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Life-extension could bring an end to space tourism


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#1
starspawn0

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Imagine in the not-too-distant future -- say, 20 years from now -- it becomes possible to extend human life, say to where the average lifespan is 150 years or more, and maybe to an indefinite number of years ("immortal", if such a thing is possible). Yuval Noah Harari argues in Homo Deus that knowing that we could live a very, very long time would make us all extremely risk-averse. I'm not sure I understand his logic here, but let's assume he is right. Then, it seems to me that, given how high the probability is of dying on the way to Mars or the Moon in an accident, most would not be willing to even try.

So, if Harari is right, then massive-scale space colonization (> 1% of the population in space) is not going to fly, if it becomes possible to extend human lifespan significantly.
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#2
Sciencerocks

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It would make it worth it for me and my family to head to the closest habitual planet if I thought I could live long enough to see it.

 

What is the use of living for thousands of years if you're not going to use it? Of course, I'd probably wait for a few current life times before taking the risk but I'd do it.



#3
wjfox

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Imagine in the not-too-distant future -- say, 20 years from now -- it becomes possible to extend human life, say to where the average lifespan is 150 years or more, and maybe to an indefinite number of years ("immortal", if such a thing is possible). Yuval Noah Harari argues in Homo Deus that knowing that we could live a very, very long time would make us all extremely risk-averse. I'm not sure I understand his logic here, but let's assume he is right. Then, it seems to me that, given how high the probability is of dying on the way to Mars or the Moon in an accident, most would not be willing to even try.

So, if Harari is right, then massive-scale space colonization (> 1% of the population in space) is not going to fly, if it becomes possible to extend human lifespan significantly.

 

 

Interesting. However, if the Earth is dying (which it is), that will be a strong motivation to get off-world.

 

Also, aircraft and spacecraft safety is likely to improve tremendously with new advances in automation, etc.

 

See for example: https://www.futureti...accident-trends


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#4
googolplexian

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That actually makes a lot of sense, I'm already trying not to be risky just so I can live until that technology is made



#5
Alislaws

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There would be a pause, if you're going to live 1000 years you'll wait till the tech is solid before you get on a rocket. Why the rush?

 

OTOH, you will eventually end up with a steadily growing pool of people who:

 

A) Have hundreds of years of life experience.

B) Have finished having children/family stuff, (for now at least) and are generally done with Earth. 

C) Are bored of life on earth, having been almost everywhere and seen almost everything, and therefore they'll be extremely risk loving. 

 

So after a while you'll end up with a bunch of people with nothing to lose, who are happy to risk death in exchange for excitement and who would make perfect colonists, the might have had several full careers, (they'd be out of date on some things), so each of your crew on your interstellar mission could have a broad range of skills in case of emergency or of unexpected stuff at the colony. 

 

So I think it would just delay the great expansion slightly, not stop it.

 

EDIT: Also it would allow us to get humans to other stars without inventing one of:

Stasis,

FTL,

Reversible cryonics.  


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#6
starspawn0

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There would be a pause, if you're going to live 1000 years you'll wait till the tech is solid before you get on a rocket. Why the rush?


I was thinking that the other day. That's what I would do -- wait until it's proved to be as safe or safer than many common, everyday things, like driving a car.

As it is currently, your chance of dying on the way to Mars is probably 30%. In a few decades it might go down to 10%. By 2100 it might be 1%, and by 2200 it might be 0.00001% or smaller -- we might even be able to do "mind backups" by then.

It's possible that in many decades we will be able to produce robot copies of human minds, that share their experiences with the originals on Earth. So, you'd be in two places at once, in a way. That might be how we get around safety issues -- the "colonists" living on Mars would be duplicates.
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#7
funkervogt

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Some small percentage of humans would still accept the risk. 






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