Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Wiser Well Being Inventory

Here is tool I made to keep track of states of mind on a weekly basis. It was inspired by the "Burns Depression Scale." The Burns scale is nice for checking depression but doesn't track more upbeat states of mind. Sorry all the formatting gets lost. I'll have a web site up to take care of that one of these days.

The Wiser Well Being Inventory. How do you feel or perceive yourself?
Date: Over what time period:

Productive 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unproductive
Focused 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unfocused
Organized 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Disorganized
Lucid 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Confused
Creative 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Uncreative
Clever 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Dull
Intelligent 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Stupid
Fast 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Slow
Decisive 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Indecisive
Motivated 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unmotivated
Up 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Down
Optimistic 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Pessimistic
Capable 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Incompetent
Energetic 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Tired
Eager 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Procrastinating
Relaxed 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Stressed
Enjoying life 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Overworked
Socially involved 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Left out
Socially satisfied 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Lonely
Socially interested 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Social disinterest
Proud 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Ashamed
Socially comfortable 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Socially awkward
Good health 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor health
Peaceful 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Worried
Good diet 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor diet
Good exercise 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor exercise
Good weight 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor weight
Good sleep 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor sleep
Pleasure 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Discomfort, pain
Good sex life 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor sex life
Loving life 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Suicidal thoughts
Happy 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Sad
Pleased with life 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Dissatisfied
Good finances 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor finances
Rich 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor
Knowledgeable 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Ignorant
Youthful 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Aging
Good medical care 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor medical care
Safe 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 At risk
Protected 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Vulnerable
Helpful 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unhelpful
Useful 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Useless
Connected 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Isolated
Law abiding 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Wanted
Good tools 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor tools
Good resources 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Poor resources

My Food Checklist

Date M T W H F S N
Weight
Calories
Quality
Exercise
Reminders: Variety, Cooked and Uncooked Vegetables, Friends

Vegetables (unlimited, at least 3 cups): alfalfa sprouts, amaranth leaves, arugula, asparagus, baby corn, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, broccoflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (green, red, savoy), capers, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celeriac, chard, chayote, collards, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, grape leaf, jicama, kale, kelp, kim chee, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (butterhead, boston, iceberg, looseleaf, romaine), mixed greens, mushrooms (button, Portobello, shitake, other), mustard greens, okra, onions, pearl onions, spring (green) onions, parsley, scallions, snow peas, chili peppers (green, red), jalapeño peppers, sweet peppers (green, red, yellow), pe tsai, pumpkin, radicchio, red radish, daikon (Chinese) radish, rutabaga, sauerkraut, seaweed, shallots, snap (string) beans (green, yellow), snow peas, spinach, spirulina, misc. sprouts, summer squash (crookneck, zucchini, other), spaghetti squash, taro shoots, tomatillos, tomatoes (cooked, raw, sundried, juice), turnips, turnip greens, vegetable juice, V8, water chestnuts, watercress, yam, other vegetables,

Higher calorie vegetables (as fruit): artichoke, beets, carrot juice, Jerusalem artichoke, luffa (Chinese okra), okra, palm hearts, parsnips, poi, winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard), succotash, sweet potato, Chinese water chestnuts, other vegetables

Fruit (? or more if calories ok): apple, sauce, dried, apricot, canned, dried, banana, dried, blackberries, frozen, blueberries (fresh, frozen), cantaloupe, frozen, cherries (sour, sweet), cranberry (sauce, juice, dried), dates, dried, figs, dried, fruit cocktail, grapefruit (pink, white, canned, juice), grapes (concord, European, Thompson, tokay, emperor), guava, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, juice, lime, mango, frozen, mixed berries, nectarine, orange, juice, papaya, pasionfruit, peach(lc), canned, frozen, pear (bartlett, bosc, D’Anjou), canned, pineapple(lc), canned, plantain, plum, canned, pomegranate, juice, prune, juice, raisin, raspberries(lc), frozen, strawberry(lc), frozen, tangerine, juice, watermelon(lc)

Questionable Fruit: apple juice, white grape juice, rhubarb,

Special foods (?): Nutritional yeast, muti-vitamin, SAMe

Grains and starches(?): amaranth, barley, buckwheat, chestnuts, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, popcorn(lc), potato, rice, rye, wheat (hard, soft), wild rice, wheat bread, mixed grains, muti-grain bread, multi-grain cereal, shredded wheat, misc. whole grain cereals, misc.

Legumes (?): adzuki, black, black-eyed peas, chickpea, garbanzo, green peas(lc), great northern, kidney, lentils, lima(lc), mung, navy, pink, pinto, piquitas, red Mexican, soy, soy milk, soy products, tofu, split green peas, white, misc.

Nuts, seeds, oils, fats (?): avocado (California, Florida), almond, brazil, canola, cashew, coconut, filberts (hazel), flax, macadamia, olive, peanuts, pecan, pine (pinons), pipitas, pistachios, psyllium, pumpkin, sesame, safflower, sunflower, oil, walnuts (black, English),

Fish (?): bass, bluefish, catfish, clam, can, cod, crab (blue, Dungeness, imitation), can, flounder (sole), grouper, haddock, halibut, herring, lobster, ocean perch, octopus, oysters, Pollock, salmon (canned pink, farmed, wild), sardines, can, scallops, shrimp, snapper, squid, surimi, swordfish, trout, tuna, can, bluefin tuna,

Dairy (?): cheese, lf, nf, cream cheese, cottage, lf, nf, sour cream, nf, nonfat milk, lf, powder, goat, kefir, ice cream, nf, yogurt,

Meats (?): chicken (light, dark, liver, can, sliced), duck, goose, turkey (light, dark, can, sliced), beef (sirloin(lf), round(lf), ground, liver), lamb (lean loin chop)(lf), pork (Canadian bacon, ham, lean chop), rabbit, veal, liver, venison, eggs,

Less healthy snacks(0-2): Alcohol(1-2):

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Prelude to "Where To Start on Life Enhancement"

Prelude to Where to Start on Life Enhancement:

This is some introductory comments from my article "Where to Start on Life Enhancement." I moved them out of the main article because most people want to get right to the main points.

As in most of this journal I am writing primarily for my own thinking, and sharing it with others in case it is of value to them or they can help me. What I want to think about here is in what order to work on topics for life enhancement. I’m going to assume no special understanding of universal purpose, God’s will, etc. I’m going to assume a higher value to human life and well-being than that of animals or other less intelligent things. I may write about my reasons for these assumptions later, but for now I believe most of my readers share these assumptions. I think human life and human well-being are fairly interwoven so I will focus mostly on things that affect likely life span but also consider quality of life. So, where to start?

I know there is no perfect place to start. Many topics are dependent on each other and individual circumstances vary. A guiding idea is to look at the amount of likely life span increase relative to the difficulty of achieving a goal. One can look at this question from an individual or selfish perspective. One can consider the well-being of a group of people or all humanity. One can consider people now or people (and perhaps other intelligent life) in the future.

An altruist who values all human life now or in the future also may factor in the rarity of such altruism and the number of people who may be helped by their future altruism when calculating the value of their own life. Other altruists may be not so much concerned with helping as many people as possible over time but with helping the people in front of them or as many people as possible now. From a selfish perspective the well-being of your groups and people in general also has an effect on you. Whoever you want to help, yourself or others, now or later, it’s good to think about what helps people most and it’s good to help yourself and others regardless of your final goal.

What things have the greatest impact on when people live and die, and how well they live?

Some important things are easy most of the time here on Earth. There are not a lot of lethal projectiles flying around in nature. Temperatures in most places people live are manageable with things humans can easily make. Radiation levels are manageable. There is air to breathe. We have ground and sunlight. I want to focus on common human problems that I think we can most easily do something about. I want to help people who can in turn help other people. I hate to think about it, but it is not within my power to help everyone. Some people are going to die and we cannot stop that.

Because I already write and speak English I can most easily communicate with English readers and speakers. That’s a good start because English is one of the most common languages in the world and on the Internet. I (and others who try to help) am more likely to reach educated people using this medium, but it may be good to keep in mind later that many additional people can be reached with audio communications. I don’t mean to be egotistical thinking about other languages and audio communications; I’m just trying to solve the problem of how to help people live longer and live well. In any case writing is a good place for me to start because it’s how I think best and creates a permanent record that can be edited and skimmed easily. So, I will start by thinking about how to help well-educated, relatively capable English readers, because they are easier for me to help. Most of my initial audience then has a place to stay and some Internet access.

Obviously if you have any major personal problems or have friends who do, starting with whatever crisis or big problem is in your life may be the best place for you to start. A lot of problems that people have will be covered below. You may want to skim the list and see if anything stands out as especially relevant to you. If some problem not on the list is most important to you, go solve it and then come back.

One good place to start is …

See "Where to Start on Life Enhancement"

Where to Start on Life Enhancement (Typical Recommendations)

A Good Start on Life Enhancement for A Typical Person:

* Maintain and evaluate income, relationships, projects, etc.
* Find and discuss other people’s ideas about what is important.
* (This can avoid replicating work already done, etc.)
* Seek good, easy friendships and help with short term goals.
* Learn to recognize common emergencies and risky situations.
* Prepare for common emergencies.
* Make simple, quick changes that lower insurance costs.
* Understand and buy health-related insurances.
* Handle cryonics insurance and arrangements.
* Get good medical testing.
* Organize goals and create reminders.
* Learn basic research and study skills.
* Collect tools and skills relevant to these goals.
* Make simple improvements to health care resources.
* Manage opportunities, problems, distractions, urgencies, etc.
* Get rid of significant bad habits you can easily change.
* Make easy improvements to eating habits.
* Attempt easy weight loss if overweight.
* Exercise moderately.
* Learn about and take, clearly safe and effective supplements.
* Learn and practice relaxation and stress management.
* Make easy psychological improvements relevant to these goals.
* Follow a little bit of news and start to watch the world.
* Maintain and build quality relationships.
* Manage easy or key financial matters.
* Develop basic listening and social skills.
* Begin to study logic, reasoning, analysis, and judgment.
* Consider your basic values and goals; learn about the world.
* Begin to learn science.
* Develop romance and friendships as easy and practical.
* Begin education about people, values, grouping, and persuasion.
* Further develop ideas about what to do next and how.

