Why Immortality Will Not Cause Overpopulation

overpopulation solved

The most common first reaction when contemplating immortality is, “It will never happen because we will overpopulate”.

This article proposes that the response should instead be, “Okay, then we need to make sure we are prepared for the increasing population”.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

My argument will be made in response to the overpopulation argument. While I will be asserting the capability for humanity to overcome the overpopulation problem, I also want to make those problems clear – as it is only with sight of those problems that we can prepare to avoid them. Overpopulation is not merely an idle concern. To understand the concern and gain a full understanding of the opposing arguments, you can first read my prelude article – Immortality & Overpopulation: Explaining the Argument.

I’m being very optimistic about our future in this article, not due to ignorance in regard to the downsides of emerging technologies, but so I can explain what is possible if we focus on overcoming the problems. A lot might go wrong, but this is what will happen if a lot goes right.

Immortality will be accompanied by other amazing advances

Kurzweil_linear_vs_exponential_growth,_technology_capability_vs_timeThe assertion that immortality will cause overpopulation, is usually made with ignorance to the wider field of upcoming technological advances. It is only through the understanding of exponential growth that people are able to contemplate as reality the arguments that will be made in this article. People are failing to understand our potential for tackling overpopulation, because we traditionally have never needed to understand the exponential nature of technological advance. This is because technology has never before had any effect on the evolution of humanity.

Now though, we are at the ‘knee of the curve’ in our exponentially advancing technological advances. The proposal is that now, technology is almost advanced enough to begin to merge with humanity. At which time, exponential growth will become obvious to us all – because we will not need to adapt to our environment; we will be adapting to suit the abilities of our technological capabilities. We will no longer be focused on merely surviving – we will be focused on evolving. This will be a ‘tipping point’ – a revolution – and possibly even the long theorised technological singularity.

The singularity will bring with it many revolutionary capabilities. Immortality will be a capability crowded among other revolutionary breakthroughs. While our argument does not require you to also believe in the idea of the singularity, is does require that you believe in the technological capabilities herein featured. If you believe that immortality could be possible in as little as 30 years, then we are off to a good start.

Fountain of immortality

Defining Immortality

The thought that immortality gives you, is that of a body that is impervious to aging and damage. If an immortal person gets stabbed, you envision the wound instantly healing before your eyes. My use of the word ‘immortality’, refers to a body that is at least able to remain at an optimal cellular age of a 22 years old, indefinitely. The body would still be vulnerable to the normal damage that can harm us today – it would still need water and food.

However, immortality as definition will become increasing more complex as time progresses. The definition above is that of simple biological immortality. Eventually though, we will see the body enhanced through what many people call transhumanism, through radical improvements in nanotechnology. We will explain more about this, and other improvements to immortality, during the article.

Overpopulation updateThe Upcoming Challenges

Even without our achieving immortality, we are still set to face challenges due to population increases. Currently an estimated 7.2 billion people are alive – a number which has more than tripled in the past hundred years. Each year the population of the world has increased at an average of 1.8%. Meaning that this year it will increase by around 130 million people. It is estimated that per year, 56 million people are currently dieing.

If deaths per year happen to radically drop, then, judging by the current population trends, the challenges will become about 30% more problematic – and those challenges include:

Rise in Unemployment – An increasing population, means less availability of job, right? … No, wrong, very wrong; with a higher population, we have a greater demand for goods… meaning more jobs. More people = more jobs!!!! Let’s make that clear – nobody is coming to take your job!!! Okay, great. Advancing technologies will mean that the types of jobs available will change radically though over the next 30 years – people will be out of jobs, not because of population rises, but because technological advances will makes their jobs redundant.

Rising Energy demand – With consideration being given to our dwindling natural resources, this is certainly a legitimate challenge

Travel Congestion – Another credible challenge – well more of an annoyance, but definitely something that will need to be addressed.

Physical Living Space – This is a challenge that would be preceded by dwindling building resources. We have way more land to build on, and we can build upwards, and we can build cities on oceans – but only if we still have the resources to build with.

Water Shortage – We are already having enough trouble providing water, so increasing populations will be amplifying the problem. 780 million people around the world still do not have access to clean drinking water.

