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LF14 | Triple Shot - Jan 17, 2023
This week: Social infrastructure saves lives, dangers of elite immortality and Aldous Huxley predicting the future.
Welcome to this week’s Triple Shot, three things of interest in healthy aging, impact and Web3:
1. ‘Social infrastructure’ saved lives in Japan’s earthquake
In this article, ‘social infrastructure’ is defined as the spaces and places that create and maintain connection. The research points out how lives were saved in the 2011 earthquake due to this social infrastructure - emphasizing the causal link between the built environment and community health and resilience.
An analysis of quantitative data on more than 550 neighborhoods across the three Japanese prefectures […] shows that […] community centers, libraries, parks, and other social infrastructure measurably and cheaply reduced mortality rates among the most vulnerable population.
It goes on to assert the ROI of social infrastructure over the traditional kind:
Investing in social infrastructure projects would, based on this data, save more lives during a natural hazard than putting the same money into standard, gray infrastructure such as seawalls.
2. The dangers of elite immortality
Jacobin has a rant about the dangers of longevity research and while the substance is not new, it makes a good point about the dangers of power:
Given that wealth is power, the capacity to compound wealth over extreme periods of time implies a capacity to compound power over extreme periods of time, further consolidating and concentrating it, further entrenching oligarchy and class hierarchy.
A progressive estate tax won’t be enforced if the rich don’t die. This article doesn’t touch on the overarching logic of healthy longevity research - that you can address many diseases simultaneously since aging is the mother of all risk factors. This would have a massive benefit for humanity. The dystopian flip side to this is an egocentric desire to separate oneself from society in the quest to live forever. The story concludes with : “we should do what we can to forestall and dismantle all traces of elite immortality in our tax codes, laws, and politics” (my emphasis).
3. Aldous Huxley warns of social media in… 1958
Prescient analysis from the creator of Brave New World about how the new dictators won’t use force but drugs and addictions.
That’s all for this week’s Looking Forward Triple Shot. Feel free to let me know topics of interest and feel free to spread the word about Looking Forward to those who might benefit. Meanwhile, enjoy the week!
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