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Filmed on Friday December 3, 02004

Ken Dychtwald

The Consequences of Human Life Extension

"The Consequences of Human Life Extension" will be discussed by Ken Dychtwald at the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking. Dychtwald is the author of Age Wave and Age Power: How the 21st Century will be Ruled by the New Old.

What long life means

Ken Dychtwald gave a terrific talk Friday evening to a standing-room audience on “The Consequences of Human Life Extension.”

The growing—and soon overwhelming—prevalence of the old in developed nations is leading to a “new old.” Ken described meeting a bright-eyed apparent 70-year-old who talked about his gym workouts. “I asked when he started, and he told me, ‘Oh, a couple years ago when I was 100. I’m getting in shape for the Senior Olympics.’ When he competed he not only won every event he entered, he set the World Record. He was alone in his age category— a two-foot shot put was the best ever. That’s typical. Everything the new old do is a first in human history.”

Ken gave an expertly graphic presentation, but much is quotable…

“Of all the human who have ever lived over 65, two-thirds are now alive now.”

“I went to a conference of cosmetic surgeons. All their wives looked identical.”

“Heart disease kills more people than all the other leading causes of death put together, including cancer. Cure heart disease and you create 20 million demented people. Our health system is not geared for chronic disease.”

“In the US the old used to be the poorest segment of society. Now they’re the richest. For instance, they buy 80% of luxury travel. So why are they still getting discounts?”

“People vote their age. 30% of 30-year-olds vote. 50% of 50-year-olds vote. 70% of 70-year-olds vote. We have a gerontocracy.”

“The old do the least volunteering of any age group, and for every 11 cents that children get from government, the old demand and get a dollar. The concept of giving back is still foreign to them. If the now-aging Baby Boomers decide to reverse that, they’ll earn the title, “The Grandest Generation.”

“What people really want, and what they’re going to get, is longer HEALTH span. We should be asking now, What is the PURPOSE of longer life?”

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