Nostalgia Isn't What it Used to Be! Chrissie Loveday
Dietary Treatment of Breast Cancer Doug Skrecky
Muscles Thomas Mahoney
Post-Mortem Lethal Genes Joao Pedro Magalhaes
Where Life Insurance Compensation Really Comes From Pearse Kelly
Trusts John de Rivaz
Seconds Robert Ettinger
A Treatment for BSE? Hugh Easton
The Future of Money George Smith
Book Review: Immortality by Ben Bova Olaf Henny
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Deborah Oney, MSW, MHA
Contents are provided for information only, under the right to free speech. Opinions are the authors' own. No professional advice is intended. If you wish others to be legally responsible for your health, life or finances, then please consult a professional regulated according to the laws of your country.
Volume 11 no 69. First published January 1999. ISSN 0964-5659.
Nostalgia Isn't What it Used to Be!
by Chrissie Loveday
It is almost Christmas again as I write this. Time for nostalgia to run riot. Let's get the family together and re-kindle the happy times we once spent.
'Do you remember when ...?'
'Once, we ...'
'Of course it was all different when the kids were little ... made it all worth while.'
'Nothing is the same any more.'
We've only had a couple of cards showing Victorian scenes of coaches in perfect snow landscapes, or cozy fireside settings. Perhaps most of us hold similar pictures in our minds. So many folk complain about present times as something very much worse than idyllic memories of years gone by. I'm as guilty as anyone.
However when I truly recall family gatherings in the past, things are rather different. I do remember gatherings when my aunt and cousins came to stay. They grumbled because I had more presents than they did ... me an only child and three of them. The youngest deliberately set out to damage one of my dolls and I remember saying I hated her and why did she have to be there? Sadly, she died when only ten years old. Diphtheria. A great memory of the past. My Aunt had a monumental argument with my Mother and my Gran had to be taken to hospital with a nose bleed that went on for hours. Such happy times!
When my own sons were little, of course it all changed. I was in control and called the shots. Our first Christmas in a new house was a disaster from the start. We moved two days before Christmas, together with three small children. The previous owners removed not only all the light bulbs, but the actual light fittings in the main room. We left our light bulbs in our previous house and only had a couple of news ones with us. We had no curtains, having decided to buy them on arrival. This was our first experience of an Aga (solid fuel cooker).
Obviously, Christmas Eve meant a shopping trip, not only for food and a tree but so many vital household items, it was unbelievable. We got the last tree in the shop, a seven foot monster which had to go on the roof of the car to get it home. The casserole I left in the oven was burnt to nothing and the kids were over-excited, starving and wanted nothing more than to decorate the tree. The final straw was a call to say my Mother was in hospital and not expected to last the night. You can't tell kids this sort of thing and I struggled through a nightmare time, even having to fry the turkey on a camping stove when the wretched Aga went out. Happy memories of times past? This is what my husband would call "A really Christmassy story."
It leads me to think about all the other things that elderly folk tell us were always so good.
'If only I hadn't ...' is a favourite. What is it about the human race that makes us hanker for things past? I'm as guilty as anyone, I do realise. Let's face it, the Victorian Christmas must have been a rather grim affair for most people. Few could afford the luxuries shown in pictures on Christmas cards. Few people had a piano, for the happy carol singing groups to stand around. It would have been cold, dark and many folk were hungry, over-worked and thoroughly miserable. The Good Old Days?
Religion aside, I honestly believe there is little point in trying to re-create a myth that never truly existed. I love the trappings of Christmas ... fairy lights, tree, decorations and special food. I am delighted that my electric cooker works well and the dishwasher takes the drag out of clearing up. I'm relieved that the heating works without me doing a thing to it and that my credit card saves me having to count out the pounds at the supermarket. I love being able to use the freezer to store loads of things in case anyone drops in unexpectedly. I know I could produce a good meal with very little notice. I love having my computer to produce cards, print labels etc.
I can remember times past with pleasure and also look forward to having lots of new things to inspire me, however old I get. Maybe my body is taking its own steps towards making me cope with the advancing years with a greater equanimity. Maybe, because I know that I shall be attempting to have a second chance through cryonics, I can face this thought more easily. Surely we need to recognise the past with pleasure and maybe some pain for what is clearly gone but keep a large part open for what is to come? After all, some of today's events are destined become pleasurable memories themselves, some day.
Click on above heading for a first chapter, a whole novel and some novels to buy off the web as well as text books.
