One of the parameters
of the Otoom mind model is the connectivity of its functional elements. Higher
connectivity - associated with a commensurate volume of such elements - means
greater processing power for the output overall. The quality is reflected
in better responses to one's environment, leading to a better quality of life
Due to the interdependency
of systems - actually, the subsystems making up wider and wider systems -
information-rich cognition impacts positively on one's life.
There have been
a number of studies shedding light on the life expectancy of humans through
the ages. Such general evaluations match the overall environment at a certain
period with the people's longevity. For example, we see that in classical
Greece and Rome the average life span was 20-30 years, in medieval Britain
it was the same, during the early 20th century it had reached 30-40 years
and as of 1998 the world average stands at 67. But what about exceptional
individuals - those that left their mark in history, to be recorded in our
As main reference
I have used the six-volume set of the Everyman's Encyclopaedia. Its 1726 pages
are sufficient to list most of the famous people as we have come to know them;
at the same time it is not so large that just about everyone who did something
of some kind is featured. All in all there are 4643 individuals (omitted were
those who came to a violent end and members of the aristocracy - preordained
luxury does not count).
graph shows the average life spans of these people as they are listed in those
pages, arraigned century by century. The complete set of tables, including
a breakdown by century, can be found under Downloads
(Life expectancies of famous people).
Note: The 1st century includes previous centuries
Far from adhering
to the expected life spans the vast majority died at a ripe old age. What
is particularly remarkable is the difference they managed to achieve in centuries
usually not noted for their livability.
The lesson is
clear: if you have an active mind chances are you have many years to practise
your art; and if that is the case chances are you'll be remembered.
Paxton, J., (ed.),
1984, The New Illustrated Everyman's Encyclopaedia, Octopus Books Limited,
The World Bank Group, 2001, http://www.worldbank.org/depweb/english/modules/social/life/index.html
16 Nov 2007