What will life be like in the future?
Many people today believe that we are living in a time in which time itself feels as though it’s speeding up.
It’s also a time in which we might be able to dramatically increase the average lifespan and health-span beyond what was previously thought possible.
Though predicting the future is not an exact science, there are particular people who are highly skilled at making educated guesses. I met recently with Dan Finfer of Post Human Era to discuss the technological side of longevity.
Designing the Human Life for Perfect Health
“At the dawn of life on this planet, evolutionary changes happened slowly. We’re talkin’ billions of years,” says Finfer.
Finfer explained to me that one microbe took billions of years to evolve the DNA necessary to replicate itself from simple amino acids. But that first copying mechanism, DNA, allowed information to be transmitted that much faster.
Speaking personally, I’m hopeful that our future includes an increased reverence for our physical environment and that as a planet we will find solutions to protect and nurture the natural beauty of the earth.
The Acceleration of Time Itself
“Evolution only took millions of years to create multi-cellular creatures. Good information was kept, and bad information was discarded,” explains Finfer. “The wheel of time continued until evolution presented the planet Earth with a new species, human beings.”
According to Finfer, this is really where the evolutionary process of life really began to accelerate.
How Your Life Will Change in the Future
Instead of millions of years to the next paradigm shift, it was only 50,000 years until Man began to talk.
And then, only 10,000 to develop agriculture, written language, society, and government.
Another 5,000 elapsed, and we had constructed Pyramids, developed theological and monetary systems, and begun colonizing the planet.
This led to the development of science a few thousand years later.
“Science, after a few mere centuries, thus gave us the Industrial Revolution,” Finfer states, “which after only 50 years gave us the Computer Revolution. Notice the trend? Evolution is a feedback loop. The meaning of life is to speed up.”
“What Will My Life Be Like 20 Years from Now, and Beyond?”
My conversation with Finfer becomes even more lively. You can hear it in the short podcast below, by clicking on the play arrow. It’s quite scintillating!
We explore the current model of human progress (and how that’s about to change radically) and how people still aren’t grasping the exponential trends inherent in computer power. From there, things get outrageously nerdy, as we chat about:
- science fiction
- the Matrix
- other futurists
- the singularity
- through the Worm Hole
- …and the shadow side of tech
The Full Interview about Life in the Future
DANE: I’m Dane Findley and I like exploring the topic of life extension.
I’m here with Dan Finfer of Post Human Era. I like talking with Dan about longevity. Because while I’m more interested in the holistic side of things, like diet and exercise, Dan is really more fascinated by the technological side of things.
So I thought I would pick his brain about some of the recent events in technology, and specifically how they may or may not relate to longevity.
DANE: We were just chatting on the break and you were saying how living to be 100 now seems, in many ways, almost conservative.
FINFER: Well, the reason I say “conservative” to a 100-year estimate is that most people are going off the current model of human progress. And they don’t factor in that the trend of the progress we’ve been seeing is actually exponential growth.
That all basically stems down to Moore’s law. And Gordon Moore worked at Intel in the 60s, and he made this law that said, computer power is going to double every 18 months.
And basically, so far he has been right.
DANE: Here’s the thing, I totally believe what you just said. Because I see evidence of that every day. I’m gonna sound like a complete science fiction nerd, but I am one – so whatever. I recently watched this older show called Warehouse 13. In the show, the characters have this – you know it’s supposed to be super futuristic – video communicator, a handheld device with which you can video-talk across great distances.
I was laughing out loud, because, you know, iPhones, Zoom, and Facetime. That episode isn’t even 15 years old yet but it’s already so dated it might as well be 50 years old.
FINFER: And we don’t even know what’s looming ahead of us. Because, you know, we’re on this current iteration of the internet.
FINFER: This guy named Ray Kurzweil has been heralded by Bill Gates as one of the most on-point futurists of our time. Kurzweil is a millionaire several times over for inventing the first musical synthesizer keyboard.
Kurzweil worked on speech recognition software, he’s currently working with NASA and Google to fund this Singularity University. And basically, he says that within the next 10 to 20 years, as Moore’s Law begins to pick up speed on the elbow of the exponential curve of the graph, these computers are going to be smarter than the human brain.
And what that means is, for example, the video game The Sims, in which you’re controlling these little people, and you kind of build empathy towards them but, really, they’re just living in virtual reality.
Well, the people that develop the Sims were wondering, how big of a computer would it take to completely simulate the planet Earth?
And they’ve realized that the computer processing power required could be achieved within the next 10 years.
This is a very “out there” theory. But the theory is that right now we could be living in a simulation of our future selves.
DANE: Okay, so it’s getting all matrix-like now.
FINFER: Exactly, yeah. A theory that relates to human longevity is, as computers shrink in size – if you can get a computer the size of, say, a red blood cell, that, you know, you could inject it into your bloodstream.
That computer could basically float through your body, clear out, you know, fat clogging cells in arteries, repair nerve damage in your brain, you know, basically reverse aging by reprogramming your DNA to tell it, you know, to stop having malfunction codes.
Those computers in your blood would have internet. And so imagine having, like a laptop computer, in your brain that’s hooked up to the internet. So you get those software updates.
So that’s nanotechnology. And they took an organic cell. They made the DNA sequence on a computer and loaded it into that organic cell. And it booted up the organic cell – like it was organic DNA.
The running time for the audio version of this interview is under 10 minutes. You can HEAR THE PODCAST now – click on the play arrow below:
FINFER: And so the thing about that is, we could program the cell to say, we’ll take oxygen molecules and convert them into carbon dioxide, or probably vice versa.
But the scary thing is, you know, if you had a terrorist bioengineer, they could ostensibly make a nano cell that would convert oxygen into cyanide or something like that, right? This is the shadow side of technology. This is why they’ve funded an entirely new governmental agency – a whole new department of homeland security which is biological defense and nanotechnological defense.
DANE: Of course, as a longevity enthusiast, I’m much more intrigued by the brighter side of technology. And I’m eager to see the progress that will be made in improving human health – not just so we can live longer, but so we can live more robustly while we’re alive, however long that happens to be.
Additional Sources about Life in the Future:
On Evolution – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
Delaying Aging – http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/jun2012_Suzanne-Somers-Quest-to-Educate-World-About-How-to-Delay-Aging_01.htm
Exponential Growth VS Seeing Time as Linear Steps – http://singularityhub.com/2016/04/05/how-to-think-exponentially-and-better-predict-the-future/