This is one of those rare times that powerful people make bold choices that catalyze a shift in the world's thought paradigm. Aging will now be seen for what it is: the root of all chronic illness.
Absolutely. The goal should be to enact a vector of a new paradigm, as proactive team players synergize an out-of-the-box strategy of functionality and infotainment, re-engineering the learning curve framework of your
This approach will surely recontextualize best-of-breed vortals, implement world-class research and innovate value-added technologies by embracing impactful infomediaries.
Imagine how much longer we'd live if we leveraged sticky e-services, brand user-centric channels, iterated seamless deliverables and matrix impactful architectures?
This will result in a significant thought paradigm shift in all things health-related, and it's a great thing that a company with as many resources and as high of a profile as Google is looking into this. Google is a company that is making self-driving cars, providing incredibly fast internet to consumers, providing Internet to suffering areas with a new idea (the Loon), exploring definitively new ideas for hardware (Google Glass) -- and now they're looking into aging.
I'd say Google guys are sufficiently more respectable than the political chameleon who's lobbying DC today , and just recently directed considerable resources on ads advocating a host of anti-environmental causes .
A lit class isn't going to make any comment on a phrase like that, or management speak in general. Management speak is just a jargon.
Its mostly not. Jargon is specialized use of terms used to facilitate clear communication of ideas within a specific community/domain. Management speak -- at least the form that is often mocked -- is just using flowery language to conceal the absence of substance, and is pretty much the opposite of jargon.
There is a jargon of management -- an array of terms with precise meanings in the field that are either not used outside of the field or are used outside with different meanings, and which facilitate clear communication in the domain.
But that's really not what people are talking about when they are talking complaining about "management speak", which seems to be all about marketing/PR buzzwords which are used to create certain feelings while minimizing communication of clear commitments and detailed information, which are used by management either when they are acting to promote the business in marketing/PR role, or when they've been successfully snowed over by some vendor's or other industry player's marketing.
And I think he wouldn't have touched that phrase with a barge pole.
>Management speak is just a jargon.
No. Jargon comes out of necessity and field-specific needs.
Management speak comes out of the desire to unecessarily dress-up bullshit.
So catalyzing a paradigm change means to make it happen faster.
I don't see the problem with this. Could you be more specific?
The problem with this is that "make it happen faster" is already clear and sufficient.
People understand it -- including people who don't have an idea what "catalyst" means (for me it's a totally transparent word, as its origin and etymology come from my language. YMMV).
If you want to dress it up to make it sound more impressive, then you're not communicating effectively.
And if you include 3-4 other unecessary buzzwords in the same sentense you're just name-dropping words.
"I saw a very puissant pismire lifting 100 times its weight in a sweven yesterday". Do you see anything wrong with this sentense?
(Except if you're a chemist, and you use the word "catalyst" as it applies to your terminology)
I disagree. Catalyze is more succinct. In addition, to catalyze has the connotation of making change happen via the injection of a catalyst, thus connecting the agent of change with the change it brings. It's a better word.
Catalyst is not a difficult vocabulary word, nor a particularly uncommon word. Compare it's frequency to the words you used:
Do you only read Simple English wikipedia? It's very clear and sufficient.
And, some phrases are simply used too often by people trying to sound smart when they really have nothing to say. There is nothing wrong with catalyzing synergy, but because so many people have applied those words when they had nothing to say, the phrase has gradually become meaningless. Omit meaningless words.
Managers have their jargon because they often trade in abstract concepts (Plan of Record, Resources, Asks, Action Items, OKRs) peculiar to their trade that are ripe for shorthanding, which is pretty similar to the reason you see it in other fields.
In his view, it occurred over generations as adherents to older scientific models died of old age - e.g. the Copernican model replaced the Ptolomeic model because Ptolomeic astronomers went extinct.
However, the idea of an action paradigm is interesting - can you give an example of usage in that way?
But your comments are factually wrong. None of Google's products you mention are new or really that much better (so far.)
>> Google is a company that is making self-driving cars
So is every major car manufacturer out there. Who's ahead of the game? I don't know because Google gets all the press and fawning from fanboys--like you.
">>providing incredibly fast internet to consumers
Experimenting in a few ares with plenty of subsidies doesn't count. The much hated Verizon has done a LOT more on that regard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_FiOS
">> providing Internet to suffering area with a patently new idea (the Loon)"
Not providing anything yet, just experiments and Loon is not a new idea at all. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120347353988378955.ht...