Certainly this is an imperfect list of where to start but I think I would I end up losing time and safety in the long run if I tried to develop a more accurate list. A better understanding of the various goals would probably give a better list. For many of the goals, starting to work on them is a good way to a better understanding.


Questions About Where to Start on Life Enhancement

Questions about Where to Start on Life Enhancement:

I have extracted some of the key questions and ideas from “Where to Start on Life Enhancement.” I hope this will be much simpler for people to consider, so that they may make suggestions. If you want to know my thinking on these matters, read the long article.

I’ll put my most important questions first and ask them again at the end: Which people do you think would have the most insight into this topic? What do you think is the best forum for discussing this topic?

Is there much difference, in best places to start, for an altruist, a philanthropist and a selfish person? My main idea here is that an altruist best take care of themself and develop their abilities if they are to do the most good; and a selfish person would best develop relationships and take an interest in the well being of others if they are to do well in life. A philanthropist will more naturally balance these concerns. How similar are the best strategies for an altruist verses a selfish person, considering the long-term results?

Should a person start with relatively easy-to-accomplish goals, or should they get going on the most important goals first, even if they are hard? Do we need the easy victories psychologically? Does the path become clearer once we get more things done? Do the little goals expand to take too long if we focus on them? I think the ratio of reward to effort is relevant here. My guess would be that we want the most life enhancement effects (statistically) for the time we put in. Some bias towards more certain results and easier goals makes sense to build confidence and resources.

What are the differences in where to start if one is working alone versus working with a group? When does it makes sense to work alone and when with a group? What is a good balance of individual and group efforts?

How ought we balance building our abilities versus making specific advances? Which things will help other things go faster? What is a good order? Sometimes we get the most important things done fastest by focusing on other things first. On the other hand, one can spend a long time preparing and never really get the most important things done. In terms of specific activities, what makes for a good balance between building abilities and achieving goals?

Assuming relatively easy-to-accomplish personal goals are the best place to start, what do you think is a good order for pursuing those goals for the typical person?

What would be the differences in where to start for some common groups of people -- older, younger, wealthy, poor, healthy, ill, etc.?

Assuming it’s best to start working with other people right away, what are the group activities you think would make the most sense? For group efforts, what is the balance between building abilities, accomplishing relatively easy goals, and getting the most important things done? What is the difference between building the group and helping individuals in the group? What activities make people most able to help each other?

Assuming you think it’s good to start on the most important big projects first, what do you think those are? Which would it make the most sense to begin with, and why? Is this something to do alone, or as a group?

Where do you think potentially dramatic technological or social changes (molecular manufacturing, machine intelligence, human intelligence enhancement, biotechnology, robotics, world wars, global government, etc.) fit into this picture?

Which should come first?
(Better yet, put these in a working order. Comments on your reasoning will be appreciated):

* Health?
* Medical care?
* Anti-aging methods?
* Fitness?
* Finances?
* Thinking ability?
* Psychology?
* Helping others?
* Helping poor people?
* Helping people who will help others?
* Organization and efficiency?
* Basic needs?
* Relationships?
* Friends?
* Social skills?
* Romantic partnership?
* Politics?
* Technology?
* Philosophy of life?
* Safety?
* Self-protection?
* National security?
* Travel?
* Cryonics?
* Making better tools for science?
* Breaking serious bad habits?
* Dealing with things that bug you?
* Reevaluating what you already spend time on?

What do you think of the order below?
(for typical people in developed countries with no particular problems)

* Maintain and evaluate income, relationships, projects, etc.
* Find and discuss other people’s ideas about what is important.
* (This can avoid replicating work already done, etc.)
* Seek good, easy friendships and help with short term goals.
* Learn to recognize common emergencies and risky situations.
* Prepare for common emergencies.
* Make simple, quick changes that lower insurance costs.
* Understand and buy health-related insurances.
* Handle cryonics insurance and arrangements.
* Get good medical testing.
* Organize goals and create reminders.
* Learn basic research and study skills.
* Collect tools and skills relevant to these goals.
* Make simple improvements to health care resources.
* Manage opportunities, problems, distractions, urgencies, etc.
* Get rid of significant bad habits you can easily change.
* Make easy improvements to eating habits.
* Attempt easy weight loss if overweight.
* Exercise moderately.
* Learn about and take, clearly safe and effective supplements.
* Learn and practice relaxation and stress management.
* Make easy psychological improvements relevant to these goals.
* Follow a little bit of news and start to watch the world.
* Maintain and build quality relationships.
* Manage easy or key financial matters.
* Develop basic listening and social skills.
* Begin to study logic, reasoning, analysis, and judgment.
* Consider your basic values and goals; learn about the world.
* Begin to learn science.
* Develop romance and friendships as easy and practical.
* Begin education about people, values, grouping, and persuasion.
* Further develop ideas about what to do next and how.

Who are the people you think would have the most insight into these topics?
What do you think are the best forums for discussing this these topics?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Miscellaneous Life Extension Links

Here are some links from a day of browsing life extension. Once again I'm just posting notes from my informal journal. Don't take my comments too seriously. I only did a quick skim of these sites. Sites without comments are often ones I am already familiar with.

Life Enhancement Links:

Goggle search for “life extension”

Some Links on Walford site: http://www.walford.com/links.htm
Respected thinker may want to grab whole site soon.

Finally one that mentions first aid, some parts sound iffy though:
http://1st-spot.net/topic_longevity.html

AARP health insurance links: http://www.aarp.org/healthcoverage/private/Articles/a2003-05-02-losinghealth.html

Lots of papers on longevity statistics: http://longevity-science.org/

http://www.realage.com/research_library/12ways.aspx

Look for Prolongevity II.

Kinda cool, Synergy Media Network: http://www.mysmn.com/
I like this, I think it has potential.

A4M, conferences: http://www.worldhealth.net/event/?referrer=lef

Interesting personal coaching: http://www.immortalism.com/

www.alcor.org

Medline Gateway, glad to see again: http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/gw/Cmd
Also Medscape: http://www.medscape.com/px/urlinfo

Good topics, writing quality?, read more: http://www.futurepundit.com/

Lots of links: http://www.anzwers.org/free/tech/websites-bytopic-lifeext.html
Really, lots I haven’t seen yet. Articles mostly. Anti-aging, general philosophy.

Tons of stuff here: http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Individual/Life/
Links: http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Org/org_page.html

Looks like a lot of good links: http://www.immortality.org/links.html

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/index/

Seems like one of the better sites attitude wise: http://www.fightaging.org/
Links here: http://www.fightaging.org/archives/000154.php

Active blog. Quality? http://anti-ageing.us/blogger.html

Another Anders Sandburg site: http://www.aleph.se/andart/

Life Extension Foundation, www.lef.org.
Mostly supplements, promotes cryonics, anti-bureaucracy, lots of iffy books, questionable science, a good service if you are careful I suppose. I suppose they would say supplements and medicine (traditional and alternative) are most important.

Links from LEF:
Gerontological Society of American Journals: http://www.gerontologyjournals.org/
Link to CNN health, nothing special there.
Some fringe looking political links.
Big list of cryonics links.
The FDA review web site sounds more credible than earlier political links.
http://www.fdareview.org/
Links to biggest medical journals, some access free. Good.
Also major disease foundations.
Interesting holistic health link: http://www.shareguide.com/
Intro to molecular nanotechnology: http://www.zyvex.com/nano/
http://www.fourmilab.ch/autofile/www/chapter2_84.html

So all in all LEF not so different view. Focused on aging and disease. More of a supplement focus but that’s easier to sell than nutrition and exercise. Why no good nutrition and exercise links though? Adversarial politics. Cryonics good but over emphasized, Sal is older than me. Lots of shaky links but new stuff is shaky I suppose, medicine, science, etc. Some good links but not much emergency medicine, nutrition, exercise, bigger picture, etc.

Probably some useful information here: http://keithlynch.net/les/lesn.html
Life Extension Society, cryonics focus, supplements, etc.

Lots of stuff here also: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Sauna/3748/lr.htm

Cocoon mentioned as a good life extension film.

International Society for Infectious Disease: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Sauna/3748/lr.htm

Maybe good when get to supplements: http://www.futurescience.com/howwedie.html
Booklist at bottom: http://www.futurescience.com/recread.html
Not just supplements.

Found my way to: http://www.ceri.com/

Main A4M: http://www.worldhealth.net/

Maybe some stuff here: http://www.healthy.net/indexNet.asp

Another interesting concept site:
http://www.wellpeople.com/

Physician referrals: http://www.acam.org/
http://www.acam.org/events.htm Conference, Nov 17, San Diego.
Integrates medicine, nutrition, supplements.

http://www.extropy.org/

http://www.vrp.com/
http://www.life-enhancement.com/

Needle phobia and vasovagal: http://www.futurescience.com/needles.html

Old, 94 but interesting FAQ: ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/academic/medicine/alternative-healthcare/faqs/life-extension/

Interesting research and investment: http://www.aeiveos.com/

Looks scientific lots of papers, cons, etc: http://www.arclab.org/

Starting to think I’m not going to find much contradiction to my plan or guides to early parts of it on these sorts of sites.

