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Ray Kurzweil thinks we could start living forever by 2029 (businessinsider.com)
42 points by lambersley 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments



I’m highly skeptical. It’s 2017, and we still debate if carbs are bad for us, we can’t effectively suppress a cough without highly addictive opiates, we don't have the cure for the common cold, and any drug treatment for any disease state involves a ligand binding to a specific site triggering a counterbalancing cascade of effects. Costly biotech drugs produced by recombinant DNA to treat autoimmune diseases? Increased risk of infection. Inhibit cholesterol synthesis with statins? Increased risk of diabetes, and recently, reports of cognitive decline. The then-heralded proton pump inhibitors used to treat acid reflux? Increased risk of osteoporosis, C diff infection, etc.

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.

Edit: Spelling


> I’m highly skeptical. It’s 2017, and we still debate if carbs are bad for us, we can’t effectively suppress a cough without highly addictive opiates, we domt have the cure for the common cold, and any drug treatment for any disease state involves a ligand binding to a specific site triggering a counterbalancing cascade of effects.

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.


He’s predicting that by 2029, we’ll start to add years to our lives. We will be at the beginning of extending life.

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.


I mean, I certainly hope so. If they could also restore my skin turgor. And gait function.


> we still debate if carbs are bad for us

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.


Can someone explain why I was given a negative point for stating this?


Because the point was to say we're debating it, not to start a debate. And your starting a debate in order to show that we're not debating it is, debatably, silly.


Religion for techies. Apocolyptic millenarian beliefs (Singularity)? Check. Transcendence and life after death? Check. Belief in purity and rituals (Vitamins and workout routines)? Check.

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.


Which is not a bad thing.

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.


> Religion developed to cope with the unavoidable misery of human existence through a coordinated belief in an imaginary afterlife free of that misery.

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe


What about Gobekli Tepe indicates otherwise? It is supposed that it was constructed by hunter-gatherers, which typically worshipped the animals they hunted as idols. Such animals have been found engraved into the ruins.


My reply was to say that such strong statements about humans and religion are perhaps unwise at this time, considering we may be going through a paradigm shift in our understanding at this time. The statement is not wrong, per se, but caution is advised.


Yep. Kurzweil has been banging this drum for a long time. I read Spiritual Machines a long time ago and found it to be a simple rehash of 90s-Extropian tropes - utility fog, uploads, all the goodies needed to glue science-fiction nerdbait to a thin rehash of Christian rebirth millenarianism.

The book went away in one of my periodic purges, or I'd check to see if he changed his dates.


You can check most of the predictions / dates on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_made_by_Ray_Kurzwe...

2009 "Artificial voices sound fully human" seems a bit optimistic.

as does 2019 "Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable."


Well, sure, but...

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.


Though desktop PCs are still common for data storage, individuals primarily use portable devices for their computer-related tasks .. is patently fals, we are nowhere close to "using" our handheld devices for the majority of computer related tasks. Portable devices are in most cases used to consume media.


Unless you do not have a PC. A decent phone IS the PC in some homes.


Yeah I picked a couple of ones that didn't seem quite there. For me the most interesting prediction has been 2029 for the Turing test which he's been saying since 2000 or so. The hardware seems pretty much on track. It will be interesting to see if the software gets sorted in the next 12 years or not.


Yeah but that's like saying antibiotics are casting out ill health demons for techies. Some similarities but important differences also.


I'd only add that it's another way to manufacture hope for people who have been left behind by how unbelievable most religions are.

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.


>There is definitely no afterlife

For the sake of argument, how do you definitely know this?


As someone with a reasonable foundation in both the state of AI and the state of neuroscience research, I honestly have no idea why people give Kurzweil any attention. Just about nothing I have ever read from him is even remotely plausible, yet I've met intelligent people (usually mathematically oriented people) who think the detail-sparse garbage is gospel. It's a little infuriating, honestly. The details, which are always manifestly absent from his work, are literally the only things that do matter when evaluating their credibility.


Yeah, I've noticed that too. It always seems to be the math and physics-majors that just swish off biology as 'trivial'. In physics, you can assume a cow is a 1 meter radius sphere of density 1. You can be fine with that approximation. In biology, you are very very interested in the exact number of cells in the lining of that cow's third stomach 5 minutes after it ate wheat. Approximations don't really work in such complex systems as a mammal.


I think with some important ideas like AI improving, he's the most prominent publicist and so gets quoted.


While I agree with Kurzweil's stuff on computing per dollar increasing exponentially, in that it has for a long time now, I'm skeptical of the lifespan thing. There doesn't seem particularly good experimental evidence - our life span is longer because of less childhood death but it seems old people have always maxed out in the 70-100yrs old range.


Didn't an article just come up (Nature, I believe) that just proved that the way our cellular division works, mortality is an important feature of how we work?

Of course it is.


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/10/25/1618854114

"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.


I mean if people start living forever we would have to start killing them. So it's kinda moot anyway.


Why? If you are concerned about population growth, a one child policy would be quite sufficient (1+1/2+1/4+1/8+... = 2).


I'm not, I'm concerned with the ability to collect power and resources in a capitalist society, and how that ability grows with age.


There is promising evidence about effective aging treatments : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjdpR-TY6QU

Still experimental though.


What is forever? Surely there must be some limit to life, whether that be the sun exploding or the eventual heat death of the universe. Almost every species on Earth has gone extinct, and almost every great civilization has faded. Every solar system is doomed to collapse eventually. Why should humans be able to defy nature when there is so much evidence that death is inevitable? What if we start living 10000 years instead of 100. Is that what he means by forever? Will we think that's enough years? Is a planet full of 10000-year-old people even something that would be desirable?