">> exploring definitively new ideas for hardware (Google Glass)"
Not a new idea at all. Different thinking of course but the verdict is still out.
One day--the focused like a laser--Google will manufacture their toilet paper and you'll be here to wonder how we managed without toilet paper before Google invented it.
It's Google. They have the right people, the right ideas, the resources, and they started first. Source: I'm a prof in a related field with graduated PhD students at Google.
The Google cars get press because they are really very good.
I believe we covered the "fawning from fanboys" part already.
>Source: I'm a prof in a related field with graduated PhD students at Google.
That's not a "source". That's at best a "full discosure" and at worst a "conflict of interest" in this discussion...
For the record, none of my former students work on the Google cars as far as I know.
By the way: " Mercedes missed a barn-door sized opportunity last week when it revealed technical details of next year's 2014 S-class, which showed that while this flagship model could potentially have been the world's first autonomous driving car, Mercedes has decided not to give it that capability. For now, the driver's hands have to remain on the wheel at all times.
"The car would do it [autonomous driving] today," said Jochen Haab technical support manager, "we have had test cars doing that, but what happens if a child steps out into the street and the radar misses it?"
Well, shit, that quote right there plus your hostile attitude sure have me impressed. 62 whole miles! They're clearly on the doorstep of releasing a production autonomous car, as you were trying to imply over at <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6408590>.
Meanwhile, that other company's car has made the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles (at least 380 miles, in case you didn't know):
That was two years ago.
Here's a suggestion: why don't you just take a step back from the topic of Google, since you clearly get all twisted up inside about it?
I'm here to impress you sir, that's my mission in life.
Now who said that they drove a total of 62 miles vs a 62 mile trip? Did the car crash at mile 62 or they reached the destination? All these are little details that need to be taken in consideration before an idiot exclaims "Google is #1 in autonomous cars..."
By the way, see anything funny http://i.bnet.com/blogs/google-self-driving-car.jpg sticking out of the Mercedes car http://www.trbimg.com/img-522e6325/turbine/la-fi-hy-autos-20... ? Don't tell me they have shrunk it to make it fits inside a normal car already. How much does the Google system cost now, is it $100K+ just for the autonomous driving system? Details, details, details
I didn't say anything about total miles; I was comparing Mercedes' single 62 mile trip against the other car's single 380+ mile trip. But if you want to bring up total miles logged, That Company In Mountain View hit 300k miles last year  and there are absolutely no public numbers from Mercedes. If the figure were impressive, they'd probably have released it.
But now you want to make a fuss over the LIDAR on top of That Company's car while the S Class gets by on just radar. Your earlier post quoted a Mercedes engineer saying "we have had test cars doing that, but what happens if a child steps out into the street and the radar misses it?" -- well, gosh, maybe that funny spinning thing is doing something useful. Wouldn't you want an autonomous car to use any and every available method to detect obstacles? Details indeed.
> So soul-destroying has this knowledge been, for almost everyone, that we have constructed our entire society and world view around ways to put it out of our minds'.
Absolutely ridiculous. Besides the fact that I think a 'soul' is a poorly-defined construct and thus hard to crush, I really don't see a problem with death; to me it's just as necessary as birth. Sure, it's sad when someone dies, and death can be a traumatic experience, but it's also simply part of being a biological organism. I suppose I find some agreement with de Grey in that large portions of societies fear death and try not to think about it. However, perpetual avoidance through the declaration of war on Death seems practically infantile in view.
You know, as opposed to not tiling the universe in anything.
More seriously, I don't think that's an accurate comparison. What fundamentally is the problem with the people saying "God gave us the Earth to exploit"? Well, it's what you said, overconsumption. But what is actually wrong with "overconsumption"? (That is to say, at what point does consumption become overconsumption?) Is there something inherently wrong with pumping lots of oil out of the earth? No, of course not. What's wrong with consuming too much now is that it leaves less for us later. Or that it has other ill effects, such as polluting the atmosphere and making our environment unlivable. There's nothing wrong with unbounded amount of consumption per se if we can find a way to deal with the ill effects (and make sure to leave enough for future people). The value against overconsumption is instrumental, not terminal. If you are in a situation where such consumption would cause a problem, well, don't do that then; but if you're not, go ahead.