Dietary Treatment of Breast Cancer
Doug Skrecky <email@example.com>
I received an inquiry about treating breast cancer. I thought others might be interested in my reply, which I reproduce below:
If you want to possibly buy a little time with dietary treatments I can recommend the consumption of large quantities of tomato and possibly carrot products. Giving lycopene (the red pigment in tomatoes) to mice that tend to develop breast cancer slows down the development of this disease by about 2 months. (Anticancer Research 15: 1173-1178 1995) While tomatoes are associated with reductions in cancer risk with a variety of cancers, the data linking to breast cancer is less solid, possibly because few people are willing to consume the large quanities of tomato products needed to achieve an effect in this tissue.
Human epidemiological data does support an anti-breast cancer effect of high consumption of carrots - about a 20% reduction in risk. (Epidemiology 9: 338-341 1998) Again I emphasize that only consumption of large quantities of tomato and carrot products can be expected to exert any significant effect on late stage malignant breast cancer - say 2 liters of tomato juice and carrot juice per day. Boiling the tomato juice with a little olive oil in it would greatly increase the absorption of lycopene, so this is what I recommend. The bottom line is that amounts of these foods which can be expected to significantly affect matters will result in a change in skin colouration. This is harmless.
As a additional adjunctive intervention a vitamin E supplement might be tried. This does not affect cancer itself, and it greatly increased the effectiveness of lycopene as an anti-cancer agent in a recent test. (Biochem Biophys Res Commun 250(3): 582-585 Sept 29,1998) This is so new that the local university library does not yet have in this issue of the journal. I spotted this on medline. Good luck.
by Thomas Mahoney, Pres. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lifeline Laboratories, Inc.
Dr. H.L. Sweeney of University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa. has publicized research wherein viral vectors can deliver IGF-1, (Insulin like growth factor), into the muscles of elderly rats. He states that these mice regained 27% of muscle mass lost with age. Younger mice re-gained 15% of muscle mass.(note: the news articles and Medline did not turn up the cite so if anyone knows it please let me know.)
Vergani L, et.al. in J Neurosci Res 1998 Dec 15;54(6):840-7 "Systemic administration of insulin-like growth factor decreases motor neuron cell death and promotes muscle reinnervation." shows that IGF-1 also restores motor neuron functioning in these muscles.
If these results are applicable to humans then this is a major advance in longevity research.
Telomeric lengthening can have the effect of extending the replicative life span of cellular systems that normally reproduce but would have little effect on the satellite cells that can restore muscle cells lost over time.
These findings on IGF-1 show that it can cause these satellite cells to restore some muscle functions in elderly rats and may help avoid some of the more debilitating stages of aging. In conjunction with telomeric therapy two major hurdles to longevity appear to be resolved.
The last major challenge remains the restoration of the functioning of the central nervous system in an elderly population.
Post-Mortem Lethal Genes
By Joao Pedro Magalhaes (email@example.com)
Evolution shapes organisms in a way that, in general, it optimizes their reproductive success to the detriment of long-term individual survival. Genes that are beneficial to us until sexual maturity is reached are much more favoured by evolution rather than genes that benefit us later in life. Aging is caused by genes whose phenotype is expressed after sexual maturity. Other maladies that affect the elderly and are independent of aging are also caused by genes whose phenotype is expressed at a late stage of one's life. It has been proposed that some of genes that are beneficial to us until sexual maturity are also the ones that are damaging to us later in life -- a phenomenon named antagonistic pleiotropy. Therefore, a genetic dustbin is created composed of genes that are harmful to us later in life. Since evolutionary pressure generates lethal phenotypes -- being aging the most widely spread -- that affect us within our maximum life, it is logical that many harmful phenotypes are expressed once our maximum life span is exceeded. These are what I call post-mortem lethal genes. If we are to consider physical immortality a serious objective, we must have them in consideration.
I am presently working on a neurological degenerative hereditary disease called Machado-Joseph Disease. This disease is one of several diseases -- the most famous one is Huntington's Disease -- which are thought to be caused by an expansion of a poliglutamine repeat present in some genes. In people affected by the disease, this repeat is lengthened. It has been demonstrated a linear relation between the number of repeats and the onset of the disease. Since everyone has such a repeat, my question is whether normal persons can develop the disease if they live long enough. Perhaps if we live up to 500 years we will all develop the disease. Cancer is another disease that will eventually kill everyone who lives long enough -- since evidence exists that aging and cancer are related, it can be expected that when aging is eradicated, cancer follows the same path. But many other examples exist of diseases that might affect persons who do not age. Many of the maladies that affect the elderly -- Alzheimer's disease, wearing of joints, presbyopia, etc. -- might be independent of aging. After millions of years with a limited life span, our genome has accumulated many harmful genes that will express their phenotype when our current maximum life span is surpassed. Our bodies are not prepared for an unlimited life span.
