RE: Is lifespan following Moore's Law (ie: increasing exponential

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Wed, 13 Oct 1999 19:02:02 +1000

Anders wrote:
> According to the diagram of life expectation at birth on page 85 in
> Leonard Hayflick's _How and Why We Age_ (taken from Dublin, Lotka and
> Spiegelman, _Length of Life_, The Ronald Press, New York 1936 and the
> US National Center for Health Statistics) I get something that might
> be an exponential after the 1700's, but the information is a bit too
> uncertain to tell for sure and it could just as well be a power of
> time or something different.
> However, the diagram on page 88 shows life expectation at different
> ages for the United states 1900-1987, and that curve family is not
> exponential, it seems to be quite linear (the data is from National
> Center for Health Statistics, Statistical Bulletin, Metropolitan Life
> Insurance Company 1987). The rate of increase has even decreased the
> last decades, as most of the easily treated causes of death have been
> fixed. The increase is around 0.25 years more of life expectacy at
> birth per year for males, and somewhat more for females.
I'd be interested to see those statistics calculated only over a population involving the very wealthy (from a western perspective); maybe all those in the west, whose wealth would make them millionaires in today's money.

What I'm thinking is, perhaps by averaging over a very large population, even a comparatively wealthy one like the US, many people with very poor access to healthcare are being measured side by side with few people with extremely good access to healthcare. This is like measuring computing power at any point in time by measuring the capabilities of all the machines currently in use, no matter how aged, and averaging over the lot, rather than just presenting the capabilities of the latest, greatest chips. Not that I think the rich folk are the latest and greatest (*grimace*).

> We better get that up to one year per year.
The first threshold is to get to one year per year, for the hideously wealthy. Then at least we all have an (albeit slim) chance...

Am I an otter?