Similarly with overpopulation -- there's nothing inherently wrong with a universe full of people; the worry rather is that you'll have so many people with so little space and resources for each that they'd have a terrible quality of life. Once again: Well, don't do that, then! Anticipate problems and avert them (or fail to anticipate them and then solve them, possibly by reducing population or consumption). Eliezer Yudkowsky is not suggesting anything close to the idea that we should make as many people as possible even if all of them would be miserable, or that we consume every resource as fast as possible even if we render the world uninhabitable for our descendants.
In short, the problem is not a large population, nor lots of consumption, but the side-effects of these things, and the shortsightedness that leads people to disregard them. Gotta maintain the distinction between terminal values and instrumental ones.
...OK, there is one obvious thing I'm glossing over. Namely, the idea that it's good to leave some space for the non-humans, as well; their disregard for other forms of life is I think something else we would agree is wrong with the "God gave us the earth to exploit" people, and there the comparison with Yudkowsky is perhaps a little more accurate. But, regarding animals, I don't think Yudkowsky's position is really different from that of most people. Yes, we'd like to have a world with, say, polar bears in it, and not just ones in zoos, or ones who are miserable all the time; but we probably wouldn't want to have a world that was partly ordered according to polar bear values. (Whatever that means.)
Now, other intelligent forms of life is a another can of worms, but I don't think the "God gave us the Earth to exploit" people worry much about those, so I'm going to stop here because I don't really know how to compare there.
(Also I'm not really sure that your earlier "tiling" post is really an accurate representation of Yudkowsky's ideas, but I didn't really want to argue about it, partly because I'm not prepared to right now and partly because it seemed essentially irrelevant.)
This tends to be glossed over in discussions of his work, but Aubrey de Grey is specifically interested in reducing the (currently inevitable) human suffering associated with aging. Clinical immortality would be an eventual side-effect of succeeding in that mission.
Every manner of treatable and correctable disease and condition is "part of being a biological organism," but it seems absurd to hold such a standpoint if you're not also in favour of discarding modern medicine in order to die slowly and painfully from cancer.
Absolutely everything we have built with technology is not simply part of being a biological organism. Who are you to say what being a biological organism is about? For that matter, what's special about biology (nothing, but that's a different discussion)?
Smallpox is simply a part of being a biological organism. Fighting with other organisms to the death is part of being a biological organism. Survival of the fittest is part of being a biological organism. But we're better than that. See, we have pretty powerful brains that allow us to escape the endless cycle of suffering and death that is "being a biological organism". You're not forced to use yours for that purpose, but don't act like there is some bright line between all the other supposed rules we break and curing death. It is all part of the same progression.
Ah, I see, you're engaged in a 'War on Metaphor'.
This announcement could be interpreted as strong support for the general concepts that Aubrey talks about.
Let's just go ahead and pump the brakes here before we start clapping each other on the back and talking about shifted paradigms. I'll gladly join in the happy-clappy fest once some actual results come through. But saying we've catalyzed a shift in the world's thought paradigm (that is a really pretentious way of saying "this might make people think differently", by the way) at the announcement of a new product might be just a wee bit premature.
This is thought provoking - if even a perfect solution to such a problem won't give us what we want, then we do need to "make people think differently" and try to focus on a different, bigger problem than the current approach of trying to strike out separate illnesses.
By the way, allowing medicine to think about not only "how to bring a broken-person to average" but "how to bring an average person to above-average" would also require a major change in the way of thinking for the whole area. Some homo sapiens are extremely resistant for diseases, some are smarter than average, some have much lower aging damage. Instead of thinking how to fix a genetic disease by replacing a broken gene with the "average" one; we should think about what is the best that we, as a species, could be.
having a massive stroke/heart attack/aneurisma? at least you pop and you're gone. going through chemo/radio for months/years to slowly, painfully wither away is bullshit.
same is true for all those diseases, parkinsons, alzheimers, etc.
fuck them all. they are the bane of our existance, literally. pure evil.
Its not instant death, but the process of a slow death that is the enemy.
3 years increase from a non-infant mortality related improvement is actually pretty huge. I'd have to look it up, but I think the impact of non-infant vaccinations would be roughly a similar sized increase.
Going from 80 to 83 (for example) is nice, but it doesn't have a radical impact on how we should live our lives - going from 80 to 160 could do that. If we want major improvements, then we either need to make sure that the other things are cumulative (say, that we can get 20 disease-cures to add 3 years each); or we need to look in completely different directions.
It depends on what you see as a goal - in the long run, I believe that we can get to lifespans measured in centuries, because it's technically possible as seen from other lifeforms. If the marginal improvements due to curing diseases can't get us there, then we should investigate other options how to achieve that, instead of treating a 5% increase as "pretty huge" and being satisfied with that.