Trygve: http://home.powertech.no/trygveb/

Cryonics links: http://www.nanoindustries.com/links/cryonics.html

Maybe some stuff here: http://www.nia.nih.gov/

Seems like some good stuff here to get started or link to:
http://www.benbest.com/

Maybe some good doctors here:
http://dmoz.org/Health/Aging/Anti-Aging/Life_Extension_Medical_Practitioners/

Nice essay as far as it goes:
http://www.niapublications.org/engagepages/lifeext.asp

Looks weird, but check it out:
http://www.kwik-link.com/cgi/Immortality_Systems_Forum_3__chat1.cgi#Extra

Nutrition link?: http://www.dietitian.com/

Longer term but lots of articles, sympathetic: http://www.imminst.org/
Good links: http://imminst.org/about/affiliates.php

?: http://www.anti-aging-revolution.net/p/144.html

http://www.betterhumans.com/

CI: http://www.cryonics.org/
Some links for nano good: http://www.cryonics.org/links.html

Some stuff here: http://www.bjklein.com/

And here: http://www.longevitymeme.com/

Lots of articles: http://www.quantium.cwc.net/

Donaldson’s book: http://lef.org/anti-aging/book.html

Personal page, could be something: http://author.senescence.info/

Lots of free science books: http://www.nap.edu/index.html

Art: http://www.transhumanist.biz/tac.htm

Company in regenerative medicine: http://www.advancedcell.com/

Misc: http://www.anti-aging.org/

http://www.solgar.com/

Sleeper, science links: http://www.geocities.com/athens/sparta/4955/News.html

Mol bio aging newsgroup: http://www.bio.net/hypermail/AGEING/

Some video debates maybe: http://www.sagecrossroads.net/public/

http://www.bioethics.gov/topics/ageless_bodies_index.html

Eliazer: http://www.singinst.org/
I like this site it tries to argue a rational path.

http://crnano.org/

http://www.kurzweilai.net/index.html?flash=1

http://www.methuselahmouse.org/

Aubrey de Gray: http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens/

Friday, June 18, 2004

Where to Start on Life Enhancement (My Reasoning)

Where to Start on Life Enhancement:

What I want to think about here is the order to work on topics for life enhancement. I know there is no perfect place to start. Many topics are dependent on each other and individual circumstances vary. A guiding idea is to look at the amount of likely life span increase relative to the difficulty of achieving a goal. I’m not going to be rigorous here; this is a guess at the order to study and do life extension activities. I am interested in hearing your guesses and feedback on my ideas. My own best guesses are near the end of the article. More certain guesses will come over the years.

What things have the greatest impact on when people live and die, and how well they live?

Obviously if you have major personal problems or have friends who do, starting with whatever crisis or big problem is in your life may be the best place for you to start. A lot of problems that people have will be covered below. You may want to skim the list and see if anything stands out as especially relevant to you. If some problem not on the list is most important to you, go solve it and then come back.

Preparation for common emergencies:
One good place to start is with emergency situations, especially when dealing with the emergency will add many more years of life. The main killers of people in the developed world (from age 40 on) are cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Cancers are less likely to be a sudden emergency. It’s good to learn how to deal with common emergencies yourself and to encourage people around you to do so for your sake and theirs. This is a good place to start because it is relatively easy, uncontroversial and can make a big difference. I’m not sure how often this comes up though. I suppose the more time you spend with people middle-aged and older, the less healthy your friends are, and the more people you spend time with, the more likely emergency skills are to be useful. Auto accidents also create problems you might be able to help with. Emergency medicine and paramedic work also create interesting career paths. We might want to factor out people who will die soon even with emergency care but that sounds unnecessarily harsh and hard to judge.

Through Medical Testing (Focused on Major Diseases):
Another good place to start is thorough medical testing for major killer diseases in the developed world. Spotting cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and anything else that can be spotted and treated successfully will save lives and result in fewer emergencies. It is far better to spot potential problems before they happen and take steps to correct them. If you are going to have a heart attack it may as well be in a cardiologist's office. Also medical testing can help you see changes in your body as you try other life extension methods.

Non-Cancelable Health Related Insurances:
Before having a lot of medical testing done it could be good to buy non-cancelable health-related insurance policies. Even if you already have insurance, changing to some that cannot be canceled could be smart. That would be health, disability, long-term care, and life insurance policies. There is a small chance that testing will uncover problems that affect insurability, so buying insurance before thorough testing may increase the quality of care over a lifetime more than the small delay in testing risks untreated diseases. Having good health-related insurances may also encourage people to seek medical help more quickly and frequently. To a point, that can save lives. Good insurance can also improve the quality of care.

Get Some Books on Home Health Care and Familiarize Yourself With Them:
Similar to emergency medicine is home health care. Owning a few books about illnesses and symptoms can help you decide when to go to the doctor and what to deal with yourself. It’s an easy step that can ease worry and might make a big difference. Some insurance companies and medical groups also have advice nurses who can help you decide when to visit a doctor.

Cryonics (Because it Involves Insurance):
Cryonics or other bio-preservation methods may be the most important thing for many people. Preventing death is more important but if you know you are going to die soon or if you have taken care of all your major risks, cryonics or vitrification, etc., could be your next best hope of making it to the future. Cryonics can also allow people to relax a bit about some risks they can’t practically lessen or the death of friends, etc. It is much easier to sign up for cryonics when you are young and healthy. It can be done with life insurance. So cryonics is another thing to take care of before getting all that medical testing done. You could just get life insurance for cryonics but by the time you go that far you may as well finish the sign up process. Cryonics is a relatively cheap and easy insurance policy which might come in handy. Getting actively involved in cryonics is something that is more useful for older people or people near death. Cryonics does offer a possible way to save a lot of lives that would otherwise be lost.

Simple Changes to Lower Insurance Costs:
If one is close to some change that will lower insurance cost it may sometimes be good to delay buying insurance. A few pounds of weight loss, getting close to a few years of not smoking, etc. might change your insurance cost. Since you want insurance that cannot be canceled, a change in cost could add up over a lifetime. On the other hand if you have medical testing done and have no problems you may be able to get cheaper insurance later. I’m unsure about the relative risks on this one. If you do delay insurance and medical testing, focusing on emergency medicine and home health care may hedge your bets some. Certainly don’t delay medical care if problems seem likely. Don’t delay getting insurance for long either just to possibly save a few dollars.

Preventative Medicine:
After dealing with emergencies and avoiding emergencies, the easiest way to lower deaths is preventive medicine. Preventive medicine will probably save more lives than emergency care but requires more effort. Preventive medicine that saves lives is also likely to increase quality of life and productivity. There are many areas of preventive medicine.

Medical Testing Again (Focused on General Health):
A good first area of preventive medicine would once again be medical testing. Testing can give you an idea of where you stand health-wise and serve as a comparison for future changes. Finding a reasonably good doctor and a good testing laboratory is a good start. Learning something about the tests and which ones you want may be another good step.

Eliminating Bad Habits You Can Easily Change:
If you have significant bad health habits, now would be a great time to start getting rid of them: smoking, excessive drinking or drug use, anger, reckless driving, risky sexual behavior, etc. Sometimes these habits are hard to change. If you can’t manage it now maybe it will be easier after some other things are improved but if you can manage it now, the sooner the better in most cases. Likewise nudging other people in that direction is a good thing to do if you want them to live.

Easy Improvements to Eating Habits:
Next I suppose would be making easy and uncontroversial changes to your eating habits. Lower your saturated fat intake. Eat more low-calorie vegetables and more fruits. Switch to less-processed food. Get in the habit of eating as little as you can comfortably eat if you are overweight. Making these changes gradually and gently, as they are easy for you to make, takes little time and effort but you may be able to make big changes over time. More controversial or demanding changes take more time, discipline, and knowledge.

Physical Activity Levels:
Increasing your physical activity (unless it’s already above recommendations) in ways you know will not hurt you (ask that doctor) and that you can easily manage and keep doing is also an easy win. You could in a few minutes, perhaps successfully, commit to making more physical activity a priority. The best thing for most people is working up to some moderate running, swimming, bicycling, etc. but walking, gardening, etc. are all beneficial. Some moderate physical activity could be good right away; more could wait until you get your medical testing done.

Stress Reduction:
Maybe stress reduction next. Reducing or rather managing stress is good for health and also increases productivity. A lot of stress is unnecessary and comes from the way we think about things or do things. Getting rid of as much wasteful stress as practical and learning to pace stress that accomplishes something will help health and improve productivity over time.

Miscellaneous Health and Well Being:
Perhaps sleep habits, ergonomics, lighting, activity patterns, fresh air, eliminating toxins. These are less commonly major problems but can be of key importance to some people. These things also are often easy to improve so doing them early makes sense because they can help you do other things better.

Consider the Possibility of Caloric Restriction Someday:
Another thing for people to consider early on is caloric restriction. Eating less while eating well might help you live longer. To a point it makes sense to eat less to have a lower weight (provided you are eating well and not having problems). To a point it may be that the less we eat (while eating well) the longer we live. A lot of caloric restriction is difficult for many people. Serious caloric restriction is also a complicated scientific question and not a simple matter. You will want to learn a lot about nutrition and your own body. Serious caloric restriction should be done with medical supervision and regular testing. Moderate restriction of calories and normal weight loss while eating healthily is simpler. You could get started on learning to eat well and losing some extra pounds right away and decide later how far you want to go with caloric restriction. It is possible that caloric restriction is the single most important thing you can do to extend your life span. I think a lot of people do it poorly though. Serious caloric restriction can wait but heading in that direction and deciding if it’s right for you is a good early planning step.

Safe and Well Supported Supplements:
Learning about supplements and taking a few good ones could be a great step after insurance and medical testing. I think it’s good to only change a few things at a time so you can see what effect each change has. It’s also good to save most supplements until after you have regular medical testing so you can learn about changes that are not obvious. Supplements can wait until after the more certain preventive steps, anti-aging, etc. It may make sense to take a few supplements known to help with problems you have. There are a few supplements you might take after you have made the easy changes to your life. It is easy to take a pill but it’s harder to know which pill to take and what it is doing to your body. Supplements can be useful but they are mostly not simple and I can only make a few of them simple for you. Still, it may be wise to take a few supplements with fairly clear benefits and few downsides early on.

