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(Indefinite) life extension watch

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    It would change society as we know it, but I'm all for it.
    People would presumably work for so many years do a mid life retirement jaunt thing (like australians) and then return to work and so on indefinately.
    Anyone who tires of life can opt to end it and besides this doesn't stop the inevitable being hit by a bus or whatever.
    You'd get a much higher return on education as people would be able to use their experience much longer and even if people choose to switch fields every so often it would still be useful.

    Only real downside is what the hell to do about population. There'd still be some turnover from non-age/disease related deaths but we'd need to develop a way to support an ever increasing population or much restrict any hopes of having children.
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    I'd love anyone to try and come up with a drawback close to equaling this benefit: THAT WE WOULD NOT DIE VOLUNTARILY. There is nothing that would outweigh that benefit.

    Overpopulation will likely be a problem regardless of whether this technology could be implemented. Should we curb research in life extension just because there is a chance that overpopulation could occur a few decades down the line? I don't think that makes sense.



    Perhaps not initially, but eventually yes. As a medical treatment it would follow that it would be available to anybody covered by a medical plan.
    Ok so if you live longer, you'd get more of a chance to do the things you want, see your grandchildren, or even great great great grandchildren, but I think there would be a point where you would wonder why? Ok, so it's just a choice. You're happily married with your wife/ husband and you plan to live for hundreds of years. But for whatever reason, your partner is adamant about living a "normal" lifetime. What do you do then? How about if this were the case for your children? How would you feel about outliving your children? I'd say it would have a major impact on you and cause many dilemmas. Some may deal with it, but it would drive me crazy.

    Our population is increasing at an alarming rate already - prolonging our life expectancy will only accelerate this. Once the absolute maximum capacity of the habitable areas has been reached, it's only a matter of time until disease or food/ water shortage (or indeed wars resulting from this) will keep our population from increasing. With this technology, overpopulation is probably a given. Without it, maybe it's possible to avoid it by introducing family management plans (e.g. China).

    Inequality will always exist. Period. But is it right that some will be able to access this, and others won't? This will surely only worsen the level of inequality in this world. I think it would be a huge ethical misjudgement to carry this research forward. Just my thoughts.
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    (Original post by _lynx_)
    Ok so if you live longer, you'd get more of a chance to do the things you want, see your grandchildren, or even great great great grandchildren, but I think there would be a point where you would wonder why? Ok, so it's just a choice. You're happily married with your wife/ husband and you plan to live for hundreds of years. But for whatever reason, your partner is adamant about living a "normal" lifetime. What do you do then? How about if this were the case for your children? How would you feel about outliving your children? I'd say it would have a major impact on you and cause many dilemmas. Some may deal with it, but it would drive me crazy..
    Your first paragraph depicts a cosy family life that I will probably never be interested in experiencing. I can, however, understand the moral dilemnas. In the end, you'd just have to work it out, wouldn't you? Make a personal decision with your loved ones about what's the best way forward. This can't really be proposed as a criticism of life extension: there are moral dilemnas involved in many areas of life, and people just have to navigate them.



    (Original post by _lynx_)
    Our population is increasing at an alarming rate already - prolonging our life expectancy will only accelerate this. Once the absolute maximum capacity of the habitable areas has been reached, it's only a matter of time until disease or food/ water shortage (or indeed wars resulting from this) will keep our population from increasing. With this technology, overpopulation is probably a given. Without it, maybe it's possible to avoid it by introducing family management plans (e.g. China)..
    Prolonging life expectancy would not necessarily accelerate overpopulation. One way around the problem would be for governments to impose quotas on the number of children permitted to be born. Seems a bit totalitarian, but infinitely preferable to the other method of regulating population size - killing people after a certain age.

    You forget that by the time this technology is fully available, other technologies will have increased at a similar rate - including methods of habitation, which in the near future could extend to underwater or underground developments, or even habitats in space. As well as this, food shortages will very likely be a thing of the past based on the same technology life extension relies on - growing new cells, which could provide plentiful nourishment for billions.

