An Exemplary Century

I came across this on Facebook:


It was the very first line that I noticed. I think there was pretty much the same life expectancy in the UK, where male life expectancy is now 79 years.

That’s a 75% increase in life expectancy inside a single century. It’s not far off a doubling of life expectancy.

It’s truly astonishing.

So why do we suddenly have all these health zealots trying to increase life expectancy when it’s already been nearly doubled without them?  After all, it’s only in the last 10 to 20 years that these zealots have been busy telling everybody to stop smoking, stop drinking, stop eating fat/sugar/salt.

Why are people so worried about health when life expectancy has just nearly doubled? It would make sense if they were worried because life expectancy had just halved. But it didn’t. It nearly doubled.

If life expectancy nearly doubled without any of the zealots’ belated interventions, doesn’t that suggest that we were doing something right for the 80 years before they showed up?

Shouldn’t we use the past 100 years as a shining example of how people ought to live, and encourage everyone to follow their example? And smoke and drink and eat steaks and chips and sugar and salt and butter and full cream milk and chocolate sponge cakes? And ride motorbikes without helmets, and drive cars without seatbelts?

We all ought to be delighted that we’re living so much longer, rather than fretting about whether we might not live to 90.

About Frank Davis

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17 Responses to An Exemplary Century

  1. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    rather than fretting about whether we might not live to 90.

    So not dying prematurely like that Helmut Schmidt bloke, then?

  2. slugbop007 says:

    I checked out the mortality rates in Quebec for the past five years several months ago. Around 60, 000 a year. Over 60 percent lived past age 75 and almost a hundred lived into their hundreds. But the government keeps shouting that tobacco is a scourge that must be eliminated. The recent statistics that I read showed that the generations that smoke, drank and whooped it up the most are living well into their mid 80s and more. Not only that, they ate lots of meat, sugar, salt, fatty foods, french fries, hot dogs, drank Pepsi, played Bingo in smoke filled halls, drank and smoked in Taverns, Bars and Brasseries, you name it. It’s just a load of BS that Public Health is hawking, with governments subsidising them with our tax money. Time for a Tax Revolt!

  3. Some French bloke says:

    That’s a 75% increase in life expectancy inside a single century.

    Most of that general increase in lifespan must be due to the fact that “Rates of infant mortality have shown a 20-fold reduction; from 107.2/1000 in 1909 to 4.6/1000 in 2009”
    http: //
    And most of that decrease in infant mortality occurred while cig smoking was on the rise, especially in women (1920s to 60s):

    That’s even more obvious in the case of maternal mortality (women who die from pregnancy-related causes while pregnant or within 42 days of pregnancy termination):

    And these decreases tended to even out as smoking rates declined… I’m not trying to imply anything here of course, as it would be ill-advised to attempt to fight corruption with disingenuousness.

    On the other hand, life expectancy at fifty, according to one commenter on “[has] been increasing at a little more than 0.1 years per year, starting in the 1960’s or so, which is about a third to half as fast as the rate of increase for life expectancy from birth during that period.”
    http: //

  4. The whole life expectancy from birth thing is nonsensical. There’s no way to predict nuclear wars, economic depressions, and social upheavals. Even if there were, the sterile number in and of itself has no application without considering whether the person is born in palace or in the slums. And if even that, and myriad myriad other factors are taken into account, the numbers are based upon ALL MEDICAL ADVANCEMENTS AND RESEARCH SIMPLY HALTING! Well, there may be SOME factor built in for that (though I doubt it), but even if there was such correction, there’s absolutely NO way it can really predict anything with any accuracy at all beyond the next decade or two, most certainly nothing about how heart attacks and cancer will be dealt with when that newborn baby hits 60 years old.

    – MJM

    • garyk30 says:

      Life expectancy continually changes as you live longer; but,it is always a projection of what might happen to 50% of the people,

      It is always a ‘median’ type of number.

      Medical Science has increased that number; but, there will always be 50% that will NOT live that long.

      At 73, I have lived 10 years past my ‘life expectancy at birth’ and have a 50% chance of living another 12 years or so.

      The really old have ‘lucked out’ on the 50% of 50% of 50%……; but, all of that says nothing about the quality of life and the happiness of living.

      Mostly it all is a good selling point for increased research funding.

  5. Joe L. says:

    Excellent post, Frank! Also note that of the five leading causes of death in 1915, all have practically been eradicated except for heart disease and stroke, which have now become branded as two of the most predominant “smoking-related” diseases.