If cryobiology becomes a reality, we will be able to use it to overcome this problem. Persons who have been affected by a certain lethal or unpleasant condition will be "frizzed" and only be allowed to live when a cure if found. Computational biology is another area where great progresses are expected. Using computers to predict molecular and genetic pathologies will certainly be much helpful on obviating these problems.
We must face death and suffering as enemies that will not be vanquished in a single battle. Defeating aging is winning a battle but not a final victory. As Winston Churchill claimed: "Success is never final."
Where Life Insurance Compensation
Really Comes From
by Pearse Kelly <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Society for Policyholders Issuing Complaints Effectively (SPICE)
53 Castlecaulfield Road Dungannon BT70 3HF
Tel/fax 01868 767629
From the Serious Money column by Gillian O'Connor in the Financial Times:
The Commons Treasury Committee produced its 9th report on pensions mis-selling this week. One topic was who should pay the compensation bill for the life companies' misdemeanours.
[Guess what ?] 86% of shareholder-owned companies will get the policyholders to pay. So people who bought life assurance policies as an investment are paying compensation to people who were inappropriately sold personal pensions
Two officials have a specific duty to look after the interests of policyholders. The "appointed actuary" [of each company and a] Treasury civil servant. They appear to think that "raiding" the life funds is perfectly O.K.
The Treasury [argues that as] the profits ... are normally shared 90:10 ... so [pension mis-selling] costs should also be shared in that ratio ... [and] some with-profit funds have such large surpluses that it is "reasonable" to take [part of them for payment of the pension mis-selling] compensation ....
Neither argument seems irrefutable ... With-profit policyholders [are supposed to] share in the [profits] .... through good times and bad. But [the Treasury seems to say] if times turn out to be outstandingly good, they have no claim on the bonanza, and it can be suitably appropriated to cope with minor management embarrassments.
[And yet] ....several life companies have discovered that their life funds have large
surpluses, as a result of their niggardly dealings with earlier generations of policyholders...[:the so-called] "orphan assets". Several companies have successfully persuaded the civil servants [that their shareholders can take the orphan assets for themselves]; others are still negotiating. [And this while]....payouts on with-profits policies .... have already been falling, and the latest estimate is that they could on average halve over the next decade.
Isn't it a bit rich to tell the policyholders to tighten their belts, while whipping away the funds which could have made this un-necessary?
Not at all, say the officials. What matters is not what is in the fund, but whether with-profit payouts satisfy the "reasonable expectations of policyholders". [What an interesting test of insurance company behaviour ! Will it be used on other occasions when disputes arise ? I doubt it ! PK]. As long as there is enough left in the kitty to do that, policyholders have no grounds for complaint.
And what [does "reasonable expectations" mean] ? Um,er, well there isn't [a precise meaning]. (No, it certainly does not mean what actual policyholders actually expect. What a silly idea.)
.....No wonder the ....Commons committee recommends that shareholders should bear a substantial share of the mis-selling costs; and that the Treasury should consider the desirability of defining "reasonable expectations" and how orphan assets should be allocated..."
Comments, anyone ?
by John de Rivaz <">email@example.com>
The real difficulty I see is that most managed trust funds have the following disadvantages:
1. There are fees to pay to managers, which rise with the inflation rate for professional services (which is higher than average inflation)
2. There is a very non trivial fee to set them up if a trust is written just for one person to use.
3. Often it is difficult to direct the application of the funds to particular sectors which must rise if cryonics is to succeed.
4. Off the peg trusts can be cheaper to set up and run, but they often pay a miserable 3% or so as against much higher rates of growth acheivable by direct investment in well chosen technology equities. Over recent years rates of return as high as 90% have been quoted. I have observed 50%, and indeed the long term stock market average is 12.5%. 3% - PAH!
It has been said that it would be very difficult to direct a trust from a cryocapsule by demanding that the money be kept with the same companies. Someone doing this in the 1930s may have suggested General Motors, for example. This did do well for a time, but he would never have considered IBM or Intel, because they did not exist.
However there is an answer to this: Mutual Funds (or Unit Trusts in Europe). A unit trust can be devoted to a particular sector and the managers will do the best to maximise growth within that sector. Needless to say the best performers are technology trusts (or general growth trusts whose managers have by chance selected a lot of technology companies). If technology is to advance enough to make the reanimation of cryopreserved patient into good health possible, then such unit trusts or mutuals will grow phenomenally over periods of 60 to 100 years. If I am wrong, then no one investing in the hope of reanimation will ever know.
The high costs of running a reanimation or other specifically unusual trust are because society is structured so that people can claim these costs. In some countries, such people have to be members of gangs or cartels otherwise known as professions, but there must be some countries where this is not so. Other more reasonable costs could be due for the need to manage stocks. However a unit trust or mutual fund has this incorporated within it. The cost to individual unit holders for highly paid skilled management is quite small per unit held.
Bearing in mind that all the manager of a cryonics reanimation trust investing in unit trust or mutual funds has to do is to be there to fulfil a legal requirement - the actual work is done within the structure of the unit trust - it ought to be possible to get someone from within the cryonics community suitable qualified to volunteer his services for free.
We need a vehicle where people can put in say $1000 which will be earmarked as being his contribution to the reanimation fund if he is reanimated, and the whole reanimation fund is invested in a suitable unit trust or mutual fund. At the most conservative 12.5% $1000 would grow to over a million dollars in 60 years. I will leave it as an exercise for readers to work out what it would be at 30% per year (more likely if revivals do turn out to be possible.)
All existing ideas suffer from two problems that I see.
There is a very serious problem with item 1 in that assuming I am correct about technology growth, the money has to come for somewhere. That somewhere is a fall in value of "conventional" stocks, eg hospitality. Indeed the recent stock market turbulence has been seen as a fall in these stocks in favour of technology stocks. Intel and Microsoft, and the pharmaceutical majors, for example, fell very little. The market is recovering now with substantial rises in these aforementioned stocks pushing the index up, rather than recoveries in more conventional enterprises.
The problem with item 2 is that people investing all or most of their savings very correctly will seek professional advice. Any professional looking at reanimation funds will scratch his head and say he has to look into it. A few thousand dollars and perhaps a year or two later, he will advise his clients not to proceed. That is the safest option for him. If he says go ahead, and there is any problem, then he can be held accountable.
If on the other hand people can invest into a reanimation fund with a small part of their savings, then they can afford to take a chance based upon their understanding of the issues and their trust in the managers, and not go to a professional. In this case the managers will be fellow cryonicists. Unless the manager are not suspended, they will be held accountable, even if hundreds of years into the future.
I know I have written along these lines before. I hope that this time I have incorporated some of the objections raised and provided answers. Maybe this time there will also be objections, but one day this sort of "reanimation investment product" will appear, that I am sure of.
by Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute, Immortalist Society, http://www.cryonics.org
A "Second" is your possible future alter-ego and personal thinking,,actuating and self-improving machine, an advanced flower of tech including nanotech. It is partly integrated into your own psyche by physical (perhaps radiative) connections of some sort, chips in your brain, whatever.
Mr. Henny asks on the Internet what benefactor will give or sell you one. Answer: Anyone who feels a bit close to you, perhaps your cryonics organization, or one of your children, or a friend previously thawed--possibly even the "government" or an agency of society. The basic machine is dirt cheap, more or less as an apple seed is dirt cheap. It grows and improves and learns very fast, guided by your own wishes and instructions and public information, and using e.g. recycled waste as raw material for its growth and manufactures. (Don't tell me you might have to buy scarce titanium or whatever; many solid parts can be made of diamond, made from the carbon dioxide in air, and in any case substitutes are available for just about anything, e.g. autos without steel.)
You want cheesecake? If you have any sample of any kind of cheesecake--or even if you just remember the taste of cheesecake--your machine can simulate a million variations in a millisecond--and if you make a decision, can deliver a fresh-baked piece much faster than any commercial purveyor. It can also project or expand upon your cheesecake bent and invent a million new products that will cater to the underlying inclinations. Your need or demand for Aunt Nellie's product is vanishingly small.
And please quit with the dope-head warning. No sane person will allow himself to become helpless or static by living in an electronic or chemical dream world. But this does NOT mean that we will never choose to satisfy some wants by direct creation of appropriate signals in the brain; the details are far beyond the scope of today's message.
And yet again to newcomers: Don't be put off by speculations about a strange future. We (including you) will build our own various and evolving futures as time goes on and resources permit. Choose life!
A Treatment for BSE?
by Hugh Easton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
So far, about 30 people in the UK have died of a deadly, untreatable disease caused by eating BSE-infected cattle, and there are fears that much larger numbers of people could be infected. BSE is a "prion" disease: the infectious agent is a protein which is folded into an abnormal shape. It appears to be able to induce other protein molecules to fold into the abnormal shape by simply coming into contact with them, leading to a "chain reaction" in which more and more protein is converted into the abnormal form.
