niner, on 09 October 2010 - 04:26 AM, said:
brokenportal, on 08 October 2010 - 06:33 AM, said:
Is it only the rich that get penicillin and surgery and implants and things? For other products, things like cell phones, computers, cars and even dwellings become commodities over time. In the beginning the therapies will likely be expensive and only the rich will be able to afford them but that is good news for everybody else because they will serve as the guinea pigs as the therapies go through refinement that makes them better and cheaper for everybody else. Consider that in around 1980 a cell phone was probably around $1,000 and now kids in third world countries have them. Not to mention, when these therapies and various techniques for administering indefinite life extension get here politicians wont be able to get elected unless they have a good plan for helping to get it to the people on their agendas. Activists and organizations, human rights groups and others will fight to keep this fair. Dont worry. Our biggest obstacle right now is getting the world all in on this. So help us inform them by helping us execute the various plans going down around the cause. Find the volunteer topics and or talk to me.
This is heartening, and I suspect that in the long run, this is the way things will go. In the short to medium term, I'm of a different mind. If we use the profit motive to fund the development of anti-aging and regenerative therapies, there is going to be a period of patent protection where it will be very expensive. Even after patents run out, generic drugs can still be quite expensive, particularly if they are expensive to synthesize, or have elaborate extended release formulations. If organ printing is a big part of the toolkit, then the cost of creating the organ is only the beginning. You still have to pay for a transplant surgery and recovery, not the sort of thing that gets exponentially cheaper. Stem cell therapies involve collecting and growing up cells, then reimplanting them. Not likely to get cheap real soon. I do think that ultimately, we will have affordable solutions. However, I think there will be a window of time in which rich people will get to live while people of modest means will die. Actually, we're in that window right now. It's called the American healthcare system. People in the third world die of preventable diseases all the time. I was going to say that seeing poor people die while rich people get to keep living a healthy life would shock people into addressing the inequities in society, but it hasn't yet. Maybe that's because the poor are mostly off in countries we've never been to, and they're easy to ignore. Or maybe it's because today, the difference in lifespan between the rich and the middle class isn't that large. When the gap starts to widen substantially, then things may get weird.
This is the way I see things when the treatments do come about. I guess I fear, with my lack of functioning, in some areas like full time employment, I could easily be in the have not, category, even with some money I may inherit and so on. I certainly think we can't become so blind sighted by the race to extend life that we ignore third world needs, but, like you said, that is happening presently, and probably has always been that way, to a degree. David Pierces' aboloshment of human suffering, is a wonderful future idea, but I don't see anything like that close to being implemented until after we're at a point where there IS universal access to rejuvenation therapies. That, may sound so obvious, but I could imagine a world, not far off from now, where the have's are living indefinitely, and get to work on their mental and physical suffering, while people in Africa just continue to die of Malaria and diarrhea, and polio. Trying to reach "as many people as possible," as is Aubrey's intention, will never be even close to what we want, at least not with our greedy patent system, and corrupt/greedy pharmaceutical companies, looking at profit completely ahead of human life, as not even as worthy as the dollar.
If anyone has some mastermind plan a to how to change the failed patent, system, I would love to know...in fact maybe we should start a brainstorming thread, for ways we as trans-humanist community members, could possibly make a difference. Like brilliant ideas.
Edited by dfowler, 09 October 2010 - 02:51 PM.