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100+

How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith

By Sonia Arrison
15-minute read
100+: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith by Sonia Arrison

100+ explains the science and technology that will help us lead longer and healthier lives, and considers how society will handle a rapidly aging population. The implications of the forthcoming demographic shift are massive, and big changes lie ahead. 100+ became a best seller and one of the Financial Times’ best books of 2012.

  • Anyone interested in what the future will look like
  • Anyone wondering how long they might potentially live
  • Anyone wanting to know how we will survive with a large, aging population

Sonia Arrison is an expert on the impact of new technologies on society. She is a trustee of the Singularity University, an institute which uses technology and education to solve humanity’s pressing issues of the future.

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100+

How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith

By Sonia Arrison
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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100+: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith by Sonia Arrison
Synopsis

100+ explains the science and technology that will help us lead longer and healthier lives, and considers how society will handle a rapidly aging population. The implications of the forthcoming demographic shift are massive, and big changes lie ahead. 100+ became a best seller and one of the Financial Times’ best books of 2012.

Key idea 1 of 9

Throughout history, humans have tried to understand mortality and aging, and to overcome them.

What separates humans from animals? Most would say that it’s the awareness that we’re going to die someday. This knowledge of our fate – and the motivation to change it – has occupied human thought for millennia.

Death used to be understood by the ancients as punishment from the gods for human transgression or immorality. In Ancient Greece it was believed that our mortality, illness and suffering was Zeus’ retribution for accepting the gift of fire from the titan Prometheus.

Our ancestors devoted a lot of time to trying to cheat this fate.

People in ancient and medieval civilizations were preoccupied with slowing down or even stopping the aging process. For instance, although the practice of alchemy was famously concerned with turning base metals into gold, alchemists were also fixated on immortality and elixirs that would extend our lives.

Yet despite their attempts to transcend death, our ancestors were also aware that becoming immortal might not always be desirable.

A great example of this is found in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Gulliver visits the land of Luggnagg, where a small minority known as “struldbrugs” are born immortal. At first Gulliver delights in this fact, but then slowly realizes that it’s a curse. The struldbrugs enjoy a wonderful youth, but when they age, their health deteriorates as they lose their teeth and hair, and they are unable to speak. They end up embittered and detached from society.

So our ancestors desired immortality, yet dreaded compromising their health as a result. In the next blink we’ll see how modern science is tackling this issue by both preventing aging and keeping us healthier for longer.

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