Food Shortage –  Roughly 8.8 million people die each year due to starvation. What good is it to be able to rejuvenate our bodies, if we can still die of starvation?!

Should we Ban Immortality?

Ban ImmortalityI propose that there are upcoming solutions to all of the above challenges. It will be at least a decade though before the solutions begin to have an impact, and 30 years before they are proved as effective. So, suppose that there are surprise breakthroughs in extreme longevity / immortality within the next say 2 decades. The breakthroughs would come at a time when general populations and even governments are not sure if we will be able to cope with the resulting population increases. In such a situation, there would be a call to ban any research which aims to achieve immortality.

Due to the already clear popularity of immortality, the result of an immortality ban would likely be mass civil unrest, global civil wars, and relentless terrorism. Personally I don’t see the ban as an option.

immortal utopian cityI have heard calls for the banning of immortality, with the opinion displayed that immortality would be selfish and immoral. They believe that we should die to allow fresh new lives to take our place – to continue the natural cycle of life. I personally see the view as illogical traditionally conservative ignorance. It is given with the short sight of not understanding that the world as we know it can radically change for the better. We can all continue to live, while we use our experience to work on building the perfect world. Eventually we could solve population problems, and we will then be potentially bringing up our children in a world without wars, intolerance, and starvation – with everything we need provided, and only the aims of making it even better, of exploring our universe, and of discovering how/why it/we were created. Upcoming technologies will revolutionise everything conceivable, and then more – not only on this planet. Anything that we can create, should be thought of as natural. Achieving immortality should be thought of as curing our ailing bodies, and removing the dictatorship of death.

Laws to Limit Births?

Another solution would be to produce laws to limit birth rates, a la China. It would however, not be ideal within a society which idealises its freedoms. With immortality being known as imminently possible, and there already being an overpopulation problem, people may decide by their own free will to delay plans to have children, until they know the world will be stable for their children. The better option would be to allow people to decide this for themselves. If we do limit birth rates, it would not be needed forever. The explanation for this is equal to the explanation for why we will likely not even need to limit birth rates in the first place…

Why we will not Overpopulate

And just when you thought it would never happen – we get to the point: Below, I will run through the technologies/revolutions, that are set to help us sustain a naturally increasing population.

Renewable Energy Improvements (Nanotechnology)

It is vital that we secure adequate energy resources in the coming decades.

Fusion PowerFirstly, fusion power! This is described as the ‘sun in a bottle’. It is the next generation of nuclear power – except it will be far safer, and won’t produce nuclear waste. The first demonstration fusion power plant is set to start operating in the 2030s. An experimental reactor called Iter is currently under construction in France and is due to start operation in 2020.

best solar cell 2014Radical improvements to solar cell technology is expected in the coming decades. Some information to give you an idea of the upcoming improvements in solar panels:

The best solar panels currently available for general domestic use (at a reasonable price) operate at an efficiency of around 13-20%. We have seen recent breakthroughs that push the efficiency of solar panels to 44.7 – although currently the tech is too expensive and difficult to build, for mass market. Huge price drops will come with advances in nanotechnology – creating thinner panels, with easier methods of manufacture.

Nanotechnology will provide major advances in solar panels over the next few decades;  examples can be found in articles about quantum dots (allowing windows to double as solar panels), nanowires (boosting efficiency), and graphene. Studies have suggested that graphene could eventually be utilised to make them, pound for pound, up to 1,000 times more powerful than current conventional solar cells. Find out more about nanotech in solar cells, here.

Solar Power Station In SpacePlans are also being developed for orbital solar power. This will use huge solar power stations in space, to beam energy back to earth via microwaves (able to travel through clouds unhindered) or laser beams. Japan is currently leading the research and development, inspired following the Fukushima Meltdown. It could be commercially feasible by 2040. They could collect energy 24 hours per day, and will do so 144% more efficiently than on land.

