Living forever. How quaint. But what are the consequences?

Living forever. The Pros and Cons.

Very old manMore and more I hear and read things about how scientists are getting closer to the genes that need to be changed to make people live longer. At this moment there are people who live to over 100 years, but that’s clearly not enough.

I wonder how many people want to live forever. Of course having the body and mind of a 30-or-so-year old. Cool, right? Of course this means you’ll have to work forever because you don’t look like you need a pension. (Benefit: you don’t have to pay for a pension plan!)


Is it all that rosy as it looks and sounds?

Still I have some thoughts and reservations about this.

In 2100 the world will have 10 billion people (this is the medium growth projection – check out this wikipedia page).


Suppose none of these 10 billion will die and they will keep making new people that also don’t die. Do you see where I’m going? It will get very crowded on planet Earth. And they will all have to eat. Is there enough land remaining for growing crops? Are we going to have space stations that create food which is then shipped down?

I guess it won’t come to that. Not everyone will be able to afford getting their genes modified to live forever. Only the rich will. (They’ll make sure of that.) The regular people will just work and die. Die of cancer, bad food and diseases we still don’t know of now.


Then there are the jobs

robot workerMore and more jobs are taken over by computers, robots and other machinery. What will those 10 billion (and expanding) people do all day? Twiddle their thumbs? Kill each other? (Which wouldn’t surprise me, honestly.)

Another consideration. Procreation.

If something like this living forever idea becomes reality I would vote for sterilising the people who get to live forever. Imagine what will happen if people live forever and make more people that will live forever. There won’t be space to put all of them – unless they start killing off the people that don’t live forever. But then, considering that the rich ones will live forever… who will do the work? Oh, right. The robots I mentioned above. Isn’t that a nice future to look at?

Do you want to live forever?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I don’t. Even when there’s always something else I want to do, I’m sure that living forever will get boring at one point. Just let me live a nice life (hey, I work hard enough for it) and let me get out of it when I chose to.

I guess in the end there can be only one…