I have often been intrigued by how people are astounded by the idea that average life expectancy is now 80 or whatever and it used to be 60.
That has a huge effect on public policy and things like government pensions and healthcare. The question is, as always, “Does an average mean anything?”
If we go back 150 years or so, we find life expectancy to be much less. In Europe around 1880 it was 60. Today 20 years longer. Does that matter really? Averages include much more data than the single number that falls out of the calculation. Suppose we look and see that child mortality was very high. One of my great grandmothers had 7 children of whom 3 lived past age 5. My grandmother lived to be 90, but her family’s average life was 31. No child lived anything close to 31. age 3 and 58 being the closest.
Today, deaths from infectious diseases are very low comparatively. The Spanish flu epidemic is quite clear.
A tribute to modern medicines and modern medicine practices.
The death rate from other causes stayed quite level from about 1920 to 1970 and tben it fell. Could be car safety features.
There are some obvious ones. In no particular order.
Businesses and governments should direct programs to actual and probable future conditions. People do not have the resources to build clear anticipation and should seek help from others in that regard. Executive decision making relies heavily on expectations for the future. Administration relies on the past. When the past is very different form the future, people make easy mistakes. Some mistakes won’t kill us, but all mistakes have a cost.
Always remember you will live the entirety of the rest of your life in the future. If old rules and observations do not apply, you must change your approach. As an individual, be open minded and curious. As a voter, support the people who look forward and expect the future to be quite different.
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