There’s a lot of hype surrounding medicinal advances but every new treatment that hits the market makes me think “more of the same.”
I’m just a pharmacist, not a microbiologist, but I doubt lengthening some telomeres and repairing mitochondria are going to be side-effect free.
I don’t know much about gene therapy.
My impression is that our current understanding of human biology is still much in its infancy.
What seems intuitively simple isn't necessarily simple. As unintuitive as it seems, it could very well be that curing the common cold will be harder than curing aging.
That said, Kurzweil isn't saying that we will have invented the immortality treatment by 2029, merely that we will have some life extension treatments available. These treatments will simply get you to the next treatment, and that to the next one, and so on ad infinitum.
It's not so implausible when framed like that. We've already had quite a few promising results in aging research in the past 10 years, and the interest in this field is growing, and so the pace of advancement will also increase.
I think the idea is that if we can delay death long enough, the “exponential“ technology curve will eventually allow us to make ourselves “younger”. In the short-term, people will reach 75, for example, and we can address some of the rapid that occurs in your 80’s. You’ll be a healthier 85 year old, ready to get your next tuneup a decade later with more advanced technology.
Aren't (most) carbs bad for us (chains of sugar)? A low carb diet isn't pushed. It's quite the opposite. Keto/Mediterranean are seen as too extreme.
Hold a service at the TED Talk, etc. . . .
It might not be the same literal thing as a religion but transhumanist culture sure seems to be serving the same basic human needs.
Religion developed to cope with the unavoidable misery of human existence through a coordinated belief in an imaginary afterlife free of that misery.
Enlightenment, science and technology showed us that most of this misery could be alleviated by advancing our technologies and social structures, while also revealing the imaginary nature of ideas of an afterlife.
The tragic thing is that we might live in the worst time of all: religion is obsolete, yet the transformative changes possible through technology might very well stay out of reach during our lifetimes.
Maybe. Gobekli Tepe is turning out to be very surprising, and it's only 10% uncovered. There may be even more paradigm shifting things in that rubble. I'd treat your thesis as theory for now and wait to see what we'll dig up. Not saying you are wrong at all, but big things are afoot in religo-paleontology
The book went away in one of my periodic purges, or I'd check to see if he changed his dates.
2009 "Artificial voices sound fully human" seems a bit optimistic.
as does 2019 "Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable."
2009 "Though desktop PCs are still common for data storage, individuals primarily use portable devices for their computer-related tasks." sounds pretty realistic now.
So does 2019 "People experience 3-D virtual reality through glasses and contact lenses that beam images directly to their retinas (retinal display). Coupled with an auditory source (headphones), users can remotely communicate with other people and access the Internet." with the current progress of AR and VR (although it might be a few years late).
My point is, you've nitpicked this in a series of predictions which may or may not be true. Kurzweil's betting a lot on 2045 and AGI, and hoping that 2029 will help him reach that age. The rest is a mix of possibly true predictions that seem absurd, like the two I've pointed out.
I've been trying for years (and will continue trying) to switch my parents hope for an afterlife with a hope that cryo will work. There is definitely no afterlife, but cryo might eventually work. That's how I see most of these "living forever" positions. It's just a more intellectual hope to have, where you at least break reality into possible and impossible before choosing something to believe.
For the sake of argument, how do you definitely know this?
Of course it is.
"Selection between somatic cells (i.e., intercellular competition) can delay aging by purging nonfunctioning cells. However, the fitness of a multicellular organism depends not just on how functional its individual cells are but also on how well cells work together. While intercellular competition weeds out nonfunctional cells, it may also select for cells that do not cooperate. Thus, intercellular competition creates an inescapable double bind that makes aging inevitable in multicellular organisms."
... and so you end up getting cancer, sooner or later.
Which of course doesn't exclude external interventions, from chemotherapy to resetting your DNA to a previously backed up state.
Still experimental though.
Steve Jobs said it best: "death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."
10E(10E76) if protons do not decay and virtual black-holes do not exist.
At about 10E(10E(10E56)) the universe should spontaneously create a new universe, so that that is the most upper limit of time in our universe. Fairly small actually, compared to things like Graham's number and Tree(3). Turns out, infinity is really big.
I think young generations are necessary, but if everyone lives forever, there's hardly space in the world for them.
Maybe it's the fate of humanity and a singularity will just mean that we have reached our limits.
Imagine being able to postpone your career because you and your husband/wife decided to bring someone new to this world. You could still achieve anything you wanted, and not be tied by time in this case.
In this scenario, you get to choose when you die. Would you live a hundred years? Probably. Two hundreds? Most likely. 500? Highly unlikely.
I don't think that the world population might be as big of a problem as we currently think it is going to be. A woman no longer needs to give birth to eight babies to have three of them reach their adultery (as was the case 200 years ago). And, right now, a Western couple is usually able to support one or two children and still pursue their individual career paths. 200 years from now, I cannot realistically say that I don't expect as big of an improvement in human evolution as it happened between 200 years ago and now.
