Life expectancy

Next Generation Will Live to Be 100

"The first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already," asserts anti-aging researcher Aubrey de Grey


Gilgamesh and Enkidu

"People your age will get to live as long as they want," I sometimes say to my younger colleagues. Of course, I am being optimistic about the future of anti-aging research and how it will not only stop aging but reverse it. (See my article "Eternal Youth for All" in the March, 2015 issue.) The Telegraph today is reporting that the demographers at the U.K.'s Office of National Statistics project that the life expectancy of Britons born in the next generation will exceed 100 years. From The Telegraph:

Living beyond 100 will become the norm for children born within the next generation, official projections show.

According to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics the average life expectancy for newborn girls in the UK is on course to reach just under 97 years and four months within just over two decades.

Baby boys born in 2037 will expect to live until 94 years and four months on average – with many living much longer.

The projections, contained in a new report analysing the make-up of the British population, means that typical life expectancies would have increased by around a decade since the 1980s.

It is also now predicted that average life female expectancy will reach the once unimaginable milestone of 100 in 2057.

Men will not achieve the century mark until 2087.

These U.K. projections are based on largely straight-line calculations of improving life expectancy and do not take into account likely breakthroughs in anti-aging medicine over the next couple of decades. Our fusty Census Bureau projects that by 2050 average life expectancy for American women will reach 86.2 years and for men 82.2 years by 2050, up from 81.2 and 76.4 respectively.

"The first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already," asserted Aubrey de Grey in 2004, founder of the the anti-aging research Methuselah Foundation and the SENS Research Foundation.

I, for one, sure hope that he's right.

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  1. Life expectancy stats are conflated with infant mortality and childhood diseases.

  2. Fuck that shit. I want to die sometime relatively soon; within the next 50 years.

    Will I miss out on a lot of really cool shit? Sure. But at least I won’t have to deal with a bunch of pansy-ass bitches anymore.

    1. I used to think I would be OK with dying at around 80, but now that I’ve travelled more I really wouldn’t mind living for a looong time, assuming I could remain relatively fit and healthy.

    2. I’m not sure how much cool stuff you’ll actually miss, but I agree completely about dealing with a world of over-regulated wusses. Another 50 looks like plenty to me.

  3. Fuck that, I want my robot body!

    1. Dude, there’s maintenance and shit you still need to do with robotic parts.

      And you would continue to worry about mortality when you’re like Data or the Borg. So I’d rather just skip over all of that and aim for the Q. Give me my nootic body instead!

  4. I don’t really want to live to a thousand. I would be eternally grateful, however, if somebody could restore my body and brain to their early 20’s condition for a few decades.

    1. I’d be ok with that just to bang other early 20’s women.

      1. You mean like flappers?

        1. If that term is coming back into use, then yes, exactly like flappers.

    2. Ever read old man’s war?

  5. Youth is wasted on the young.

    1. The older I get, the more I understand this.

      1. Money is wasted on the old.

    2. But youth blood could be wasted on the elderly with enough research!

    3. Ha, suck it old people, you’ll never get my blood!

      1. They’ll be happy enough, with your money.

        1. Joke’s on you, my generation and your generation are collectively ensuring I won’t have money!


    4. What, no DM link?

  6. What a wonderful world it will be when the average person can look forward to three extra decades of frail, doddering senility tacked on to the end of his or her life.

    People better start popping out babies now. Those Social Security entitlements aren’t going to pay for themselves.

  7. They’ll get their reverse aging breakthrough 20 years before I die, and I’ll die waiting for FDA approval.

    1. Doubtful; there’s absolutely no way the FDA could stop the demand for that shit. They’d try, and fail miserably.

    2. They’ll get their reverse aging breakthrough 20 years before I die, and I’ll die waiting for FDA approval.

      If they come up with that breakthrough, you can bet I’m not gonna wait for the FDA to approve it before getting it.

      1. Drake’s regen resort will be open in Grand Cayman. Payments options are gold or cash.

    3. Pshh, wanna see the next American rebellion. The progs may be fine with dying for big government and power, but most people care about their own mortality a hell of a lot more. Their be a prog on every lamppost if they tried to stop folks from getting the youth potion.