Battery Power Improvements (Nanotechnology)

batteries 30 times betterThe benefits of enhancements in solar power, will also require massive improvements in battery technology, for us to reap the maximum benefits. Again, this will come thanks to the nanotechnology revolution. A whole list of breakthroughs have recently been made in battery tech – you can see 10 of them in this article about battery breakthroughs for smartphones and wearable tech. We have an article here about technology that will likely make batteries 30x more powerful within the decade. Optimistically, the said battery could be commercially viable as soon as 2015 – smartphones will be charged from empty in under 15 minutes, with a single charge lasting up to a week. This alone will bring closer to reality the dream for battery powered cars.

Water Supply Improvements (Nanotechnology)

Perforene graphineWater supply is urgently in need of massive improvement, specifically in the upstream regions of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Nanotechnology breakthroughs have already given us the ability to efficiently and cheaply desalinate water. The current most feasible technology is patented as Lockheed Martin’s Perforene™ Membrane. The perforene membranes are made of graphene (sheets of pure carbon, only one atom thick). It will require approximately 100 times less energy than other membranes. Find out more here. What we are waiting on to allow the tech to be rolled out, is the perfection of mass production methods for graphene.

Smart Cities (Big Data & Internet of Things)

smart cityThere are many designs for the next generation of city – the smart city, or city 2.0. The designing of the city is no longer only in the hands of the architects – instead it is being designed from the inside out, with revolutionary technologies. The focus is on evolving the world to suit its growing population. From the information available, it seems we are heading in the right direction, and more importantly, at the right pace – evidence for this point is provided brilliantly in an article from the Guardian, ‘City Design: Transforming Tomorrow’.

The technological revolutions at the heart of the designs, are both the ever amalgamating Big Data, and its soon-to-be augmentee, the Internet of Things (IoT). With these technologies at the heart, we will transform our cities progressively from the inside out, with the use of all the emerging technologies featured in this article.

Food Revolution (3D-Printing, Nanotechnology & Biofabrication)

Food Tower, in the city of the futureAmongst these designs we often find ideas for so-called food towers, or vertical farms, proclaimed the farms of the future (pictured on the right). As our population begins to push the limits of the vegetation the land can provide, these towers will eventually be vital if we want to continue to eat fresh fruit and veg, at a reasonable price. Also, they will free up space for livestock. These towers would even be practical in the current desolate desert locations in Africa. Find out more about vertical farming.

3D printing and nanotechnology are also set to give a helping hand. They will produce nutrient-rich tastier foods that can be produced locally and on-demand, reducing food waste, while also being preserved in a much better and safer way. Within the foreseeable future though, this won’t be the golden bullet for food security – the food coming out of the printers, still has to be put in.

Further advances though will see the perfection of 3D printed meat. Eliminating our need kill animals. Not just for ethical reasons, without our dependence on farming animals, we will be free from having to maintain a constant herd of 100 billion animals by 2050. The TED video below explains this future brilliantly. It is a 9 minute must watch.


Artificial Intelligence

Infinitely smarter than the human mindAll of the above solutions are all well and good, but what about when we run out of resources? Perhaps a reasonable year to put on the reaching of this limit is 2300. But perhaps sooner than that, we will come to a point when we want to leave areas of the planet to be free of humanities upheaval – where other animals are free to run wild and continue on their own evolutionary path. Perhaps we will just want to do it for the sake of nostalgia and respect for the planet that created us. We would be then looking for ways to continue our natural population increase, while also preserving the non-technological beauty of our planet.

Evolution - human robots and cyborgs

Image Credit: averywebdesign (deviantart)

Now this is where things get interesting, but for some perhaps too ‘far out there’. What I will explain now is the potential for AI to lead us out of our current resource demanding physical forms – and in as little as 30 years.

Artificial intelligence is assessed as capable of becoming self-aware by the 2040’s. At which time, through advances in quantum computing, the AI will be capable of being billions of times more powerful than the human mind. The result of this breakthrough, as described above, is referred to as the singularity – an intelligence explosion that will have an incomprehensible revolutionary effect on humanity (assuming of course that we make safe AI that does not produce the terminator scenario). A detailed explanation of the ideas surrounding the singularity can be found on Ray Kurzweil’s website.

