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Spring / Summer 2018

Our Generation

Living to 150, is it Possible?

by Connie McMullen

Sonia Arrison
Sonia Arrison

Recently, the world’s oldest person, a Japanese woman gained fame when she died at age 117. Nabi Tajima, from the town Kikai in southern Japan, was born August 4, 1900. Tajima was the last known person born in the 19th century, but she was not alone in her longivity nor was she the oldest living woman in the history of the world. That distinction falls to Jeanne Calment of France (1875-1997), who lived to the age of 122-years, 164 days. She was reported to have met Vincent van Gogh when she was 12 or 13.

Still living is another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, who turned 117 ten days after Tajima’s death on May 2, 2018. And last September 15, 2017, Violet Brown of Jamaica passed away at 117. Following right behind these three women is Masazo Nonaka, a Japanese man who is 112 years of age.

Women supercentenarian’s are living longer than men. Six have lived to 117, one to age 119, and Calment at 122 years. Why are people, excluding unconfirmed claims of extreme old age, living longer?

If you listen to Sonia Arrison or read her latest book, “100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything,” you begin to understand why we are living longer than ever before. Arrison believes that before not too long humans will be living to 150, surpassing supercentenarian’s (people living beyond age 106) will become commonplace.

For the average person, the thought of normal life expectancy reaching 150 is unthinkable, science fiction. But for Arrison, the groundwork has already been laid. “Maybe we can have knowledge that allows people to be healthier a longer period of time,” she told a recent college audience. Arrison believes education has a lot to do with it.

If living to 150 is possible, the very existence of a longer life will change everything we know and how we are thinking. Arrison writes “Humanity is on the cusp of an exciting longevity revolution. The first person to live to 150 years has probably already been born.”

What will your life look like if it were possible to live to 150? Would we outlive our children, our spouses, friends, and people we know, and would we find it easy to adjust to new beginnings, ready to adapt. Would we outlive our finances, overcome physical disabilities, or would it be possible to regenerate ourselves.

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything

In 100 Plus, futurist Arrison takes us on an eye-opening journey to the future at our doorsteps, where science and technology are beginning to radically change life as we know it. She introduces us to the people transforming our lives: the brilliant scientists and genius inventors and the billionaires who fund their work.

In the very near future Arrison says fresh organs for transplants will be grown in laboratories, cloned stem cells will bring previously unstoppable diseases to their knees, and living past 100 will be the rule, not the exception.

Arrison, whose grandfather was born in 1913, had plenty of motivation to author 100 Plus. On his 102 birthday he gave a speech with the opening line, “I can’t wait to see what happens over the next 100-years.”

Living in Silicon Valley, Arrison believes biology will become an engineering project, extending the lifespan. Working as a tech writer and analyst, she says the human genome can be written much like computer language, it just needs to be realized (A hacking of the biocode rather than computer code). “The Holy Grail will be to see what genome affects what diseases.”

“Aging is not written in stone.” 100 Plus gives readers a comprehensive understanding of how life-extending discoveries will change our social and economic worlds, helping us navigate the journey of life beyond 100 years.

“Technology is enabling us to live longer, the big question is will we live long enough to see it?” she said, adding, “the real agenda is to push the longevity revolution forward.”

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything can be purchased through Amazon, $10.78$ 14.99 in hardcover, or $3.39$ - 14.90 in paperback.