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Live to be 1000 Years Old?

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  • A Long Damn Time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teiresias (101481) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:07PM (#10988760)
    As much as I never want to die, and I really really don't, living to a 1000 years old seems a tad bit excessive. After awhile, the risk of being alive is diminished and we no longer have a rush to do things. With a deadline of a 1000 years (more than ten times the above average we have now), it gives new meaning to putting stuff off till tommorow. Much of the excitement that makes life so worth living will be lost.

    And I suppose when we start having people living till 1000, they'll come out with treatments to help you live to 10,000. etc etc etc.

    What I'd really like to know is if the treatment will be a simple once a day pill or a three hour long invasive therapy I have to go through every morning (much like showering).
  • by ellem (147712) * <ellem52@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:14PM (#10988877) Homepage Journal
    what you need to do is read Asimov's Bible History and you'll understand WHY people are said to live hundreds of years.

    Short answer: Not people, names.
  • by Jakhel (808204) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:18PM (#10988942)
    and living for 1000 years could quite possibly be one of them. It's almost a curse if you think about it. Friends and family die before you, you see the world completely change from how it used to be (and you know it was ALWAYS better back in the good ol days), relationships will be a joke as you try to pick up 20+ year old girls at 632 years of age. Do they even make viagra that works on people over 90 without creating a serious chance of heart failure?
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:19PM (#10988952)
    Translations. Some of these documents have been passed on and translated from dead language to dead language for tens of thousands of years.

    Lets say in the bible a man lived for 900 years (which there are at least one I just cant spell his name). Say durring that time they recorded time based off the moon (which is around 1 month for us) so 900/12 is 75 years old which is an old age in our standards and really old but possible for 10,000 years ago. Or the guy who lived to be 300 years old this story could have came from the time where they use the different seasons (4). so 300/4 is still 75 year old. We normally know the year as the primary unit for measuring time. So for an other culture who uses an other primary unit for time say the moon or seasons, Or Solar or Lunar Eclipises The aragment of the planets, etc. Could easily have been translated to the word year because that is the largest time method. It is just like how we don't have a name of the amount of time the sun spins around the galaxy, we as a culture don't think of time as our position in the orbit around the galaxy. But say a million years in the future they use that as a form of time then they translate our books and see that a man lived to be a 100 years but converted it to the persons age in Glactic Year. That number would seem to be a very old person.
  • Re:A Long Damn Time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joeldg (518249) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:20PM (#10988964) Homepage
    The ability to set *huge* projects in motion with these kinds of timespans would be impressive though.
    Just think what the egyptian kings would have made had they lived that long... :)

    Is interesting.. However, I would not worry as you will always have certain portions of the population that will label this the "Mark of the beast" and not partake.. Of course we won't bother shipping any of this to troubled areas like the middle east or Africa.. For any of our enemies.. Reminds me of the Dune and "the spice must flow" etc.. I imagine it will also be priced high-enough that your average garbage man could not afford it.

    Control this information.. you control the world.
    Think about threatening to not ship peoples life extending drugs to a country that is being "bad".. Wow, that would have some quick results.. Or if not, then you could just wait until they die, talk to the new guys.. Easy..

    This all kind of reminds me of the Worthing Saga by Orson scott card..
  • by stud9920 (236753) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:23PM (#10989027)
    Longer lifespan doesn't mean an exponential population explosion, neither does a longer fertility period. These just mean a finite growth that would stop at an equilibrium point. After that you would still grow exponentially, but not at a higher relative rate. Now if over the fertile lifespan, people decide to breed like rabbits, now you have a real explosive situation
  • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:23PM (#10989033) Homepage Journal
    That last century you spend in a nursing home probably would Suck with a capital "S".

    Seriously, given the likelyhood of an accident getting you, imagine the sort of life people would have to live to average living to 1000. Even if you could offer people a constant youthful physique and extreme longevity, how many of us are really going to make it to even 200?

    Looks as if those two problems cancel. To get to that last, Sucky century in the nursing home, you'd have to have way too little fun along the way. If you have a full, active life, as you said: ``... something's going to get you.''

    I think that the whole point of these life extension projects is to give us a good life until an accident does us in, so that instead of becoming a miserable burden to ourselves and others after 70 or 80 years, we can go on being useful.

