the real world today

Life cycles

Our culture may lie in ruins; our republics may be distressed; our economies blackjacked by rentier financiers; our societies fissured with conflicts of identity; but at least our lives are longer. This great achievement of medicine and social development has changed the potential of human lives in harness with its twin, the fertility revolution. In Japan today nearly one-third of the population is over 65. Many other countries will see similar shares over the next fifty years. This new demography changes not only  societies and cultures. It changes the biological experience of life cycles and populations. There has never before been a human population with these biological and cultural characteristics before. Most people in high and middle income countries can reliably live past sixty in social institutions that provide imperfect but secure and healthy retirement. The life cycle then has more than seven seasons, and a long and blessed Autumn in which great navigations of the soul may sail. The holy city of Byzantium is becoming the busiest port of the world.

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