X-Message-Number: 33269
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 18:43:07 -0700
Subject: Pareto's cryonics filter
From: MARK PLUS <>

The Edge Question for 2011 asks:


One of the essays offers the Pareto Principle as an answer:


"You see the pattern everywhere: the top 1% of the population control
35% of the wealth. On Twitter, the top 2% of users send 60% of the
messages. In the health care system, the treatment for the most
expensive fifth of patients create four-fifths of the overall cost.
These figures are always reported as shocking, as if the normal order
of things has been disrupted, as if the appearance of anything other
than a completely linear distribution of money, or messages, or
effort, is a surprise of the highest order.

"It's not. Or rather, it shouldn't be.

"The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto undertook a study of market
economies a century ago, and discovered that no matter what the
country, the richest quintile of the population controlled most of the
wealth. The effects of this Pareto Distribution go by many names - the
80/20 Rule, Zipfs Law, the Power Law distribution, Winner-Take-All -
but the basic shape of the underlying distribution is always the same:
the richest or busiest or most connected participants in a system will
account for much much more wealth, or activity, or connectedness than

In other words, the Pareto Principle suggests that 20 percent of the
population could supply 80 percent of the candidates for growth in
cryonics. Given our scarce resources, we should identify and target
this 20 percent of the population, based on a characteristic which
makes them more receptive than average to the cryonics idea, and
ignore the rest.

This principle suggests other areas to investigate in cryonics. Do 20
percent of suspensions generate 80 percent of the costs, for example?

Mark Plus
Life is short: Freeze hard!

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