    (Original post by _lynx_)
    Inequality will always exist. Period. But is it right that some will be able to access this, and others won't? This will surely only worsen the level of inequality in this world. I think it would be a huge ethical misjudgement to carry this research forward. Just my thoughts.
    No, it's not right, but many people have no access to health services, even in places as developed as America. This does not mean that we should disband health services for all, does it? Similarly, unfair though it may be for many, life extension should be made available if it can be developed.
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    Your first paragraph depicts a cosy family life that I will probably never be interested in experiencing. I can, however, understand the moral dilemnas. In the end, you'd just have to work it out, wouldn't you? Make a personal decision with your loved ones about what's the best way forward. This can't really be proposed as a criticism of life extension: there are moral dilemnas involved in many areas of life, and people just have to navigate them.
    I would certainly have an issue with it and I think others would as well.. It's in our nature (are you human? :p: ) Personally, I think it would be greedy of us to ask for more. 80 years, in my eyes, is plenty of time to enjoy your life by doing the things you want to do.


    (Original post by Beneb)
    Prolonging life expectancy would not necessarily accelerate overpopulation. One way around the problem would be for governments to impose quotas on the number of children permitted to be born. Seems a bit totalitarian, but infinitely preferable to the other method of regulating population size - killing people after a certain age.

    You forget that by the time this technology is fully available, other technologies will have increased at a similar rate - including methods of habitation, which in the near future could extend to underwater or underground developments, or even habitats in space. As well as this, food shortages will very likely be a thing of the past based on the same technology life extension relies on - growing new cells, which could provide plentiful nourishment for billions.
    Yes, I have thought about expanding habitable areas to areas which are currently inhabitable. But even if it is possible to move to these areas and sustain the population, I'd imagine that those that are able to would prefer to live in a more favourable environment (be it underground or on the surface of the Earth in the future), which means that those not in power will be shunned to the unfavorable areas. Again, this is just a possible problem which I can forsee. I don't deny that this may happen in the future anyway without the life prolonging technology, but I can't see how it will help either.


    (Original post by Beneb)
    No, it's not right, but many people have no access to health services, even in places as developed as America. This does not mean that we should disband health services for all, does it? Similarly, unfair though it may be for many, life extension should be made available if it can be developed.
    Access to a health service is a basic human right. Extending your life is not. That is the major difference. We should pull together to try and make this world an equal place to live in, just like an obese person struggles to do up their flies - their flies will never be done up, but we can keep trying.
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    The basic premise being that in the near future - within our lifetimes - we will be able to halt or reverse the effects of aging on the body, perhaps indefinitely.

    How seriously do you folks take this subject? I've been reading some of Aubrey de Gray and Ray Kurzweil's books on this, and mulling over it alot. I can't see why it's not at least plausible.

    Consider the rate of technological/medical development in the last 20 years, and consider that this rate is increasing. I'm 17 now - by the time I'm 80 (2073), barring major disruptions to the progress of the human race, I don't think it's too far-fetched to believe that I will be able to take advantage of some sort of mechanism to halt or reverse the aging process. For perspective, how many people in 1940 could have conceived of the internet, or the MRI scanner?

    So, yeah, thoughts?

    EDIT: Of course, any discussion on the prospect of so-called "immortality" will be tainted by a degree of wish-fulfillment. I know that there's a high likelihood that this won't happen.

    Yes Sir!
    I thoroughly agree with you!
    This is a subject that I have been closely watching.

    Humankind is in a state of exponential growth in technology.

    Now, at every point in time, humans like to think that they are in a special time due to vanity.

    However, I truly believe that we are in this great time of unimaginaböe technology.

    The 21ST Century is the century for the illumination of all things and for the discovery of many before-unreachable things.

    Think of the space exploration, space stations, terraforming, asteriod colonization etc - many people are skeptical of this, but with the rate that we are moving, many do not realize that this century is the advancement of all these things.

    And life enhancement and extension is but one of these things to advance in THIS century.

    You must realize that at first it will be expensive and risky, but as with all new technologies it willl be constantly tested and regulated.

    Then for a long ime after that, it wilo be available to the general population.

    Of course there comes the problem of population but these will go hand in hand with orbital cities, asteriod cities etc.

    Many people do not realize that Science 'Fiction' novels are merely projections and premonitions of the great future ahead!