Take a look at, for example, http://youtu.be/qMAwnA5WvLc (TEDx, Aubrey de Grey) linked in another thread.
All we're doing today is announcing a moon shot.
We need to get out of that hole first. Google is doing the right thing.
Imagine what the world would look like if the medieval elite were still alive today. It's good that the people in power die every once in a while.
If everyone died at 30, everyone would say the same thing about life extension past 30.
If everyone died at 200, everyone would say the same thing about life extension past 200.
Why does death have to be where it is now? Natural death from aging comes a little longer than a few other causes of death tend to hit, but it's still very, very soon. People's twitch thinking skills start to decline so early (even in the 20s), and while they can more than make up for it through increasing knowledge, we have so little time to build that knowledge before we have to go.
But seriously, the fact that the first thing they do is start a corporation to control the science is not exactly comforting to me. Genentech is known for selling Avastin, their drug that fights cancer for $55k after they received harsh criticism for the proposed cost of $100k+/year.
I fear a future where "all men are created equal", but only some can afford to become immortal and others cannot. We already see some of that now. Tons of ethical questions around this topic.
It is a moral imperative to make sure that short-sighted class warfare does not cut off the nose to spite the face by destroying this work under the guise of egalitarianism, because we can not turn on a dime and immediately grant it to everyone on day one. Yes, the rich will get it first. We need to ensure that market mechanisms remain functional and that they end up subsidizing the research the rest of us need. If we build gates and walls, they'll just end up captured in a heartbeat. Don't let them be built.
(Once the market has chewed on it and made it as cheap as possible, consider subsidizing it or something, but for the love of Life itself, don't break the market and destroy the research before it even happens. Seemingly suboptimal situations may need to be relatively briefly tolerated to make sure this happens at all.)
There's a difference between making your money back to cover the cost of research and development while making a profit, and plain old greed. A 20 year lifetime on a patent with a 3-7 year window of exclusivity means you might be dead before you can afford treatment. That's one of the ethical issues that we will hopefully address in a sane and logical way as we move forward. How much money should one be able to make if they are adding days to your life?
I do agree that this type of thing may be helpful to humanity. I just cast a skeptical eye knowing how the drug industry has worked in the past.
(To which the natural next slur is "Oh, you want no regulation then?" No, I strongly believe a free market requires some basic maintenance to harness properly, and I'm a particular fan of internalizing externalities via government action. However, virtually by definition, if patents are being "abused", that is not maintenance; that's sand in the gears.)
I consider the idea that we live in some sort of anarchic free market wonderland today to be nothing more than propaganda, used by those who want to use government to take even more control over your life. There's very few free segments of the modern market that are even remotely free; they simply aren't as centrally managed and regulated as they could be.
Free market capitalism isn't fair. All the dynamics and mechanics of capitalism have nothing to do with fairness.
Imagine having to live in a world where all the positions of power are permanently occupied by people from the generation of your great-grandparents.
The base state of the world that we live in is that everybody dies. Your hypotheticals about how horrible it might be to live in a world where people might not die have to be pretty horrible to compete with what is already true.
(Mind you, this is not an unleapable bar, in my opinion, but it's much higher than you just leapt.)
We can stack them like cordwood for a while, but that gets messy, inconvenient and after a while, a bit smelly.
In meta-ethics, the question was "What does it mean for something to be horrible in the first place? How do you decide something is good or bad in the first place? If you fear your own nonexistence, why do you not fear the nonexistence of, say, unicorns?"
I never took an evolutionary psych course, but I read a bunch of their textbooks. I'd imagine the answer they'd give is "Of course you believe death is horrible. If your ancestors didn't, they wouldn't have an aversion to death, and so they would never have been around to reproduce, and so you wouldn't have been born. Therefore, we select for animals that fear death, because all animals that do not fear death never come into existence." There's something comforting about that perspective, knowing that our fears are nothing but evolutionary chance at work, but it's interesting to think that our fear of nonexistence is a consequence of our existence.
So? Why does that matter? From my perspective, before I was born and after I die are equivalent on account of me not being able to have a perspective. 13.8 billion years of the universe where I didn't exist wasn't horrible before so I don't see why it will be so horrible in 60 or 80 more years when I don't exist again.
For example, if death was embraced and voluntary euthanasia was allowed, people could just opt-out as the nastiness started (I'm not suggesting we do that, though).
