“The 20th century was not 100 years of progress at today’s rate but, rather, was equivalent to about 20 years, because we’ve been speeding up to current rates of change. And we’ll make another 20 years of progress at today’s rate, equivalent to that of the entire 20th century, in the next 14 years. And then we’ll do it again in just 7 years. Because of this exponential growth, the 21st century will equal 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress — 1,000 times greater than what we witnessed in the 20th century, which itself was no slouch for change.” — Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman (from fantastic voyage)
From our standpoint, let me get this straight, we will likely see 200 centuries of progress in a mere one!? With this in mind, we can predict that our medical technology should also progress analogously; that is, incredibly fast. The Methuselarity (alternatively, Actuarial Escape Velocity) is the notion that we can add more than one year’s life expectancy every year. Meaning that while my life expectancy may be about 80 or 85 at the moment, once we reach actuarial escape velocity, this number will climb by more than one year each year… Fascinating. It is truly a wonderful thought… But what are the roadblocks? What conditions must be met?
For one, we need to *not* blow ourselves up. Second, science and technology must continue to develop reasonably; meaning no oppressive, innovation-blocking world governments should be allowed to rule (Go wikileaks!). Third, we are not struck by an asteroid. Fourth, the higgs-boson does not end up being a sentient, malevolent subatomic particle intent on annihilating us all. And, finally, Neo-luddites do not bring about total anarchy… (although I do like their reverence of nature.)
Meeting all these caveats, we can dawn our cave-hats and have a party of indefinite span! No, really… It means: help hold the world together, stay healthy, and you may just live to sing “when I’m one-hundred-and-sixty-four”. What do you think? (See this SENS Foundation FAQ) … Would you object?
“The essence of the human species is to extend and expand our boundaries.”
— Ray & Terry