1. The future is not coming at us any faster than it ever has.
2. We will not become immortal cyborgs with superintelligent computer friends in the next twenty years.
3. We can't expect all the efforts we make in our short lifetimes to pay off in our lifetimes, too. You will not live to be 200 years old. I repeat: You will not live to be 200 years old. Life extension like that is not going to happen in our lifetimes because quite simply it takes time to analyze our genomes, then it takes more time to test them, then it takes more time to develop therapies to keep us young, and then there is a lot of government red tape and cultural backlash to deal with too. Maybe our grandchildren will have a chance to take a life-extension pill. But not us
Historial Economics - there have been accelerations
Robin Hanson has a theory related to shifts in economic growth rates.
Mode Doubling Date Began Doubles Doubles Transition Grows Time (DT) To Dominate of DT of WP CES Power ---------- --------- ----------- ------ ------- ---------- Brain size 34M yrs 550M B.C. ? "16" ? Hunters 224K yrs 2000K B.C. 7.3 8.9 ? Farmers 909 yrs 4856 B.C. 7.9 7.6 2.4 Industry 6.3 yrs 2020 A.D. 7.2 >9.2 0.094
The Medieval England (1500-1730) doubling period was 100 years.
From 1730-1910 doubling period was 58 years.
From 1910-2010 there has been a doubling period of about 15 years.
The 15 year doubling time is 4.7-4.8% GDP growth. An improvement of doubling time by 3-5 times would indicate another level of progress that is line with the long term historic trend.
A pre-singularity phase with two doublings at a more modest improvement level would be to the 9-12% per year growth level that China is experiencing. Technology could enable that level for the entire world. Then 15% for 3-4 doublings and then 20-25% for the singularity level.
I have laid out the case where Sky City Skyscrapers (200-600 stories) and robotic cars (4 times the density of road traffic) will make certain megacities (future New York, Shanghai, Tokyo etc...) one third to one half of the overall world population and they would have 75% more GDP per capita than they do today. There would be rural, regular urban then super-urban. Research shows that doubling population and increased urban density boosts productivity by about 15%.
Life Expectancy had big increases over the last 140 years
Life expectancy is a lagging indicator, which is based upon the age of deaths of those dieing in the year born. Life expectancy was already almost 50 in 1880. Another 28 years of life expectancy was achieved, which was more than the 15 year improvement from 1900 to 2000.
Life Expectancy at Birth in the United States
1880 39.4 1900 47.8 (gain to 50 year life expectancy by those born in 1905) 1910 53.1 1920 54.1 1930 59.7 1940 62.9 1950 68.2 1960 69.7 1970 70.8 1980 73.7 1990 75.4 1998 76.7
The highest life expectancy now is 89.7 for people born in Monaco. The highest for country with a population over 100 million is Japan with 82.2 years. If you are in the fraction of the population that exercise regularly and does not smoke and does drink to excess and maintains a good blood pressure and cholesterol level then your life expectancy is about 7 years better than the average. Life expectancy is improving at about 0.16 to 0.25 years each year. This is reflecting the actual improvement in health and technology.