The body produces enzymes called proteases which will normally degrade damaged or malformed proteins, however the infected form of the prion protein is extremely resistant to degradation by proteases (it is sometimes referred to as "PRP" or Protease Resistant Protein). The result is that it accumulates in the body, especially in the central nervous system, forming waxy lumps known as amyloid plaques. These destroy nerve cells - exactly how is not known - and holes start to appear in the brain. In the final stages of the disease, the patient experiences worsening symptoms of neurological damage which ultimately result in death.
How do you treat a disease like that? One approach would be to develop drugs that selectively bind to the abnormal form of the prion protein and inactivate it, however I have thought of something else that might also work.
Since the infected prion protein is highly resistant to degradation by normal proteases, if a protease could be developed that specifically attacks it, then that protease probably wouldn't have much activity against normal proteins (such an enzyme could perhaps be developed by exposing bacteria or fungi to radiation or mutagenic chemicals, then growing them in a nutrient-poor medium containing PRP, so that organisms able to digest the PRP would gain a large selective advantage). In theory, this enzyme could then be used to destroy prion proteins in those unfortunate enough to be infected with human BSE. In practice, simply injecting someone with the enzyme would be unlikely to work very well. The enzyme would be unable to penetrate inside cells and would be rapidly removed by the immune system. However, I recall reading in this newsgroup about an experiment in which a dog was cooled down to near freezing point for several hours, and subsequently revived with no ill effects. During this time, all its blood was removed and replaced with a cryoprotectant solution. I was thinking that this technique could be used to treat human BSE patients, if the cryoprotectant solution also contained a PRP-destroying enzyme.
At near-freezing temperatures, cell membranes become much more permeable. This might allow useful amounts of the enzyme to get inside cells. The low temperatures would knock out the immune system and any intracellular mechanisms for removing foreign proteins, so the enzyme would have a free rein to do its job of destroying prion protein for several hours. When the time came to return the patient to a normal temperature, the cryoprotectant/enzyme solution could be flushed out with saline prior to re-infusing the patient's blood (to avoid any problems with immune reactions etc).
Editorial comment Of course this is speculation, but it is the first time I have read anything that attempts to suggest a means for a cure of this terrifying disease.
The Future of Money
by George Smith <email@example.com>
The future baseline of technology will make you wealthy compared to the present. When money is no longer needed, there will be no need for "trade", nor a medium of trade. Trade implies limited use of goods or services by individuals. Money will be as dead as the dodo.
If production continues to become robotic/automatic, money will become extinct. When production no longer requires human labour then no one will be paid to consume production. This new paradigm will have no need for money.
Drexler's molecular nanotechnology would only make this new paradigm happen faster. It's already happening anyway. I can't envision a truly technologically-advanced future where money will be needed.
The trick is to get from these pre-scientific Dark Ages to that future. Cryonics is simply a personal back-up plan as we move into this new paradigm. For the price of a pizza a month anyone can afford cryonics. At least as long as we still have money. See http://www.cryonics.org for details.
We have spent all of our lives surrounded by money and the need to acquire enough money. It's hard to imagine a world no longer needing money. Throughout history in every culture, humans have had to work to survive. Eventually automatic production will end the need for working to survive. Goods will be "free" since the need for money will have ended.
Of course people will still create goods or services not needed for survival. They will receive recognition in various ways such as honours, awards, applause, attention. Today money is one way of measuring recognition. When goods needed by people are produced automatically, money as symbolic recognition will die.
People even identify with their monetary balance. How often we hear "He is a millionaire" or "She is a pauper". When goods needed by people are produced automatically, money as a human measure will die. To live 100 years ago was painful compared to the present. To live 1000 years ago was a horror compared to the present. To live 100 years from now will be to see this time as painful. To live 1000 years from now will be to see this time as a horror. Don't worry too much about taking your money into the future. Sooner or later money, like the buggy whip, will be extinct. Just make sure you don't become extinct.
Cryonics is a plan to bypass your personal extinction. And it costs about the same as a pizza a month. See http://www.cryonics.org for details.
Money IS a medium for exchange in trade. When automation produces all goods and most services, and humans are unneeded, trade will die.
If you write a great novel and I want to read it, in 1998 I give you money for your novel. You need money to get what you want in the world of 1998. In 2098 your food, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare, and communications are "free". In 2098 you don't need money to get what you want because of the economics of automation. In 2098 I want to read your novel. What will you buy in 2098 with any money I give you that you don't already have? Other novels?
Or will you simply want me to read your novel? Just like I want you to read this communication. What amount of money are you paying me for it?
In this medium, I simply want you to read my ideas. When there are "free" commodities, human services will not need to be traded or exchanged. The concept of exchange first requires the concept of limited resources - scarcity. When there is no "scarcity", there will be no need for "trade".