    For me, the draw isn't ``live as long as possible'', it's ``be physically able to live 'til I die.'' Longer total life span is ok, too, I guess.

  • Economically (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MisanthropicProgram (763655) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:32PM (#10989190)
    I was wondering about that myself. Let's say that everyone works enough in their first 100 years that they can save/invest enough so that they never have to work again - ever. Now, you have 900 years of retirement doing whatever you want. Now you just have a lot of money, only 10% of the people who are able to work do so and the other 90% don't produce. This is assuming that most people are disciplined enough to have that kind of financial plan. - There, I just shot my own idea down the toilet - everybody would live the same way financially, only over a longer period of time. I guess we'd see 300 year mortgages and as a result a typical family home would cost, what, $2,000,000?
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:40PM (#10989293) Homepage Journal
    I don't buy the idea that 1000 year old people in the Bible is because they used a different counting system. Here's the reasons:

    1. For any other 'year' based on the moon, the planets, etc, the ages of all the bible heroes could be recalculated, and then shown to be normal. I haven't seen any one do this yet.

    2. At some point in the Bible, they stop using long ages, and people have normal life spans. If there was a change in age calculation in the culture, it is reflected in the literature. I haven't seen anyone look into the culture to explain why they changed.

    3. There is enough weird stuff going on in the Bible to make long lifespans seem... normal. Why do we have to seek a rational explanation for this? It's not like long lifespans are the single 'deal-breaker' for skeptics.

  • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:40PM (#10989301) Homepage Journal
    Lets say in the bible a man lived for 900 years (which there are at least one I just cant spell his name[methuselah]). Say durring that time they recorded time based off the moon (which is around 1 month for us) so 900/12 is 75 years old which is an old age in our standards and really old but possible for 10,000 years ago.

    The problem with that sort of explanation is that it has some of these characters fathering/bearing children at 36 moons=3 years old, or 20 seasons=5 years old.

    Also, if that were the case, we'd see similar ``confusions'' in contemporanious written records. We'd see references to the ``year of planting'' and ``the year of harvest'', too, if ``year'' meant ``new moon to new moon''.

    Asimov (and others) proposed that they didn't use ``junior'', so the first Methuselah named his son Methuselah, who named his son Methuselah, and so on for 900+ years. I haven't cared enough to look into it, but I'm told there are similar inconsistencies with this explanation.

    I don't have a good answer which doesn't involve the supernatural.

  • by Shazow (263582) <`ten.wozahs' `ta' `vortep.yerdna'> on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:41PM (#10989317) Homepage
    What about if they devise some sort of contract that whomever decides to accept this medicine, they have to sign a contract that by age x (say... 200?) they are required to leave the planet. Of course, they can come back to visit their great great great great great great not so great great great grandchildren every once in a while and suches, but for the most part, they'd be living elsewhere.

    I think since most geniuses don't hit their peak of invention until nearing the ends of their lives, extending it will either push it much further back or... make huge leaps in technology.

    But what about education? Most people today only ever go to school because they want to make the most of their short life. They want to graduate, get a good job, live a good life.
    If you have 984 years to go, would you really be interested in pursuing higher education? Would this "dumben down" our populace?

    We'll either get a lot of smart people, or a lot of patient lazy people.

    So, where do I sign?

    - shazow
  • by Pxtl (151020) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:42PM (#10989329) Homepage
    No, Woody Allen said it best:
    "People say I want to achieve immortality through my work. I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve immortality through not dying!"

    or something like that.
  • by raider_red (156642) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:51PM (#10989466) Journal
    Anyone interested in this might want to take a look at Holy Fire. It's a speculative work about the impact that an aging population and an emphasis on life extension could have on society. In the future depicted in the book, most wealth and power is concentrated with the very old, leaving the young in society marginalized with very little upward mobility.

    The main character is a very old woman who undergoes a radical experimental treatment which leaves her with a physical age in her early twenties, and essentially has to start over. A very interesting look at the direction we could be headed.

  • by WaterBreath (812358) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:01PM (#10989624)
    Genesis was supposed to have been dictated to Moses by God. So the possibility of Noah having memory problems is sidestepped.
  • by Only in the dark (83350) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:03PM (#10989652) Journal
    I dont think you are looking at this the right way. Your arguments seem to be based on the idea that only you are living to be a 1000 years old. If everyone is living that much longer, there will not be this enigma problems you are relating. Sure friends and family will die suddenly, and it will be just as tragic at is it today. But think of the possibilties.

