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July 6, 2022
July 13, 2022

Who wants to live forever?

You wait for an article on longevity to come along and, like buses, three come along at once.

This week I’ve found the secret to living longer is:

  • Being an optimist - having a positive attitude can increase your lifespan by over 10%
  • Lifestyle not genes - genetics now account for 10% of lifespan, not 25% according to new research
  • Balancing on one leg - you're twice as likely to die in the next decade if you can’t balance on one foot for 10 seconds


But one moment please caller, because not everyone wants to be on earth for as long as possible.

Around one in four people under the age of 40 agree that they’d "like to live forever if scientists were able to engineer it," but only one in 10 people over 60 do.

What’s more, while 22% of under 30s agree that "I would like to be cryogenically frozen after my death so that I can be revived centuries later," only 2% of over 70s do.

Does this mean that, after experiencing a full dollop of life, people are less keen on it?

We may want to look younger and still feel relevant, but do we physically want to put up with all the discomfort associated with long life? While watching the polar bears disappear and the sea levels rise?

Perhaps it’s better to be here in digital form. The ‘digital afterlife’ industry is booming as people are getting comfortable with creating digital ghosts of themselves, using memories, social media data and artificial intelligence.

Afternote, for example, allows users to digitally store their life story and leave posthumous messages for loved ones, while genealogy company My Heritage offers a deep nostalgia feature that turns old photographs into short videos showing the subject smiling, winking and nodding.

It still sounds creepy, but perhaps less painful than being frozen and reheated.

Simon Cowell, Jeff Bezos and Britney Spears have all opted to be cryogenically frozen, presumably because their bank balances and egos allow it, which may mean that the rest of us get infinitely stuck living among a bunch of super rich stitched-back-together celebs. Like the 1985 film Cocoon but worse.

Perhaps that’s the thought that already occurred to those who answered the survey.

Simple hack

Thanks (I think) to Jon Elkins of Smarter Financial Planning who this week introduced me to the Death Clock – find out how much time you have left here.

Rock on

In 1997, the average age of Glastonbury headliners was 26; in 2019 it was 49. This year it fell slightly to 45.

Rewind

A sealed VHS tape of the 1985 film Back to the Future owned by the actor who played Biff sold for $75,000 at auction in the US – a record for video tapes.

Horrid holiday

Two Swiss concept artists have created a ‘zero star’ hotel where the rooms have no walls, ceilings or doors – guests sleep on a double bed on a platform next to a petrol station – and are charged £280 per room.

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