the possibility of 100+ with lifestyle and pro-active medical tests and treatments. For the really big gains, help by donating to the SENS project.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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