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Which way is humanity headed? Longevity!

Dec 20, 2021

My article published by Margaretta Colangelo on the LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-longevity-could-mean-health-life-insurers-view-colangelo/?trackingId=jIETes6DT6meVd8xdtD%2F0w%3D%3D

“If you ever feel inspired to write a short article about what longevity could mean for health and life insurers let me know.” Coming from Margaretta Colangelo this was some motivation!

So, I started with exploring my thoughts from a presentation to young actuaries. During lunch time, at this event, one of the participants asked me what would I do if I were to live that long? I wasn’t prepared but recall mumbling something to do with reading all the great classics, listening to all the fantastic music ever created and travel.

My rumination also took me to a cyber insurance event that I once ran in Singapore. And I did wonder whether a rejuvenated human or on his/ her way to cyborg-hood would tantamount to a Theseus’ paradox?

COVID-19 suddenly ports you into a new normal. With mother nature pushing back the father greed, this would not be last of a zoonotic manifestation. Would one really want to keep living through such extended inequitable times? Is there light at the end of this dark tunnel – leading us humanity duly uplifted?

Would that make space travel more compelling – with the possibility of abandoning the only home we have for a more flexi existence and infinite possibilities that Mr. Bezos envisions for his great grandchildren’s great grandchildren? Thereby not having to worry about CO2 or Methane emissions? The extractive pillaging and biodiversity loss? 

And yes, there could be someone amongst us who may live all of 300 years!

Many thanks, Margaretta!

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5 Comments
  1. In a way we have already made significant progress in increasing life expectancy, specially in developing countries. For example life expectency of an average indian has nearly doubled post inedependence. This brings myriad challenges in its wake. First and foremeost is that does longevity also means a corresponding improvement in quality of life? The jury is still out. Geriatric health issues such as Alzheimers, Hypertension, Diabetese and other similar ailments are now par for the course. The society and govenrements seem to be ill-equipped to deal with such ailments. Actuarial scineces can help goverements plan for long term scenarios realted to increase in elderly population. How to prepare the society to assimilate the growing number of elderly and somewhat fail members of the society in its day to day activities? Barring a few lucky seniors, most of them are treated as being unproductive and burdensome.

    • Absolutely! I hope you could read what I say on my LinkedIn post – via the link? Btw, that division is what I allude to. There are several ongoing projects – fast and furious towards this end.
      The world operates on the whims of a few – longevity and space being two areas where it has been hijacked by a handful!
      Best regards..

    • Thanks, once again, Boss. I chose to hold back wondering whether you had seen the main LinkedIn post.
      A few things:
      The research on longevity is on a fast and furious route. With the support of current scientific developments humans can live upto 300 years! Whether that would be a happy state or not is another thing. Likewise, who will have a right to exercise such a choice is anybody’s guess. The line of divide between reality and SciFi is thin.
      Till the outbreak of the ongoing pandemic, there was a belief that we are pretty close to conquering infectious diseases. The decline in young population is expected to be rather rapid. We are seeing a widening of the inverse pyramid across the globe. Perhaps Africa is an exception. Humans will live longer but to stay in good quality health we need some breakthroughs – significant financial investments (family biz in particular) are going into cancer, cardiac conditions, diabetes, alzheimer’s, parkinsonism and yes geriatrics et al.
      The provocation to write this came from a person who is almost at the epicentre of ageing breakthrough development. Interestingly, there is significant intersection of health science, technology and to an extent even metaphysics.
      My piece was written for a captive audience who are participants on this frontier. While i do not have to say precisely what you say but I do put out my red flags for this audience.
      Btw, I was quite appalled by the ‘literacy’ of the actuarial crowd i interacted with, some years ago.
      Warm regards,
      Praveen

  2. Point taken, sir. Apologies for the misspells, AND for missing your previous blogs!

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