    Sceptics will always be sceptics, but hey will not have a hand in all our future endeavours.

    Oh, how I wish that everybody was like YOU OP and have a great interest in these things. Some people ridiculously believe that they are not entitled to a longer life!
    I, for one, will take on all the problems and future issues as a result of the life extension. I have an insatiable desire to know what is out there in the universe. To see te amazing future technologies. To see us terraform etc!

    OP, this life extension is no joke and I seriously believe that it will be well under way in this so great 21ST Century. You must understand that you will need to be adequately wealthy in order to participate - this is why I am working hard at school to enable myself to engage in a wealthy and successful career and I hope you do too.

    The sceptics will mostly be the pessimistic and unsuccessful ones.

    The 21st Century is no end time, but the beginning ofthe greatest time known on this planet. It may not be the time of art, culture, music etc like times before but it will be the time of technology, human enhancement, and discovery of the world beyond Planet Earth!

    These topics excite me so much!

    However, on a lower, but warning, note, the dark and pessimistic shadow of war, famine, depletion of resources, overpopulation, meteor impacts, abrahamic religions etc loom over our dreams and plans of a great technological future. - These are some of the things that we have to tackle whilst simultaneously advancing the race...all in moderation, as they say...

    And then there is the controversial topic of 'ethics'...

    I am interested to hear your response to my long speech, OP!!
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    The basic premise being that in the near future - within our lifetimes - we will be able to halt or reverse the effects of aging on the body, perhaps indefinitely.

    How seriously do you folks take this subject? I've been reading some of Aubrey de Gray and Ray Kurzweil's books on this, and mulling over it alot. I can't see why it's not at least plausible.

    Consider the rate of technological/medical development in the last 20 years, and consider that this rate is increasing. I'm 17 now - by the time I'm 80 (2073), barring major disruptions to the progress of the human race, I don't think it's too far-fetched to believe that I will be able to take advantage of some sort of mechanism to halt or reverse the aging process. For perspective, how many people in 1940 could have conceived of the internet, or the MRI scanner?

    So, yeah, thoughts?

    EDIT: Of course, any discussion on the prospect of so-called "immortality" will be tainted by a degree of wish-fulfillment. I know that there's a high likelihood that this won't happen.

    Yes Sir!
    I thoroughly agree with you!
    This is a subject that I have been closely watching.

    Humankind is in a state of exponential growth in technology.

    Now, at every point in time, humans like to think that they are in a special time due to vanity.

    However, I truly believe that we are in this great time of unimaginaböe technology.

    The 21ST Century is the century for the illumination of all things and for the discovery of many before-unreachable things.

    Think of the space exploration, space stations, terraforming, asteriod colonization etc - many people are skeptical of this, but with the rate that we are moving, many do not realize that this century is the advancement of all these things.

    And life enhancement and extension is but one of these things to advance in THIS century.

    You must realize that at first it will be expensive and risky, but as with all new technologies it willl be constantly tested and regulated.

    Then for a long ime after that, it wilo be available to the general population.

    Of course there comes the problem of population but these will go hand in hand with orbital cities, asteriod cities etc.

    Many people do not realize that Science 'Fiction' novels are merely projections and premonitions of the great future ahead!

    Sceptics will always be sceptics, but hey will not have a hand in all our future endeavours.

    Oh, how I wish that everybody was like YOU OP and have a great interest in these things. Some people ridiculously believe that they are not entitled to a longer life!
    I, for one, will take on all the problems and future issues as a result of the life extension. I have an insatiable desire to know what is out there in the universe. To see te amazing future technologies. To see us terraform etc!

    OP, this life extension is no joke and I seriously believe that it will be well under way in this so great 21ST Century. You must understand that you will need to be adequately wealthy in order to participate - this is why I am working hard at school to enable myself to engage in a wealthy and successful career and I hope you do too.

    The sceptics will mostly be the pessimistic and unsuccessful ones.

    The 21st Century is no end time, but the beginning ofthe greatest time known on this planet. It may not be the time of art, culture, music etc like times before but it will be the time of technology, human enhancement, and discovery of the world beyond Planet Earth!

    These topics excite me so much!

