Continuing our exploration of wisdom gleaned from Yuval Noah Harari’s big brain and two bestselling books, let’s talk about how to live forever. (This one will be more like a +11 as it’ll run on the longer side…)
But… First, let’s talk about the fact that humanity’s quest for Immortality is one of the three big things Professor Harari thinks will define the 21st century. (The other two? Happiness + Divinity.)
But before that, we need to talk about the idea that we’ve already conquered three things such that we have some freed up energy to think big.
In Homo Deus, Harari looks forward and paint a picture of what our future may look like. To do so, he looks backward into history. Specifically, he points out that we’ve come a long way in dealing with three of our historical nemeses: Famine + Plague + War.
“In 2014 more than 2.1 billion people were overweight, compared to 850 million who suffered from malnutrition. Half of humankind is expected to be overweight by 2030. In 2010 famine and malnutrition combined killed about 1 million people, whereas obesity killed 3 million.”
– “In 2012 about 56 million people died throughout the world; 620,000 of them died due to human violence (war killed 120,000 people, and crime killed another 500,000). In contrast, 800,000 committed suicide, and 1.5 million died of diabetes. Sugar is now more dangerous than gunpowder.”
There’s a lot of power in those few words.
This jumps out at me in particular: “Sugar is more dangerous than gunpowder.” <- That’s a powerful statement.
(And, for the record, if you add in the 8.2 million CANCER deaths in 2012 that can be connected to mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction that can be connected to sugar consumption a la our Conquering Cancer series and The Case Against Sugar, etc. the stats on sugar’s lethality get even more shocking.)
Then we have the fact that more people are killing themselves than dying in war or via crime. Just typing that makes me wince and makes my heart open. (Solving that is one of the reasons why “Happiness” is the second big project of the 21st century. And, btw, one of the reasons I work as hard as I do to help YOU and your families Optimize your lives and live with more happiness, etc.)
Although not completely under control, we don’t have the level of out-of-control famines we used to have. Same thing with infectious diseases. And, finally, we have war. Although there are, of course, still pockets of war in the world and every life lost via war (and famine and disease) is tragic, we are, on the whole more peaceful than ever.
Harari asks: Given that we solved three of the biggest challenges of history, what will we do with ourselves and our enormous energy and ambition as humans?
Which leads us back to the three big projects for the 21st century: Immortality + Happiness + Divinity. And, specifically for our purposes today: Immortality.
Although Harari thinks it’s a little too optimistic, some futurists think that if we can make it to the year 2050 with enough “health” and “wealth,” we might have a shot to live forever. Or, at least buy another 10 years while biotechnology continues to advance and then another 10 years and then…
The idea is MINDBOGGLING. (So are all the things we can ALREADY do.)
And, although Harari thinks it will take us until at least 2100 to get to a point where we can have a serious chance of being a-mortal, DRAMATICALLY expanding our life spans seems to be in humanity’s future. The question appears to be less “if” than “when.”
Now… I always thought that Mr. Bulletproof bio-hacker extraordinaire Dave Asprey’s quest to live to 180 was kinda crazy. I no longer do. Now I think that it’s incredibly (and admirably) ambitious but it’s not crazy.
And, it wasn’t until I read Homo Deus that I learned that multi-billionaire PayPal founder and venture capitalist extraordinaire Peter Thiel plans to live forever. As in, not die. Ever. He tells us that there are three ways to approach to death: 1. Accept it; 2. Deny it; and, 3. Fight it. He’s going with the latter approach and can’t understand people who just accept it.
I’ve had “101” written on my bathroom mirror for a while now as a reminder of my ambition to live long and, more importantly, as a reminder to do the little things that’ll make that a possibility while helping me be energized TODAY. I might’ve recently added a little arrow to the 101 pointing to an infinity symbol.
101 –> ∞
One more point then we’ll wrap up this +1.
90% of us could live to 90 with some simple lifestyle choices? That’s amazing!!! It also means that if you’re less than 60 and willing to Optimize your life, you have a pretty good shot at reaching 2050 and who knows what can happen from there?!
Whether or not the biotechnology is advanced enough to help create a near-immortality, if those of us who are young enough are willing to step up and go all in on our Optimizing, we’ll have a shot to both ENJOY our lives NOW and enjoy a LOT more of those precious NOWs.
All of which leads us to the point of Today’s +1.
Let’s stretch your sense of possibility (while keeping ourselves grounded in the fact that the ONLY moment ANY of us are guaranteed is THIS precious moment right.this.second) via a few questions:
How long do you want to live?
And how are you approaching death? Accepting it? Denying it? Fighting it?
And, most importantly: How are you approaching LIFE?! Are you acting like you mean it and taking advantage of this one precious little adventure on planet Earth?!
We all need to discover our own paths, of course, but here’s to expanding our “horizons of possibilities” as we reimagine and then construct our (Optimized!) potential futures!
(And… See you in 2075?!? 😲 👨🚀 )