mellyrn on April 04, 2011, 06:26:10 am
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steady but minor development, until we reach the point a paradigm shift occurs.  Then massive changes will occur.

Agreed.  And there's no knowing ahead of time what that shift will look like.

As for projecting life extension from changes in life expectancy:  I do believe that most of the increase in life expectancy comes from improving infant and child health & safety.

Consider a population of two:  one lives 100 years, the other dies before his first birthday.  The "life expectancy" of this population is 50 years (and that does not mean that the oldster was doddering and near death when he was 50! a mistake I was sorry to see Asimov make in The Ugly Little Boy.)

Improve conditions for a second similar population, making infancy perfectly survivable, and both live to be 100.  Now the life expectancy is 100, which is an improvement -- an improvement that says exactly nothing about the maximum possible lifespan of these creatures.

GlennWatson on April 04, 2011, 07:01:20 am
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If you don't want to live forever, it's your choice.


Its also my choice to look at unintended consequences. 

Apollo-Soyuz on April 04, 2011, 07:53:05 am
From government's perspective, people with long healthy lives, the freedom to create and the ability to retain profits from their creativity; will have little use for a government stealing 3/4 of their profits through direct and hidden taxes.  Such people are a direct threat to any suppressive government.  Yes, I'm including the USA.

I don't think most UW citizens enjoy rejuve. I'd also have to wonder what the public would do if high ranking officials went away for vacation at apparent age 80 and came back as 25. Maybe the UW elite party members serve a few terms, cash out their funds from a tax shelter, and retire on Mars?

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One thing is guaranteed. Government will move to limit access through regulation.  Regulations designed to drive up costs.  Just look at our current experiences with health care.  Again the government will claim, only Government  can solve the resulting problems.  Again increasing costs through regulations and taxes.  Such as our new Health Care Law.

Yet the rich and famous will always be able to take leave due to "dehydration", fly off to someplace like Switzerland, and have incrimination evidence surgically removed from their penis.

SandySandfort on April 04, 2011, 08:19:26 am
...
One thing is guaranteed. Government will move to limit access through regulation.  Regulations designed to drive up costs.  Just look at our current experiences with health care.  Again the government will claim, only Government  can solve the resulting problems.  Again increasing costs through regulations and taxes.  Such as our new Health Care Law.

I don't recall if it has come up yet, but the UW severely restricts access to life extension technology to "conserve resources" and "to protect people from unproven medical quackery."

However, you do not need science fiction to find such government interference with life extension. The USG's war against supplements, alternative medicine and its intrusion into food nutrition are only the beginning. People I know who are pushing the envelope on medical treatment and stem cell research are being banned and regulated to death. So far, my attempts to convince them to get the hell out of Dodge have been in vain. They still believe the government is only trying to do the right thing.

J Thomas on April 04, 2011, 08:24:50 am
Whether we get working rejuv, and how expensive it will stay, depends on technology which has not yet been developed -- based on science which has not yet been discovered. You can have it your way in your story and I agree it could come out like that.

Read Kurzweil and other peoples in the Extropian, Transhuman, Life Extension fields, then come back and argue from knowledge instead of from ignorance. If you don't agree with these folks after that, fine and dandy, but you have no standing to argue anything but uniformed personal opinions otherwise.

I have read some of that, and in one lifetime I won't get to read it all. I stand by my opinion -- we're talking about future technology and future science. It might come out as they say, or it might not.

paddyfool on April 04, 2011, 01:09:07 pm
I don't recall if it has come up yet, but the UW severely restricts access to life extension technology to "conserve resources" and "to protect people from unproven medical quackery."

However, you do not need science fiction to find such government interference with life extension. The USG's war against supplements, alternative medicine and its intrusion into food nutrition are only the beginning. People I know who are pushing the envelope on medical treatment and stem cell research are being banned and regulated to death. So far, my attempts to convince them to get the hell out of Dodge have been in vain. They still believe the government is only trying to do the right thing.

I'd say they have good reason to believe that.  The gains for the USG in preventing access to methods that genuinely kept people healthy longer would be negative, because as soon as people become sufficiently affected by senescence as to no longer be able to work, to require care etc., they generally become a burden on the state.  And to conspire against people being healthier seems unlikely besides; it reminds me of the kind of conspiracy theory that the Mitchell & Webb show like to pull apart.

SandySandfort on April 04, 2011, 02:51:45 pm
I have read some of that, and in one lifetime I won't get to read it all.