    However, on a lower, but warning, note, the dark and pessimistic shadow of war, famine, depletion of resources, overpopulation, meteor impacts, abrahamic religions etc loom over our dreams and plans of a great technological future. - These are some of the things that we have to tackle whilst simultaneously advancing the race...all in moderation, as they say...

    And then there is the controversial topic of 'ethics'...

    I am interested to hear your response to my long speech, OP!!
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    (Original post by aKarma)
    It would change society as we know it, but I'm all for it.
    People would presumably work for so many years do a mid life retirement jaunt thing (like australians) and then return to work and so on indefinitely.
    Anyone who tires of life can opt to end it and besides this doesn't stop the inevitable being hit by a bus or whatever.
    You'd get a much higher return on education as people would be able to use their experience much longer and even if people choose to switch fields every so often it would still be useful.

    Only real downside is what the hell to do about population. There'd still be some turnover from non-age/disease related deaths but we'd need to develop a way to support an ever increasing population or much restrict any hopes of having children.
    Orbital cities?

    Asteriod colonizations?

    Solar system planet and moons terraformation?

    Artificial islands?

    Extra-planetary resources?

    Sustainable living?

    Sustainable housing?


    Etc etc?

    You must realize that if we are well under with life extension, we would have already started with the things listed above.
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    As a politics student I am fascinated by what would happen if this were invented. I think it could only exist if we had some solid plans in place to cope with the massive increase in population caused by people not dying. There would be all sorts of debates about compulsory ages of death, limiting the number of children, etc. I don't know what I think of it all; it would be so totally different from society now that it is hard to comprehend.
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    (Original post by _lynx_)
    I) Personally, I think it would be greedy of us to ask for more. 80 years, in my eyes, is plenty of time to enjoy your life by doing the things you want to do.
    Come on, man, are you actually being serious? 80 years is enough time? That's insane. If you could have 800 years, wouldn't you (disregarding for now any potential social problems that would arise)?

    (Original post by _lynx_)
    Access to a health service is a basic human right. Extending your life is not. That is the major difference. We should pull together to try and make this world an equal place to live in, just like an obese person struggles to do up their flies - their flies will never be done up, but we can keep trying.
    Anti-aging would be a health service. Think of it this way: as a result of the aging process, 100000 people a day die due to age-related diseases. When you start to think of aging as not inevitable, but preventable, like any other disease or illness, it's not morally justifable to deny people the right to access it. To draw a comparison, if a comprehensive cure for cancer was developed, but came at a cost that only middle-class and upper-class people could afford, would you actually deny them the right to have access to the treatment just because others couldn't get access to it?
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    (Original post by Sovr'gnChancellor£)

    Now, at every point in time, humans like to think that they are in a special time due to vanity.

    However, I truly believe that we are in this great time of unimaginaböe technology.

    The 21ST Century is the century for the illumination of all things and for the discovery of many before-unreachable things.
    I agree, the reason for optimism is that we are members of one of the first generations to acutally have a comprehensive knowledge of how the human body works, and the knowledge that rejuvenation technology is indeed possible. If you listen to some of Aubrey de Gray's talks, he doesn't just speculate that this is possible: he has actually identified seven processes involved with aging and seven possible solutions to them. It's just a case of funding and public interest, in my opinion.

    (Original post by _lynx_)
    Oh, how I wish that everybody was like YOU OP and have a great interest in these things. Some people ridiculously believe that they are not entitled to a longer life!
    I, for one, will take on all the problems and future issues as a result of the life extension. I have an insatiable desire to know what is out there in the universe. To see te amazing future technologies. To see us terraform etc!
    I think that public interest will indeed increase in the next decade. If anti-aging has been demonstrated to work on mice (animals which share 99% of their genes with humans), it will become clear that this is possible within our lifetimes. People just need to realise that firstly, our current lifespans are by no means set in stone, and secondly that any moral issues involved cannot outweigh advantage of preventing the millions of deaths caused each year by the aging process.

