'Tis the Season

Apparently, 'tis the season for folks to come out and bemoan the terrible, horrible increase in healthy life span we'll see in the years ahead. The latest example can be found at the Atlantic, entitled "The Coming Death Shortage." The mind boggles - well, mine does in any case. I've always have a hard time understand how one can argue in favor of suffering, disease, decrepitude and death.

Like many articles, this one gives priority to serious misunderstandings related to economics, the root cause of expensive medicine (regulation, nothing else), and changes in cost and effectiveness of medicine over time. Not to mention a deep fear of change - a fear so deep that hundreds of millions of deaths are seen as better than any large shift in society or habit. Wow.

Every argument in this piece could have been made in opposition to research aimed at extending healthy life spans back in 1900. The world does not seem to have ended due to the increases in life expectancy since then. It has certainly changed a great deal - and I challenge anyone to suggest that folks are worse off now. Works like this Atlantic piece could - and should - be written off as ludicrous piffle if only folks like the author were not so serious in their efforts to prevent medical research into healthy life extension from moving forward.

UPDATE: Conveniently enough, you can find the full article text posted at the transhumantech Yahoo! group.