Anyway, the point is that we shouldn't fear the ending. It's the things that precede it that we should rightfully fear and combat. In other words, focus less on extending life (after a point) and more on decreasing the ratio of painful-years/lifespan.
If it's avoidable, then all else being equal acceptance of death strikes me as incredibly foolish. I want to live until tomorrow, and I imagine that tomorrow I'll say the same.
Because something is natural (part of the lifecycle) doesn't make it good or bad.
Generations eventually dying off keeps the human race moving forward in many ways.
You propose that the best solution to this is kill everyone over 80.
That would make you a psychopath.
If we could have just figured this out 2500 years ago, then we 'd be Spartans instead of PsychoPaths.
I don't think we need to maximize amount of new people for the sake of it.
Old generation owes to the new generation to not screw them up by using up resources/making world worse than they got it, etc. But they have absolutely no obligations to actually _make_ a new generation.
Your comment is the epitome of ageism.
Yes, the rich will get it first. But then think about what will happen: they will start living longer, and as a result, accumulate even more wealth over their lifetimes. While the poor will have 30-35 years of productive work-life, the rich will have much longer. Combined with the already large difference in their earning power, this will lead to a world where the rich not only life much higher quality lives, but also longer lives.
Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
I would rather no one have it than institute a system of even more perpetual control. We have already signed most of our existence over to the rich and the only equalization is that they die, too. It isn't cutting my nose off to spite my face to not want to live 70-80 years under the continually-strengthening ownership of those who will live to 200. (And, similarly, me living to 200 so I can work all those years for those who'll live 400 doesn't strike me as particularly awesome either.)
Universal health care is a thing, outside America.
Your argument hinges on a hoary anti-Marxist critique. As one example alternative approach, the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars handed out to financial institutions and/or forgiven in legal penalties could have been used to reimburse companies for creating successful health technologies and treatments. It's a matter of policies and priorities, some of which are broken and some that aren't (Sturgeon's Law), and the market structures of medicine operate in the way that it does for specific reasons not necessarily aligned with benefits for those who are dying or sick.
I was born in a world where two things in life got to everyone: death, and taxes. They've already "relieved" the elite of taxes, and now they're looking to do the same for death.
No. We are not their cattle, and they are not our shepherds.
You want immortality, robots, and post-scarcity awesomeness? Great. Make it for everyone.
Don't develop The Future just so the capitalist elite can exploit even harder.
Sorry if I'm being harsh, but seriously, "make it for everyone"? Who is that even directed at, god? It's not like post-scarcity and immortality will be the work of Larry Page or anyone in isolation who could take it upon themselves to do it altruistically.
You mean a government-funded research program that took place in academia and released its results under open licensing, thus allowing a hacker-ethic of free contribution and usage?
Because that's how the internet happened, actually. Do remember that the Mosaic web browser was invented by Tim Burners-Lee at CERN while on public payroll, it was released under free licensing, and the whole infrastructure spread precisely because it was decentralized and open.
The internet versus the App Store is an excellent example of why we want publicly-funded, open-access research initiatives, not private profit-mongering.
Sorry if I'm being harsh, but seriously, "make it for everyone"? Who is that even directed at, god? It's not like post-scarcity and immortality will be the work of Larry Page or anyone in isolation who could take it upon themselves to do it altruistically.
Well, if God is listening, I'd certainly like Him to consider that He should come down and issue a few ethical guidelines before we start stomping all over His Creation trying to overpower Him!
On a side note, healthcare costs are high in the US due to artificially limited supply and failed central planning of future demand: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-03-02-doctor...
And you say they're the ones serving Life?
On the labour/production side a technology seems to be creating wider income gaps. For the winners it is a lever with which to create more wealth. For others, they are competing with machines and poor countries (enabled by technology to work with rich ones) for work.
On the product consumption side, the gap is pretty small. The cheap netbook that almost anyone in Europe or the US can afford is not much different (in price or performance) from the one used by a billionaire. No matter how rich you are, you can't get a better smartphone than the models you can see in any bus. Even the low end (50-$100) smartphones are getting decent. I expect smartphones to be as ubiquitous as dumb ones soon, that means the gap between rich British & bangladeshi (measured in smartphone wealth) is plummeting.
Who knows what future waves of technology will look like, especially medical technology.
I think the appropriate response is keep an open mind and see where stuff takes us. Don't bind your thinking to past paradigms. Go read the Communist Manifesto. Realize how it is a product of its time, the industrial revolution. It takes a lot of contortion to try understanding the world by that paradigm. For Adam Smith, technological efficiency was about making pins.