It is 1998 and you have ten billion dollars of liquid wealth. You write a novel I wish to read. Do you need my money before you'll let me read it? What can I offer you that you NEED, if you don't need my money? You can GIVE me the book because you want me to read it.Your freedom from NEED makes the issue of trading your services for money irrelevant. For you, money (more money) is dead.
The planet is very large and made of matter. The solar system is pretty big also. The need to "settle accounts between us" (money as a medium) requires limited resources. Looks to me like there's plenty to work with out there! Maybe even infinite.
Trade implies need and scarcity. If you have what you need, other desires can become preferences and not remain necessities. If you don't, you have to get your money's worth. (Yes, people do still starve in America). Trade and its daughter, money, were born from the zero sum game mentality of history. We have never had a human society lacking the fear of scarcity and death.
If to be human means retaining unnecessary fear, I am willing to quit the monkey club. In 1998 money, ownership and scarcity are the norm. Like water is to a fish. In 2098 abundance and freedom will be the norm. Or 2198. Or 2298. The transition will be something to see. Futures projected from scarcity thinking are common: The Time Machine, Mad Max, Blade Runner, etc.
The future free of the need for trade (and money) will be entirely different from these. Humans do better attracted by carrots than driven by sticks. Here's to our future with BIG CARROTS! I realize it is hard to imagine no longer needing sticks.
When automation destroys money, the concept of "cost" will cease to have meaning. Exchange, trade and in all its facets will be as irrelevant as "buying" air is today. This is the death of money I have writing about.
2. When there are specific limited resources what will you offer me to "get" my share? If you want the island of Fiji, but anything else I might need to live is freely available, there is nothing you can give me I need. I certainly won't need your money. And neither will you.
The reality of automation and all past work is why this system works at all. Now it is "free". Besides, my point is that you are not paying me anything for my ideas here. Many such services and products are freely given by the creators without interest in "trade". Again, like this communication.
The Argument of Finite Resources
But again, if we both want the moon, what will you offer me if my other needs are provided for? Again, this is only pointing out why money cannot always prevent war, for example. If I don't want or need your "money", nor anything else you have to offer, this only further underlines why money will die when this condition becomes commonplace.
I do not know when money will die but I can see nothing that will keep it alive once technological automation of human labour reaches a certain level. My entire point is to attempt to share this simple but important issue with those overly concerned with "taking it with you". I challenge you to see beyond the "common sense" of the present time to where major trends are taking all of us. The death of money is just one of several upsets to the 20th century paradigm which will occur.
The Czar could not foresee the rise of Communism. The West was blind to the sudden collapse of Communism. What is ahead will be even less familiar. But money won't be a part of it. It's only a matter of time. See you then.
Imagine wanting things that do not require negotiation with other humans (trade).When automation finally replaces the need for human labour, money will die. Another way to consider this is by means of the current marketplace mentality. When any supply exceeds demand, the price drops. When supply rises enough, the price drops toward zero. When supply is unlimited, the price reaches zero. Automation can affect supply in just this manner.
Copyright and Intellectual Property
When automation creates an unlimited supply of food, money dies as far as food is concerned. I can imagine (sorry!) that whatever someone creates or invents can be replicated by machines. Even now force (legal systems backed by guns) is needed to enforce paying money for "copyrighted" work instead of just copying it. Because machines can duplicate music, writing, etc., force is used to keep money involved. Except when it isn't by those nasty pirates (or nations like China).
Regarding making someone's brain the size of a planet (or whatever)... The concept of "ownership" is strictly one of use or control. You use or control something you "own". When you can "own" (use or control) virtually anything you want (as Professor Ettinger also suggested even if only by means of virtual reality), what can any one "give" you for something you "own" in order to buy it?
Money will only retain meaning as long as what we buy with it has scarcity. When supply increases, prices drop. When all prices drop to zero, money is dead. When the current trend of automation ends Most scarcity, money will be increasingly restricted to only those categories retaining scarcity. The only disagreement we have is that I can "imagine" (sorry again!) machines which will be able to do anything you can or will ever do. Then whatever you do will be "worthless" because it will be automated.
And everything I do will be "worthless" too for the same reason.
Because "worth" based on "trade consciousness" will be as useless and anachronistic as the buggy whip. Money will have died. But WE will still live and love and laugh. So don't sweat blood over whether or not you can find a way to preserve your money while you may be frozen. By the time you are revived, the chances are excellent that money will either be on the way out or already gone. Imagine that! See you there!
The following was created by my 16-year-old son, Michael, a CI member, along with one of his friends and should clarify everything:
Theorem of the Stupidity of Money
As any engineer will tell you,
"All work and no play makes one dull", translated into mathematical form:
Since Dullness=1/Sharpness, and since Sharpness is a synonym for Intelligence, and Intelligence is a synonym for Knowledge:
(In other words, work is stupid).
