I’ll go a step beyond Aubrey.
It was clear to me in 1974, as I completed 3rd year biochem at university, that the default mode of cellular life is indefinite. The age related loss of function that we see in complex animals like ourselves is a secondary set of genetic and systemic factors. That being the case, I knew indefinite life extension was possible, but not how to do it.
The more interesting question that occurred within minutes was:
If we have people capable of living on indefinitely, what sort of social, political and technological systems actually give sufficient security and freedom that people have a reasonable probability of actually living a long and interesting life?
That question has dominated my mind for 45 years.
I knew indefinite life extension would become technologically possible as computational ability allowed us to model cellular function with sufficient degrees of accuracy.
But how to actually survive, and have it be both safe and interesting?
What are the systemic limits required?
It seems that a minimum set for humans is a fundamental respect for individual life and individual liberty, and that has to come with social and ecological responsibility (the two are intimately linked and derivable if one goes deep enough into the systemic structures).
So yes – an early reporting of a very simplistic approach to an extremely complex suite of issues.
Liberty has to be constrained by responsibility if any are to survive.
Individual sapient life – human and non-human, biological and non-biological, has to be the paramount value.
And we have to delve deeply into what nature is actually telling us.
In the natural world, all levels of complexity are the result of new levels of cooperation.
If we are to survive, we must create systems that are fundamentally cooperative, and that rapidly gets extremely complex, with the all cheat detection and removal systems required.
Our current societal focus on competitive markets is actually the single greatest existential level threat we face. And that is not at all simple, as markets have performed many levels of critical functions in our past. But markets fail when faced with fully automated systems. Markets require scarcity to function, and fully automated systems can deliver universal abundance.
We need universal abundance.
We must change.
We must move to a globally cooperative system, while having individual life and individual liberty as our highest values, and we must not lose the valuable lessons captured over deep time in the social and religious traditions; even as we explore entirely new social and interpretive systems.
Nothing that can be codified into any set of universally applicable rules.
Just a demand on each and every one of us that we do our best, with all our faults and foibles, and we support each other to the best of our limited abilities as and when required.
And if we do that, we might just get to live a very long time.
[followed by in response to “What will people do?” 22/9/2019]
Yes and no.
Most people are yet to experience real freedom.
Most have been trained from childhood to follow rules and orders rather than to responsibly generate their own paths through life.
That will need to change.
I have very largely done my own thing most of my life, and much of that “thing” has involved interacting and communicating with others to create new things in reality (unrelated to money or markets).
So people will need to get used to being responsible for their own actions at levels that they have never previously been given that option.
It will take some adjustment.
We will need transition strategies, to help people cope with that change.
Some might just need to follow other people for a while.
We will all have the responsibility of keeping an awareness of what others are up to, and making the call from time to time that communication is needed to determine if the course of action someone else is taking is actually responsible. And sometimes that may involve some quite lengthy investigations and discussions.
Life is like that.
Sometimes it is really complex (more levels of complexity than most people have ever counted to in practice).