    O/T: I was thinking about “climate change.” The majority of these progressives who believe in it do not believe in a divine Creator; therefore they believe the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Is it just me, or is it extremely narcissistic to believe that we meager humans, in the span of less than a century, are responsible for irreparably destroying the atmosphere of the earth in such a relatively short amount of time?

  6. wobbler2012 says:

    “So why do we suddenly have all these health zealots trying to increase life expectancy when it’s already been nearly doubled without them?”

    That is because health zealotry and nannying has now become a profession.

  7. garyk30 says:

    Less smoking causes a reduction in the increase in life expectancy.

    We will look at ‘life expectancy’ at 10 years of age because that does away with the changes in early childhood diseases.

    In 1900 a ten year old could expect to live another 51 years.
    In 1960 it was another 60 years.
    That is an increase of 18 percent.

    In 2011 the life expectancy of a 10 year old was another 67 years.
    That is only an increase of 12 percent from 1960 and 33 percent less than the increase from 1900 to 1960 .

    1960 was when the war against smoking started and smoking rates started falling.
    Less smoking has lead to a slower increase in the rise in life expectancy.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    The ranking goes for all cancer deaths/mortality:

    Per 100,000 population CDC NUMBERS/ smoking rates from tobacco free kids

    Kentucky at 207 Adults in Kentucky who smoke* 29.0% (971,000)

    Miss. 200 Adults in Mississippi who smoke* 26.0% (579,300)

    West Virginia 196 Adults in West Virginia who smoke* 28.6% (420,500)

    Louisianna 196 Adults in Louisiana who smoke* 25.7% (888,300)

    Arkansas 193 Adults in Arkansas who smoke* 27.0% (601,400)

    Alabama 190 Adults in Alabama who smoke* 24.3% (893,100)

    Indiana 187 Adults in Indiana who smoke* 25.6% (1,259,300)

    Maine 186 Adults in Maine who smoke* 22.8% (241,400)

    Missouri 184 Adults in Missouri who smoke* 25.0% (1,149,600)

    Delaware 184 Adults in Delaware who smoke* 21.8% (153,100)

    South Carolina 182 Adults in South Carolina who smoke* 23.1% (831,200)

    Lung and Bronchus. Invasive Cancer Incidence Rates and 95% Confidence Intervals by Age and Race and Ethnicity, United States (Table *†‡

    Rates are per 100,000 persons. Rates are per 100,000 persons.

    Note the age where LC is found…………..OLD AGE group incidence hits the 500/100,000 at age 75-85

    AGE it seems is the deciding factor……….… Cancer Sites Combined&Year=2010&Site=Lung and Bronchus&SurveyInstanceID=1

    It doesn’t matter if they had more or less smoking the rates trended precisely together,note the average new age of death is listed at 78.8 years regardless of lifestyle.

  9. Cecily Collingridge says:

    Over the last century there was the improvement in sanitation and water quality eradicating water-borne diseases, the discovery of modern antibiotics and the roll out of mass immunisation programmes that all increased life expectancy. The battle against infectious diseases was largely won in the Western world, so ‘public health’ had to find new ways to justify their existence.

    After the Second World War and the creation of the NHS, the care of the dying and the deceased moved from the home to hospitals and undertakers. As death became invisible and a taboo subject, fears could be exploited. Parasitic charities and public health bodies both took advantage and have created a monster of a neurotic society to milk as the ultimate goal is for death itself to be conquered, and not just the removal of what are called ‘premature’ deaths. This is a dystopian future I don’t want to facilitate.

    Personally, I consider these deaths natural – humans aren’t perfect and the individual trade-offs people make between costs and benefits of their actions are complex. Lifespan is manipulated by human interventions resulting in ‘artificially-extended’ lives and ‘artificially-deferred’ deaths.

  10. Clicky says:

  11. smokingscot says:


    Most enjoyable watching developments in Spain. They seem to be shocked, dismayed and in denial. Voters actually used their votes for change!!!

    Much posturing – and so sodding embarrassing that the talking head for Podemus is a young whippersnapper with a full head of hair and casual dresser. He and the other big winners have already stated Rajoy will not head up the next government!

    Time for that patronising duplicitous old fart to eff off.

    Something a 17 year old gave him a taste of a couple of days ago when he sucker punched him!

  12. Clicky says:

  13. Pingback: Room x37 – Spotting Syncs 101: A Pointless Exercise Part 1.2 | Library of Libraries

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