* except for disease, accidents, war, homicide, suicide, and the heat death of the universe
What if they do because they are going to die? Without that limitation, society would be a lot less conservative.
That word is cancer.
The deep question we have, as humans, is which body it is we are interested in maintaining and prolonging. I think it's possible that you could maintain and prolong the individual human - at the expense of the larger body of humankind.
You have to choose - you can't optimize for both.
For what it's worth, I think the book _Anathem_ by N. Stephenson offers a decent compromise - there are, in fact, long lived "elders" but they are kept away from society and tasked with deep, long tasks ... and they are in suspension for years at a time.
The childish and ill-informed notion that one could "just be ones self, but for thousands of years" ignores the twin catastrophes of descent into a sclerotic, hyper-hyper-conservative society or the massacre on sight of any "vampires" that anyone under the age of 40 comes across.
Hidden underneath the quest for immortality is the eternal quest of freedom from all known and unknown bounds. Unfortunately enough, this quest, when expressed from the confines of the apparatus called "mind" shows up as ego which is limiting, self serving and divisive. To experience the real singularity and immortality one needs an instrument which at its very core is limitless and that my friend is "consciousness". The reason current scientists have not been able to understand the limitless and eternal nature of consciousness is their fundamental assumption which is "matter gives rise to consciousness". Unless this assumption is turned around to "consciousness gives rise to matter" until then this quest for immortality will remain just that, a quest and never a realized goal.
At an individual level, we don't have to wait for the Ray's or Singularity of the world, this quest can be completed by each and everyone of us, by focusing our attention within. Attention is the expression of our consciousness in our physical being, and by focusing it within we can break free from the limitations of our 5 senses and the endless maze of thoughts. It is at point of liberation we will realize that we are all immortal beings who where focused in the limited dimensions created by the illusory mind and are all interconnected by the inherent Singularity of cosmic/unity consciousness.
Meditation or focusing within is the first step towards a successful quest of Singularity and Immortality.
Within what, exactly? If there's a within, what and where is the barrier or boundary that separates it from without? How does one reconcile that separation with a cosmic/unity consciousness?
And remember if we are always observing through the filter of our thoughts then we are changing the thing being observed - just like in quantum physics "act of observing affected what is observed".
I don't know what that is.
> The first layer of "within" can be easily understood. In between 2 successive thoughts is a state of "no thoughts".
That doesn't match my experience at all. There are times when I don't pay attention to my thoughts, or my thoughts aren't distinct enough to grasp, but that's not an absence of thought. For me, the concept of "between 2 successive thoughts" makes about as much sense as "between two drops of water in a river".
The only way I can relate your description to anything I understand is to suspect that what you're describing is shifting your attention away from your thoughts to interoceptive sensations, and then reifying your integration/synthesis of those sensations into a distinct entity rather than a representation of your body. But maybe I just haven't read enough Deepak Chopra to "get it".
a) attachment (constant association of our attention to anything) to impermanence of life,
b) regrets and guilt.
If the mourner itself was truly liberated while living then they wouldn't be depressed because they would know from experience that death is nothing but a switch to a different dimension for consciousness to operate in. That dimension is far less limiting than this physical dimension. And the way to that dimension (and higher ones) is only through Meditation and natural death, the latter comes as a shock to the unrealized one and then its too late for any preparedness.
-- C. W. LEADBEATER, Man Visible and Invisible
Edit: for people who flagged the parent comment, this is an interesting read http://lesswrong.com/lw/mm/the_fallacy_of_gray/
His ideas reveal the narrowness of his experience in the world: it appears that he has only the vaguest notions of what the lives of most humans currently on the planet are actually like.
If he understood humanity beyond the confines of Silicon Valley / Route 128 / Davos, he might spend more of his time applying his alleged genius to actual problems which might admit actual solutions.
His fantasy about living forever bespeaks a deep-seated emotional and psychological immaturity.
His idea that we could have life without death is not unlike imagining a world of sunlight but no shadows.
I am referring to the subject of the article, not another commenter here. In fact, I was merely summarizing what I responded to and interjecting my opinion of a person who thought the frickin Segway would revolutionize the world.
I mean, that sounds like a moron to me. Sure, he's a good engineer, but the fricking Segway isn't going to revolutionize anything and anyone who thinks so is out of touch with reality, just as the person I replied to said.
> Be civil. Don't say things you wouldn't say face-to-face. Don't be snarky. Comments should get more civil and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive.
He'll almost be 100 then. The chances of a man reaching that age are pretty slim.
Not sure why people pay attention to this guy considering his expertise is in tech, not medicine. His analogies are often mockingly simplistic (no Ray, cell phone adoption rates have nothing to do with medical research and longevity) and seems to be the standard bearer of the kooky futurist stereotype.
I feel my life got a lot easier when I dismissed guys like this and accepted a more dignified idea of dying.
I actually kind of agree with him on that - go solar cells and robots.
But probably what you already expect: very strict birth control. People would still die from accidents, etc.
For sure, a thorny issue, although not one can make us dismiss the idea of extending human lifes out of hand.