    (Original post by _lynx_)
    However, on a lower, but warning, note, the dark and pessimistic shadow of war, famine, depletion of resources, overpopulation, meteor impacts, abrahamic religions etc loom over our dreams and plans of a great technological future. - These are some of the things that we have to tackle whilst simultaneously advancing the race...all in moderation, as they say...
    Take it as it comes, as they say.
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    I dont know if its already been said, but theres already jellyfish that are biologically immortal
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    (Original post by pateled)
    I dont know if its already been said, but theres already jellyfish that are biologically immortal
    It's a promising example, but it involves reverting to a sort of foetal stage. Which I don't fancy much, to be honest. :p:
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    (Original post by Beneb)
    I agree, the reason for optimism is that we are members of one of the first generations to acutally have a comprehensive knowledge of how the human body works, and the knowledge that rejuvenation technology is indeed possible. If you listen to some of Aubrey de Gray's talks, he doesn't just speculate that this is possible: he has actually identified seven processes involved with aging and seven possible solutions to them. It's just a case of funding and public interest, in my opinion.



    I think that public interest will indeed increase in the next decade. If anti-aging has been demonstrated to work on mice (animals which share 99% of their genes with humans), it will become clear that this is possible within our lifetimes. People just need to realise that firstly, our current lifespans are by no means set in stone, and secondly that any moral issues involved cannot outweigh advantage of preventing the millions of deaths caused each year by the aging process.



    Take it as it comes, as they say.
    Yes, I shall indeed follow up your recommendations and advice.

    Lastly, and most importantly, I do hope that public interest, and thus funding, increases.

    I, for one, will warmly welcome life extension because I am obsessed, if not infatuated, with the great technological future ahead and space exploration - these are my main desires and drives for wanting to extend life.

    I actually want to meet other races, if not intelligent ones, beyond our planet and most importantly discover mysteries of the universe - in a regular lifespan, this my npt be possible.

    (And also - I do not agree with stopping births - we need refreshing and recycling from new humans.)
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    The only reason for which i would want to become imortal is that i would like to be here when the earth/humans end.

    Or if we finally live on space colnies.
    Would be amazing.
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    I can't see any reason why, in 50/60 years time, we haven't halted the ageing process..
    I read a while ago that scientists have made huge progress in terms of identifying the ageing gene..
    If they have indeed made this breakthrough and sometime in the near future they find out how to halt the ageing progress, I don't see why it can't also be reversed..

    Having said this, I'm not sure it would be morally right nor economically correct. Earth doesn't have the resources to maintain an ever expanding population.

    However, wouldn't mind a few extra years to perfect golf or the piano..
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    http://yudkowsky.net/singularity/simplified

    Above is an interesting article which offers a rebuttal to people who (implicitly) claim that there is an age limit to when we should step in and prevent unnecessary suffering.

    "If a young child falls on the train tracks, it is good to save them, and if a 45-year-old suffers from a debilitating disease, it is good to cure them. If you have a logical turn of mind, you are bound to ask whether this is a special case of a general ethical principle which says “Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad.” If so – and here we enter into controversial territory – we can follow this general principle to a surprising new conclusion: If a 95-year-old is threatened by death from old age, it would be good to drag them from those train tracks, if possible. And if a 120-year-old is starting to feel slightly sickly, it would be good to restore them to full vigor, if possible. With current technology it is not possible. But if the technology became available in some future year – given sufficiently advanced medical nanotechnology, or such other contrivances as future minds may devise – would you judge it a good thing, to save that life, and stay that debility?"
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    Another article, this time discussing how to achieve an eternal utopia in which it would be desirable to live in, touching on many areas which people might bring up to argue that immortality would be 'boring', or that they would 'run out of things to do'.

    http://lesswrong.com/lw/y0/31_laws_of_fun/
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    On why superlongevity would not result in significant overpopulation:

    http://www.longevitymeme.org/article...?article_id=24

    You might have noticed I'm disguising bumps as article links.
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    I'm resuscitating this thread with the advent of some exciting news:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...ng-mice-humans

    "What we saw in these animals was not a slowing down or stabilisation of the ageing process. We saw a dramatic reversal – and that was unexpected...These were severely aged animals, but after a month of treatment they showed a substantial restoration, including the growth of new neurons in their brains."

    Another step, people.
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    Immortality would be horrible imo.
 
 
 
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