Peter Diamandis has influenced me and inspired me to think about what it means when we are saving lives. As a result I have a theory that the main focus of humanity should be to solve for unnatural death as soon as possible. As much as I respect the genius of Elon Musk, I must disagree with his approach in aiding humanity by focusing on extraplanetary travel, something far, far from his lifetime. While it may be true that humans will one day need to become a multi-planet species, the star that sustains life on Earth has plenty of time in its useful life to let us work on this planet before exploring another. Furthermore, solving for Earth will actually allow humans to leave it faster than if the focus is simply getting off Earth now. Let me explain.
Every day that we are alive there is more information available to humanity as a whole compared to the day before. In other words, the sum total of all human knowledge is more today than it was yesterday. And even with no lives saved, tomorrow humanity as a whole will know more than it does today as today’s humans will continue to learn new things.
Every day that we use that knowledge to save a life, or someone who otherwise would have perished is allowed to survive, that is one more person who can now soak up the information available to humanity as well as expand on it. More people contributing more knowledge which leads to more people who contribute more knowledge…
The result is an exponential increase in the sum total of all knowledge of all of humanity and should eventually lead us to the point where there is no such thing as an unnatural death, no such thing as war, no such thing as poverty, and no such thing as homelessness. Just look back at the last 2,000 years of recorded history. Advances in humanity were slow, then a little faster, and then after 1900 years look at what humans have done in just the last 120 years. Now try to imagine what the next 120 have in store!
Of course all of this hinges on humans not destroying our entire species before then. Whether accidentally or as the result of some ill conceived mutually assured destruction or lab created virus, humans certainly have the potential to end humanity as we know it. Some believe they already have. As long as humans can avoid killing our entire species there is a good chance that we can solve for unnatural death in a relatively short time frame. In fact, we must.