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The Dangers Of Impending Immortality

Social Structures Could Crack

The Dangers Of Impending Immortality

By Sean Zucker –

It seems like the wish of every supervillain ever might soon be coming true. Ray Kurzweil, a former Google engineer who has predicted future events with a stunning 86 percent accuracy rate, has claimed that human beings will soon achieve immortality. He means really soon, as in less than a decade from today.

This prediction has recently gained headlines thanks to a video made by the YouTube page ADAGIO that highlighted Kurzweil’s stance on the future. However, his claim was initially made in 2015 during an interview Kurzweil gave to the Financial Times. “Over the next 20 to 25 years, we’re going to overcome almost all disease and aging,” he said at the time.

“We’ve learned to accept it, the cycle of life and all that, but humans have an opportunity to transcend beyond natural limitations,” Kurzweil added. “Life expectancy was 19 a thousand years ago. It was 37 in 1800. Everyone believes in life extension. Somebody comes out with a cure for a disease, it’s celebrated. It’s not, ‘Oh, gee, that’s going to forestall death.’”

At the core of his argument is nanotechnology and its apparent impending advancements. He theorizes that by the year 2030, tiny robots made with nanotechnology, or nanobots, will be capable of repairing human bodies at the cellular level. This would hypothetically enable scientists and doctors to cure any disease and even prevent aging. Beyond that, Kurzweil says this technology will gift people the ability to eat whatever they’d like at any given time without the concern of gaining weight or diminishing health.

Despite how all of this might sound, Kurzweil is far from a quack in a tinfoil hat. He has made 147 predictions to date and a whopping 115 (or 86 percent of them) have eventually held true according to Big Think. Additionally, 12 were determined to be “essentially correct,” which the outlet indicates that the prediction was just a few years off. This record included the 1990 revelation that the world’s best chess player would lose to a computer by the year 2000. This happened in 1997 when a computer known as Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov, known then as the world’s best chess player.

Business Insider notes that he essentially predicted mass use and dependence on smartphones in 1999 when he stated individuals will primarily use portable computers by 2009. In that same year, Kurzweil also said he anticipated that personal computers will be available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, as well as being commonly embedded in clothing and jewelry such as wristwatches. In short, he predicted the Apple Watch.

All of this has helped instill Kurzweil as the world’s foremost futurist. So, does this mean there is an 86 percent chance of human immortality by the year 2030? Well, if that happens, it may create more problems than it solves.

Psychology Today warns that humans living forever would create a devastating amount of overpopulation, while crippling societal infrastructures that are simply not equipped to handle those numbers. In America alone, Social Security and Medicare, which are already struggling, would possibly burst with the increased number of people. Ultimately, the demand for these programs would be unmeetable. There would also be other issues, such as increasing wage gaps and growing starvation rates.

Perhaps, it would be better to interpret Kurzweil’s prediction more accurately as a warning. Especially after revisiting his own declaration on life originally written in his book The Age of Spiritual Machines“Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it,” he explained.





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