Would the elimination of aging, and thereby the elimination of death, ultimately, have good or bad consequences?
There are limits to expansion, and they are a long way off.
The sun puts out enough energy to support over 500 million earth ecosystems. We are not short of energy.
If we take mass, and organise it more efficiently for life, as hollow cylinders rather than as balls, with gravity simulated by spinning, then just the mass of Mars is enough to provide 30,000 times the surface area of the earth (allowing for 20m of rock to provide radiation shielding).
Mostly our thinking is limited by thinking in terms of money and markets, and all markets are scarcity based (just think how much money you can get in a market for a bag of air – air being very important and very abundant – ie has zero scarcity).
We are developing automation technology that gives us the theoretical ability to deliver abundance of anything to anyone, yet our financial gurus are talking about “austerity” – it is utter madness!!!
Markets are great tools for allocating scarce resources, but they are useless at dealing with or incentivising abundance. Same goes for money – which is a market measure of value.
If we continue to think in terms of money- we are doomed.
We need to start thinking in terms of abundance, and incentivising systems that deliver and maintain abundance.
Very different from market based measures!
Ray is right, as far as he goes, and he is not going far enough to get to the core of the greatest threat facing us – the incentive structures delivered by markets.
It is a yes and no response.
If we fail to achieve technical and social systems to deliver abundance, then our existing economic system may well collapse, or it may continue, but in either case the majority of people will be living in scarcity, and markets will deliver real value to them. So markets and money will continue, even if the existing system collapses.
I am looking a layer deeper, at the incentive structures that having scarcity, or abundance impose.
We have an opportunity to create a system that delivers abundance to everyone, and with that, over time, security as never before in human history (as is required by entities with indefinite life-spans).
There are many aspects to longevity. Biological aging is only one of many classes of threat to life. To achieve extreme longevity we need to address all classes – which include the social causes of injustice, comet and meteor strike, large scale volcanism, large earthquakes, pandemics, etc.
I have been looking at these issues since seeing in 1974 that ending biological aging was a logical possibility; and it now seems very clear to me that the deep systemic incentive structures that have given rise to our current social institutions need to be addressed directly. Markets are reaching the end of their social utility. To deliver the sort of security that extreme longevity necessitates, we must transcend market paradigms (of which money is the most visible).