Planning to retire at 50? Good on ya! Have you made plans for living a hundred years beyond that? In a world that changes like dreams?
Unless you come down with a fatal disease or find yourself in a gun battle, you’re probably going to live a lot longer than you ever imagined. This week’s news is interesting, but life-extension is a secondary consequence of everything associated with free markets. That trend is centuries old by now — better food and water, personal hygiene, continuous improvements in medicine, the widespread availability of something as mundane as fresh cow’s milk.
And just think how much longer and richer your life could be if you weren’t carrying 50% or more in parasitic government weight on your back. The interesting thing is that the rate of change is increasing far faster than governments and other misanthropes can drag it down. My own personal dictum has always been, “They can’t enslave us if they can’t catch us.” The literate third of the globe is at that point now. The other two thirds are just a few years away. If we can navigate the next few years without blowing ourselves up, we will reach a point where the average middle class household in the United States will control more real wealth than entire countries would have owned just a few centuries ago.
I’m sure I’ve cited this before, and this version of the film is an antique by now — it’s almost a year old — but this is a very compelling presentation:
Of course you cannot make any detailed plans about living decades longer than you expected with everything changing constantly — and at an ever-accelerating rate of change. The truth of the matter is, if you live to be 150 years old, you have a decent chance of living forever. The even more startling truth is that the ever-accelerating rate of change in all branches of technology is racing us toward a singularity, a point where all of our models of understanding break down and we have no rational means of predicting what will happen.
No one can predict the future more than a few years out, but what you can do is reprogram your mind. In omnia paratus — prepared for everything. If you are going to live a very long life — happily — I think you are going to have to train yourself to think like you did when you were twenty-five — serious about work, serious about the future, open to change, undismayed by frustration, eager to learn new things.
It took you twenty-five years to get there, and I’ll grant you twenty-five years of senescence on the back end. That gives you a solid century — maybe more — to live and work with a young, supple, avidly-interested mind. If you’re not there now, you might start moving in that direction. There’s no rush, though. You’ll have a lot more time that you thought you would.Related posts: