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IEET > Rights > Personhood > Life > Enablement > Vision > Futurism > Staff > Mike Treder

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Will you die?


Mike Treder
By Mike Treder
Ethical Technology

Posted: Aug 18, 2011

About 150,000 people will die today. You might die tomorrow. Or, perhaps, you will end up living for a very long time.

What are your personal expectations for lifespan prolongation? Will technologies for radical life extension arrive soon enough to keep you alive for centuries or more? If they don’t, are you counting on cryonics to resurrect you someday? Or are you resigned to a permanent death within a more or less normal human lifespan?
face
Throughout the entire era of human existence—a hundred thousand years, give or take—every person who has ever lived has had to face the prospect of death within, if they were lucky, threescore and ten years. Many died much sooner than that, of course.

nanobotsAs medical technology has advanced, and as education, nutrition, and sanitation practices have improved, the average human lifespan has gradually lengthened, especially within the last century or so. But still today, the longest that any person can aspire to live, if they get all the breaks, is barely more than a hundred years.

Is that enough for you, or would you like more? Do you expect you’ll get more?

The hope for transhumanists in 2011 is that the science of biogerontology—potentially combined with rapid progress in techniques for using smart ‘nanobots’ to clean out our arteries or fix our degraded cells—will soon lead to a new era of widely available radical life extension. IEET Fellow Aubrey de Grey, a leading expert in the field, has predicted that the first person to live to be 1000 years old will be born in the next twenty years.

If that doesn’t happen quickly enough for you or me, then maybe we can have our bodies (or just our heads) cryonically “preserved” and possibly reanimated at some point in the future.

Another hypothesized route to immortality is the idea of having your personality “uploaded” to a computer before you die, so that the essence of you will live on for centuries or for eons. You might, theoretically, be able to have your mind implanted into an advanced robot, giving you a superior body that can be upgraded and made to last for a very long time indeed.

Perhaps, though, you regard yourself as more of a realist. You might think you already are too old and that none of this will arrive soon enough for you to benefit from it. Maybe after hearing these exciting promises for such a long time, you’ve concluded that all they are is promises, which probably never will be realized.

Which are you? A hard-headed realist or a dreamy optimist? Are you fatally resigned to death and oblivion? Or do you believe science and technology actually will give you a chance to achieve functional immortality?


We’ve just opened a new poll for IEET readers that asks these questions and that divides the audience into two groups: those under 35 years old, and those over 35. It will be interesting to see whether expectations differ significantly depending on how old you are now.


Mike Treder is a former Managing Director of the IEET.
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COMMENTS


I won’t die. Prove me wrong.





I am about 98% convinced now that Quantum Archaeology will work, and that it is highly likely that this life is in fact a resurrection by my post-singular “self”.

Immortality is assured to me, as my post-singular self is now in the process of uploading me into the post-singular future.

The process of developing the technology to do this, all the life extending stuff, the mind uploading stuff - that’s what it looks like from this side of the mirror when your post-singular self is uploading you from the future.

Essentially, life to me is living through the “unpacking” process of having this lifetime resurrected by the post-singulars.





Much as I would love to think so I don’t believe I will survive this century.  The science of aging is at such a nascent stage right now that I don’t see it progressing fast enough to save people like me (I’m 25).  It’s worth remembering that most of the increase in life expectancy we’ve seen in modern times has come from reducing child mortality rates, not by actually extending human life span. 

As for some of the other options; Aubrey’s SENS approach is interesting but has yet to show any real results.  Cryonics is based largely on the hope that resurrection will someday be possible and that the cryonics process doesn’t destroy the information already stored within the brain.  Don’t even get me started on mind uploading.

No, I think most people in the near future are going to have to come to terms with death in their own way.  Personally I tend to follow Epicurus in believing that death is nothing to fear since when it comes I won’t be around to worry about it. smile





Khannea won’t die ! In case, I’ll play some nice old bossa nova tunes to her cryonic ceremony (au lieu de cry on hic) ! All previously human-ear-to-brain-interface-tested for a better last wish ! Pode creer !





“You might think you already are too old and that none of this will arrive soon enough for you to benefit from it.”

