Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Living Longer - A World of Wisdom?

Any race that cures death will end up with a very old, wise and experienced society. Who knows what sort of implications this could have on their world.

The implications of more time alone would dramatically enhance one's ability to contribute. For example, time to specialise in many fields would bring about more knowledgeable scientists, more skillful musicians and sports people, and more flexible artists. Centuries of honing and refinement would give birth to unseen talent. Throw wisdom into the mix too and you have yourself an extremely enlightened society, making today's most gifted look like incapable children.

Imagine an artist who masters psychology, quantum physics and child care, and is able to integrate it into their art in a way never before achieved, using skills refined over millennia. The boundaries of magnificence would continue to be pushed to extraordinary levels. This is a world of wonder the likes of which we have never seen.

With vast and varied knowledge, many would be able to integrate obscure connections in their knowledge, much like I was talking about in my blog Time to Improve on Accidental Science. New discoveries and solutions would be found at an ever increasing rate as more and more people learnt to see relationships between seemingly unrelated concepts.

High efficiency achieved by centuries of practice and trial and error would lead to yet another boom, in productivity. Prices would drop and profits would soar, further speeding up the eradication of poverty.

But this is a very narrow way of looking at things. The Singularity, (which, I've been told, is near) would transform all the current dynamics of our lives. It alone may bring us increased intelligence, wisdom, and, by means of programs like the Kung fu teacher in the Matrix, experience. Most likely, we won't need to have increased lifespans to improve our lives in the ways I just discussed. However, it still makes a good argument for longevity, so don't dismiss it!

Perhaps its no coincidence that as we are on the verge of dramatically increasing our lifespans, we're also on the verge of artificially increasing our intelligence. Perhaps it is all meant to come together, one instant, incomprehensible transformation.

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