Virtual Reality & Cyborgs/Avatars

brain plugged into internetPost singularity possibilities include the ability to upload the human mind to a computer. Having a computer scan my brain and upload the information to a new storage medium, seems no more different to me than copying: Imagine staying awake throughout the process, and being able to talk to the upload – you would say, “you’re not me, I’m me!”; just because the upload would say the same thing, doesn’t make it the same, it makes it also you.

So although mind uploading is the popular phrase to describe our transcendence from our bodies – it is hard to see everybody signing up to that method of transcendence. Perhaps the better option is to keep ourselves operating from our own little old brains, while ‘plugging in’ to an internet type of connectivity, where we could have access to an augmenting ‘artificial brian power’ to increase our intelligence. Now, the possibilities with this ability are incredible, and hard to wrap your head around.

You could remain within your body, but augment your consciousness elsewhere. For instance, you could then exist in a virtual reality environment (VRE). In the VRE anything programmed would be possible – you could fly, and it would feel as if it was real. Or you could instead exist in the real world, in an avatar built for deep sea survivability, or built with wings and able to fly.

passionate kissBack to the subject of overpopulation: For those willing, it would be possible to detach those brains from their bodies, suspending the need to sustain the persons bodies. We could preserve the bodies for future use if we liked. We could then move our minds into new artificial forms of human body, enhanced with the ability to live on only electricity, instead of food and even water. Of course we will still need some kind of ability to have children – our dna would be needed, at least. Sex though – please say we can to keep that around. Avatars could be built to make sex better, I’ll let you create your own ideas on that one. It’s difficult to imagine a life without the need to eat or sleep though- would we get bored? Well if we do, we can just decide to sleep for a while, until a point in the future when even more interesting things become possible.

You see the possibilities that can be imagined in a world of immortality and artificial intelligence? It is hard to stay on one topic long enough before jumping to another insanely awesome possibility – all while stumbling back into more reasons why our technologies will prevent us from ever overpopulating.

Space Colonisation

Space Colonisation Earth 2The ultimate overpopulation cure. Take all of what is possible above and use it for space travel. Risky, but for those who think they will get bored living an immortal life – how about the option to explore the universe with the possibility of finding alien life? Or set sale to a habitable planet, with your preserved immortal human bodies to set up Earth 2? It won’t be as fun as Earth 1 for a long while though. So maybe you wouldn’t tell your children there that you came from a much more advanced planet, because it is something that they would not be able to comprehend, for they would be in the stone ages and think of electricity as magic worthy of worship. If you taught them about Earth 1, and they could comprehend it, they would demand to return and hate you for bringing them to a baran empty planet. Along that line of thinking, we could say that we could already be living on Earth 2? Who knows for sure? It may be improbable, but the point of explaining this, is to reinforce the message that possibilities are incredibly abundant and complex. For more information, read our article, ‘Space Colonisation: Almost Ready to Lift Off.

World DestructionConclusion

We should embrace possibility and embrace the potential of our evolution – it could lead to us finding our creators (if we have creators); it could lead to us becoming the creators of a whole universe of intelligent life. If we fight against natural evolution – against immortality – all we are doing is fighting against each other – because there will always be people who want to live forever. This applies also for other technological advances, such as the possibility of sentient AI.
We need to unite and roll with the natural progression of ourselves and our technologies, if not only for the sake of that progression, then for the sake of security. We already have enough conflict among religious, nationalist and economic ideologies. If we add a whole new set of conflicts then our communities will be split from the insides out. Instead, we should focus on working together to evolve ourselves with technology – and to do that while securing against our emerging tech being involved in catastrophic accidents (the terminator scenario), or criminal/terrorism use. Tree of immortalityDoing this, will give us a common goal, and help us overcome our traditional ideological conflicts.

A future can be foreseen, where natural population growths are sustained, even with the advent of immortality. All it takes is the will of humanity to keep pace with the required sustainability demands. Embracing the challenge, I believe, is the only route to our technological salvation, over otherwise likely desolation.