I always feel modern medicine should focus on raising life quality for as long as we are alive, rather than extending life itself. But of course this view is painted by the large number of old people living in inhuman conditions we currently have.
I hope for more youth, not just more life.
Also slowing down growth is much more palatable on a basic level if you have that much more time to enjoy what you have and get what you don't have yet.
Accelerate existence by whatever means necessary; availability will follow.
This is not demonstrated at all. Increasing existence and production of food hasn't tackled food insecurity and hunger, for example. That something exists, even if cheaply, does not mean it will become accessible.
Um... what about the millions of lives saved by the green revolution and agricultural advances? Hunger hasn't been eliminated, but technology has increased the carrying capacity of the earth by a few billion.
Re. technological availability: see the falling price of mobile phones, personal computers, Internet connections.
You assume that those in power will want to make more like them and I think that is mostly unlikely. Nothing attracts the powerful like an insurmountable advantage. Being able to outwait your potential competition at that scale is powerful and I have a hard time seeing powerful people wanting to make their potential competitors as powerful.
Of course, universal access is far better, and we should keep that in mind, but if it takes profit-motivated corporations to bring the technology into existence in the first place, then so be it.
Giving the rich the tools to exploit the rest of us even further seems pretty foolish. Likely, even inevitable--but no less foolish.
Therefore, if you stipulated that such an invention could only happen if it started off in the hands of the powerful, I would still take that bargain.
If you think we'll get to a point where nobody can disrupt the anti-aging industry ever, and nobody will be able to make it cheaper, well, you're pretty pessimistic. Because the one constant we seem to see is (immortal) corporations being disrupted by little startups. Corporations right now live forever and yet they don't stay in power forever. The same will go with this.
I don't see why you'd say this. Economic mobility in the developed world is steadily shrinking. I don't see that shrink getting better if the rich can play on the time scale of centuries. Or if the corporations they own can do so.
As has been noted numerous times, poverty means you have to think "tomorrow" rather than "a month from now" or "a year from now". When you can think "eight decades from now" or even "two centuries from now", you are in an incredibly powerful position and I am extremely skeptical that people with that advantage will give it up for the rest of us.
That future is now. We already have first-world countries with medical technology that allows its citizens to live an average lifespan much longer than those in countries where such tech is unavailable. Not to mention the everyday technologies that indirectly extend "effective" lifespan -- every hour not spent gathering cooking fuel, preparing food, washing clothes, etc. is an hour you can spend "living". Even in said first-world countries, there is a dichotomy: those who are rich & influential enough to take advantage of expensive & cutting-edge medical treatment, and those who are not.
Actual life extension therapies are just the above, writ large. I don't see any difference between this tech and any other "early adopter" tech, which is always expensive and limited in availability. We can only hope that such technology will become cheaper & more widespread and trickle down to the rest of us in time for us to make use of it.
How else would they do it?
This is not about making the world a better place. This about allowing the elite that can afford it to live forever.
Imagine you have two groups of people: Group A and Group B. You are voting on a technology that can prevent 90% of deaths in Group A. Do you vote yes or no?
If you vote no, congratulations, you just condemned a large group of people to continue dying for the sake of egalitarianism.
(The reason this thought experiment is powerful is that it strips the scenario of value-judgments such as "elite" and "poor.")
By voting no, you just condemned 900,000 people in Group A to eventually die, simply because you wanted to prevent them from becoming the ruling elite.
Stated differently, you had the power to prevent 900,000 deaths (and in fact many more than that, moving forward), and you chose not to because of ideology.
Surely it is better for people to not die - to not cease to exist - even if that means they rise to the top of the social hierarchy?
Not unless they're going to be benevolent rulers, no.
I will not grant people immortal life so that they can make everyone else's lives into a living hell.
We eradicated smallpox for everyone, without distinction between rulers and ruled. That's the difference!
a rising tide lifts all boats.
"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire
You may want to familiarize yourself with the history of smallpox eradication before continuing this debate. The vaccination was available mostly in wealthy countries first.
"...coordinated efforts against smallpox went on, and the disease continued to diminish in the wealthy countries. By 1897, smallpox had largely been eliminated from the United States. In Northern Europe a number of countries had eliminated smallpox by 1900, and by 1914, the incidence in most industrialized countries had decreased to comparatively low levels..."