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."


10E65 if protons do decay.

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTeJ64KD5cg


I'll pass.


Actually AI will impact China much harder than the US. Here we have driven down employment to the point where a significant portion if the population only get a meager foodstamps to survive. LA has gone from a working class city to a city where a large amount of the working population are homeless living in their vehicle. A tiny elite living forever has really profound economic implications in a system of winner take all. How long can inequality be pushed exponentially before the system breaks down for everyone.


I imagine if it ever comes to that, society is likely to stagnate intellectually. People grow more conservative and reactionary as they grow older (I don't just mean that in the political sense), what would happen if all there is are infinitely old people?

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 not having to dedicate your entire career to this one path you've picked, but having enough time to explore whatever you want and as much as you want.

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.


s/adultery/adulthood


What if the intellectual conservatism is a symptom of old age, and the “living forever”* is done with fountain-of-youth-style treatments?

* except for disease, accidents, war, homicide, suicide, and the heat death of the universe


> People grow more conservative and reactionary as they grow older

What if they do because they are going to die? Without that limitation, society would be a lot less conservative.


I disagree because murder would still be possible, which would make the pack mentality of conservative institutions that much more attractive.


There is a word that we use to describe constituent parts of a body that ignore termination signals and pursue their own, selfish strategies.

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.


That's a pursuit in the wrong direction.....

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

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?


Within your own self. The first layer of "within" can be easily understood. In between 2 successive thoughts is a state of "no thoughts". Can we like a scientist hypothesize that we are more than the thoughts? To prove or disprove it we need to observe/experience this state of thoughtlessness, initially they are just few milliseconds long but with practice will be seconds and minutes in length.

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".


> Within your own self.

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".


Though you can do both. Funerals are a bit depressing even if the deceased was a meditator.


The deceased is not depressed. But mourners are mostly depressed because of

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.


Going for purely imaginary, completely devoid of any connection with material reality solution is not a cure for too optimistic predictions and lacks in our current knowledge.


[flagged]


It seems as though you've come here just to violate the guidelines, so we've banned the account. We're glad to unban accounts if you email us at hn@ycombinator.com and we believe you'll start posting civilly and substantively.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.

-- C. W. LEADBEATER, Man Visible and Invisible


[flagged]


History is full evidence that true scientists have many a times revised their initial assumptions in the quest of truth.


Yes, but true scientists usually apply the scientific method, not drug-induced psychosis, in their quest for truth.

Edit: for people who flagged the parent comment, this is an interesting read http://lesswrong.com/lw/mm/the_fallacy_of_gray/


Hidden in your reply is an assumption that a scientific and reproducible method cannot be applied to spiritual quest. Hypothesis, experimentation and inference are basic steps in a scientific investigation but proving a hypothesis correct/wrong also depends on the instrument used e.g. if one doesn't use microscope one cannot directly show presence of bacterial cells. Similarly to prove that a state of thoughtlessness and beyond exists one cannot use the tools of thoughts, one has to observe by pure attention (without distracting thoughts) the state between 2 successive thoughts as a starting point.


I don't think that article is going to take back your having been personally rude to another user, which is not what we do here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


"The way goes in." -- Rumi


Ray has been thinking about this stuff for thirty years. He has a knack for getting positive press, which goes back to his time in high school.

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 actually think that not wanting to become sick and die are quite universal human desires. It really is the latent driver behind lots of human activity, and certainly behind most religious belief systems.


Re actual problems he has done a lot on reading machines for the blind.


[flagged]


Could you please stop violating the guidelines?

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Please point me to which guideline I broke.

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.


> When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. "That is idiotic; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."

> 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.


>, so he's adopted a strict diet with the hope of making it to 2045 and living forever.

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.


By "we", what percentage of the 1% top richest people are we talking about? Indians are dying because of heatwaves, Bangladeshis dying because of floods, Californians because of forest fires... Maybe if the elite build their Elysium-like fortress they'll make it, but my feeling is the vast majority of humans will be killed by climate change. And not within he next 50-100 years, more like 10-20.


Ray would disagree: "Grist: Futurist Ray Kurzweil says "we have plenty of time" to replace fossil fuels with renewables" https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/feb/21/ray-kurz...

I actually kind of agree with him on that - go solar cells and robots.


While I'm totally on board with the idea of making humans live longer or even forever, wishing hard won't make it so.


I'm curious, what's the plan for food supply, housing, waste/pollution, etc. in a world that accumulates non-dying human beings?


Given the current accidental death rate would make eternal youth life expectancy around 1,000 years, and given progress with plant engineering, I’d say the only one of those that is a real problem is waste and pollution — and even then only because it’s already a problem even though we could solve it with existing tech.


Future work :)

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.


Soylent!

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.


The ability to live forever won't be available to the common man for a long, long time if ever. You aren't even allowed to put what you want into your own body. Do you think the powers that be will allow you to live forever? They thrive on fear, war, death and control.

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.


In other news, Ray Kurzweil will turn 81 in 2029, should he live so long.


The futurism this guy pushes seems like trolling. He is a really smart engineer and has to know what he says is hugely exaggerated. He is just making stuff up.


Who wants to live forever? https://youtu.be/_Jtpf8N5IDE

Ray


Well, not everybody is a genius years ahead of their time.

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?


Kurzweil's schedule is unrealistic, but his basic outline of how the job gets done is an accurate portrayal of one path ahead to physical immortality.

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.


When AI takes over, mankind will loose meaning. When mankind looses meaning, extending life will appear pointless.




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