    1. All of a sudden ISIS’s tactics make perfect sense!

      1. wait, selling cocaine or country music superstar?

  8. “The first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already,” asserted Aubrey de Grey in 2004, founder of the the anti-aging research Methuselah Foundation and the SENS Research Foundation.

    I, for one, sure hope that he’s right.

    I always find it funny that immortality or extremely long age is just around the corner so that the people talking about it (such as 51 year-old Aubrey de Grey or 61 year-old Ronald Bailey) can benefit from it. Also applies to the Singularity (especially Kurzweil).

    Don’t worry, Morgan Industries has you covered.

      1. It’s certainly a Mad World.

        Whenever I hear about extended life treatments I’m reminded of the old Chinese attempts at immortality by consuming mercury. I’m cynical enough to say that I believe that any attempts at extreme life extension comes with a required ‘post-human condition’. Which I don’t think is likely in the next couple decades, much less this century.

    1. Every time SMAC is referenced, I of how terrible the lore of Civ 5: Beyond Earth is.

      And I am enraged.

      1. This is what I call the ‘Morrowind’ problem. Namely, that older game developers tended to have a lot more knowledge about subjects like philosophy, theology, history and political theory than their modern day equivalents.

  9. I’m guessing any anti/reverse aging treatment would need to come with a snipping. Actually the snipping would need to take place at puberty. Interesting moral questions.

    The good news would be, after 20 years or so, no more (very few?) screaming spawn.

    1. Nah. Over Polulation is not a problem.

      Depending on the type of reverse aging, if you turned all these retirees into productive workers again, you would have a massive work force to continue producing and for those who learn to save enough to retire, you would have massive amounts of investment money to go forward.

      There would be a big change in how people view life, but much of it for the better. Today, people are focused on earning enough wages to serve them in retirement. That won’t work in the future. Instead, people will have to learn that salaries are a means to creating a self sustaining investment. Building businesses, creating long term value.

  10. Living beyond 100 will become the norm for children born within the next generation, official projections show.

    Finally, the army of atomic supermen that Dr. Eric Vornoff dreamed about!

    1. They’ll still lose to the Harlem Globetrotters.

    2. C’mon OM. You gotta’ link to that quote. I mean, we’re talking about Bela Lugosi, here!

  11. They’ll need a cure for cancer first.

    The older you get, the greater the likelihood of getting cancer.

    So without a cure, the best we can hope for is to live long enough to die of cancer.

    1. But if you can reverse the effects of aging, I’m guessing the odds of getting cancer also become smaller.

      1. It would be interesting, if the two things are related.

        1. They are similar. The aging process is essentially your cells losing fidelity and capability as they constantly reproduce. Over time, the molecular process of copying and recopying cells leads to that DNA breaking down and cells losing the ability to access key proteins that keep them healthy.

          Cancer is also caused by errors being introduced in the DNA, leading to a bad cell which constantly reproduces creating a tumor of cells that crowd out important functions of the body.

          Solving for Anti-Aging and Solving for Cancer both require the ability to reconstruct damaged DNA.

      2. That’s not at all clear and very complicated.

  12. Also, questions I always have about extremely long age in humans:

    1. If long age doesn’t come with some extended youth-period, doesn’t that just mean that we’ll have a massively negative demographic shift, especially in the era of the Social Security pension? What about population expansion as a result of extended lifetimes and its effect on things like food production?
    2. What do you do with the assholes? Criminals can just wait off a twenty year sentence with no problems if there’s an extended youth-period, do we massively increase prison costs by dramatically extending sentences? Is it a violation of rights to refuse this treatment to criminals? Do we really, really want some piece of shit statist living for hundreds of years? They’re destructive enough with a couple decades.

    1. Christopher Rowley’s Starhammer series touched on this briefly. Basically, people would go take outlandish risks to make money for their extended life treatments. But Rowley only talked about it a little bit, he got back to the ultra-violence pretty quick.

      1. This doesnt’t really address JT’s original question but in response to Warty, Joe Haldeman covered the same idea in Buying Time where it was central to his story.

