Re: a to-do list for the next century

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sun Mar 26 2000 - 00:34:45 MST

On Saturday, March 25, 2000 7:31 PM Adrian Tymes wrote:
> 1. This isn't an either-or proposition. Both "normal" medical care and
> longevity can both be financed.

I agree.

> 2. The amount of money needed to make decent progress towards longevity
> - to take the level you quoted, $100 million - would have very little
> practical impact on supplying "normal" medical care.

I also agree. $100 million can disappear pretty fast when you think of how
big the world is. Think of a nation like India -- one of about 1 billion
people. $100 million is ten cents per person there. Surely, not every last
Indian is poor, but I bet enough of them are that $100 million would amount
to very little healthcare expenditure for any of them.

> 3. Longevity research may well advance "normal" medical care in ways
> that purely investing in "normal" medical care would never accomplish.
> For example, if one were to find a generic vaccine that made humans
> immune to most or all viruses, that would have immediate applications
> toward preventing people from getting sick - but such is much more
> likely to be discovered by researchers looking to minimize health
> problems over infinite lives, as opposed to researchers looking to just
> let people live long enough to die at 60 or 70.

I also agree. Sadly, though, right now, convention medicine is lax to latch
onto advances made outside of pharmaceuticals. This might be a PR problem
as well as plain old inertia. After all, most supplements lack the
promotional funding behind them that patented perscription medicines have --
mainly because profits are lower. (I'm only sticking to this example
because there do seem to be lots of clear cut examples of, e.g., vitamins
which are great at treated certain diseases and conditions, but people with
those diseases and conditions are usually not told by their regular doctor
to take them -- either with or without conventional courses of treatment.
This doesn't even get into prevention.)

> 4. For the past several centuries, there have been some in the world who
> have lived better than the others. One way to introduce immortality for
> everyone would be to introduce it for the rich first, then as time goes
> on - and the technology becomes more familiar and (one hopes)
> simpler/less expensive - introduce it to everyone else. ("Poverty"
> these days is not quite as hard a life as "poverty" was 100 years ago,
> at least in almost any industrialized country, due in part to this
> practice.)

This is most likely what will happen, though I feel it won't be as expensive
as previously. Nowadays, despite complaints of the high cost of healthcare,
more people have access to it and more people are engaging in the latest
treatments, conventional or otherwise. This is not to say things couldn't
be better --don't get me started on this! -- but that we don't live in a
society where only the richest of the rich can afford the latest
breakthroughs. So, I think advances, especially those in longevity, will
spread more rapidly than previous advances have.

Case in point: An older friend of mine (40 some odd years old) who is doing
well, but by no means rich, is already going to a longevity clinic. Also,
I'm very far from rich:/ and I try to keep up and get stuff -- tests,
supplements, etc. -- I can deal with in my budget. Granted, I'm no Third
World peasant, but I'm not part of that so called elite that controls and
owns the planet.:)

Daniel Ust

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