The Myth of Magical Futures

Despite its (now fre­quent­ly mocked) claims to mer­i­toc­ra­cy, Sil­i­con Val­ley loves its hier­ar­chies. How­ev­er, because these hier­ar­chies often look some­what dif­fer­ent than old-time cor­po­rate ones, they are often opaque to out­siders look­ing in.

Why I Hope to Die at 75

But here is a sim­ple truth that many of us seem to resist: liv­ing too long is also a loss. It ren­ders many of us, if not dis­abled, then fal­ter­ing and declin­ing, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonethe­less deprived. It robs us of our cre­ativ­i­ty and abil­i­ty to con­tribute to work, soci­ety, the world. It trans­forms how peo­ple expe­ri­ence us, relate to us, and, most impor­tant, remem­ber us. We are no longer remem­bered as vibrant and engaged but as fee­ble, inef­fec­tu­al, even pathet­ic.