This week Paul Graham-Raven published his take on Transhumanism and challenged the notion that Transhumanist life extension technologies will become cheap and ubiquitous, pointing out that there are already many life extension technologies that are not widely available outside the “developed” world.
Tim Maly picks up on that thread:
We’ve developed tech guaranteed to extend the human lifespan, but market failures and regulatory bodies stand in the way of universal access.
CLEAN WATER This is a basic innovation. However, the marketing upside is huge. There is massive, seemingly endless demand for this tech. While on the low end it is highly at risk of being commodified, there is much profit to be made from premium versions of the product for all market segments.
URBAN SANITATION As a greater proportion of humans live in urban environments, upgrades can greatly impact many people. Good ROI.
SMOKELESS COOKING FACILITIES A niche tech, but stunningly effective in some markets. Positively impacts both quality and quantity of life. This last point is an important consideration in life-extension. It’s not enough to blindly build tech that keeps people technically alive for longer. We want tech that enables a good life.
FREE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE Critics say this isn’t one technology but an ideological mess of blurry promises. I say, look at the graphs.
GUARANTEED MINIMUM INCOME Despite longstanding research in the arena, this remains a highly controversial procedure. Many concerns have been raised about its social side-effects and regulatory bodies continue to stand in its way. Still, we mustn’t impede progress.
GOOD FREE EDUCATION Sure to be popular with DIY arm of transhumanist crowd. Likely to encourage a faster run up the exponential curve as more minds become more capable of reaching their full creative potential.
See also: Left Behind: the Singularity and the Developing World