[ExI] Longevity Dividend Course OP-ED Assignment 02

Morris Johnson mfj.eav at gmail.com
Fri Jun 6 15:21:58 UTC 2008

02-Healthy Demographics

To accept "groundhog day" and succumb to death at the statistically
predicted  age of  85 or to defy statistics to keep motoring on , that is
the question; whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows
of social persecution for daring to hope to be able to flaunt  youthful
beauty at 113….or by taking up arms against aging to transform it into
"steady-state self-directed long-term self-improvement project".

"Holy purple shades of Hamlet's ghost Dad" respond my kids.  "Are you going
to make us listen to the statistics and demographics of how all you baby
boomers with your funky old man diseases want to flush away your 53 trillion
or so dollars of pension fund money and enslave our kids  to satisfy  your
vain attempt to perpetuate your denial of the inevitability of your certain
and timely  death?  "

"Yes",  I respond "this  family conference is about the demographics of
according to Ken Dychtwald Ph.D. in AGE POWER.   We have a responsibility to
learn how to use our power wisely!

Once we  lived in fear of global starvation from uncontrollable population
growth.  Now China, Europe, Eastern Europe and Australia are all racing
towards zero population growth as they  reduce  infant mortality, infectious
disease and use  planned parenthood. People only reduce family size after
the threat of  disease , malnutrition and racial conflict  diminishes.

A new challenge to a healthy lifespan,  Metabolic Syndrome, has become an
epidemic with over 25% of North Americans affected.  "Improving Human
Health-08" presenters define it as systemic insulin resistance resulting
from  a combination of (even modest ) obesity ("toxic waist ") , chronic
silent inflammation, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and impaired
glucose tolerance.  Good genes or regular physical activity can mask it but
diabetes, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer are  its
ultimate  consequences.  High risk groups include aboriginals whose genetics
were never designed to cope with the rapidly digested carbohydrates of a
supersized  "McDiet".  Metabolic syndrome develops most rapidly in
people   with
depression, lack of self asteem, or a feeling of lack of control over
personal circumstances.  Young adults whose lifestyle also  includes
smoking, drinking, risky recreational drug combinations ,  a poor quality
diet, and sedentary lives  may be the first generation since 1850  to
reverse the trend towards increased  longevity.  Researchers suggest the
"Mediterranean food pyramid", regular exercise, low glycemic index (slowly
digestible) carbohydrates and certain foods and nutritional supplements  as
countermeasures (
What really drives healthy longevity gains is education and disposable
income in that order.  Educated affluent boomers seek out solutions without
regard to cost while a disproportionate number of  the lower socioeconomic
groups , unsure of a solution do nothing .  Ironically, those with less
ability to buy into the new health technologies are also destined to have to
remain healthy enough to become the caregiver population for the affluent

Statistics show we are living longer at the average rate of 2.5 years every
decade and this longevity gain is accelerating despite  the growing gap
between  subpopulations.  The gap between Healthspan (healthy vibrant
productive lifespan) and total lifespan will replace  poverty  as the
scourge of the 21st century (http://www.alternet.org/story/84396/).  We must
remain healthy, active and part of society and like the "one hoss shea"
only  fall apart  the very instant before death.  Failure to do this means
physically and mentally frail  elderly boomers will be 35-70%  of the
population in 2050.  This will be an absolutely intolerable  "dependency
ratio" for the young to bear.

Suppose if you will, that problem and solution to this "historically
insoluble enigma" are one and the same.  Pensioners and pension fund owners
have 53 trillion reasons to replace palliative medicine with regenerative
medicine.  A world that can spend trillions on old-fashioned wars can just
as easily spend trillions in a "War against Aging".  Imagine if a war on
premature death could produce extended longevity.   Just as the computers of
2008 would have been magic in 1908, the medicine of 2108 after the  "War
against Aging" has nearly  a century under its belt  may be nothing short of
a magic show.  Can we "bootstrap it" with what we know today well enough to
make it to that show regenerated instead of frail.  Every war has to have a
"flashpoint" to start.  Fortunately, a "War for Healthy Longevity" can
ignite from any of 7 scientifically accepted Pandora's "tinder" boxes.

In part 3 I will detail what we think we know that can be used to make our
healthspan equal to our lifespan.  You may send your feedback attention
"Pharmer Mo" at extropian.pharmer at gmail.com
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