Please see selected recent isolation-related change below.
- The biologist EO Wilson has warned that, as the extinction rate climbs, humans are entering “The Eremocene” – the Age of Loneliness. The most recent State of Nature report, found one in seven UK species to be at risk of disappearance. North America has lost 3 billion birds – 29% of the total population – in the past 50 years. The dryads and naiads of classical myth, those lively spirits of trees and streams, have long since been driven out. Now birds, mammals, plants and insects are vanishing too, leaving humans increasingly alone in the world.
This paper is an evolving examination of issues around, and responses to, the challenge or improving the lives of and caring for elders, on the emotional, mental, physical, practical, spiritual levels.
Many are imagining, some even planning for, the coming of the "singularity". Some are for, some against, many others sceptical that it could ever arrive.
Ray Kurzweil, who inter alia works on Google's machine learning project, predicts that by 2029, humans will be extending their lives considerably or even indefinitely. He also believes the human brain could be enhanced by tiny robotic implants that connect to cloud-based computer networks to give us 'God-like' abilities.
My heart is like a singing bird, whose nest is in a watered shoot.
My heart is like an apple-tree, whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit.
My heart is like a rainbow shell that paddles in a halcyon sea.
My heart is gladder than all these.
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down.
Hang it with vair and purple dyes.
Carve it in doves and pomegranates.
Within next 10 years, there will be 1 billion older people worldwide. By 2050 nearly one in five people in developing countries will be over 60. Check out this infographic by HelpAge International, an agency that helps older people lead dignified and healthy lives to see how the world demographic will change in the coming years. Delve into the latest data on ageing via the HelpAge International website.
We don't stop playing because we grow old- We grow old because we stop playing - George Bernard Shaw