The pros of a rapidly aging planet

Stefany Anne Golberg in The Smart Set:

ID_PI_GOLBE_ELDER_AP_001 The world has never aged like this before, and the aging of the world is happening everywhere. It is true that, now, developed countries are aging fastest, but it won’t be this way for long. Countries such as Brazil and Sri Lanka may not experience rapid aging now, but when they do, it will happen in just a couple of decades, while the rest of the world needed the entire 20th century.

People worry whether our social welfare systems will collapse. Whether we will have enough hospitals and housing. Whether overall human productivity will decrease. In the New York Times Magazine, Ted C. Fishman worries that global power may be determined by how much a country is willing to invest in care for its elderly, that the old may be pushed aside if they prove too costly. He worries that the old, unable to work, will live in poverty, but that the very act of an old country taking young workers from young countries will just hasten the aging of our last remaining young nations.

And yet, we haven't really asked ourselves just what it will feel like to live in an old world. Will reminiscing replace love songs? Will wisdom replace surprise?

More here.