RE: Healthcare (was Re: John in Alaska)

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 14:37:47 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote,
> I think you miss the point, Harvey: "work" is, by definition, time
> spent in pursuits other than what would be one's first choice of
> what to do with that time.

Then you need to find a better job. Sure work is not fun, but it's not as
bad as death. I love my job with my partner and our own corporation. I
hope it is still going 100 years from now.

> If you work for 12 hours to earn enough
> to increase your lifespan by only 8 hours, then you haven't really
> increased your "life" span at all--just your "work" span. You've
> actually lost 4 hours of "life"--life is doing what /you/ want with
> your time.

What I want is to see the future. I want my demise to be a late as
possible. I hope to find better medical care the longer I wait. I would
never trade real years of life for a "quality" improvement. I rather work
until I'm 100 rather than retire at 50 and die at 60.

> That is another possible counter-argument: if extending the end-point
> of one's existence (even at the expense of "life" time as defined above)
> sufficiently increases the likelihood of technology becoming available
> that makes up for the work spent getting there, then you've won the bet.

That's a bet I'm willing to take. I do believe that future technology will
be much more advanced than today. The doubling time for biology knowledge
is under two years now. That means that delaying death just a couple of
years might double my chances of survival.

> Again, the choice is not between dying and spending money: the choice is
> between spending, say, 3 years working to get 1 "extra" year of free time,
> or just spending 1 year working and 2 years in free time
> directly.

I would never trade my life for some free time. Why not retire now, live on
welfare, and die early if you desire free time? I rather work hard and keep
going for a very long time. I have a very strong survival instinct. I
can't see giving up and dying just because it's easier. If I can work
harder and prolong my life, I want to do it.

> Another
> possible factor in that equation is one's enjoyment of work: if one's work
> is very close to what one would otherwise choose to do anyway, then the
> time lost can be discounted by some rate, possibly making it a good deal.

I can't imagine having a job I hated so much that I would wish for an early
death rather than keeping my job. This sounds almost suicidal. No matter
what level of comfort I have, I will probably keep working toward getting to
the *next* level.

Thanks for your insights! They are perfectly wonderful and logical, but
based on different choices than my own. It is always fascinating to see
alternative world views.

Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <>
Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <>
Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <>
Cofounder, Pro-Act <>

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