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Aubrey de Grey: The Economics of Immortality
Aubrey de Grey   Feb 15, 2012   Big Think  

Radical life extension would impact the economics of society. Aubrey de Grey explains why he is optimistic that the economy would adapt well to the new paradigm of human immortality.

End of life costs are very high, but that is mostly because we are so afraid of death. We are unwilling to allow people to die even when it is clear that they are going to die whatever we do.

Eliminating death will eliminate those costs, but Aubrey is assuming that the cost of the aging reversal process will not itself be as costly. I suspect that since it will depend on new technology that it will be very costly initially and not give us an immediate savings in health care.

There is also the problem of the changing nature of employment. There are going to be fewer jobs and more competition for ways of maintaining or increase standards of living. It is an increased standard of living that will bring down the birth rate, not an longer life. While we are working on the goal of eliminating aging, we must also work on eliminating poverty so the global population will be dropping as life spans increase.

There is also the fact that while we don't yet have the technology to eliminate aging, we have the technology and resources to eliminate poverty. A smaller, healthier population will have more free resources to put into the initially expensive task of offering longer life spans to everyone, and not just those who can afford it.
I've been studying life extension daily for about 7 years now and I am well aware the process can indeed be changed. I think the biggest push back to allowing any serious life extending technology out to the public will be from the many industries who make a living of age related diseases and death itself.

Increasing the life span of humans will also increase the amount of learning capacity per person which would then exponentially excel the human race in combined knowledge collaboration or make us even worse - only time will would hope it would increase our ethical reasoning ability as well.

It will be a very long time (but someday) before industry permit any powerful life extending treatment to go out to all the masses - only those who have the knowledge and/or connections would likely access it. There would also be protests from the various religious communities - but I won't go into that. (-:

Keep up the good work Aubrey
I believe life extension would be a good thing in the long run but there could also be special cases where it will cause problems. The late Christopher Hitchens made a comment to the effect that at least in places such as North Korea people can escape by dying at least. What is to be done however, when (a) you keep living in a tyranny and (b) the tyrant and his family don't die and offer the possibility of political change?
Sometimes I feel like losing my will to live when I think about how boring I am to my friends. I was born in 1940 and if I did live forever (or even another 20 years) my dear friends both old & young would probably die of boredom if they got too involved with my lifestyle. As my own age-group friends die off it only leaves me to seek the company of younger people who find me very boring indeed. I would hate to bore my young friends to death and conversely I find people older than me are TOO BORING !!!
Wow, Brently. You do seem boring.

Luckily, myself and most people I know are interesting enough to keep living.
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