  • Stig Helmer

    You silicon valley types are not as smart and insightful as you think you are. At the pace at which these technologies would occur, the planet would already be destroyed – and you are forgetting the most important point of all. If less than 1% of the race has to do the thinking for the rest, they don’t deserve to live. The human race is vile and a massive depopulation is the only thing it deserves – to the relief of every single other living thing we have every come into contact. Reality doesn’t make you feel good.

    • carlos bento

      we can start with u then

  • Peter p.

    Believe or not I did taught about immortality was possible over 20 years ago. As I read through this article it make me rethink about immortality which I was against before. However we are still currently facing many issues that I know that can put us back to the stone age. We need to focus on addressing issues like preventing outbreak of war, food and water shortage, resouces, care for deseases, global warming, etc…. Prior to immortality for the sake of future generations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally in favor of immortality. However there are many problem that should be address first. Without solving those problem prior to immortality. Its like having a gun without having any knowledge or experience using it, not only death can happen among other but death Can happen on one self. Of course most people with want to achieve immortality. As for myself how i see technologies are rapidly growing I with like to live as long as possible so I can see the limitless of humanity, but we need to accomplish this at the right time.

  • Pingback: First Successful Anti-Ageing Gene Therapy, Claimed by BioViva – That's Really Possible()

  • Snappy

    While we wait on immortality pills, we might be able to take smart pills very soon. Lets exploit that and produce more brain power to uncovering immortality in our lifetime.

  • yenz chen

    I would recommend The Venus Project. Have you heard of it ?

  • Anudeep Mayura

    all the points you said are noteworthy …BUT people are NOT logical…only few percent of them think logically…most others just lose their iq exponentially when population control is brought about… i have seen multiple videos and other discussions where there are more brainless reviews than you can count…..overpopulation will still be a problem no matter what you say… because majority of people are either idiots or some other reasons like religion etc…(muslim and some others)..and WHERE will they live? as it is we are cutting down forests like theres no tomorrow…vertical farming and what not is all good but it doesnt compare with natural forests..instead of animal farming and going full vegan we can have much much more food but i doubt either any of them want to stop eating meat..infact i would stop eating meat right now if it was a law….what about the wild life? most importantly we wont have any oil left before this all comes to play…so where is this energy gonna come from? and you think people will manage without oil just fine? there is a very good video on you tube if anyone wants to watch {{ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCEOfZV1OaU }} . so unless the government and people of all the nations work together immortality will become a HUGE problem ..and THAT will never happen …my whole review might sound biased and might look like i’m writing this just to disagree with you or i have no knowledge at all about what im talking about ,,it might be true…but do think about what i said yea?… .i like your solutions but not many will agree,..for example all the ignorant people saying there is no global warming at all…-.-just looking at that sentence , i feel like my iq went down ..well anyways very interesting topic…thanks for posting…have a nice day:))

    • Stephen Weng

      Assume we took full advantage of all the matter within reach with easily accessible space travel. Where would people live? In outer space of course! Not in the vacuum of space itself, but on other planets. If we have nanotech we could terraform planets or a much quicker option to manufacture artificial habitats using resources taken from other planets and asteroids. Oil is outright conservative and not very advanced at all. If we do gain all those things we would have an effectively post scarcity economy. Search it up online.

  • Sheridan Raven

    Like Jeramy Kyle says put something in the end of it then

    • Sheridan Raven


  • David Ouyang

    I don’t think that new technology is the panacea to all the problems. We have droughts, we have floods, we have hunger, we have etc etc. Tell me we can solve these problems first before telling me we can solve these in the future.
    One thing technology cannot fix: Conflict and violence that is ingrained in the human psyche. History teaches us that we cannot even solve conflict between neighbors, much less between nations. If we can produce the likes of Hitler and Genghis Khan, we can produce their likes again. All it takes is one crazy person in leadership position to ruin it all.
    The comments posted here are also contradictory. One said that technology will obviate the need for work, but the article says that more people will create more demand for services, hence more jobs. Well, which is it? Jobs or no jobs?
    And another thing, my colleagues have told me that their main goal in life is to retire and take it easy. So who is going to pay for their pensions in perpetuity?

    • Stephen Weng

      No one will pay for it really. They could manufacture things with their Star Trek style replicators on their own.