Revisit Preparations for Good Medical Care:
After preventive medicine would come good medical care, good medical insurance, good doctors, good medical testing, and capable, supportive friends. We have already covered these under emergency medicine and preventive medicine but looking at them again under general medical care makes sense.

Knowledge and Preparation for Common Serious Diseases:
Quality medical treatment for people who have serious problems is another major area for lengthening and improving lives. Often cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc. are ongoing conditions. Good medical and home care can lengthen and improve the quality of life. In many cases these diseases can be managed or cured. Again, good doctors, good insurance, and capable, supportive friends are important. Knowledge of the diseases and treatments could help. Some advance knowledge of diseases you do not have but you or your friends may get, could also be of use.

Good Finances and Financial Knowledge:
For some people finances may be a good place to start. Many of the things listed above are expensive. Getting your finances in order so you can afford to do other things may be a necessary or useful first step. Income, expenses, financial efficiency, work skills, negotiation, trade, management, investments, taxes, economics, etc. All of these are important to financial well-being and can be learned and improved by many people. This area is best broken down further because for many people it is an early concern and a top interest. It’s a good idea to start on finances early because of the compounding nature of wealth. On the other hand, health knowledge also takes time to build. There is a lot of money in the world but you only have so much health. The sooner you start preserving your health the longer you are likely to live. Some balance between health, finances, relationships, etc. will probably give you the best results.

Review of Current Income Methods and Expenses:
For most people a job or some other regular work to create income or manage investments is important if you are going to maintain your lifestyle. Thinking about which expenses are necessary and what you really want to do with your money can help you put less time into financial chores and more money into the things that are most important to you. It may be worth a quick review of your finances right away in order to better meet your goals. More concentrated financial efforts can wait until after you have taken good care of your health. You can consider how well your job matches your goals. Is your work dangerous or bad for your health? Does your work help you in ways other than money? Does your work help other people in ways you think are important and best use your talents? Does your work provide you with enough money to meet your important goals? Do you enjoy your work or at least find it manageable?

Learning How to Research Topics:
Research I suppose comes next. Finding good books or other information sources can save you a lot of time and make a big difference in how well you learn a topic. Just as important as reading is learning to find people who can help you or discuss things with you. Classes, videos, web sites, etc. all can be a great route to information and assistance. Learning how to find and evaluate good information sources or places to get help can make a big difference in how much you get done. I will try to be helpful, but you can’t count on me to do all of the thinking. It’s important to have different opinions and it’s good if lots of people have some skill at finding and evaluating good information.

Good Reading and Study Skills:
Because the easiest way to learn these topics I am writing about is from books and other written materials, learning how to read well and efficiently will help make everything else go significantly faster. The sooner you work on your reading and general study skills the faster everything else will get done. After dealing with any emergencies is a good time to start on study skills.

Listening Skills:
Listening skills will help you pick up verbal materials. Some basic social skills can help you interact with people you can learn from. If you learn better from people than books you may want to focus on finding those people.

Note Taking, Organization and Review:
Note taking is important for written and spoken materials. Organizing material for future review and reference is also important.

Memory:
Memory is also important. Get in the habit of reviewing what you learn. Think about what you are trying to remember and what you can easily find later. Decide what to pay attention to and try to keep in your mind.

Critical Judgment:
Even dealing with simple and relatively uncontroversial topics, developing judgment and the ability to evaluate information is important. The world is full of incorrect information. Not every book, web site, and person will give you correct information. If you are going to avoid wasting time you need to develop a talent for evaluating the quality of information and deciding among competing ideas. Seek multiple sources on each topic. Learn to be critical of arguments. Think.

Psychological Health and Fitness:
Improving your psychological fitness can help you better pursue other goals. You don’t want to lose a lot of time to internal struggles and meaningless doubts. A better understanding of your own thoughts and moods can help you accomplish more of your goals. Better psychology also increases quality of life directly. Having your mind in order can help you have fewer distracting and unpleasant interactions with other people. Health helps psychology and good psychology is good for health. Where to start depends on your particular circumstances.

Social Skills:
Good social skills can speed up your efforts and improve the quality of your life. Getting along well with other people is useful (for you and others) and fun. So are decreasing shyness, developing a sense of useful and acceptable social behavior, learning how to listen, helping others, and pursuing your own goals with other people.

Ethics and Social Value:
Along with social skills comes a good understanding of ethics and useful behavior.

Knowledge of Personal Interests and Values:
I am assuming you like the ideas of living a long, healthy, and happy life. I am assuming you are interested in helping other people. Knowing what else you want in life can help you make better decisions. Developing an understanding of your talents, interests, beliefs, values, etc. can help you plot a course in life. I’m assuming basic health and well-being as a good place to start for everyone but beyond the basics what to work on will vary depending on your values, interests, and background.

Goal Setting:
Learning how to set goals and achieve them is an important skill.

Organization:
Organizing your time, your habits and your possessions can help you get a lot more done in life with a lot less hassle. A reasonably orderly environment and a system for organizing activities can avoid a lot of waste. I wouldn’t put off important goals to get everything in your life super organized but organizing things that are likely to speed up your other efforts is a win in the long run even if it slows you down a bit in the short term. First organize things that will help you deal with emergencies better, then important urgencies, then day to day activities, etc.

Dealing With Things That Really Bother You:
Many people may have particular things that concern or bother them. Sometimes dealing with those things can free up a lot of time and energy. You can deal with what bothers you if it makes sense to do so or you can work on your psychology if that is the more reasonable course. How to deal with a concern is not always obvious at first. Knowing what is important to you and how your mind works helps.

Organizing a Routine and Keeping Records:
Organizing some sort of routine to keep on top of things once you get them under control saves you the time and trouble of starting over again many times. Health and exercise habits, efficient daily, weekly, and monthly routines, checklists, reminders, etc. can all help you stay on track. Keeping records can help you know where you are doing well and where you are doing poorly. Add these as you work on and complete other goals to help keep you going.

Urgencies, Efficiencies, Commitments and Projects Near Completion:
I suppose most people have various urgencies, commitments, and deadlines that take priority over most non-emergency activities. Certainly do the things that would be costly not to do or that gain you some big improvement easily. It is important to keep one’s commitments, finish projects etc. Take some time to think about what really matters most. Compare the various things in your life to other things you might do with your time. There are advantages to be gained by doing things when they are easiest or already on your agenda. There are also advantages to focusing on the most useful things first. Some things are done because of relative ease and others because of overall importance. Learning how to prioritize and make good decisions about what to do when is a useful skill.

Building Thinking Abilities and Basic Knowledge:
In general learning how to think and building your ability to think is a useful activity. Learning some logic and fallacies. Learning common human behaviors, emotions, and beliefs. Learning some math to help you think more quantitatively and accurately. Learning something about statistics and the behavior of groups of people and things. Learning a bit about the physical world. Learning some biology and ecology. Learning something about how machines work. Learning some history and events. All of these things can help you learn how to think better about your life and give you some information to act on. Learning all of these things will take a while but getting started on some of them will help. Just pursuing other goals on this list will improve your knowledge and judgment.

Develop Philosophies and Knowledge of Reality:
I don’t recommend it before you deal with the basics of staying alive and learning how to help other people but at some point it probably makes sense to try to develop an understanding of reality and other people’s views of reality. Philosophy, science, and religion are all useful areas for developing a better understanding of the world you live in and people. This understanding can help you decide your values and goals and how to pursue them. For some people, if you are confused or if your beliefs seem to conflict with your values, spending some time figuring out what you really believe and what is really important to you may help you pursue your goals. However, most people already have some beliefs and get by in the world okay. I think it is better to focus on some of the more obvious basics on this list before spending a lot of time on philosophy, religion, or science.

Counseling, Management and Teaching Skills:
Developing some counseling and management skills can be quite helpful. Learning how to help other people deal with their emotions and solve their problems can help them and help you. Learning how to assist and guide other people can help you achieve your goals and help you help other people to achieve their goals. It may also be good to pick up some crisis intervention skills. Teaching skills is another related area.

Relationships:
Building your relationships with other people is worth giving some serious thought and effort. It’s good to have general social skills and know how to work with people but you will also want to get to know particular people and build a history of good interactions.

Domestic Partnership:
If you are like most people you will want some sort of romantic partner. Thinking about what you want and what is good for them and you may help you make a good choice. A related choice is deciding if you want to have children, why, and how many. A well-chosen romantic partner can help you pursue your goals more quickly. Spending a little time on your psychology so that you are comfortable alone for a while can help you wait until you find a partner who is right for you and whom you are right for.

Managing Friendships:
You probably already have some friends. Giving some thought to how you want to manage your existing friendships is a good idea. How much time do you want to spend? What do you want to do with these people? What is good for them and what is good for you? Well-chosen friends, and more importantly, thinking about how to interact with your friends, can do a lot to speed up both your goals. Certainly staying open to good friendships is a wise use of your time.

Collaborative Relationships:
You probably will want to build new friendships or strengthen existing friendships. It seems wise to have some friends that are good in an emergency and good at helping with problems. We cannot count on being able to take care of ourselves all the time. Having some people you can count on, and who can count on you, would seem likely to improve the length and quality of your life. Seeking people you can work with on your top goals and people who are generally helpful is one of the keys to getting a lot done in life. Likewise you will want to learn to be as helpful as you can without compromising your own values.

Wealth and Resources:
Building wealth and resources can help you live a long and happy life. Not necessarily huge amounts of money (though that can have its uses) but a good solid financial picture that can help you get the things you want most. There is some collection of tools and possessions that will help you best live a long and happy life and be of most help to others. Also sometimes the best way to get other people to help you is to trade money or other wealth for their help.