        1. Looks cool. I’ll put it on my much too gigantic to-read list.

      2. The very good Commonwealth Saga (Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained) is also a great look at immortality writ-large. In that story, culture adapted. People worked in cycles- they would work for 30 – 40 years, earn up enough money to take a 20 year vacation, then work some more. In that book, it was really hard to die because everyone backed-up their brains and so if they died, a new clone would get their psyche downloaded and they would go down.

        As a side note, this took a lot of tension out of the book because being murdered or sacrificing yourself in battle means a lot less if you will just wake up in a cloning room a few days later. The author took some literary license to rejuvenate some tension by creating a phony emotional anguish that everyone suffers after being murdered and a long internal monologue where one hero feels that death is still death even if some clone will later be walking around with the same persona.

        1. That was a great series. I think the other minor tension was that if you were killed/died at some time removed from your last back up you had problems. That happened to at least a couple of minor characters.

    2. The extended old-age period also poses some significant quality of life issues. Do I really want to have the body of an 80 year old for 20 years?

      I’d have to believe that in a world where the average lifespan is 100, assisted suicide will become much more accepted, unless they’re able to also extended youthfulness.

    3. Brain-wipe young criminals and give their to oldsters?

  13. I thought the technological singularity would make all immortal. I guess I’ll file that with flying cars.

  14. And where the hell are my damn glowing seeds? I bought them because you wrote about them, Bailey. I’m holding you responsible.

    1. LP#: I am waiting too. The website says “shipping late 2014.

  15. So those of us reading this are fucked? Thanks a lot!

  16. OT (apologies if this was covered), but could you find a more condescending asshole if I paid you?

    When art is dangerous (or not)…..d=fb-share

    1. American capitalism has its own ingenious system for neutralizing or absorbing dissent: Any art that challenges its fundamental assumptions, its inevitability and rightness, is either ignored, so the artist has to tend bar or learn graphic design, or, if it becomes successful, lavishly rewarded and painlessly welcomed into the system it criticized.

      Someone never got lavishly rewarded.

      1. I love this. If people don’t like art, they ignore it, and if they do, they celebrate it, and sometimes artists convince people to like something new, but sometimes they don’t. And this is supposed to be some sort of injustice built into capitalism? Yeah, go try selling some provocative art in Saudi Arabia and see how THAT system deals with it. Or Europe, for that matter.

        1. I mean, what’s the opposite of the ‘capitalist interpretation of art’? Forcing people to accept and treat any attempt at societal criticism as meaningful and important?

          When everything’s special, nothing is.

          1. Revolutionary art speaks to the General Will, so if you don’t embrace it, you must be suffering false consciousness.

            That’s really the only argument I ever see. If you don’t like a piece of anti-capitalist art, it means you are fooled or a bad person. It’s the only explanation.

    2. Because communism is great to artists.…

      Then came the great debacle which to every Soviet writer and artist is a kind of St. Bartholomew’s Eve?a dark night which few of them seem ever completely to forget, and which is scarcely ever today spoken of otherwise than in a nervous whisper. The government, which evidently felt its foundations insecure, or feared a major war in, and possibly with, the West, struck at all supposedly “doubtful” elements, and innumerable innocent and harmless persons besides, with a violence and a thoroughness to which the Spanish Inquisition and the Counter-Reformation alone offer remote parallels.

      The great purges and trials of the years 1937 and 1938 altered the literary and artistic scene beyond all recognition. The number of writers and artists exiled or exterminated during this time?particularly during the Ezhov terror7?was such that Russian literature and thought emerged in 1939 like an area devastated by war, with some splendid buildings still relatively intact, but standing solitary amid stretches of ruined and deserted country

  17. How long ago was that issue of Reason where Ron Bailey said, I tell my wife we’ll have kids when we’re younger.

    How’s that working out for you Ron? How are those kids? Oh that’s right, we’re all still getting older just as quickly as we were then.

    1. MPG: We remain childless. Will keep you posted when that changes. 😉

  18. Reversing aging!

    Fusion power!

    The Singularity!

    Flying cars!

    Always just a few years away…

    1. Duh, time approaches infinity as you approach the singularity!

    2. Hoverboards!

  19. It’ll be my luck to die on the way to the drug store to get the anti-aging medication.

  20. But we’ll be melting and/or drowning due to AGW, so no need to plan for endless life.

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