Re: Long Live the Flies

Jeff Fabijanic (
Wed, 3 Jun 1998 09:41:04 -0400

Damien Broderick wrote:
>Same old same old tragic misunderstanding. It's truly amazing how people
>*just can't get their heads around this crucial point . . .
>We're going to have to work *hard* on this default meme, team.

Scott Badger replied:

>I know, Damien. I was nonplussed by the author's *stuckness* as well. As
>if it's actually a bad idea to work on life extension until all the
>potential social bugs are worked out. Meanwhile, irretrievable (I think)
>human information is being cremated and buried by the tons around the world
>every hour. Is it going to take a *proven* process for significant (40-50
>years) life extension before the *default* meme you refer to will even start
>to be replaced?

I suspect that this meme won't be as hard to overcome as you seem to
believe, and as stated in the original media story, it may actually just be
the reporter's reasonable hedge against disappointment. After all, we here
in the US now enjoy an average lifespan nearly half again as long as our
great grand-parents did a century ago and yet we don't have any kind of
"Logan's Run"-like disbelief that only the rare individual might live
happily and healthily into his eighth decade or older, as was surely the
case in 1898. Quite the opposite, especially now, with large numbers of
people from the Baby-boom cadre approaching "senior citizen" status, I
think we are seeing a continuing shift of the media's image of older
Americans as active, healthy, alive individuals, as opposed to wizened old
prunes waiting to die. The two images, representing our fears and our
hopes, do constant battle. But the age of 'old-age' seems to keep racheting

I suspect that the Average Joe and Jane's expectations about "reasonable"
life span will closely track the lifespan available to them. The challenge
to Extropians is to be ahead of that swell of general knowledge - we're
trying to surf that future-wave, not content to be dragged along as flotsam
by the inevitable current of progress or deposited on the bottom as
detritus by the turbulence of change.

Hang twelve baby!

- Jeff

| Jeffrey Fabijanic, Designer The Future exists,
| Primordial Software first in Imagination,
| "Software of the First Order" then in Will,
| Boston, MA * (617) 983-1369 and finally in Reality.