Re: Cryonics sources

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 13:17:09 MDT

Greg Burch wrote:
> > A typical value of life-year is twice one's yearly income. For a yearly
> > income of $50K, this is $100K/yr, which at a 2.5% discount rate gives you
> > a value of life forever of $4M, and $2M for living thirty years more.
> > These are the sorts of ballpark numbers health economists use to make
> > sense of observed choices between money and risk of death in cars, jobs,
> > etc. If cryonics suspension costs $100K, then using the above numbers
> > it wouldn't make sense unless there was a 2.5% chance of it making you
> > life forever, or a 5% chance of making you live thirty years.
>Robin, just in case you were wondering why economics is called "the dismal
>science", re-read that . . . .
>Just kidding.
>Sort of.

Actually, the "dismal science" was what in 1849 Thomas Carlyle called
economics because economists were against racial slavery. Economists
had long tried to explain variations in behavior in terms of institutions
and incentives, and assumed that people were for the most part pretty much
the same. For more, see

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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