    Imagine what it would be like if some of our greatest minds of today were able to continue with their work for HUNDREDS of years rather than decades.

    Social orders would have to be massively restructered, just to accomidate the extended lifespans. Everyone would be that much more careful with the world around them, since they would be able to see the changes, rather than worry about what they are leaving as a "legacy". With perpetual youth, I think we would see a resurgence in the Frontiers-man attitude to explore new things and seek new thrills, while being tempured with a greater understanding gained from long life.

    I see lots of advantages, and Im sure their could be even more problems we dont know about (like how would our brains remember 1000 years worth of memories? Can it hold that much? Would we slowly change into someone else entirely?)

    Its a fastinating "what if" game, at the very least.

  • Re:A Long Damn Time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dammital (220641) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:20PM (#10989890)
    With a deadline of a 1000 years [...] it gives new meaning to putting stuff off till tommorow.
    Au contraire, Pierre. Here's my perspective, from the far side of 50 years of age: retirement is too damn close for me to screw around now. I can't change careers. I don't dare quit my fat job. I'll never go to grad school. I've only got 15 years left to feather my nest for retirement. I have no options.

    If I turned on the television tomorrow morning and Diane Sawyer was telling me that I had a thousand years left, I'd quit my job faster than you can blink. I'd do something different.

    I think that people procrastinate because they have too little time, not because they have too much.

  • Re:A Long Damn Time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tenebrious1 (530949) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:23PM (#10989924) Homepage
    As much as I never want to die, and I really really don't, living to a 1000 years old seems a tad bit excessive. After awhile, the risk of being alive is diminished and we no longer have a rush to do things. With a deadline of a 1000 years (more than ten times the above average we have now), it gives new meaning to putting stuff off till tommorow. Much of the excitement that makes life so worth living will be lost.

    I can think of so many things I'd love to do, but really don't have the time or money for. Having an infinite lifespan to accomplish things means that I have much more time to enjoy the things; meaning more happiness in my view.

    And I suppose when we start having people living till 1000, they'll come out with treatments to help you live to 10,000. etc etc etc.

    If you'd have read the article, you'd see that living to 1000 depends not on any miracle, but on risks. Once science figure out how to stop the aging process, you can live forever theoretically. But with risks, like getting struck by lightning (1 in 500,000), if you lived long enough you would get struck, and maybe killed (1 in 3,000,000). You have a much greater risk of slipping in the tub and dying, 1 in 2000. Every year you have a 1 in 75 chance of getting killed in an auto accident; living to 1000 under those odds is a longshot.

  • by dark-br (473115) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:45PM (#10990236) Homepage

    in that small world called US uh :)

  • by Knara (9377) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:55PM (#10990372)
    I think since most geniuses don't hit their peak of invention until nearing the ends of their lives, extending it will either push it much further back or... make huge leaps in technology.

    I dunno, seems to me that most geniuses make their greatest progress in their relative youth, then spend the rest of their lives either promoting and expanding on that first development, or they start off on some other incredulous project that they never quite finish.

  • Re:Population (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:00PM (#10990445)
    The answer lies in Biology, which I guess you never took.

    Your sperm won't be good copies after about 4 decades. For example, the chance of having a baby with Down's Syndrome dramatically increase after the man hits 40.

    As for women, they have a finite supply of eggs. Once they're gone, they're gone.

    So, you can't have kids at the age of 700, since there won't be any eggs in the mother and the dad's sperm is going to be pretty bad quality.
  • by nusratt (751548) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:11PM (#10990600) Journal
    -- statistically: You'll live longer by avoiding all manner of risks of accidents. Avoid cars, planes, electricity, wild animals, hazardous weather, high-crime neighborhoods, etc.

    -- physiologically: avoid anything which is stressful, overly exciting, fattening; opt for unrelenting exercise, drastic caloric reduction, etc.

    Unfortunately, the bulk of the effect is relativistic:
    you'll live somewhat longer, but mostly it will just *seem* longer (ba-dum-bump, thanks folks, you've been great, I'll be here all week).
  • Re:A Long Damn Time (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PantsWearer (739529) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:31PM (#10990835)
    However, I would not worry as you will always have certain portions of the population that will label this the "Mark of the beast" and not partake.

