October 01, 2002
Some consequences of aging rejuvenation therapies

Fewer heirs and heiresses of huge fortunes will be running around if the original accumulators live for decades longer.

People will not be in as much of a rush to reproduce if they can do so later in life.

Attitude changes caused by the passing of generations that have a set of atittudes will slow down when each generation lives longer.

People will become more risk averse when the total amount of life they stand to lose from an accident becomes larger.

People will worry more about long term trends when they come to believe that they will live to see the long term trends play out.


Population Size Effects and Consequences

Global population will rise.

Eventually births may need to be regulated. On the other hand, faced with a long life and possessed of a young body that is capable of giving birth for decades longer women will no longer be faced with a ticking biological clock reproductive clock. So many women may opt to have their children at a much later age.

Countries now slated to see population decreases due to birth dearth will not do so.

Economic Effects and Consequences

People's minds will not decline as they age. So wisdom and experience will be combined with the higher mental acuity of youth. Physical workplace abilities will similarly not decline with age. Productivity of the economy as a whole will therefore rise dramatically.

Illnesses associated with aging and illnesses of all kinds will become more rare. Employee time lost from work due to illness will decline dramatically.

Total medical costs will decline. It will turn out to be far cheaper to rejuvenate aging bodies than to treat the illnesses that arise as a result of aging.

The benefits of longer term training will increase because the number of productive years of being able to use a skill will increase. Though advances in automation and new processes for producing most goods and services may decrease the length of time any particular skill remains useful.

Environmental Effects and Consequences

There will be more people and therefore, all else equal, more presssure on the environment.

Since people will know that they will live to see the consequences of long term environmental trends playing out people will be far more interested in long term solutions and in developing technologies that reduce drastically the damage humans do to the environment. With a much larger portion of the population possessing youthful levels of energy, mental acuity, and enthusiasm the environmental movement will become much larger and politically more powerful.

I expect the net effect to be beneficial to the environment.


Longer term goals will be pursued

Since people will live longer and will maintain youthful abilities while doing so it seems reasonable to expect more people to pursue longer term goals. Space travel and colonization of other planets seem like two of the more dramatic goals that will be pursued.

Civility and Crime

The bad news is that younger and more energetic people are more prone to commit violent crimes. So a restored youthfulness will transform some formerly dangerous individuals once again into threats to others.

People who have alwys been law abiding will, as a result of their regaining of youthful vigour, be better able to fend off and protect themselves from criminals of all types. Weak sick old people make easy marks for con artists. Restored to youthful mental acuity they will once again be able to spot frauds and cease to be especially vulnerable to con artists.

By Randall Parker at 2002 October 01 04:36 PM  Biotech Society
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