Notwithstanding the daughter comment that disproves this, try substituting 'smallpox' for 'cancer'. Cancer treatment is by no means available to everyone, or even the majority, yet it extends lifespans (of good people and dictators alike). Should we not have developed treatments for cancer?
Personally I agree with the logic that if we have the choice between 0 and 100,000 people living for ever we pick 100,000 (Even if that 100,000 include such greats as Un and Assad). Having said that If I had the choice between 100,000 living forever and 3 billion people living forever with less private jets in the world I'd pick the later. Perhaps I'm cynical but if we do indeed get this tech I'm a lot less confident about my values being satisfied in the second instance than the first.
But I wouldn't argue with you that the majority of these 'elite trimmings' set the society back. The question is after the set back does it move forward faster than it was or in a better direction (Often the answer to this would be hugely reliant on your personal values).
Evidence or rationale supporting this conclusion?
Compound interest works intergenerationally as well as within a lifetime, so that doesn't seem to be much of an argument.
Remember, this is a scenario where we're talking about 1% of the population getting life-extension while everyone else remains stuck with 80-120 years of maximum lifespan. Those indefinite folks are going to get very wealthy very quickly (as in, within one century), because they can afford to wait for long-term investments to pay off in a way nobody else can.
Right, so compound interest isn't magic as long as you have taxes (and, actually, compound interest per se is rarely a problem when you have taxable interest, appreciation of capital assets that works like interest but isn't is the problem -- and it comes about specifically because of the choice to give tax-favored status to long-term capital gains.) Estate taxes are a mechanism that works to mitigate the problems caused by favoring capital income when death is a reliable periodic effect, but you could acheive much the same effect in a progressive income tax system, without sensitivity the frequency of death, by simply not giving long-term capital gains a tax-favored status, and treating income as income, especially if you add more upper-range marginal tax brackets for super-high-end incomes.
However, given a capitalistic or otherwise zero-sum/proprietarian social system, I cannot support inegalitarian life extension as moral. You need a broadly egalitarian society and broadly egalitarian life-extension.
Medicine and life extension as a public service is great. As a private luxury of the rich it's abominable.
Think about the implied statement of making radical life-extension available to the rich alone! "Whereas I will live to 160, you will only live to 80. Because I can afford these treatments, it means my life has double the moral worth of your life."
If you honestly believe that moral worth and financial net worth are two different things, you cannot support setting lifespan in accordance with money. Period.
Imagine you have two groups of people: Group A and Group B. Group A is living longer but unhealthy and Group B is living shorter but extremely healthy , which one do you pick - I rather pick Group B ... dont know whether Calico will be about living longer or living healthier - its not a easy thing to crack but I hope they succeed ...
Oh, I'm sorry, you don't consider yourself part of the elite?
61% lack Internet access 
35% lack basic sanitation (e.g., toilets) 
26% don't have plumbing (e.g., water they can get from pipes in their house or yard) 
23% don't have electricity 
14% lack access to clean water 
14% lack access to health care 
13% suffer from chronic undernourishment 
11% can't read 
14% is about one billion people. Maybe you look at that and think, hey, 86%, doing pretty good! But if this many people can't even get access to even the most basic of technologies today, what makes you think most people, even people in the developed world, will have access to whatever mythical mortality-defying technology people are speculating about here? It's all such speculation as to what they are doing, the question is practically not worth answering. But if extreme life-lengthening technologies are truly on the table, the potential for an Elysium-like scenario should be taken seriously.
(Also, point of clarification: what do you mean by "intrinsic reason"? Can you give an example of an intrinsic reason something would be limited to the elite?)
It also doesn't really fit in with the rest of the stats you're presenting - people can and do live quite luxurious lives without using the internet, but not so for the other items.
Sanitation and plumbing are cheap and easy if a government isn't corrupt. We're not waiting on advances in technology to make those things easy to provide to the world, so it seems tangential to anything Google could do.
I look at the 86% and thing we're doing pretty well because we've improved enormously during my lifetime and are continuing to do so.
Bill Gates is saving thousands of lives by trying to wipe out diseases that generally affect poor people for very little money per life saved.
While in the US millions is spent per person to provide longer lives for a few people.
What? The average life expectancy in the US is 79 years old... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expec...
Life expectancy is nearly 80 years in the US at this point, even with the explosion of cancer, heart disease and diabetes that has come with obesity in the last 30 years.
You'd have to be defining old age as 140 for your statement to make sense.
1 - http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/
2 - http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/publications/glob...
There are tons of statistics at http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.CODWORLD?lang=en for the full picture.