I’m 57, and I consider myself (and those in my age range) on the ragged edge. I might make it, I might not…

But if those around my age do (and if not, *someone* will just barely catch the boat), we could end up being the oldest people on Earth. A profound thought in itself.





If I die, then I don’t care.  In the meantime I can’t do anything about it.  I guess that I’ll just share another bottle of wine.





I think the cryonics that will be developed by the time of my death will work well enough to save my life. I’d give that a 95% chance. So yeah I probably won’t die, at least not from lack of science. But without a massive activist movement I think it’s unlikely that there will be adequate cryonics infrastructure to save anyone.





10 years of wild-eyed transhumanist speculations and hopes have proven themselves to be just ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing’.  It’s ironic that many of the early ‘life extension’ fads promoted by transhumanists actually turned out to shorten life rather than lengthen it (References: Check latest papers on Human Growth Hormones, Antioxident Vitamins -either they are useless or worse). 

Any new unproven idea for life extension can just as easily shorten life as lengthen it.  Read Mike Darwin’s excellent piece on medical research…“The chances of a novel molecule making it from in vitro or animal testing to clinical use in humans are ~ 1,000 to 1.”  Further, as mentioned, some of the other 999/1000 failures are not just useless, they actually shorten life.

http://chronopause.com/index.php/2011/08/12/interventive-gerontology-101-01-the-basics/

Get real.  Effective life extension is not even remotely on the horizon, and we won’t have it for another 50-100 years (when advanced artificial intelligence finally arrives). 

The only hope for anyone over 20 would be cryonics.  The very best we can hope for to is to save enough money to haul our arses off to the freezer - and even that won’t happen unless we are very lucky.  See Mike Darwin’s peices on cryonics, cardiac arrest is a common form of death that kills near instantly (you literally just fall unconscious in a few seconds) - since many deaths are sudden, many people won’t be frozen in time unless immediate help was avaliable.  So even cryonics is a long-shot.

We will have radical life extension eventually of course.  Then, as pointed out above, there will be some cut-off point in the past earlier than which no one with living memories remains.  It’s a long-shot, but perhaps one or two of today’s transhumanists will make it, ancient fossils from a murky time of legend.  Will they search in vain for a bearded prophet called ‘Aubury’ among the stars?


 

 





@mjgeddes : it’s somehow sad that you don’t seem to have taken into account one of the main features of all transhumanist thinkers. First you don’t seem to realize that the force that drives humanity from the begining (survival) and the american-style markets (sexual regressive frustration) are both about to be re-affected in the anti-aging quest. Second you have a linear thinking, expecting for the ten years to come the same results as those that just passed. In the end, I would warn you not to call Aubrey a prophet.





I favor rational uncertainty here. I don’t know whether rejuvenation therapy will appear before degeneration overwhelms my body. I kind of doubt it, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility. The anti-aging position appeals to me because of its moral clarity more than the hope to personally survive a thousand years.

The reverse Turing test reads “big75.” I think that’s a lifespan prediction!





All I have to do is get past 100, then I can breathe easy, because very few people die past 100. Then again, I eat pickles, and 100% of people who eat pickles die, so I think I should quit.





I’m curious as to how the research and execution of biotechnological innovation will fare as in the face of debt, oil shortages, climate change and generalized environmental destruction. Which is faster: innovation or desperation?

If we can have our cognome mapped and emulated, can we afford to run it? In real time?

If we are cryonically preserved, can insulation technologies keep ahead of rising energy costs? Or can we invent room-temperature tissue preservation?

Will lifespan extension continue through DIY bio, or will empirical gerontology fold in a world where poverty, engineered plagues and famine make “death by old age” seem pretty sweet?





The near future will be delightfully interesting. I am aware that to many people to argue, warn against or just discuss negative scenarios is a taboo. You can see it when you do - the blinders go down with these people and they just lock into defensive mode.

I have been warning about all this - oil shortages, disparity, resource wars, crackdowns, revolutions and massive violence on all sides for close to ten years and I have been constantly faced by idiots going into denial mode.

Some said ‘you are too negative to be a techno-progressive or transhumanist’.

Well no more, the writing is on the wall.