Try not to move your lips when you read. It will go more quickly.  ;D

> I stand by my opinion -- we're talking about future technology and future science. It might come out as they say, or it might not.
[/quote]

Okay, but your opinion is just that. For a small sample of the research and things being done right now, read:

   https://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/12f1da903827ef43

GlennWatson on April 04, 2011, 03:17:59 pm
[quote ]
Try not to move your lips when you read. It will go more quickly.  ;D
[/quote]

This is the sort of thing that makes me think it might not be a good idea for some people to live forever.  How much grumpier would Sandfort get in a 100 years, a thousand?  If that does not give you pause what will?  From "brave new world" to "get off my lawn."

wdg3rd on April 04, 2011, 03:40:39 pm
[quote ]
Try not to move your lips when you read. It will go more quickly.  ;D

This is the sort of thing that makes me think it might not be a good idea for some people to live forever.  How much grumpier would Sandfort get in a 100 years, a thousand?  If that does not give you pause what will?  From "brave new world" to "get off my lawn."
[/quote]

Glenn, try not to move your lips when you think.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

quadibloc on April 04, 2011, 05:35:49 pm
As for projecting life extension from changes in life expectancy:  I do believe that most of the increase in life expectancy comes from improving infant and child health & safety.
Most of the increase in life expectancy that we have experienced comes from that source, yes. A hundred years ago, or a thousand years ago, a person eighty years old was elderly, and that is still true today.

We are very far from having the kind of technology depicted in the comic, where nanotech robots go through a person and rebuild his or her body. Other forms of life extension, such as protecting telomeres from shortening as a result of cell division (and somehow preventing this from causing an increased cancer risk) could come soon - or not. We don't really know.

paddyfool on April 04, 2011, 05:42:36 pm
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steady but minor development, until we reach the point a paradigm shift occurs.  Then massive changes will occur.

Agreed.  And there's no knowing ahead of time what that shift will look like.

As for projecting life extension from changes in life expectancy:  I do believe that most of the increase in life expectancy comes from improving infant and child health & safety.

Consider a population of two:  one lives 100 years, the other dies before his first birthday.  The "life expectancy" of this population is 50 years (and that does not mean that the oldster was doddering and near death when he was 50! a mistake I was sorry to see Asimov make in The Ugly Little Boy.)

Improve conditions for a second similar population, making infancy perfectly survivable, and both live to be 100.  Now the life expectancy is 100, which is an improvement -- an improvement that says exactly nothing about the maximum possible lifespan of these creatures.

This was why I led off with the figures on senescent life expectancy first.  Basically, we have been making real advances in terms of living longer... but much more slowly than what's being predicted (about +0.15 years senescent life expectancy per year).

mellyrn on April 04, 2011, 06:45:13 pm
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This was why I led off with the figures on senescent life expectancy first.

So you did too.  I wonder if I missed it in the first place through reading too fast, or if I read it and it didn't make it into long(er) term memory to modify the next usage of "life expectancy"?  Hey, Sandy?  Can I get some of that rejuve for my brain?

Although, honestly, I've been paying attention:  once, when I was about 30, I was writing a check in a store and caught myself just before I wrote a date that was completely wrong -- wrong day, month, year.  I paused long enough to think, "You know, if I were 60 right now, I'd be thinking 'early senility'.  That can't be the case now, so when I am 60, I'll remember that I've always had brain farts".

And that bit about being "as young as you feel" isn't so far off:  A researcher sent her control group of elderly men on a week-long retreat to reminisce about being 50 again, and sent her experimental group to a week-long retreat where they were to dress, and speak (amid relevant paraphernalia) as if the time were 20 years earlier.  The experimental group improved measurably in memory, hearing, vision, and physical ability.

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Basically, we have been making real advances in terms of living longer... but much more slowly than what's being predicted (about +0.15 years senescent life expectancy per year).

Is the ~+0.15 years the prediction, or the slower reality?

sam on April 04, 2011, 08:30:13 pm
Studies of centenarians show that they disproportionately drank, smoked, ate unhealthy foods, and did not get enough exercise - the reason being that their health was not affected by these things one way or another - that they are genetically disposed to not being harmed by things that harm other people.

Thus while healthy living can help us dodge a few bullets, it cannot significantly extend the end of life.

Further, as we learn more and more about genes, we mostly learn that we understand the human body less than we thought we did, that its complexity may well make it incomprehensible.

We could, however, produce people, a next generation, that is very long lived, because there seem to be lots and lots of genes that significantly extend people's lives, which truly slow aging, or which fail to shorten their lives, and any one centenarian only has a small number of such genes.  Someone who had lots of such genes might well live for centuries.


GlennWatson on April 04, 2011, 08:33:29 pm
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Glenn, try not to move your lips when you think.

Hey thats cute.  You insult people just like your daddy.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 08:35:31 pm by GlennWatson »

SandySandfort on April 04, 2011, 08:33:47 pm
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Try not to move your lips when you read. It will go more quickly.  ;D

This is the sort of thing that makes me think it might not be a good idea for some people to live forever.  How much grumpier would Sandfort get in a 100 years, a thousand? 

Grumpy? Well, like the man said, "The essence of humor is whose ox is being gored."   ;D

 

anything