    There will be portions of the population that will see this as unnatural or unholy or un-something and will refuse to partake, but unless they are willing to kill all of the people who did get age extension treatments, there's a simple solution: wait.

    I can see the conversation now:
    Opposer: You're unnatural and you should not have decided to live forever.
    Immortal: Okay, see you in a century. Oops, no, I won't.

    Basically, anyone who lives a few hundred years, outlives any of their detractors who thought that people shouldn't ever live that long. And with each succeeding generation, exposure to this concept makes it more and more normal, acceptable and desirable.

    Corey Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" discusses this concept quite well. (BTW, it's available for download from his site, www.craphound.com [craphound.com].)

  • by NotoriousQ (457789) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:37PM (#10990896) Homepage
    Unfortunately it gets worse. I have been called a heathen for saying that Dec. 25 is not the day JC was born. When I asked for their source (not proof!), I got called a heathen again.

    This is from at least 3 separate people. Maybe they all feel offended by all the people who point out Saturnalia(?) and its 'coincidence'. (Personally, I actually have no information on whether or not it is a coincidence, so I treat is as such)

    Sadly, I taunted one of these people with the request for explanation of the eastern orthodox christmas on Jan 7, and the response was basically something along the lines of the entire eastern orthodox christians being dumb and delusioned.

    I wish people would at least know what they believe in.

    Also, I am probably not too familiar with western christianity in general, but should I be offended when a christians tells me that I will burn in hell. I do not get offended, but what is interesting, by not getting offended, they get offended. This confuses me.

    I do not care about hell, but I would not mind keeping the other person happy as well. I mean, belittling hell is not the right solution. Ignoring it seems just as bad. Saying, yes I will become a better christian is not the right answer, since it is an outright lie. Is there a right answer for these people that does not involve converting to their religion.

    My guess is they feel like a public speaker, who feels bad because no one clapped at their speech. But then if you have so many speakers delivering the same speech, most of them are bound to suck.
  • A few thoughts. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pragma_x (644215) on Friday December 03, 2004 @04:40PM (#10990935) Journal
    I don't think that any human being, as we understand ourselves now, can withstand living past 120 or so years without undergoing some pretty hefty consequences.

    Cancer. How much radiation will you absorb over 1000 years? How many parts-per-billion of the innumerable carcinogens, heavy metals and free-radicals will your body come in contact and absorb over that much time? The sheer volume of damage to cells and DNA by these factors, as well as the simple (and natural) mishandling of our DNA by basic cell division, puts one at a tremendous risk for developing cancer. Any kind of longevity thereapy would have to be aggressive and continuous to stave off these problems.

    Insanity and or lossing the capability to change healthily. How much can the human mind hold, safely? You might very well live to be 1000, but would you still remember the first 500 years of your life? Even if you remain active, and fight off senility and alzhimers to the end, you only have so many neurons that are available for use. Even assuming that you learn to use the so called unused 85% of your brain, would your consciousness, your very psyche, be able to withstand so much knowledge without loosing your sanity? How about just keeping up with current events?
  • by WaterBreath (812358) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:00PM (#10991187)
    Serious question about this. Why did God provide a bible which was so much more clear to thousands of Hebrews at the time than to millions of Christians today?

    Because the Hebrews were originally supposed to bring the word of God to the rest of the world. But they didn't hold up their end of the deal. Which is why, after Jesus came, Paul travelled around and preached salvation to the Gentiles.

    The Old Testament was not written to the Gentiles. It refers to us, but it wasn't for us. We can read it, and learn from it. But the message there is not necessary for salvation, like the message in the New Testament is.

    This is why it is completely irrelevant for people to say things such as "well if you believe the Bible, why don't you stone sinners?" The answer is because we weren't commanded to, and when Jesus came he told the Jews not to do it either. It was originally a preventative measure to keep their culture from being corrupted. But they were intent on corrupting it and it happened anyway.

    It just seems to me the the Word of God would be unambiguous and self-evidently true, like a mathematical proof.