Well let me burst your denial bubble again. I predict that it won’t be ‘either or’.  I have a few ideas about how the world is going, and I ave his idea I am pretty right about a few things. And my current idea is we will have both and more.

1 - We will have retrograde collapse. Yes an economic catastrophe is inescapable. Yes, widespread civil wars is certain. Yes before 2015 the number of third world dictators ending their stranglehold is certain. Yes the US and EU experiencing convulsive decrease in standards of living is rock solid guaranteed. In a few years negatives will transpire in developed nations before our disbelieving eyes that we would have barely thought realistic in the realm of cinematic portrayal a decade ago. Things will be revealed (and that includes 9/11) that we now consider not viable for polite debate.

2 - but we won’t just have collapse. The stage is set for technological advances that are stranger than even depicted in fiction. Many of these technologies are already maturing, and some will emerge because they have been constrained artificially. Life extension? For sure one of the possibilities - but not in way we would expect. When the sadistic tyranny of corporatized medical exploitation ends a new paradigm of health care will take over, and this one will include wellness as well as personal augmentation. And so with new variants of social networking, organ printing, cybernetics, nootropics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, generating energy, robotics, VR, AE, ER, acquiring natural resources, transport. And much more besides.

and 3. there will be emergence of unknown unknowns we haven’t even thought of. Let me state it in a pretentious manner: I have been doing something very mentally unhealthy between 1981 and 2002, and I won’t tell you what. Call it something such as “advanced scenario building”. It turns out what I did was not a waste of time after all, and I did something very few people did, and I was able to think and entertain idea and processes few people outside this methodology can conceive of.

It allowed me to truly “look in” from a rather onorthodox direction.

And the more I look at the world as it is today, the more I get this uncanny realization that this has been a scam for quite some time. It sometimes makes me shake my head - this is all not as they say it is. I see these frighteningly familiar patterns of very smart and very powerful people behind the media and government and science who are very much at odds with one another. Manipulation, macro-management and deception, but in a very inconsistent and fractious manner. I have played these games myself and the patterns are strikingly familiar.

And they are losing control.

This is no longer your daddies future. So don’t treat me like any old Cassandra when I insist - you will be surprised beyond the pale of the surreal, and you will be ever more so as the years of this century progress.

This is no longer “may you live in interesting times”. We are moving well beyond merely “interesting”.

My wish for all of you is - “keep your calm, because you have front row seats to the most miraculous era of history on this planet”.





1. May you live in interesting times, often referred to as the Chinese curse, is reputed to be the English translation of an ancient Chinese proverb and curse, although it may have originated among the English themselves (or Americans). It is reported that it was the first of three curses of increasing severity, the other two being:

2. May you come to the attention of those in authority (sometimes rendered May the government be aware of you). This is sometimes quoted as May you come to the attention of powerful people. (Alternately important people.)

3. May you find what you are looking for. This is sometimes quoted as May your wishes be granted.

>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times


.. and just to add to the above positive! message - The change in the global “sea of consciousness”, (socio-cultural, socio-economic, phenomeno-logical), due to the accelerating emergence of the global mind, (through technologies), is inevitabubble!





I would echo Khannea Suntzu points.

We are in big economic trouble here! The big bank bails-outs, money printing, low interest rates etc, and other extreme central govt tricks managed to avert a big depressesion in 2008, but now the same conditions as 2008 have returned with a venegence, and this time its spread to Europe. The difference now is that governments have exhausted all their coffers.  We are on the verge of another cataslymic economic catastrophie and this time, there will be nothing to bail us out! 

The DOW Jones is in free-fall, the graph showing a vertical wall plunge, Asian and European markets are uncontrollable plunges, Protests and riots in Europe are breaking out everywhere, people are going hog crazy over welfare cuts and the economy, London Yobs recently ran riot.  All reserve govt funds have been exhausted.  This time NOTHING is going to us bail out.

Luke, try to think things through a bit more sensibly.  For cryonics to work for you (1) You need to be successfully frozen in the first place AND (2) You need to be saftely stored for very long periods of time AND (3) You need to be successsfully revived.  Think of the huge number of things that could go wrong along the chain from 1-3, and you will see your 95% confidence of cryonics working is ludicrous. 

