This particular New York Times piece starts with a possibly misleading statistic:
Since 1900, the life expectancy of Americans has jumped to just shy of 80 from 47 years.
I suspect that much of that gain has been at the younger end of the spectrum: while infant mortality has more or less leveled off lately, it was much higher a hundred years ago.
Still, we (which, for the moment, includes me) are living longer these days, and Rand Simberg raises a valid point:
Of course, it’s one thing to say you only want to live to be eighty when it’s a theoretical issue, decades from now. A lot of those people change their minds when the time actually approaches.
Not so many decades, for some of us. And since my father died at 79, I’d kind of like to improve on that number. My mother never made it to fifty.
I don’t think I’ll have a whole lot to say about it, though, since old parts wear out, and new parts cost — I almost said “an arm and a leg,” but that wouldn’t do, would it?