Last Tuesday my grandfather reached the remarkable milestone of a hundred years. During his lifetime he has witnessed the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Republic, Two World Wars, man stepping foot on the moon, the advent of the internet, television, mobile phone and numerous other technological innovations. The next generation of youngsters born today are more likely than ever to be living for well over a century. Whilst immortality remains to be seen as science fiction at least for the time being we explore the implications of living longer in an increasingly complex society.
According to Google founder Eric Schmidt and Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk we are currently in the midst of industrial revolution in which machines will be able to take on human capabilities by becoming self taught. Whilst the long term implications of such technology are by and large beneficial, in the short term there maybe a continuing shift in the structure and level of employment across both blue collar and white collar industries. Tasks which are ubiquitous such as bank clerks and shop assistants could become redundant leaving a large skills gap in the jobs market. How this can be reconciled with an exponentially growing population has yet to be identified. If we are to avoid global mass poverty an alternative model will need to be indetified.
An Increasing Population
As human lives lengthen there will be a demographic shift towards a larger global population which is set to double from todays figure of 7 billion to a future figure of 14 billion within most peoples lifetimes. Moreover as people tend to live longer there will be more people living beyond retirement age to be cared for. Societies will have to learn to function with an increasing number of elderly people. Moreover as natural resources are scarce we will need to find alternative sources of energy.
A War to End All Wars
The last century saw two of the bloodiest wars in human history in addition to numerous genocides across the planet many of which are still ongoing. With technology increasing at such a rapid scale and human lessons from history tragically forgotten could a nuclear war that wipes out entire nation states at the click of a button happen?
From Apeman To Spaceman
Or will our species continue to thrive and utilise such technology to settle other planets marvelling at the earths blue surface from some distant corner of our galaxy?
The End Of The Nation State
Our generation is the first for which international travel has become affordable to the masses bridging our differences and broadening our understanding of each other. In an ever globalising society where we see ourselves increasingly as citizens of the world will we continue to be governed on a national basis and how will we choose to define ourselves?
Flying Cars & Bionic Humans
Will the technology be in place for flying cars to hover around some of the worlds major cities and will todays vehicles be seen as a thing of the past? Just how human will we be living longer? Will our organs become replaced with machinery to such an extent we lose our own identity?