I guess this fixes that.
We had various interactions with both the Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault teams. They were both making patient facing apps, ours was physician (and staff) facing.
We had a patient facing app, because all the hospitals thought it'd drive admissions.
But at the time no doctor would trust patient's data.
To the best of my knowledge, that hasn't changed (five years on).
The "quantified self" movement may change the perception of patient gathered data. When data collection is automatic, standardized. More importantly, when doctors are doing it for themselves, so are familiar with the tools and culture.
So, in short, Google Health and MS HealthVault were just wishful thinking. There was no "there" there.
You're probably right. But any advantages in medicine eventually will boost available level of tools to all. Well it worked as this so far. Elite is just able to get the best much earlier - but that doesn't mean we should stop all scientific progress and reset to the level of medicine everybody can get.
That is how all products first become available. The rich fund the R&D and scaling.
We'd all still be living in primitive civilizations if your approach ruled the day.
I'd love to see Google work on initiatives to give the world's poor access to clean water and basic healthcare. Those are awesome causes -- maybe the world's most awesome. But if we categorize pressing third-world health issues as the World's Most Awesome Cause, well, aren't age-related diseases the World's Second Most Awesome Cause?
We should for sure allocate more resources to the World's Most Awesome Cause. But why are people attacking funding for the World's Second Most Awesome Cause? Convince people not to buy top-tier smartphones, or expensive cars, or big houses, and donate to charity instead. But don't try to convince people to die of heart disease. Even if this new Google initiative isn't the absolutely most optimal way to spend money to serve humanity, it's pretty high up on the list.
Please remember that about two-thirds of all deaths world-wide are caused by aging . It isn't just the elite who are getting heart attacks, and long-term, I'd be shocked if it were only the elite who were receiving effective treatments to prevent them.
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate
Not to mention, it's a more attainable goal. It doesn't help much to keep the body going for 50 more years if you can't also keep the brain going. I believe these are very different problems. If you can somehow solve both, it doesn't help if you can't feed and house all these people.
Aubrey de Grey believes they are not different.
If he's right, the only way you could keep people perfectly healthy up to age 80 without them living much longer would be to execute on his plan (or a similar one), and then kill people once they got old enough.
Google believes in capitalism. They will offer goods and services to people who can afford them, and they will also work to make their products more accessible to those with limited resources.
I personally believe Android will have enormous long-lasting positive impacts on the rest of the world. A $25 smartphone ... A $10 smartphone... A $5 smartphone... Giving access to instant communication, and huge amounts of information, will in the long run dramatically improve human lives. My personal opinion.
The only pure capitalist societies are anarchist hellholes. Among nice societies, capitalism is implemented all sorts of different ways with the things capitalism does poorly papered over in different ways.
 law enforcement, basic standard of living for all, various economic regulations to address market failures, e.g. I can't legally plug in a transmitter at 100MHz and 1000 watts and black out WNBC in my neighborhood, and can't sell capitalist let-the-market-decide food out of a roach den
gdulli was criticizing a corporation for providing goods and services that a relative minority of the wealthy can provide.
I assert that that criticism is only valid, if you have fundamental problems with capitalism itself. The way I stated that was, "you either believe in capitalism, or you don't." I am not aware of a better way to state that. It's a matter of faith / belief / an assumption. If you share in that view, you can correctly engage in one set of logical discussion. If you do not share in that view, you can only engage in another set of logical discussions. Watching someone criticize a corporation for providing luxury goods is ample evidence that they're having the wrong kind of discussion. Their first necessary step would be to convince me that we should abandon capitalism. Period. There's no other first move in that game.
I hope what you really meant was far, far better than what you made it to sound like.
From that perspective it's hard to describe exactly what I'm thinking...
If you lean towards "capitalism and free markets are good," then I really don't think you have a leg to stand on, in criticizing a corporation for offering luxury services.
If you lean towards, "Universal healthcare, and this is health care, so therefore the government should have a monopoly on it, except this should be way down low on the list of priorities," then it's a completely different conversation.
They aren't mutually exclusive goals; working on the social/political/distributional problems that prevent most people from having a high quality of life is not exclusive with working on the health technology problems that mean that no one is living 150+ years.
And I'd rather see a high quality of life for everyone on Earth for 150+ year life spans than either of your options.
Silliest thing I've read all day. There are huge costs associated with extracting resources here on earth, let alone from the stars. And even if "the universe" is infinite, no new matter is being generated.