Monthly Archives: May 2004

Some quick thoughts and questions to ponder.

The avg person in America today is better off than the richest people were in 1900. true.

Regardless of whether you are pro-choice or pro-life — have you thought about where life begins? Does it begin at conception? The first trimester? At birth?

Why do stock markets have a closing bell? Why are they not 24/7?

If you are a white person who was born in Zimbabwe and now lives in Los Angeles, are you African-American?

How likely is it that a large asteroid will hit earth in the next 50 years? If the chance was great than 0.1%, would you be for spending hundreds of billions of dollars to build a space colony on the moon to hedge our bets?

Do people today know more than people than they did 40 years ago?

Can we learn from computer viruses when attacking real life viruses? Network Manifold Associates (NMA) (, small company in San Francisco, attacks computer viruses by first eliminating as many targets as possible. By shrinking the target for a virus, you can form better protection around other vital information. There are billions of possibilities — maybe we can shrink the number of permutations

Why is it called the “West Bank”? it is actually east of Israel. could it be because it is west of Jordan and because the Arab world has shrunk from their responsibility of helping the Palestinians?

great quote: “The worst thing you can do for those you love is the things they could and should do for themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

Thoughts on Life Expectancy

In 100 BC, the average man in the most advanced society lived to 25. Over the next 2000 years, man’s life expectancy grew from 25 to 45 — a 20 year gain. Or approximately 0.03% per year. That is a significant achievement — man has been able to overcome nature (and human nature).

But by unleashing the unbelievable developments in technology, we have massively increased out pace of growth of life expectancy since 1900. From 1900 to 2000, man’s life expectancy grew from 45 to 75 — or 30 years over the century (or approximately 0.51% per year) — and that includes an incredibly bloody century of two world wars … the Spanish flu … genocides in Eastern Europe, Rwanda, Cambodia … and more.

Quick recap — over the last 2100 years, man’s life expectancy grew from 25 to 75 — but the rate of growth was 17 times faster during the last 100 years then during the previous 2000 years.

That said, does this mean that according to this trend that man will one day essentially live forever? Or will we soon hit a right wall through which man cannot live past (at least on average — there will always be outliers)?

I tend to think that within the next 200 years we will see that either:

1. man will live forever
2. some mutated disease will virtually wipe man out

For many, both scenarios are quite depressing. And while most people hope the options aren’t quite so binary, I’m not sure we have any more choices.


I obviously much prefer option number 1 to option number 2 — and we might, as a collective society, need to work very hard at ensuring the “good” outcome rather then the disaster outcome.