Taking the engineer's equation and substituting Knowledge for Power, Ignorance for Work, and Money for Time:
Solving for Money:
(In other words, you have to be a little stupid to have any money, and as you become more stupid your wealth will increase exponentially).
Multiplying through by Ignorance and taking the cube root of both sides:
Multiplying through by Ignorance:
Since Money=(Ignorance)^2 then
In other words money is stupid.
Any questions? :)
John de Rivaz asked: A question I would put up for speculation is if money ceases to exist, how can a member of a society without money put himself in a location he wants to be in, do what he wants to do and gather the people around him he wants around him?
Before money existed these things were accomplished through personal effort. When the need for money is replaced by automation of goods and services, these things will be accomplished in a simply more efficient manner.
Technology has enhanced enormously our enjoyment of life as a whole compared to the hunting-gathering eras. Post-money will come as the result of increased technological advancement. Right now if you want to breathe air, you do not need to "trade" with anyone to do so. (Except maybe in Mexico City and Tokyo).
When automatic production of goods and services makes these as cheap as air, (i.e., free) there will be no need for money.
Immortality by Ben Bova
by Olaf Henny <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There have been some comments on the Internet about Ben Bova's book, Immortality. Unfortunately I cannot reach these comments any longer, but my admittedly unreliable memory tells me, that these comments were largely based on second hand information obtained from others, who had read the book. The comments were dismissive and would have kept me from bothering to read the book, had I not ordered it already at the time. I have now finished reading it and am glad I did so.
Some of the criticism, which has been levelled against Ben Bova's Immortality was that he did not supply references to the pertinent research, which backs up his statements.
The fact of the matter is, that Mr. Bova did not write this work as a scientists for other scientists to assist them in their research, but he wrote it as a journalist, with a lifetime interest in science for me, the layman who is interested in saving his own mortal butt and accordingly welcomes the comprehensive overview of life extension prospects, which Ben Bova offers in his book..
Of course Mr. Bova puts his own stamp of personal biases into his book, as to which avenues of life prolonging measures he considers the most promising. Some examples being, that he attributes considerable weight to genetic manipulation and describes the interaction of telomeres peritelomeric genes and telomerase, accepts completely the claims of rejuvenating effects of HGH, but dismisses DHEA, which is known to raise the level of IGF-1 at least to some degree, almost completely. He doesn't even bother to mention the litany of the anti-DHEA crowd about cirrhosis and cancer of the liver which happened to those poor, severely overdosed rats, or cancer of the prostate. He dismisses melatonin as a fad of 1995, does not mention the antioxidant properties of the hormone (he appreciates those of Vitamins A, C and E though), and disputes its sleep inducing effects. "Virtually all of the evidence cited in favour of melatonin has been anecdotal". He also gives CR short shrift. He appears to side with scientist, who hold the following view as cited by Bova: "Some researchers believe that the life-extending effects of restricting lab rodent's food intake is not so remarkable after all. They point out that rats and mice fed al lib are the lab rodent equivalent of couch potatoes. They eat too much and exercise too little. A restricted diet brings them where they should have been in the first place in this view.
Although Robert C. Ettinger is mentioned together with six others prominently in the credits by the author, cryonics is also treated rather offhandedly: "Such tales aside, cryonics seems no more unreasonable than the ancient pharaohs' preparation for afterlife. Basically those who have their bodies frozen are making a bet. They are betting that:
If they lose the bet, so what? They are already dead." There is no mention of research. Although Dr. Fahey's research at Twenty First Century Medicine only got underway at about the time the book was finalized, the Prometheus Project had already collected pledges for $4 million and, I am sure, was mentioned by Robert Ettinger to him. There was likewise no allusion to perfusion, staged cool-down, attempts on vitrification etc. For all I learned about cryonics in this book, my body would be tossed into liquid nitrogen like a lettuce leaf is tossed into the freezer.
We learn that the Cryonics Institute was formed in 1976, has 180 members and houses twenty frozen bodies. "Other organizations have arisen as well, such as the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona." We also learn: "Laboratory rat hearts have been frozen in liquid nitrogen, then thawed and started beating again." [None the wiser about Visser.]
I was familiar with almost all aspects of life-extension efforts Ben Bova mentions in his book, but appreciated to have it all assembled in a comprehensive package. However I was intrigued By: "Four months earlier a pair of Harvard researchers announced that they had grown replacement organs- including hearts, kidneys and bladders -for lab rats, rabbits and sheep. They used the animals' own cells as the starting material, grew new organs in the laboratory and then implanted them surgically into the animals.
