If I remember right (and I am so not looking this up right now), at the start of The Republic
when asked what he thought the perfect society looked liked, Socrates replied that a simple agrarian society would be the best and make people most happy. That answer was laughed at with a "no, tell us what you really think" sort of response. So Socrates went of to detail the Republic with all its oddities and set the stage for the stressful structured civilization we know and love.
Which is why I found this
article so amusing. Apparently in Sardinia there exists a longevity hot spot where abnormally large percentages of people live past 100. "One out of every 200 people in Ogliastra has lived to celebrate a 100th birthday. It’s an extraordinary figure, about 50 times the rate of the United States, where only one person out of every 10,000 people lives to see 100." Interesting. Of course Westerners would love to know what their secret is to living this long. While there is no magic answer it seems like a life full of "low caloric intake, a diet high in vegetables, a lengthy, vigorous work life, lack of stress" are generally what does it for them. Basically the opposite of our modern lifestyle and generally what Socrates defined as the ideal society. Except that the people don't necessarily say they are happier for living that long. They are poor and life has been tough, very tough.
So the question is, would we be willing to give up life as we know it for the promise of really long life? It's hard enough to convince people of just the basic benefits of eating organically, much less a whole lifestyle like that. As the article mentioned, it is like one of those "would you rather" party game questions. "Would you rather live a decidedly shorter life in a world of 24/7 stress, but still be able eat foie gras, candy bars, and Big Macs whenever you wanted to? Or would you rather, say, live forever as a poor, illiterate sheepherder in an isolated mountain village where resources are scarce?" Or is there a way to claim both?