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Old 10-21-2017, 05:26 AM
64 posts, read 35,616 times
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Just by things that have actually happened not speculation...
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's disease in 1980(I was 25)and went through a year of Chemo Therapy.
Forget 150 years ago, 10-20 years earlier I would have died.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:10 AM
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,563,101 times
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Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
A few things:

-we're all going to die eventually anyway, and I'd prefer to decrease my likely death options. And virtually eliminating things like appendicitis, smallpox, typhoid, and tuberculosis as options are okay by me. Am thinking it increases my chances of living longer.

-it would be interesting to see what the numbers actually are regarding life expectancy now and a couple hundred years ago -- both overall and controlling for reaching a certain age. My unscientific guess at least, based on looking at tombstone dates at different old cemeteries over the years, suggests a lot of people died younger in the pre-20th century. But hard numbers would be ideal.

-can you provide any documentation that dysentery, cholera, and yellow fever mostly happened in times of war? Water supply contamination was usually to blame for the first two, and rampant mosquito problems (especially in warm areas) were to blame for the latter, neither of which strike me as necessarily war-dependent. And both issues seem to have been common pre-20th century, war or no. Since clean water supplies and mosquito counter-measures have become more frequent, these diseases have declined.
I read something a while ago which considered this, in terms of how and when the common diseases were distributed. Many people died young. They may have been working in risky places, places we wouldn't have kids working today. But some of the manufacturing processes were built specifically for children to work them, especially with weaving/cloth manufacture. Mining used the young too in small spaces, and farming started them as soon as they could. The industires were designed for using small kids as a basic assumption.

And people had a different feeling about children. You might love them, but to keep the farm going you needed your kids labor. Large families were part of the system, for they could do jobs adults couldn't. And enough kids died of natural causes young that losing them in accidents was part of the given. It isn't that people didn't care for their kids, but it was the way you survived.

And in times where survival past fourty was an accomplishment, it didn't seem 'short' to those in the time. If the aliens came and gave us a way to live to 200, then our future ancestors would consider our idea of long lived so very short too.

I remember once when I was studying history that it was suggested by someone that built into the elements which control population were things like war and disease, and in a real way they were necessary. I don't remember who said it, but we had debates in this class (third tier world history, 12 th grade) about a lot of things which they probably wouldn't touch today. It wasn't to indoctrinate anyone, but to learn how to take apart an argument. But the general conclusion was that when population rises above the available resources, especially food, its equalized by a greater than normal reduction of it. Sometimes natural disease is given the ideal environment to florish. Sometime nature produces less food due to weather. Sometimes new diseases appear, and a mass die off can happen. Sometimes its as simple as a small change in climate which changes the available food sources.

Thing is, its very normal for sweeping changes to change the way the world's ecosystem works. This calls on two legged animals and the rest to reconfigure their own behavior. Those who can't, either die out or change, or both.

And deaths due to wars have always been a factor, but more disease and famine, which can come from the disruption of war. Populations with less familiar diseases meet. Stressed out soldiers or traumatized civilians are more suceptiable to diseases they have not encountered. Its not just war that kills, but the mix of disease and lack of any resistance to it. And that it easily gets transmitted to the civilian population as well.

And its also the way you see life, and what you expect. When people talk about lifespan, today they don't factor in the chance of dying sometime before five. It happens, but we don't expect a portion of out children to not see that birthday. But prior to this age, it was common and a part of life. But children who survived had a greater chance of growing to adulthood. And women had many more children, so some might make it. We have fewer, since we can expect them to live, but the dynamics don't change.

I read about the idea of a vastly increased lifespan, via implants, but wonder if at some point where you live to be 500, but by then your more android than anything else if it won't have changes us so much we would be a 'primitive' as those first humans who invented society.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:38 AM
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,563,101 times
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Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
I don't think there are any real statistics as there are too many things to factor in as far as life expectancy goes. My only point is that 150 years ago many people did live long lives as the Founding Fathers proved that they did when you look at how many lived well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. People generally didn't die of old age and diseases at 40-50 as many people today believe they did.
Of course people live longer today but how much of that is due to having their lives extended living in nursing homes when the quality of life at that point is questionable.
It would be interesting to see what the statistics would be once you are out of childhood now compared to 150 years ago.
My 5x great grandfather, after some what we'd call horrendous times in his early life, lived to a healthy 91 back in the 1700's. The men in his line tend to all have longer than normal lives. Several more, including my grandfather, also lived to 91. The women tended to get to their seventies, but only a few reached the 80's.

It would be interesting to look at the charts and see how many kids died young or into adulthood, or as older adults. The great 5x grandfather's line has two suceeding sons of sons who died at 91, including my grandfather, and nearly all of them made it to the mid 80's.
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