Tools:
You will want to build a collection of physical tools and skills to help you pursue your various goals. It makes sense to start thinking right away about when some tool, skill, or person can help you get more of your goals done more quickly. Some tools are worth having around because you will need them quickly (or found a good deal on them). While you are at it there may be a lot of junk in your life that slows you down and gets in your way. Get rid of the junk to make more room for useful stuff. Some of this is worth doing soon and some can wait until more urgent things are taken care of.

Safety:
Safety is another area worth considering. For young men car accidents are one of the main killers. For elderly people falls are a common cause of death and disability. Everyone that can manage it, may as well at some point, learn good driving habits, buy a relatively safe car, and learn other little safety tricks. Older people should take precautions against falls right away.

Security and Self-Defense:
Security and self-defense are another popular concern. Learning a bit about violence and crime and learning to take a few precautions is a good start. Much violence is related to the area one spends time in and the people one interacts with. It probably makes sense to develop some basic self-defense skills. Outside of certain areas and groups few people die from violence. If you are in a violent area, thinking about how to move out of the area or defend yourself makes sense. Try to make sure you are not furthering the violence yourself.

Avoiding Wars:
Wars may pose a threat to some people sometimes. Learning a little about wars and how to avoid ones that do not concern you may be a good strategy for individuals and for helping others. Learning to travel and building the ability to live in other cultures could be helpful in time of war. I suppose this is not a good place to start but planning on doing some traveling is worth thinking about early on while you are working on other things.

News (Big Stuff, Health and Safety):
Spending some time selectively following news could help you avoid problems you would otherwise not know about. Health and safety news can help you keep up-to-date with the latest science and problems. News can alert you to international or political problems important to you. Probably you would hear about the really important ones anyway. A little bit of news is probably a good thing. Too much could worry you needlessly and waste your time. News can also help for making conversation as an aid to making friends. News is also better once you learn some judgment, since not all news is correct.

Knowledge of Freedom and Oppression in the Developed World:
Oppression is another problem. Countries sometimes go bad. Staying aware of what is going on where you are and being able to leave is probably the easiest approach for individuals. A general awareness of freedom, law, and oppression around the world and in history can help you follow trends. Travel and seeing things firsthand is good. Perhaps some sort of work involving travel would be good for a while.

News (Introduction to International Relations, Politics, Science and Economics):
Another type of news worth watching is political, global, and economic news. Sensational news about particular uncommon problems is a waste of time. Eventually I suggest you learn to at least follow important political, scientific, and economic events. Learning to understand the world requires some experience. By starting to watch a bit of what is going on in the world early on you can build up a sense of how things work, which will help you later when you start to study the world more seriously. You just can’t cram experience, so start paying attention once you deal with urgencies.

Anti-Aging Study:
Anti-aging methods are another good area to look into. Anti-aging and disease prevention go together. Caloric restriction may add years to life and is worth considering. Anti-aging is similar to health but there are some different ideas under different labels. Anti-aging may be the most important thing but I can’t see starting on anti-aging methods until you have good basic health habits and good medical testing and care. The first anti-aging measures should be well-understood health habits and good medical care.

Exploration and Deciding where to Live:
Choosing where to live can be an important decision to make. You can’t know where best to live until you learn about and explore the world some. It’s hard to know where to live until you know what your goals are. Still, it is good to decide early where you want to live because you will want to start building resources and relationships in the place or places you want to stay awhile. There are two separate matters, deciding where you want to live locally and temporarily and deciding where you want to live in the world and long term. Also, how soon to move depends on how established you already are. If moving is easy it may be good to get it out of the way early on. If moving is harder it may be good to take care of some basics and build up some resources first.

Other Insurances and Legal Affairs:
Once you have your health under control, buying other insurances and making sure all of your legal affairs are in order seems wise. If you know you have problems you can weigh them against health concerns. Otherwise at some point learning about laws, liability, etc, can help you avoid problems later.

More Active and Broader Collaboration:
So far I have been looking at most problems from a fairly individualistic perspective. Many problems can be better solved by the coordinated efforts of many people. Not everyone needs to become an expert in every field. It is often sufficient to know who the experts are or know someone who knows who the experts are. You still will want to know enough to judge expertise when you see it, but you can’t do everything alone. Much more can be done by exchanging information, products, and services with other people. Good communication between people speeds the process.

Improving Education for Self and Others:
In general, a good basic education will help people solve problems faster and make the world a better place. One difficulty here is deciding what constitutes a good basic education. This partially depends on one’s goals and values. Another big question is what to teach and how to teach it.

Group Efforts Applied to Other Goals (First Aid for Example):
Group efforts might improve the quality and availability of first aid in an area or many areas. It probably makes sense to encourage most people you are around to know first aid and how to deal with emergencies. It would be nice if that were true everywhere in the world but a person could spend their life on such a project. It’s not a bad thing to do but it had best wait until they have their own life more or less in order if they are to do it well. Starting with yourself and a few friends and then encouraging knowledge of how to deal with medical emergencies whenever you can easily do so is a good start. Perhaps find and support some groups that try to further such goals. I’m not a big fan of requirements, but as long as schools are going to have requirements, how to deal with medical emergencies seems like a good one.

Group Effort (Applied to Emergency Medical Care for Example):
Group efforts might improve the quality of professional emergency response or emergency medicine in an area. A difficulty here is that well-meaning individuals might make things worse in this area or other areas because they do not really understand the situation and hamper the efforts of those who do. The ability to err easily is a good reason for building your personal reasoning and abilities before learning how to convince other people of what to do or forcing other people to do things. No matter how right they may seem to us, our ideas are often wrong at first and it’s good to have some humility and take some time before forming strong opinions. One can err too much the other way also. Groups and experts are also often wrong and improve their ideas over time. Following other people blindly is a bad idea. There is some balance to strike between thinking for yourself, discussion with others, and deference to experts.

Group Effort Applied to Medical Care in General:
Group effort could also improve the application of medicine in general: more and better medical professionals, research into new medical procedures, etc.

Helping Others With Your Specialty (my work for example):
For someone like me who has spent a lot of time studying some area of human problems, what to do first may be different. There may be some value in my spending more time discussing what to do first. For an individual it may be best to get in and get some things done. When I write and discuss these things with many people, though, there may be more value in spending extra time thinking about what to do and how to do it. If I influence the behavior of other people and the order and way they do things, I might be helpful mostly by thinking more. Likewise I may delay writing so as not to give bad advice or I may hurry to write so as to give better advice than people are currently giving. It is important to be careful when there may be downsides, but to move ahead when better ways may be discovered but my ideas seem better than current common behaviors. I may do greater good by thinking and writing, and that may encourage others to help me some with details and balance.

Looking at Other People’s Ideas About What is Important and Where to Start:
Likewise, once obvious emergencies and big opportunities are taken care of, spending some time to read what other people say about what to do first and what is most important could be a good use of time. I’m not sure this helps if one has not spent some time developing judgment. The world is full of crazy ideas. Still, if one thinks they have a decent understanding of reality and some common sense, a lot can be learned from studying the ideas of others about what is most important. Even if one does not have judgment, considering the ideas of others is good, but try to look at and discuss a lot of ideas before committing to one. Try to test things and keep thinking for yourself. It’s probably easier to judge simple physical ideas than complicated and abstract ones, so that may be a better place to start. If you know you don’t have a lot of judgment and experience, try to find someone who does and get them to help you learn to think for yourself.

Balancing Your Specialty Verses Your General Well Being:
You also (especially if you are older) may have some important or useful area in which you are already an expert. Continuing to focus on that area and help other people could be a wise use of your time. Spend some time developing your life in other areas because one thing depends on another. It’s no good if you are the world's best brain surgeon and drop dead early because you neglected your own health. There is some balance to be struck between specializing and taking care of many parts of your life. A doctor who dies a year or two earlier because they had a little too much stress from helping other people may be a net win (assuming they get frozen). The same doctor who dies at 55 because they neglected their health so badly they had a heart attack is unlikely to have done enough good to counterbalance the good they could have done with 20 more years. Likewise if you let your life get far out of balance it is unlikely you will do as much good (for yourself or others) in any given year.

Balance; Self and Others; Short Term and Long Term:
The same sort of balance is true in considering whether to help yourself or others. Focusing just on yourself will not get you as much help from others and will increase your risk of dying, even if you are an individualist. Focusing only on others will not keep your own life in balance and will result in your being of less help to others quite quickly. The same sort of balance also applies to short-term and long-term concerns. Neglecting the short term will invariably cause distracting and destructive problems. Ignoring the long term can result in short-term balance but eventually the neglect of long-term concerns will catch up with you.

Individual and Group Efforts:
For an individual alone an individual perspective is good. However there are many things that a group or a bunch of individuals acting together can do faster than individuals alone. For simple things an individual may be faster, but for many simple things considered together a group may be better. If you add in the time to organize and motivate a group or to find and coordinate with others, it can be a lot of effort to get simple things broadly done. That same group can also do other things with greater ease, though. For all the things we want done it is worth considering how to best get as many of them done as possible. A first guess is that quick, simple stuff be done alone or in small groups and long complicated stuff be pursued in a collaborative way early on.

Learn About When and How to Group:
Grouping, finding people, educating and persuading people, developing people skills, etc. are time-consuming chores. Some things may help you do those chores faster in the long run, and are therefore worth doing before grouping. Some things may lower your chance of death significantly and quickly and also may be a good bet to work on before trying to pursue large group projects. Some general study about how people group, how people behave, persuasion, etc. could help one make these decisions.

Grouping to Deal With Wars and Bad Government:
Groups can work together to prevent wars or perhaps to affect how wars are fought and who prevails. Groups can look for bad government decisions and try to advise against them or in extreme cases change governments. Groups can work to increase freedom and law in the world or in their area.