  • vic smyth

    There are many people, such as myself, who believe that consciousness survives death of the physical body, that we are already eternal beings. I hope that in your futuristic scenario we will have the freedom to opt out of your technological eternity which could be wiped out by a solar flare or other natural event beyond technology’s control.

    • Stephen Weng

      If we as a civilization gain the ability to manufacture and manipulate things on an interstellar level, I would think we would be able stop an event such as a solar flare or any other local phenomenon. Humans will be different, but we would have no reason to be conservative and the vast majority of humanity will be able to live decently.

  • Tyrone Tyroney

    yea it wil caus im from cali and my gf (shes only 9 and im 17 but we in love <3) she said that ther wil be to many peepl.

  • Sergey Fedorovich
  • Brad Arnold

    Yeah, radical life extension will be emerging about the same time as space travel. Furthermore, the carrying capacity of the Earth is much much more if we were to intelligently implement a sustainable society.

  • Petar Posavec

    There are glaring issues with the understanding/knowledge with which the author works with (even though the general premise that immortality would NOT cause overpopulation is quite accurate):

    1. Humanity is producing enough to feed 12 to 17 billion Humans every year – that’s using outdated methods like agriculture (whereas we could be producing much more using a fraction of the land by means of fully automated vertical farms that use hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics without pesticides, chemicals or GMO and 0 reliance on external weather).

    2. There’s more than enough space on Earth’s land mass to support MUCH more people than some might think.
    The state of Texas in USA alone can easily hold all 7.2 billion Humans if EACH PERSON INDIVIDUALLY (no families – but individuals) has 90 square meters (1000 square feet) – that’s without building vertically btw.

    3. Water isn’t an issue… we had atmospheric water generators since the 1940-ies as well as desalination plants for over 100 years.

    4. Energy isn’t an issue because since 1911 we could have been using Geothermal as a main power source (just 1% of Earth’s geothermal potential can sustain civilization as we know it for 4000 years, and we’d only have to dig about 4.5 km below the surface – which can be done via drills designed from carbon nanotubes, syntehtic diamonds and graphene, along with lasers)… as well as wind… and more recently solar (to name a few).

    5. Jobs are a ludicrously outdated concept. We can ALREADY have a fully automated society where Humans are liberated to pursue personal interests and live in an environment which encourages them to be creative and evolve on a continuous basis – elimination of money is paramount (look into the Venus Project).

    6. Resources are present in abundance. Recycling was perfected in late 19th century giving us ability to break matter down into base elements and reconstitute them into something new (while also reducing energy expenditure as well as time).
    Look at the landfills… its all raw matter that can be used to create 10 times more than what we do now (and we ALREADY generate abundance) using 3 times less.
    Plus, existing cities are FILLED with unused structures, not to mention the cities themselves are outdated – all of it is RAW MATTER made from base elements commonly used.
    Just use existing raw materials and create superior synthetic materials that can be made in sustainable abundance with no damage to the environment using state of the art science and technology (not cost efficient garbage that lacks technical efficiency).

    There is no reason for Humanity to continue to extract raw materials from the Earth at all… furthermore, there was a study done which determined that the Earth had enough metal in it to construct roughly 2 million Death Stars – point being, I’m not suggesting we actually construct Death Stars, but that we concentrate on creating more, by using less (sustainable abundance) by using what is already there (and the potential is enormous).

    Resource Based Economy (The Venus Project) is what we need.

    Other than those (glaring) points, I do agree with the notion that biological immortality would not cause overpopulation (because overpopulation is contingent on relevant general education, sustainability as well as access to basic necessities – and in the monetary system, sustainability is not ‘profitable’ while access to basic necessities and education is restricted to whether or not you have the money to afford it).

    P.S. Biological immortality is already doable with the science/technology at our disposal through a combination of nanorobots and stem-cells for one thing, as well as other methods.

