Re: John in Alaska needs some quick translation help from you.

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 10:44:44 MST

On Tue, Jan 22, 2002 at 10:09:38AM -0800, wrote:
> It's important also to bear in mind Robin Hanson's criticisms of the
> notion that "health care" actually improves health in any way. He pointed
> to studies showing that providing unlimited health care benefits to
> individuals actually did not improve objective measures of health other
> than some minor things like getting their teeth fixed. They didn't live
> longer, they didn't get sick any less, they didn't have better quality
> of life.

Yes, this is important to remember. The best life extension methods are
clean drinking water and refridgerators :-)

However, the health care sector is still relevant in that our goals of
self-modification rely on biomedical technologies that will most likely
be handled by it or some descendant of the current biomedical complex.
This means making business models and operating philosophies helpful to
our aims more common will be important to help us change in the future.

A core issue is likely a gradual redefinition of health and illness
towards something like Robert Freitas' volitional normative model; if
this could be achieved (and it would take quite a bit of work to spread
this idea among doctors, medical philosophers, regulators and
patients) many big stumbling blocks would start withering away. But
such a change in view (health is *subjective* optimal functioning, and
may go far beyond merely normal function) would also require profound
changes in what treatments are paid by what insurance or which

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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