Grouping For Scientific and Social Progress:
Groups can further scientific progress in general or specifically focus in various areas. They can do this directly or by helping scientists in various ways. They can help raise money, improve laws, create a better social climate, etc.

Grouping to Improve Biomedical Science:
Groups can work to improve scientific knowledge and medical treatments for diseases, old age, etc.

Start With Easy Individual Goals Then Spread as You Can:
I’m pretty sure the individual stuff is the place to start. The individual goals are easier. It makes sense to group as you easily can to accomplish the individual goals for yourself and others but not to move on to the bigger goals or try to get a lot of people to do the individual goals until you have done well at most of them yourself. If you have a chance to easily help a lot of people by all means do so, but usually you will accomplish more if you first get your own life under control and work with the people you can easily work with. Most of what I have listed is important, and keeping things in balance and perspective will get you further than over-focusing on one goal. On the other hand, keeping at something until you get it well taken care of is good. Don’t keep starting over or scatter your energy in too many directions. Perhaps for each goal you can start with yourself and getting help and then help those you can easily help until you reach a point of diminishing returns. Then move on to a new goal but keep improving the previous one as you can, etc. It all depends on your values. When to work with others may also depend on the groups you already belong to and the culture you live in.

Similar Advice For Altruists or Individualists:
The order to pursue may vary for altruists or individualists. An altruist who values all human life now or in the future also may factor in the rarity of such altruism and the number of people who may be helped by their future altruism when calculating the value of their own life. Other altruists may be not so much concerned with helping as many people as possible over time but with helping the people in front of them or as many people as possible now. From a selfish perspective the well-being of your groups and people in general also has an effect on you. Whoever you want to help, yourself or others, now or later, it’s good to think about what helps people most and it’s good to help yourself and others regardless of your final goal.

Poverty:
Working to lessen poverty in the world is also a good goal. Hopefully this is done as part of a group and after you have your own life in reasonable order, so as to help as much as practical over the course of your life. If you can help other people who are having a hard time (or helping anybody decent, really) eventually they will be in a position to contribute to the world in one way or another. Poverty is, I hear, related to governmental policies, cultural issues, and complex global issues. Still, it is good to feed people, improve sanitation, educate people usefully, etc. Not always, but usually, helping is a good thing. As romantic as it sounds to dive into helping those who need it most, I think it makes sense to build your ability to help and your understanding of how to really help as much as practical before taking on the world's problems. In reality, depending on one's goals, we all need help. We are all dying. We are all at risk of diseases and suffering. I suppose you could try to help people reproduce before death or stay alive long enough to help their children reproduce, or their grandchildren, etc. I suppose you could try to eliminate as much suffering as possible without regard to how long people live. I suppose you could try to help as many people as possible have 40 or 60 or 80 good years. These are all worthy goals. Your own values will have to guide you about who to help and when. Perhaps it is best to think of how you can do the most good with the least effort (so you can then do more good, etc.). Helping people who help others gets more done. Helping people who help you increases the ability of both people to help. Perhaps the answer is again balance. Find some ways you can help people who need it most within your ability to be of significant help to them, with some time for helping people who will most help others, some time on helping people who will most help you, etc. I find this one difficult; there is no satisfying answer and so much depends on one’s values. There are many problems related to poverty and I have thought about them some. Poverty problems can be broken down and organized the same way as the problems in this article. I will save that for another time.

Making Tools and Other Supportive Activities:
One can also help other people and themselves by improving tools used for other things. Improving communications, computers, farming, transportation, environments, resources, etc. Improving ideas, teaching basic skills, etc. all help. Even entertaining people has its uses. In a way most people are already doing their part. I do think most of us could do a bit more and better though. By talking about what I think is important I am trying to do my part.

Grouping for Basic Health:
People can help and group to help educate other people about things on this list and how to do them. Grouping to better understand nutrition, exercise, and other such things and then spreading good ideas would be helpful. Grouping to support each other in sticking to good habits is a great idea.

Being Nice:
One can help and suggest others help by being nicer to each other and creating less stress and anguish in the world. Generally behaving with reasonable consideration for people around you helps a lot. A reasonable and friendly approach to life (unless you are actually endangered by it) generally makes your own life run more smoothly. There are exceptions, but it’s a good start.

Grouping for Environmental Concerns:
People can group to work for a better environment and wise use of resources. I don’t recommend too much force or control of others here, but researching and spreading ideas is a great thing.

Helping People Network:
Making it easier for other people to meet friends and work together on goals is also helpful, networking or creating tools or organizations.

Military Technology and Military Involvement:
Military technologies and military strategy may play an important part in determining the direction the world goes in. Knowing about such technologies and influencing who develops them and is in the best position to deploy them could be an important activity. In general I agree with the idea that a war requires two or more nations behaving badly (just as a fight does). Still it is sometimes the case that some groups or people are so aggressive that the only practical way to deal with them is to respond to their force or threat of force with greater force if you can manage it. I don’t suppose this is a place for dabblers. It seems wrong to fight other than in defense without understanding the reasons and sides of a fight. Making peace often seems better. In any case, such decisions take a lot of wisdom and that is best gotten after many other things are managed reasonably well. I’m not sure how to deal with the concept of other people demanding that you fight for them. I suppose it depends on who and what you value and how you have grouped yourself. It does seem some balance of power between decent people and groups in the world and some limiting of power for violent or immature groups is reasonable. I don’t think any group is so perfect as to be left entirely unchecked. Some groups are bad enough that they ought not be allowed to grow their power for violence. Which people and which groups belong in which category I will save for when I am older and wiser. Sometimes it’s obvious; other times we just think it’s obvious.

Improving Technologies:
Some technologies may change the world a lot in the future. Those changes can improve human well-being, but they can also threaten humans or some humans. Understanding and staying aware of these technologies may be important to your survival. I certainly hope someone is. Again these are hard things to understand and are best undertaken by people who have managed the basics. I think in the long run if we want this planet to continue to support life we must advance technology. Certainly if we want the world to continue on anything like it is we much improve technology soon. If we want to eliminate pain and suffering and avoid the death of many wonderful and valuable people we must improve technology as soon as reasonably possible.

Intelligence Increase (Human or Computer):
Increases in computer or human intelligence may give some group (or computers) a big advantage and allow them to change the world radically against the will of others. I suppose some think things like this have already happened, and certainly they have in some times and places. In the future the effects may cover more of the world and be even more dramatic. These same improvements to human mental abilities or computers may also help us solve our problems and may be essential to our long-term survival.

Technological Benefits and Dangers:
Improved understanding of chemistry, materials, etc., may make many things easier and cheaper to build. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, etc. all could dramatically change the world. That’s probably good but technologies could also cause big problems or be misused. We need better technologies to clean up the environment and support the tens of billions of people coming along in the future but we also want to be aware of dangers and prepare for them.

Global Catastrophes:
Dealing with huge asteroids hitting Earth, global warming, or other global problems is another important thing to have a look at. New forms of energy, more energy conserving ways of living, etc. are all worth having a look at.

Learning Sciences:
Many of the most important long-term concerns involve a lot of scientific knowledge and judgment. Science can take a while to learn well. The sooner you get started learning science, after you have taken care of basics and emergencies, the better. Of course not everyone will be a scientist but most people can learn scientific thinking, follow important scientific arguments, and further science in some way. It’s good if many people know at least enough science to judge between the arguments of other people. Of course no one will have perfect understanding, and many people will get things wrong even with education, but I think the more people try to get a good science education and understand arguments the better our chances of getting things right.

Overall Bias Towards Short Term Personal Health:
I notice there is a strong bias in my recommendation towards short-term personal health concerns. I think that is appropriate at first, either for people starting out or for people who have worked hard on other things and neglected their personal well-being. One can also go too far the other way, focusing on minor health issues and relatively small personal matters while neglecting long-term and important matters.

Going With Opportunities:
Sometimes what is best to do is determined by opportunity -- a new friend who is an expert in an important subject, a lecture, a good deal, etc. Sometimes what is exciting to you, if otherwise practical, is a good start because your interest and energy level will get it done more easily (though often excitement comes as we get good at something).

I’ll Develop These Topics More Later:
A lot more could be said about each of these topics and I will. I will try to work through them in the most useful order I can manage. There is no perfect answer and I may as well get started.

Looking back over all of my arguments it looks like I will do the most good by beginning with easy changes that lessen the chance of emergency medical conditions, and dealing with them if they arise.

Here is a possible order for pursuing life enhancement goals:
Maintain and evaluate income, relationships, projects, etc.
Find and discuss other people’s ideas about what is important.
(This can avoid replicating work already done, etc.)
Seek good, easy friendships and help with short term goals.
Learn to recognize common emergencies and risky situations.
Prepare for common emergencies.
Make simple, quick changes that lower insurance costs.
Understand and buy health-related insurances.
Handle cryonics insurance and arrangements.
Get good medical testing.
Organize goals and create reminders.
Learn basic research and study skills.
Collect tools and skills relevant to these goals.
Make simple improvements to health care resources.
Manage opportunities, problems, distractions, urgencies, etc.
Get rid of significant bad habits you can easily change.
Make easy improvements to eating habits.
Attempt easy weight loss if overweight.
Exercise moderately.
Learn about and take, clearly safe and effective supplements.
Learn and practice relaxation and stress management.
Make easy psychological improvements relevant to these goals.
Follow a little bit of news and start to watch the world.
Maintain and build quality relationships.
Manage easy or key financial matters.
Develop basic listening and social skills.
Begin to study logic, reasoning, analysis, and judgment.
Consider your basic values and goals; learn about the world.
Begin to learn science.
Develop romance and friendships as easy and practical.
Begin education about people, values, grouping, and persuasion.
Further develop ideas about what to do next and how.


