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Date: Wed, 21 Sep 88 18:20 EDT

From: "(Roy R. Beatty) Keane, Inc. [BEATTYR] 302-774-0335 B-10217" 
Subject: CRYONICS - Life Extension Economics
To: ho4cad!kqb%
Status: RO

      I have some belated and desultory comments on your posting:

      What will the cost of 'significant' life extension be?  According to 
health nuts, we have that now.  Average lifespan has increased since the 
Ice-ages.  Maximum lifespan, around 120 years, may be extended by vitamin 
B5 and calorie restriction (cost savings!).  Pearson and Shaw (*Life Ex-
tension*) say that a scoop of vitamins, amino acids, chilly clothing, and 
some exercise will probably cause you to live longer.  The cost?  The 
vitamins will run you $50 or more per month.  Say, twelve hours of exercise 
per month -- what price do you put on your time and sweat?  (I hate exercise!)
This may buy the average person 40 years-- from 80 to 120.  But who wants
40 more years in a nursing home?  Good news: all that stuff should also make 
you feel better during those years, which may be reason enough to try it.

      If you're reading this on a computer net, you have the income potential
to easily afford every technology known to extend life, including cryonics
(see previous mailings).  Right Now.  What about future technology?  Heart 
transplants couldn't be bought 25 years ago.  Now, every major city in the US 
has a hospital that can perform the procedure.  It's getting easier and is
covered by some insurance.

      In the US, life extension is rationed by personal choice.  Most people 
have the money.  Most people lack the inclination.  In other parts of the 
globe nasty governments and poverty (often caused by the former) limit people's
choices.  Government is a problem here, too.  Witness the furor over the FDA
making experimental AIDS treatments hard to get.

       Your specific questions
>        1.  How do we decide who get's life extension,
>                assuming everyone can't?
           "We" don't have to decide.  It's up to each person to make a choice.
            How can you assume that life extension will be inaccessible?

>        2.  How will people feel about those who get to go?  This includes
>                the people of the future who are around when cryons are
>                waking up.  How will these people feel about those who got
>                life extension in the past, are here now, but they themselves
>                can't go?

            a. Right now, people often feel like the departed had their
                estates robbed by cryonics companies.  Right now, life
                extenders are ridiculed for "bucket a day" vitamin regimes.
            b. When young people see Pearson and Shaw in their 100s
                still on the talk-show circuit, many will decide to try it.
            c. Even if some life extension therapies are expensive, there's
                no reason to assume it will remain so.  Remember the difficulty
                and expense of getting human growth hormone?  Or interferon?

>        3.  How will cryons (what are they called, anyway?) fit into the
>                future society?  What will their obligations be, if any?
>                How will they take care of themselves, make a living, etc.?
>                (Historians?)  What will their psychological obstacles be
>                in associating with people of the future?  Will their
>                old fashioned notions of how the world works be a problem?
>                What should they do before they go to prepare for their
>                arrival?

             Suspenders, extenders, cryons, cray-ons (for downloaders?),
                some just call them patients.  I don't know how I would fit
                in a future society.  My computer expertise will be 
                automated in another 15 years.  I'll be much obliged to anyone
                who revives me, but they could get more work out of a robot
                or their computer (if its 100 years from now) than they would
                out of me as an indentured servant.  How will I make a living?
                By flipping firgles! (Any Wm. Tenn fans out there?)  The 
                problem of assimilating primitives is a never ending one.  
                People arrive in the US with very little preparation.  And 
                they'll continue to arrive in the forseeable future.  The 
                difference will be that this ole boy won't know any more than 
                they do.  People are pretty adaptable -- unless they belong to
                a union.  What can we do before leaving?  The gov't won't let
                you leave money to yourself (1 cent compounded daily for 1000
                years...).  So before you go the best thing to do is probably 
                have lots and lots of children, only not so many that you can't
                afford life extension.

> I believe the next important thing, before the technology becomes completely
> available, is to prepare for it.

    Most life extenders probably feel that they're buying extra time during
  which more breakthroughs will occur that they can take advantage of.

       That's all for now,

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