    The more I learn about scripture, the more self-consistent and simple it is. Yes, if you take bits and pieces out of context, it doesn't make sense, or seems to be self-contradictory. But taken altogether, it explains itself. People make it complicated because they are always looking for loopholes, or ways to disprove it, or are trying to fit in with it their own ideas of how it should be. This is borne out by my previous example of the Satan thing. It isn't consistent, even within scripture to think of it as some powerful being above man but below God. But if you take the whole Bible altogether, a more accurate, and simple picture emerges. The scripter even says that the source of evil is the heart of man.

  • I don't believe it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Baki (72515) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:05PM (#10991256)
    Our bodies were made to live about 50 years, maybe up to 100 when we have easy lives.

    I do believe one can stop and even reverse the general aging mechanisms, whoever there are so many very complex parts in our bodies (such as the brain) that are still badly understood and were not "made" to function much beyond 100 years. I'm pretty sure that all kind of strange and new "defects" would pop up all over in our bodies if they would live much longer without aging.

    This apart from cumulative effects that cannot be avoided causing cancer in the long run (natural radiation, chemicals, waste products, toxins). Already, due to increasing average age, cancer is increasing a lot. I guess almost 100% of people would develop cancer not much after 120 years.

    To state that without the normal aging process our bodies would suddenly hold out for 100's of years seems very optimistic and naive to me.
  • Flaw to the idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dpilot (134227) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:06PM (#10991262) Homepage Journal
    Most of these ideas of rejuvenation are based on attacking biological malfunctions. That's all well and good, but it misses something else - there'a a fair amount of nonliving tissue in our bodies.

    The first thought would be bones, but for the moment let's not think about them. Instead think about the cartilage that keeps the joints from grinding themselves into oblivion. That stuff's nonliving and doesn't replenish. We build one supply of it as we grow to adulthood, and after that it's got to last. (Or get replaced, but thos don't last nearly as well as the OEM joints.)

    Then someone else mentioned fertility, thinking more of population. But think in another way, for a moment. Menopause starts as the woman's egg supply runs out and the ovaries shut down. She was born with her full egg supply - it's finite. So yes, she maybe she can live to be 1000, but about 950 of those years will be post-menopause. There are similar considerations for men. (Much more could be said, even without intending to joke, but enough's enough.)

    Finally, our flesh itself is anchored with nonliving membranes. That stuff is also laid down as we grow to adulthood, and then it's got to last. Old people get saggier, it's just years and years of gravity.

    Teeth. We get two sets, and we drop the first early in life. The second set's got to last.

    So yes, we can improve healing mechanisms, we can mitigate some types of damage. Maybe there would be some way to convince the body that our adult teeth are really baby teeth, and go through that cycle again. But there are aging issues for which the body has no healing or renewal mechanism, at all.

    The image of "early 20's forever" is attractive, but it ain't quite real. Nor is "60 forever," but I suspect the form-factor that would live forever isn't here, yet. The "forever person" would have some 20's traits and some 60's traits. That is, until we figure out some mechanisms to tell the body to destroy tissue it's never destroyed before, and lay down replacement tissue that it hasn't laid down in decades - or centuries.
  • by jackrd (787395) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:06PM (#10991263)
    I don't know why I'm bothering, because this is probably just going to get buried, but... Has anyone stopped and considered the evolutionary consequences of this? He is proposing to constantly repair all types of molecular and cellular damage. The "damage" done to our DNA (aka mutation) is the source of change and new, potentially beneficial traits. And in order to fix them, wouldn't that imply that we know how they are supposed to work? Do we? Isn't the way that all people work differently one of our strong points? Of course, mutation/recombination would still happen through reproduction, and could even be performed while one is alive, but the fact remains, if you want to improve things, you'll have to change them, and if you want to change them, you introduce the risk that you will break them. If no one wants to take that risk, how will we improve, or will we be happy with extended stasis?
  • by YetAnotherDave (159442) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:36PM (#10991598)
    Forget mandatory retirement ages - you'll need to work until you have enough $$ to live on for the projected remainder of your life.

    This will finish off most national retirement plans (those that are still viable now), tho.

    If your house is paid off, you just need enough money for day-to-day stuff. I figure I'll be able to drop down to part-time work in less than 10 years, and maintain a better standard of living than I have now. That could well continue for N years, where N is 'until I get bored'

    Our current concept of retirement is based on trying to have a few years to enjoy what you've worked all your life for. That model would probably change with extremely long lifespans, but I think that'd be healthier anyway...
  • by ahodgson (74077) on Friday December 03, 2004 @06:18PM (#10992073)
    Obviously, limits on reproduction would be necessary.