Certainly this is an imperfect list of where to start but I think I would I end up losing time and safety in the long run if I tried to develop a more accurate list. A better understanding of the various goals would probably give a better list. For many of the goals, starting to work on them is a good way to a better understanding.

Too Much Focus on Short Term Personal Well Being?
One major concern is that I and other people following this list will focus too much on personal health and short-term well-being while neglecting technology development that might make our short-term efforts insignificant. Over time it makes sense to deal with easy improvements to health and productivity because those changes affect how much work we get done and our short-term chances of survival (you can’t stay alive long-term if you don’t stay alive short-term). Unless you are already accomplished in a related field (science, politics, media, finance, etc.) it is unlikely that you will have a significant impact on technology development, major cultural behavior, etc. quickly. If you can’t have a significant impact quickly you may as well prepare for the long run. If things happen quickly it is unlikely that your involvement would make a difference. Of course if you know just what is going to happen and how, this will not be true, but I’m not a big fan of luck as a plan and most of us do not know what is going to happen, when, and with which technologies. It certainly would not hurt to start making friends and getting to know something about potentially dramatic technologies and events as soon as practical but I think actually spending a lot of time working on such technologies can wait until you have a well-balanced and stable life, or at least a plan for one. None of this means that I am against moderate contributions to worthy causes. By all means do what you can to help along the way. My suggestion is to focus primarily but not exclusively on personal well being at first.

For what it is worth I have noticed for myself and other people interested in future technologies that the tendency seems to be to pay too much attention to large long-term goals and not enough attention to shorter-term and more basic concerns. There is a danger though in focusing on short-term concerns that we will spend too much time on them and overdo them. In my case, because I want to organize information for other people and help other people accomplish goals it is useful for me to spend some extra time studying things more carefully and sharing my findings. All I will say for now is try to keep things in perspective. Think about how well it makes sense to do a particular thing before moving on to something else; try to get things done efficiently.

Should We Start With What is Popular or Exciting?
Another concern is that when we (or I) are teaching things to other people it makes sense to begin with what they are interested in or what will give them quick results so that we keep their interest. As I said earlier, if something is especially interesting to you or easy it may make sense to do it sooner. Your enthusiasm will probably increase your efficiency. However, I think enthusiasm tends toward the middle whatever we do. Things we like less at first can grow with understanding. Things we like more at first become less interesting when the difficulties and details become apparent. That’s not always true but I think it is often enough true that enthusiasm alone is not a good guide. I am talking about things we do for our general well-being rather than play or occupations. In the case of helping other people, though, some attention to their interest and how much attention they are paying is good. Certainly this is true in person. In writing, as I am doing here, or in media, the method and quality of presentation is a big factor in people’s interest and action. Still, it is easier to sell people on some things than others. It is good to let people experience a level of challenge that gives them success before they get frustrated, etc. Much of that is how goals are broken down and presented.

I could try to work on things most interesting to people first. I could go with my guesses about what is most interesting (sex, romance, money, entertainment). I could go with someone else’s guess. I could ask a few people and seek a majority opinion sample. I could research what sells well in various media. I could look at how people spend time, etc. Because the first things I suggest are relatively simple and because I think I can do them, get my friends to do them, and get some other people to do them, I think it makes sense to go ahead and get them done. As I work on longer-term goals, time spent studying people’s interests and improving methods of presentation may play a bigger role. Perhaps when finances or relationships become my top priority I will begin to pay more attention to what people want than what I think is most important. In the meantime I will listen to feedback but try to stay on my own path.

Haven’t Most of Us Already Done Most of This Stuff?
Another argument against my current order would be to say that for most people interested in life enhancement (my likely first audience) most of the things I recommend are already well done. They don’t need to worry about emergency medicine as much because they have already been practicing preventive medicine for years. This used to be my thinking, but after studying nutrition some and paying attention to how people interested in life extension eat I think some attention to basics is in order. There are some major controversies in nutrition (how much unsaturated fat mainly) and many people interested in life extension do not eat or exercise well. I have come to think that medical testing is an important part of risk reduction and a way to guide other behavioral changes. Especially since the order I suggest focuses on goals fairly quick and easy to accomplish, I think it is better than going straight to anti-aging study and application. Good nutrition precedes caloric restriction, and good medical testing and care precede unusual behaviors even if those behaviors are expected to extend life.

Shouldn’t We Get Rich First?
Another angle would be to focus on money, relationships, or some indirect area more. With greater resources, things can often be done faster and easier. I think this is worth taking into account, but it’s also good to finish the simple things you can and encourage others to do likewise. It may make sense to delay some expensive goals so you can use your money to make more money. It may make sense to build relationships, education, etc. before tackling some other goals. These things are worth taking into account, but individual circumstances vary. I will try to consider the big picture and efficiencies as I work on each goal, but trying to consider all of these interactions in advance and for different circumstances would cause more delay than I am comfortable with, as I get started on tangible progress. I know for many people tangible progress is measured by wealth or fame, but to me quantitative health measures and subjective quality of life are also important. Also, if one can monitor their health it can give them some clues about how hard to work in other areas and offer some peace of mind in one area. Certainly some financial success is required to accomplish other goals. If you can’t do most of the goals I suggest without more money working on money could be a good start.

Why This Essay Is Not Easy to Read.
My apologies for the lack of organization in this writing. I will better organize these goals at a later time but at this point I think an outline would obscure the direct comparison of good starting places. I have tried to lay all the cards out on the table (so to speak) and find the top concerns so that I can get started. Later I will arrange things more clearly as I become more certain of the arguments. The order here is more intuitive and based on many years of considering these matters. There is probably also a fair amount of personal bias but hopefully the ideas are of some use to other people. I can write better and say a lot more about each of these topics. Hopefully you will appreciate that the scope of this topic makes writing it clearly a major chore.

Here Is a List of Topics Covered:
Preparation for common emergencies:
Through Medical Testing (Focused on Major Diseases):
Non-Cancelable Health Related Insurances:
Get Some Books on Home Health Care and Familiarize Yourself With Them:
Cryonics (Because it Involves Insurance):
Simple Changes to Lower Insurance Costs:
Preventative Medicine:
Medical Testing Again (Focused on General Health):
Eliminating Bad Habits You Can Easily Change:
Easy Improvements to Eating Habits:
Physical Activity Levels:
Stress Reduction:
Miscellaneous Health and Well Being:
Consider the Possibility of Caloric Restriction Someday:
Safe and Well Supported Supplements:
Revisit Preparations for Good Medical Care:
Knowledge and Preparation for Common Serious Diseases:
Good Finances and Financial Knowledge:
Review of Current Income Methods and Expenses:
Learning How to Research Topics:
Good Reading and Study Skills:
Listening Skills:
Note Taking, Organization and Review:
Memory:
Critical Judgment:
Psychological Health and Fitness:
Social Skills:
Ethics and Social Value:
Knowledge of Personal Interests and Values:
Goal Setting:
Organization:
Dealing With Things That Really Bother You:
Organizing a Routine and Keeping Records:
Urgencies, Efficiencies, Commitments, Projects Near Completion:
Building Thinking Abilities and Basic Knowledge:
Develop Philosophies and Knowledge of Reality:
Counseling, Management and Teaching Skills:
Relationships:
Domestic Partnership:
Managing Friendships:
Collaborative Relationships:
Wealth and Resources:
Tools:
Safety:
Security and Self-Defense:
Avoiding Wars:
News (Big Stuff, Health, Safety):
Knowledge of Freedom and Oppression in the Developed World:
News (Introduction to International Relations, Politics, Science and Economics):
Anti-Aging Study:
Exploration and Deciding where to Live:
Other Insurances and Legal Affairs:
More Active and Broader Collaboration:
Improving Education for Self and Others:
Group Efforts Applied to Other Goals (First Aid for Example):
Group Effort (Applied to Emergency Medical Care for Example):
Group Effort Applied to Medical Care in General:
Helping Others With Your Specialty (my work for example):
Looking at Other People’s Ideas About What is Important and Where to Start:
Balancing Your Specialty Verses Your General Well Being:
Balance; Self and Others; Short Term and Long Term:
Individual and Group Efforts:
Learn About When and How to Group:
Grouping to Deal With Wars and Bad Government:
Grouping For Scientific and Social Progress:
Grouping to Improve Biomedical Science:
Start With Individual Accomplishable Goals Then Spread as You Can:
Similar Advice For Altruists or Individualists:
Global Poverty:
Making Tools and Other Supportive Activities:
Grouping for Basic Health:
Being Nice:
Grouping for Environmental Concerns:
Helping People Network:
Military Technology and Military Involvement:
Improving Technologies:
Intelligence Increase (Human or Computer):
Technological Benefits and Dangers:
Global Catastrophes:
Learning Sciences:
Overall Bias Towards Short Term Personal Health:
Going With Opportunities:
I’ll Develop These Topics More Later:
Here is a possible order for pursuing life enhancement goals:
To Much Focus on Short Term Personal Well Being?
Should We Start With What is Popular or Exciting?
Haven’t Most of Us Already Done Most of This Stuff?
Shouldn’t We Get Rich First?
Why This Essay Is Not Easy to Read.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Medical Emergencies

Emergency Medicine / First Aid / Medical Care:

If we want to help as many people as we can as quickly and easily as we can I think dealing with emergencies related to the top killer diseases in the developed world is a good place to start. If you already know you are taking great care of your health and you have plenty of medical testing to verify that your body is in good shape you could skip this section for now. It is still good to learn to deal with common medical emergencies for the sake of other people. This is less important for younger people but if you have middle aged of older people you care about, learning how to deal with emergency medical situations is a great idea.

