Re: virus: reciprocity

Twirlip of Greymist (
Sun, 15 Sep 1996 17:01:21 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 15, 3:21pm, KMO prime wrote:

} You claimed that life spans haven't actually increased and that the
} increase is an mathematical illusion created by a significant decrease
} in infant mortality. That's a strong claim and quite at odds with my
} understanding and with the understanding of people like Vicki Rosenzweig
} who wrote:
} Well yeah. Retirement age: 65. Usual lifespan at the time: 61. By the
} same logic SS should kick in the late 70s or early 80s these days.
} Try selling that.

Actually, I wrote that. But I'll double back: these are the numbers
I've seen quoted, but I don't know exactly what's behind them. I don't
know if '61' was the expected age of death for workers at the time or
people being born. If the latter, then if infant mortality was still
fairly high, then the average adult could have been dying at age 68 or
72; decreases in infant mortality would boost the expected lifespan at
birth without changing the lifespan of people who'd made it to

I suspect it's both factors -- there is a large boost from infant
mortality, but adult would also being dying at later ages, due to
disease control and such. Actually, perhaps that's the concept under
debate -- I doubt that the 'natural' lifespan of people has increased
much, if at all; people are just not dying of various diseases or
surgical complications earlier. Infant mortality is simply the first
(and possibly biggest) filter in one's life. As opposed to calorie
restricted diets, which seem to truly extend lifespan in animals.

But I don't know what's behind these numbers for sure.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

And it's hey boys, can't you code it? *huh*
Program it right;
Nothing ever happens in this life of mine,
I'm hauling out the data on the Xerox line.