    P.P.S. Indefinite lifespans with youthfulness and health when combined with relevant general education, critical thinking, problem solving and Resource Based Economy would change Humanity’s perceptions on a large level.
    People wouldn’t be discouraged to have sex (not at all), but having children would be dictated by the Earth’s carrying capacity (which the people would know), and with indefinite lifespans, who the heck would want to have children anytime soon?
    With unrestricted access to anything you need (and want), there would be so many things to acomplish, etc.
    Furthermore, space colonization was doable technologically and resource wise in the 1970-ies… which means that if you REALLY want to raise kids, etc., you’ll probably even be able to do it on Earth (given that it can viably support much more than what we do now if we use far more efficient methods that would radically lower out footprint on the planet and allow the planet to recover at the same time), but you will also have the option to do it in orbital habitats, on the moon, or Mars, or any other planet in SOL that will be colonized.

    The possibilities are endless.

    • You bring in some good points. I am of course put off though by your rude opening, of which turned out to become massively hypocritical during your comment.

      To state that we currently have the ability to become biologically immortal is quite ludicrous, especially without attempt to explain the rationality.

      We cannot simply stop using non-renewables; our whole way of life and economies are based on the stuff: We need a transitional period.

      Again, realistic space colonisation was certainly not possible in the 1970’s. It is still not, and it won’t be for at least 40 years – whether it becomes worth while so soon is yet to be seen.

      Jobs may be a ludicrously outdated concept to some. But the fact is that to most, it is not. All they think when they imagine increasing population and humanoid robots, is – we won’t have enough jobs. You and I both know that the coming abundance of resources will massively reduce the need to work. But we cant “ALREADY” have this, because we still need a fair and secure society. If some must work then all must be encouraged. I agree at some point the level of abundance will encourage us to massively rethink our economic and governing structures. But there is absolutely no way in hell that is going to be an easy task, or something that can just.. happen.

      These problems need to be thought about within our reality. All of what is possible, in reality actually isn’t right now. So let’s talk about how to fix the problems instead of just making fun of the world that still isn’t even trying to tackle them.

      • Petar Posavec

        Rude opening?
        How was I rude or hypocritical in stating that the author of the article lacked knowledge which is commonly available to those who do the necessary research?

        Its not ludicrous to mention we already have the ability to become biologically immortal.
        Nanorobots were invented well over 20 years ago… while stem-cells could have seen practical uses for the past decade in medicine.
        It is common knowledge that the currently used methodologies and tests in medicine alone are 60 years OUTDATED.

        I agree we need a transitional period, but within the monetary system, change is exceptionally slow due to persistent greed and selfishness of those on the ‘top’ who do not care (and the general population which was lulled into a passive state by big media – though, things ARE changing), because the system itself is based on ‘cost efficiency’ and ‘profit’… NOT ‘technical efficiency’.
        Conceivably speaking, we can easily transition to full blown renewables in a short span of 2 years at most if we unleashed full blown automation and removed manual labour from the process (which slows things down).
        Already, it would be possible to automate over 75% of the global workforce tomorrow with what is in circulation… in a year or two at maximum, the rest would be simple (because computers and machines in general surpassed Humans in repetitive and highly specialized tasks over 10 years ago).
        But yes, a transitional period is required.

        Realistic space colonization WAS possible in the 1970-ies.
        Think about it.
        We already had contour crafting technology at the time, as well as robotic arms that could have been utilized in an automated capacity to use natural resources of say the moon itself to construct necessary habitats there, as well as orbital platforms in Earth’s orbit, etc.
        Mechanization/automation… and computers at the time were powerful enough to handle repetitive tasks.

        Again, we don’t live in a society which focuses on technical efficiency… we live in a society that puts too much emphasis on ‘cost efficiency’ (by making things monetarily cheap enough for the purpose of enhancing profit margins – none of which has anything to do with our technical ability to produce sustainable abundance for everyone on the planet with no damage to the environment).

        I never said that all this will ‘just’ happen… I was stating that most of the points the author was projecting into the future were ALREADY well within the scope of our technical capabilities – not to mention that we have been generating abundance using science and technology for the last 100 years, but artificially restrict access to it by using money.

