Elon Musk warned that if people live longer or forever that there is a risk that society becomes ossified where new ideas cannot succeed.
“It is important for us to die because most of the time people don’t change their mind, they just die,” Musk said at the event. “If you live forever, we might become a very ossified society where new ideas cannot succeed.”
Innovation Increases With Age
An ITIF study of the demographics of innovation finds the current peak age for innovation is 47 in the USA.
The level of innovation is found to increase as people age up until they are about 55. Successful age reversal technology will need to rejuvenate people. It will need to restore mental plasticity.
The increasing innovation as we age (until we reach a point where health and vitality deteriorates) is evidence that having more time to increase knowledge enhances the level of innovation.
Elon Musk also has the fear that if too many people live to near immortality then there will be people who do not change their minds and block progress.
Elon Musk currently is succeeding with his innovation where the average age of people is higher than it has ever been. Is Elon Musk or other innovators facing higher resistance in countries with older populations? Is there any correlation with less change from older demographics?
Japan has more old people. There is some Japanese resistance to electric cars because of entrenched business interests (Toyota and other domestic car companies.)
Europe has older populations but those countries are some of the most eager adopters of electric cars and other innovations.
Space Expansion Means More People, Less Central Control and Different Places for New Things
Over the centuries, humanity has increased life expectancy. Knowledge increased which required more time for education to establish a critical base of useful knowledge. This indicates more time will be needed for people to reach the frontiers of current knowledge and to work on expanding the frontier.
Humanity has expanded across the globe and created a global economy. However, the global economy has many thousands of markets. This means more places where innovators can start new things.
If Humanity expands into the solar system and beyond, then there will be room for a population in the quadrillions or more. The planets and colonies and space stations and giant space ships will be separated by great distances.
There can be a hundred billion people on Earth, ten billion on Mars, a billion on the Moon, trillions in asteroids or converted asteroids etc…
Each major habitat could be trying their own things. There will not be just one centrally controlled civilization. There will be a variety of demographics.
In the 1600s, colonists left the Old World to set up new societies. Elon Musk with SpaceX is enabling the colonization of the Solar System. Elon Musk has indicated that a shortage of people (lack of births) is one of civilization’s greatest threats. Antiaging will rejuvenate people and societies.
SpaceX and others will open up Space, the solar system and beyond.
There is room for people, including very long lived people.
If we do not solve faster than light travel, then we will need long lived people to make it easier to travel beyond the solar system.
Intelligent life should fill this universe. We do not have enough people, AI, or time to accomplish the task of exploring and filling this universe.
Antiaging will make it possible for very time-consuming and challenging goals to be achieved.
Before 1800, most people died before they were 40-50. Aging and declining health robbed society of great innovations. Many greats died young. Mozart died young. The Mathematician, Nicolaus Bernoulli, died at the age of 31. Ada Lovelace died at the age of 31 and she contributed to the development of computers. She worked with Charles Babbage on the first computing device.
Elon Musk has said that we must innovate with urgency. Elon wants to accomplish more than what might be possible in his current expected lifespan. We all need more time to accomplish greater goals. Innovators now have to push beyond all who stand in their way. Having a few more stand in the way has not stopped Elon Musk now and having more older people in the future will not stop future Elon Musks.
Elon Musks Has Opponents Now – but He is Not Waiting for Any of them to Die of Old Age
Lorena Gonzalez is 50. Bernie Sanders is 80. Jeff Bezos is 57. Who is the opponent of Elon Musk where Elon is waiting for them to die of old age?
SOURCES- ITIF, Elon Musk
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
1 thought on “Elon Musk is Wrong About Immortality”
I think both arguments have merit.
Unfortunately many industries buy up new technology and shelve them in order to maintain their market share.
What happens when a group of managers who do this in an industry never leave their position?
On the flip side of this, smaller companies that innovate can get funding from outside the industry. But that’s a hard way to go.
Just look at the VTOL aviation industry. It should be Boeing, Sikorsky and Bell that should be implementing the new Li-On batteries into fixed wing aircraft to make them EVTOL.
But they all don’t want to disrupt their helicopter market and are either ignoring the new technology or making half hearted attempts to get into it.
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