    Wants kids? Fine, you can have one, but you have to give up your own immortality treatments. Sounds like a deal to me.
  • by Surt (22457) on Friday December 03, 2004 @07:12PM (#10992608) Homepage Journal
    Well, even if you think you own your house, you have to remember that when the young and propertyless get sufficiently desperate you also have to keep yourself supplied with ammunition, and probably paid guards.

    Alternatively, in a friendlier future, they might just vote to raise property taxes until everyone who owns property is forced back to work, and 'property' becomes essentially just a perk for working.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2004 @07:31PM (#10992782)
    Read up on the scientific method. Gravity is a theory. The effect of what we describe with the theory of gravity is an empirically verifiable fact. But practically everything that we can't derive directly from observation will ALWAYS remain a theory in science. The distinction is between a theory that has sufficient proof that we consider it to be true, and a theory that does not have much proof.

    You also turn it upside down. There is not a single scientific FACT that prove the Bible is true, and there is no established theory that a) explains how Christian faith as established by the Bible can fit reality and b) there is no proof to support any such theory.

    Can you present me with a single scientific FACT that contradicts the existence of Santa Claus?

    You can't, because 1) I haven't provided a clear definition of Santa Claus that makes it a falsifiable claim, 2) proving the non-existence of anything is only possible if aspects of the definition of that thing makes it possible to prove that it is impossible for the thing to exist - it's perfectly possible to create a definition of Santa Claus that makes it possible for him to exist

    The Bible is hardly any better supported by proof or fact than Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. If you think otherwise I challenge you to present that proof.

    In fact, I challenge you to provide any proof that Jesus was an actual living historical character. I don't dispute he could have been, though there is no reason to believe he was any different from the hundreds of other prophets at the time, but I don't think it can be proven and the evidence is light at best. Apart from the gospels, there is only one source close in time that is claimed to mention Jesus, and that is Josephus Testimonium Flavianum.

    Unfortunately, there is plenty of reasons to believe that the paragraphs in Josephus were inserted later, and even if it prove to be original, his most likely source would have been one of the early christians recounting a story. The text certainly does not make any claim that Josephus personally knew it to be fact - in fact it recounts how the christians believe that the disciples told of Jesus. So second/third hand information at least by the time it reached Josephus if he actually wrote it.

    As such, why should I consider the Bible more historically valid than any other religious text with no other evidence supporting it?

    And lastly: Give me a single statement from the Bible that "science did not discover until about 3-4 hundred years ago".

  • Re:Economically (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:18PM (#10993602) Journal
    It would just become unfeseable to retire at that point.
    The first thing to realize is that money is not wealth. Money is just funny looking bits of paper which all of us have agreed to use as a medium of exchange for wealth, which is really convient. Wealth is physical things, like a car or food. If the supply of money increses, from all of the people saving it and collecting intrest, but the supply of food does not increse in kind, the price of food will increse. It's a simple supply and demand balance. The food produced by the 10% of the population, which is working, will need to be spread across the entire 100%. People will be able to save ridiculous sums of money over their lives, the problem is, that the price of things will follow in kind.
    This isn't to say that run-away inflation is inevitable. As the population grows, the number of workers creating wealth tends to increse in kind. If the supply of money is kept in check, inflation should be controlable.
    Personally, what I would expect, if this comes to pass, is that people will end up working until they are hit by a bus. They will just be able to take long breaks every once in a while, if they are smart and save. Much like we take vacations now, just for a longer period. People will also be able to change jobs throughout their life. Imagine spending 40 years programming, getting bored with it, and spending the next 8-10 years learning to be a mechanic, or teacher.
    The other argument I see, and a possible pitfall, is the idea of stagnation. Old people keep the world from changing. This begs the question: is stagnation in thinking based on just age, or is it caused by a reversable physical process? Studies have shown that people's ability to learn declines with age which means that it is probably a decay type process. If this were to be reversed, and 500 year olds were just as good at learning new things as 20 year olds, would this tendancy to gets stuck in one's way change? My guess is yes.

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