And, (a bit) more seriously, I don't think we'll get to non-dying before getting massively more energy-efficient and developing much more efficient ways of manipulating matter.
A more likely future is that the ongoing World War 3 heats up really fast, kills a ton of people and China's technological despotism forms the basis for a new world government that will rule in perpetuity. Why do I think that? It's pretty obvious to me that China, a country that was conquered by the British only a century ago, is being setup for this. You know Mao Zedong came out of the Yale school of Divinity right? Every ambassador to China since then has come from Skull and Bones and major players leak nuclear secrets and other high technology to them on purpose (see Israel, Bill Clinton and many, many others). "Made in China" is an Illuminati curse for the entire world - everybody bought into this and you're gonna pay before long.
I'm sure that most of you think I'm crazy. That's fine with me. I am used to being part of a small minority. The clueless far, far outnumber the clueful.
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
I wrote this a few years back:
There exist a growing number of people propagating various forms of the viewpoint that we middle-aged folk in developed countries may (or might, or certainly will) live to see the development and widespread availability of radical life extension therapies. Which is to say medical technologies capable of greatly extending healthy human life span, probably introduced in stages, each stage effective enough to grant additional healthy years in which to await the next breakthrough. You might think of Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey, both of whom have written good books to encapsulate their messages, and so forth.
Some people take the view of radical life extension within our lifetimes at face value, whilst others dismiss it out of hand. Both of these are rational approaches to selective ignorance in the face of all science-based predictions. It usually doesn't much matter what your opinion is on one article of science or another, and taking the time to validate science-based statements usually adds no economic value to your immediate future. It required several years of following research and investigating the background for me to feel comfortable reaching my own conclusions on the matter of engineered longevity, for example. Clearly some science-based predictions are enormously valuable and transformative, but you would lose a lifetime wading through the swamp of uselessness and irrelevance to find the few gemstones hidden therein.
As a further incentive to avoid swamp-wading, it is generally well known that futurist predictions of any sort have a horrible track record. Ignoring all futurism isn't a bad attention management strategy for someone who is largely removed from any activity (such as issuing insurance) that depends on being right in predicting trends and events. You might be familiar with the Maes-Garreau Law, which notes one of the incentives operating on futurists: 'The Maes-Garreau Law is the statement that "most favorable predictions about future technology will fall within the Maes-Garreau Point", defined as "the latest possible date a prediction can come true and still remain in the lifetime of the person making it".'
If you want to be a popular futurist, telling people what they want to hear is a good start. "You're not going to be alive to see this, but..." isn't a compelling opening line in any pitch. You'll also be more convincing if your yourself have good reason to believe in your message. Needless to say, these two items have no necessary relationship to a good prediction, accuracy in materials used to support the prediction, or whether what is predicted actually comes to pass. These incentives do not make cranks of all futurists - but they are something one has to be aware of. Equally, we have to be aware of our own desire to hear what we want to hear. That is especially true in the case of predictions for future biotechnology and enhanced human longevity; we'd all like to find out that the mighty white-coated scientists will in fact rescue us from aging to death. But the laws of physics, the progression of human societies, and advance of technological prowess don't care about what we want to hear, nor what the futurists say.
I put value on what Kurzweil and de Grey have to say about the potential future of increased human longevity - the future we'll have to work to bring into being - because I have performed the due diligence, the background reading, the digging into the science. I'll criticize the pieces of the message I don't like so much (the timescale and supplements in the case of Kurzweil, WILT in the case of de Grey), but generally I'm on board with their vision of the future because the science and other evidence looks solid.
But few people in the world feel strongly enough about this topic to do what I have done. I certainly don't feel strongly enough about many other allegedly important topics in life to have done a tenth as much work to validate what I choose to believe in those cases. How should one best organize selective ignorance in fields one does care about, or that are generally acknowledged to be important? What if you feel - correctly, in my humble opinion - that engineered longevity is very important, but you cannot devote the time to validate the visions of Kurzweil, de Grey, or other advocates of longevity science?
The short answer is trust networks: find and listen to people like me who have taken the time to dig into the background and form our own opinions. Figuring out whether ten or twenty people who discuss de Grey's view of engineered human longevity are collectively on the level is not too challenging, and doesn't require a great deal of time. We humans are good at forming accurate opinions as to whether specific individuals are idiots or trustworthy, full of it or talking sense. Fundamentally, this establishment of a trust network is one of the primary purposes of advocacy in any field of endeavor. The greater the number and diversity of advocates to have taken the time to go digging and come back to say "this is the real deal," the more likely it is that that they are right. It's easy, and probably good sense, to write off any one person's views. If twenty very different people are saying much the same thing, having independently come to the same viewpoint - well, that is worth spending more time on.
One of the things I think we need to see happen before the next decade is out is the establishment of more high-profile longevity advocates who discuss advancing science in the Kurzweil or de Grey vein: nanotechnology, repairing the molecular damage of aging, and so on. Two, or three, or five such people is too few.