015: What Would be the Cultural Impacts of Increased Longevity?

In this episode, we ask how culture would be impacted by radically increased lifespans. We go over the main arguments made by longevity research experts like Aubrey De Grey and Ray Kurzweil, and we discuss Sonia Arrison’s book 100+. We discuss expanded health spans and acknowledge that a right to die would be even more important in a world with such technology. What kind of impacts would this type of technology have on work, leadership, inequality, social services, and family? Would we design high-efficiency people to defeat starvation? Would term limits apply to immortal individuals? Are we heading for a nightmare world where the poor are condemned to death and the rich live forever?


Right after we recorded this, Peter Diamandis and Craig Venter started another new longevity company, Human Longevity, Inc.

In the podcast Jon says Pasteur proved germ theory in the 1860s. That’s not exactly right. Agostino Bassi proved germ theory way back in 1813, but it was Pasteur’s more rigorous later experiments that further cemented his findings. However that information still hadn’t reached the President of the United States’s doctors in 1881, when doctors removing a bullet from James Garfield did not use antiseptic, leading to his death.


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