        Note: due to the premise we live in the age of global communications, people will be probably exposed to relevant information on an increasing basis (despite the premise that a lot of them use the Internet for other activities).
        However, one crucial point shouldn’t be discarded:
        MIT did a study in which they predicted the collapse of the entire global economy by 2030 (under 16 years)… but, it is also likely the said study might not have included exponential rise in automation.
        It is already easier, cheaper and more cost efficient to automate many jobs than it is to train Humans and pay them on a regular basis (technology is paid for in 1 stroke and it works for a long time – and make no mistake… industrial grade tech lasts far longer than consumer technology – but we CAN design hardware that does NOT break down and requires minimal of maintenance [all of which can be done by machines already since we have self-maintaining machinery, as well as machines that build other machines – its a simple matter of design – Capitalism INTENTIONALLY designs things that break down in order to prompt profits instead of creating things that do NOT break down which could also be upgraded for a long time, or simply easily harvested for resources which can be utilized to create something new – that last bit is recycling which is utilized at less than 10% globally).

        • F Harper

          Coming 9 months too, late, I realize, but I advise you to ditch the Venus Project. It is a total farce, arising from a complete lack of economics knowledge. Some form of money is necessary for economic coordination of production and allocation of resources. The economy is essentially one big neural network distributed across the world whose sole purpose is to solve an incredibly complex mathematical function whose inputs are labor, capital and resources, and whose output is wealth and the alleviation of misery. The people in the Venus Project propose to do away with that because they don’t understand or appreciate it, and in their starry-eyed innocence, don’t really want to. They have the same naive conception of the economy that the Soviet central planners had.

    • carlos bento

      that’s good points, but you forget about something. Greed.

      • Petar Posavec

        A product of environment (which would need to be changed). And by environment, I mean the sociology economic system we use

  • Zaheer Venus Zeitgeist

    Regardless of the Increase in Population, the Jobs will continue to decrease due to Mechanization/Automation, Our Technological advancements will ultimately leave most of human work as redundant. As to point out the other problems with Water, Energy, Transportation & food, they now exist just artificially, as there are 100s of alternative methods we can use to solve these problems tomorrow.. you can watch this documentary & do more research to know where i am going with this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SuGRgdJA_c

  • Sang Kang

    Immortality should be an option for those who do wish to live an eternal life. However, I’m not too certain how long can the human brain last. I’m sure there’s an ultimate capacity as to how much information can be stored in someone’s lifespan or to process that information in a meaningful manner in which one can communicate. It certainly be possible to extend that with technology but even then can we really call that being a person if your dependent on machine for you to think and process information? After all, we are what we think and act…

    • Great topic that I think boils down to ‘what is consciousness?’. The maintenance of the brain will be at the heart of what it means to be human. Not all means of keeping our consciousness operating will be considered immortality. Uploading the mind, for example, will merely be cloning our brains, not ‘transferring’ the original. Perhaps we will figure out how to keep it biologically healthy indefinitely, but then, as you say, mental health is a whole other ball game.

      On the subject of memory storage – perhaps the brain will be able to adapt to its needs. Some people live very routine monotonous lives where they have a large amount of very similar memories, and they have relatively little need or want to regularly access those memories. Whereas other people live varied, fast paced lives, such as police officers or doctors or politicians, where they have relatively more vivid and varied memory creation which is needed to be accessed frequency for reference and for building a wise experienced mind. They all of course build memories, but for memories that are all very similar, they all kind of merge and become less memorable, eventually fading and being forgotten.

      In old age, so far as I know, our amount of memories held, do not factor into any mental deterioration. So maybe our brains will always just keep what they need, and forget what they don’t need, or what is less important.

      Of course though, you’re right, maybe even “forgotten” memories are actually still there, just not accessible – maybe capacity for them will run out and it will start to have an effect on our mental health.

      • Memories are irrelevant beyond record keeping.

  • Dennis Smith

    Hi there,

    Interesting article. My comments:

    1) Jobs are vanishing faster than new ones are created because automation and computers can now do even complex tasks.

    For example, several million drivers will be out of job in 10-20 years because trucks, busses, taxes and everything else will be automated.

    2) I disagree with your energy assessment. Energy will not be a problem in 20 years where nuclear and esp. solar power will supply majority and eventually all of our needs.


Facebook Comments