"The two scientists who made the announcement- Anthony Atala and Dario Fauza- pointed out that one of the earliest uses of their work could be to correct birth defects while the baby is still in the womb."
I have tried to do a quick search on medline on this to me very interesting work, but have so far found nothing, probably for lack of pertinent key words. This could reduce the need of organ donation and the dangers of rejection or immune-deficiencies significantly. If anybody can find out more about this, I would appreciate a lead-in.
As I said, despite disagreements with some of Bova's evaluations of the benefits of certain tools for life extension, I am glad I read the book. It is rather comprehensive and informative for the lay-person. It will hopefully encourage the readers, who have not been exposed to a lot of information on the subject to do their own research of the available material and form their own opinions on which means of life extension are important to them.
by Deborah Oney, MSW, MHA
Co-founder, Blood Recall/Withdrawal - CJD <DebbieOney@aol.com>
Cryopreservation relies on the ability of future science to restore the program and data from the patient's brain. Diseases designed or evolved to destroy this are of particular concern, therefore, and I am grateful to Ms Oney for permission to reprint this Internet article here.
You may have patients who are affected by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), the infectious rapidly progressive fatal brain-deteriorating disease. Affected people can be family members of victims, people at risk for CJD due to a genetic mutation or prior medical procedures, and people who have received notices that the blood products that they or their children received were withdrawn from the market due to theoretical CJD risk.
People in the United States and throughout the world get CJD. One strain nvCJD is thought to be related to Mad Cow Disease in the United Kingdom. No cases of nvCJD have been observed in the U.S. Studies have shown that CJD often escapes detection. In one study conducted by Yale University researchers 13% of clinically-diagnosed Alzheimer patients were found on autopsy to have CJD. There is no treatment or cure for CJD. Normal sterilization procedures do not inactivate the CJD infectious agent. The incubation period varies greatly with symptoms emerging in known cases in 15 months to 30 years after exposure.
There are three forms of CJD: familial (about 5-10% of cases), sporadic (cause unknown, about 90-95%) and iatrogenic (caused by a medical procedure, such as contaminated cadaver-derived growth hormones, dura mater implants and cornea transplants, less than 1%). Athletes who use cadaver-derived growth hormones are at risk for CJD. There is no preclinical test to determine if infection took place after a possible exposure.
The Center for Disease Control is currently conducting a study to determine if CJD is transmitted to humans by blood. The infectious agent has been found in blood, but there have been no documented cases of blood transmission in humans. As a precaution blood relatives of CJD victims and people who are at risk for iatrogenic (introduced by a medical or surgical procedure) or familial CJD should not be donating blood. Blood product withdrawals due to theoretical CJD risk have resulted in many people receiving blood product withdrawal notifications. Medical products such as vaccines and InVitro Fertilization cultures contain blood products as an ingredient.
The United Kingdom decided in February, 1998 to no longer use its own citizens' blood to manufacture plasma products because of fears of transmission of nvCJD (the CJD related to Mad Cow Disease) by blood. The risk is theoretical as there are no documented cases of blood transmission of nvCJD in humans. The UK decided to buy plasma products from countries like the US where no cases of nvCJD have been observed to date. Also, in July, 1998 the UK decided to put non-plasma blood products through leucodepletion, which removes the white cells that are theoretically the likeliest part of the blood in which the infection could exist. (You can read a number of UK blood supply articles here).
At a 12/18/98 Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee meeting members voted 9-6 in favour of blocking the blood donations of people who lived or visited the UK because of the concern that people may have eaten meat in the UK that was infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (i.e. Mad Cow Disease), and could therefore be at risk for getting and transmitting nvCJD. Now the FDA must decide whether to direct blood banks to follow the committee's advice. You can read from the web the Reuters article on the 12/18/98 FDA Advisory Committee entitled U.S. Could Block British Blood Over Mad Cow.
The Blood-Recall Withdrawal - CJD website is the website of the Blood-CJD e-mail support/discussion group. Blood-CJD was formed to meet the support needs of people who had received notices that the blood products that they, or their children, received, or that were used in the InVitro Fertilization culture that produced their children, were withdrawn from the market because a member of the donor pool died of CJD or was at risk for the disease. The website has information on CJD and on theoretical blood transmission of the disease.
The Many Faces of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease website is a collection of personal stories that put a face on CJD. People tell how it affects their loved ones and how it affects them. They describe early symptoms and progression of the disease. There is also a story by a blood withdrawal notification recipient.
The CJD Watch website is an attempt to track CJD cases throughout the world by geographical area.
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