More people die from contagious diseases and poverty but the majority of those people are harder to help. Many do not read English and do not have as many resources to work with. In the developed world cardiovascular diseases and cancers are the top killers. Cardiovascular emergencies can happen quickly. Prompt first aid and medical attention can lessen damage and increase survival. Learning how to help deal with emergency cardiovascular problems is fairly easy to teach and non controversial, so it’s a good place to start.

Cancers less often lead to emergencies where minutes count. First aid books also deal with less common emergencies and less important problems but I will deal with the whole area of urgent care at once for simplicity. One could argue that preventative medicine is better and more important than emergency medicine but nutrition, exercise and stress reduction are also a lot harder to learn and implement than first aid. Taking pills (supplements or medicines) is easier but figuring out which pills to take is harder and probably not as useful. One could argue that advancing biomedical science, advancing related technologies, avoiding technological disasters or avoiding world wars is more important but these are also a lot harder. Selfish people may be more interested in having other people learn first aid but learning it yourself can help you sell the idea to your friends and family. It’s more fun if you make a group activity out of it. You don’t want each other to die, right?

The general way to deal with medical emergencies is to get professional help at once and then do what you can to help until you can get the person to experts. I’m not going to try to tell you a lot about how to deal with emergencies. Better advice is available elsewhere. I will repeat some advice but mostly I will try to direct you to good information and convince you to make a few advance preparations for emergencies (again mostly buy pointing you at other people’s advice).

I think the first useful thing to learn would be how to know when an emergency is happening. Improving our education about common emergencies and how to recognize them in others seems like a good place to start. I will start with books and then look for web sites. I think books still provide a good base standard for evaluating quality. Also books are sometimes easier to access quickly than web sites.

Amazon bestselling first aid yields:
The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook
by Kathleen Handal M.D. (Paperback -- May 27, 1992)
From Book News, Inc.
A comprehensive guide to administering first aid in emergency situations, based on course materials used by Red Cross chapters across the US. The step-by-step instructions are accompanied by 175 line drawings. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
My comments: Older book, perhaps useful because it is used along with the red cross courses. I don’t know that the other groups do so many courses.
3 stars from three reviews but a 4 and a 5

Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care
by Jerrold B. Leikin M.D., et al (Paperback -- April 15, 2000)
5 stars 1 review
From Library Journal
This much-needed revision of the AMA's Handbook (LJ 10/1/80) ranks as one of the best in a plethora of first-aid guides. The previous edition's introductory essays on general procedures have been retained, but this edition has added sections on such things as the Heimlich maneuver. The main section, alphabetically arranged entries on injuries and diseases, is in the same format as the previous edition; each entry includes background information, a "what to do" list, symptoms, continued care, and immediate treatment. A new section on sports injuries has been added as Part 3. Although designed for home use (with fill-in charts for emergency phone numbers and family member medical history), this book has a place on the shelf of any medical reference collection.
- Robert Aken, Univ. of Kentucky Libs., Lexington
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
My comments: Newer and the library journal likes it.

American Red Cross First Aid: Responding to Emergencies
by American Red Cross (Paperback -- June 1, 2001)
4+ stars 5 reviews
A Single Source for Citizen-Responder First Aid!, April 1, 2004
Reviewer: searchandrescue (see more about me) from Fredericksburg, VA United States
This ISBN is for the latest THIRD EDITION of the American Red Cross manual, First Aid: Responding to Emergencies. This is the Third Edition, with a 2001 copywright, is Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) 2000-compliant for CPR and Airway Management techniques. BE CAREFUL! OLDER EDITIONS ARE NO LONGER USED IN RED CROSS COURSES AND THEY DON'T MEET THE NEWER STANDARDS.

This is the standard First Aid text used in many college, high school, and para-professional/workplace courses taught by the American Red Cross. It is designed in modular format and combines and expands upon several courses you may also take seperately:
- Citizen-Responder First Aid
- Adult/Child/Infant CPR
- Preventing Disease Transmission/Bloodborne Pathogens Training
- First Aid, When Help is Delayed (the rules change when help is more than 30 minutes away from the scene)
- First Aid to People With Special Needs
- Emergency Childbirth (Lay Responder)

Not only is this a great textbook, but compared to many other current Red Cross manuals, this one makes a great desk (or in-vehicle) reference, and has many articles and facts that are not taught in the classes.

If you haven't taken a First Aid course lately, the CPR techniques have changed and the skill sheets in this book present these new methods at a glance.

Good Samaritan Laws vary by state, but they all require a prudent Citizen-Responder to act within the level of his or her training and the immunity from civil lawsuit that the knowledge in this book can convey to you is worth its price many times over (not to mention your ability to make a positive difference at the scene of an accident or a disaster).

Was this review helpful to you?



3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent introduction for citizen responders, January 25, 2004
Reviewer: George Fisher (see more about me) from Newtown PA United States
There is a more-recent edition (2001) that is used in the Red Cross course, which is not listed on Amazon as of January 2004. Get it at the Red Cross directly.

Responding to emergencies is something most people do rarely if ever, but when faced with a life-threatening injury to someone else, how would you respond?

I recommend that everyone get the basic Red Cross certifications; this book is the text for the most-advanced of the three courses:

1. CPR and AED (AED: automatic external defibrillator)
2. First Aid and CPR/AED
3. Responding to Emergencies

Doing this will take all of three days out of your life, but it will prepare you for the rest of your life by teaching you what to do when seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

This book is great by itself; it is superb as the text supplement to a Red Cross certification.

My comments: So this is another long course book.

Emergency Medical Treatment: Infants, Children, and Adults : A Handbook on What to Do in an Emergency to Keep Someone Alive Until Help Arrives
by Stephen N. Vogel, David H. Manhoff (Spiral-bound -- September 1, 1993)
Avg. Customer Review: 4+
My comments: Older Book

American College of Emergency Physicians First Aid Manual
by American College of Emergency Physicians, Jon R. Krohmer (Editor) (Paperback -- June 1, 2001)
4 stars with 1 review
From Library Journal
The American College of Emergency PhysiciansR First Aid Manual is a traditional first-aid guide, but what makes it stand out is the inclusion of over 500 color photographs clearly depicting the emergency or first-aid situation being discussed. Even readers with limited training will find it easy to follow the instructions by looking at the photographs. The book is divided into color-coded sections for easy access to information. Krohmer, the book's medical editor, is both a professor of emergency medicine (Coll. of Human Medicine, Michigan State Univ., Lansing) and director of EMS, Emergency Medicine Residency in Grand Rapids.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

ACEP: Pocket First Aid (ACP Home Medical Guides)
by Jon R. Krohmer, American College of Emergency Physicians
No Reviews 2003

FastAct Pocket First Aid Guide
by Kurt Duffens, Kurt Duffens, Brad Rickey
5 star with 4 reviews

Emergency First Aid
Waterford Press, Raymond Leung (Illustrator)
Paperback, December 2001
Our Price: $5.95
From the Publisher
Emergency First Aid, Recognition and Treatment of Medical Emergencies, is a must-have, reference guide. Keep a copy in your home and car, or carry one with you on an outing. This indispensable guide will help you to quickly identify and treat medical emergencies when professional medical help is not readily available. Included are sections on restoring breathing and pulse, controlling bleeding, moving injured patients, treating poisoning/shock/burns/eye injuries/heat exposure/cold exposure, and emergency childbirth. Emergency First Aid is part of the Common Sense Series. Each pocket-sized, folding guide is laminated for durability.)

First Aid and Cpr
by Alton, Ed.D. Thygerson
My comments: full semester course. Is cpr not part of first aid?

I find these interesting but less relevant:

the ACLS Pocket Survival Guide
by Todd Rothenhaus, Thomas Masterson (Paperback -- September 1, 2002)
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
The ACLS Pocket Survival Guide is a concise intellectually-ergonomic approach to the 2001 American Heart Association Resuscitation criteria with the 2002 corrections. This book is not a text, but a reminder of what physicians and other healthcare providers have committed to memory.

Backcountry First Aid and Extended Care, 4th
by Buck Tilton (Paperback -- April 1, 2002)

Wilderness Medicine, Beyond First Aid, 5th Edition
by William Forgey (Paperback -- September 1, 1999)

First Aid for Animals.

Where There is No Doctor.

Fun reading can help you learn the subject so it more advanced of different sorts of first aid related books make the subject exciting to you go ahead and read them for fun.

I noticed that there are some books for particular activities (camping, scuba diving, etc.). Getting a first aid for any dangerous activities you do could be a good idea. There are also special books for doing first aid on children for parents or others who are around children a lot. They may be different enough to read.

It’s interesting to me that First Aid is mixed in with self-defense, terrorism, disaster preparedness, etc. These things are all nice but medical emergencies kill so many more people than any of these other things that I find it interesting that these other books are just as popular even though they are less useful for staying alive.

Okay, I think the next step is to look at some of these books.

Let’s see what’s on my book shelf:
Red Cross from 1993.
National Safety Council from 1995.
I this some changes were made in 2000 so a newer book would be good.

I like the idea of carrying a pocket first aid guide around. You could use it to help others or pull it out of your pocket before you pass out, can’t talk, etc.

Next stop for me Stanford Professional book store and Borders Books nearby. I want to see the top Amazon books and don’t want to order them all.

Check out these books:

Latest Red Cross, Check their web site also.

Latest National Safety Council, Check their web site also.

Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care
by Jerrold B. Leikin M.D., et al (Paperback -- April 15, 2000)

American College of Emergency Physicians First Aid Manual
by American College of Emergency Physicians, Jon R. Krohmer (Editor) (Paperback -- June 1, 2001)

ACEP: Pocket First Aid (ACP Home Medical Guides)
by Jon R. Krohmer, American College of Emergency Physicians
No Reviews 2003

FastAct Pocket First Aid Guide
by Kurt Duffens, Kurt Duffens, Brad Rickey
5 star with 4 reviews

Emergency First Aid
Waterford Press, Raymond Leung (Illustrator)
Paperback, December 2001