X-Message-Number: 10247
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 21:01:30 EDT
Subject: Book Review


CHEATING DEATH: the Promise and the Future Impact of Trying to Live Forever,
by Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies, St. Martin's Press 1998, hardcover, 229 pp,
$21.95 before discount.

This is a shameless potboiler, with virtually nothing new in it and zero
documentation. It consists mainly of statements like "By the year _____ there
will be so-and-so many such-and-such." 

Statements that struck me as relatively interesting follow; I omit quotation
marks and often paraphrase and compress.
Calorie reduction (30% to 50%) in mice and rats extends life and reduces

Denkla removed the pituitary gland from aged rats, resulting in longer life
and reduced disease--the one-horse-shay syndrome.

Pierpaoli found that melatonin, administered at night, lengthened the lives of
mice; daytime use did not help. Already-old mice lived longer (double the
natural life span) when the pineals were replaced with pineals from young
mice, but not when the old pineal was left in place.

According to Medicare figures, half of all its medical expense is attributable
to the last six months of life. 

Personal robots will appear in the home by 2005.

The average life of a car in the U.S. soon will be 22 years.

The design and marketing  cycle in the 1940s was 30 or 40 years--now 30 or 40

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) appears in all cancer cells tested thus
far, and (in adults) only in cancer cells. This seems to promise a generalized
cure for cancer.

Artificial blood will be on the market by 2000, and could begin to replace
blood banks by 2005.

By 2001 there will not be enough adolescents to sustain the current number of
colleges and universities.

80% of U.S. homes will have computers in 2005, compared to 35% now [1997?].

The ratio of men to women in the 20s age group was 93% in 1973; in 2000 it
will be 103%.

Only 29% of American men smoke, down from 52% twenty years ago.

By 2005 oil prices will drop to $9/barrel and hold steady--even though demand
will increase.

New and safer fission reactors will grow in number, and fusion will become
commercial by 2020.

Soot and other particulates are much more dangerous to health than other air

 By 2050, compared to today, technological knowledge will increase 100 fold.
[Don't ask me what criterion they have in mind.]

The technology gap between developed and developing countries will continue to

By 2010, telephone systems will translate in real time between English,
French, German, and Japanese.

By 2000, the European Community will have a population of 325 million with a
GDP of  $4 trillion.

Quebec will secede from Canada in 2002 or 2003. The four eastern provinces
will be absorbed into the U.S. a year or two later, and the rest of Canada by

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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