(1)  Cardiac arrest and other forms of sudden deaths would make it impossible or very difficult for many people to be frozen before irreversible brain damage occurred.  You may die in the place and manner which is far from immediate help or the authorities may order autopsy. Just getting frozen successfully in the first place is a lottery.

(2)  Business failures, technical storage failures, and outside social upheavals make long-term storage of bodies highly problematic - Mike Darwin points out on his blog that World War II would have stopped essential supplies getting to cryonic organizations, and that cryonics organizations have already gone bust, and bodies have already thawed out before.  Making very long term storage far from certain.

(3)  Would future tech ever be sufficient to repair the massive freezing damage that cryonics entails, and would the future people be motivated to actually bother reviving you.  Far from certain no?

When you factor in the huge number of independent things that could go wrong, the chances of cryonics working for you are not better than 5% even for the most optimistic estimates.

 

 





Oh god, once again you talk about WWs.. the next one is the war on aging.. strange how some people have no sense of comedy… but myself i don’t know if I would be cryoniced, I feel it’s dirty (but let’s hope ALCOR will hire some new market specialist) and that it’s a total failure to propose to freeze only the head -although i suspect they think they are very funny- wether you’d have to make a cheap freezing of the rest of the body. In fact I (as far as today) would feel good that another body-me would live again with a completely different personnality but probably a similar style of feelings.





mjgeddes, the 95% was strictly to do with the science working well enough at the time of my pseudo-death, and does not include the organizational aspects of keeping me alive and making sure there is adequate funding and goodwill in the future. For that I actually feel that an 0.95 probability is a bit on the conservative side. Yes there are lots of plausible failure modes, but they are very modifiable and based on human behaviors. Factoring them naively into your decision making process is a bit like asking someone to bet on the probability that they will do the laundry tomorrow.

The chance of deanimating under optimal circumstances is also something that would be vastly improved if there were better social support for it, thus it most likely won’t be due to lack of available science if that is the cause of my death, but human inaction. The point I was trying to make (and here I’m essentially parroting what Mike Darwin, Aschwin de Wolf, Thomas Donaldson, and others have said before) is that anyone who hopes to survive through cryonics should be thinking in terms of activism rather than as a consumer.





~

I might live forever.
I have been taking the TEAs (Telomere Enzyme Activators -Astragaloside IV Brand) for almost 3 years and all of my vital signs are improving as if I am getting younger according to my Doctor.
Blood pressure down 78mm/70mm, resting heart rate down 50 BPM, blood oxygen up 45%, etc, etc.
Other than the TEAs, I take nothing but multivitamins.

My Doctor is shaking his head, I am shaking my head, but something very good is going on.

~





A monster inhabits your faith in immortality granting techno-scientific development:

Often overlooked or willfully ignored is the fact that the so-called average lifespan you invoke in the beginning of your article is actually not an accurate representation of how long humans “in general” have been living throughout history. Such is the misleading “nature” of statistics. Among other things, it fails to properly account for unequal access to healthcare, or things such as healthy food, which render healthy, long(er) lives possible in the first place. It is no secret, for example, that the life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa, is disproportionately lower that, say, folks in North America. Or, closer to home, that life expectancy in West Oakland is significantly lower than neighboring Berkeley.

This all seems to suggest that, rather than indulging in objectivist, science fiction fantasy that, sorry to break it to you, takes up the same logic that produces and maintains these shocking inequalities in the first place, our attentions might be better directed at dismantling the causes of unequal access. Thereby ensuring a longer, more flourishing lives for all humans.

This brief observation could (and should) be elaborated further, but I simply wanted to point out what I believe to be a glossing over of indispensably important issues that, it seems to me, an organization so purportedly preoccupied with ethics should not ignore.





I loathe the pop-psychology laden “me” aspect of this discussion. What about the global multitudes conveniently off-radar—those who in the present and foreseeable future struggle for housing, food, water, dignity?  Will the supply chain of benefits that are to be funneled to de Grey’s millienarians be cascaded through the entire human population, or will the longevity benefit by doled out by committee?

I realize these are hardly original questions and some of my fellow commenters directly advert to these concerns in their remarks above.  Let me add that the study of increased longevity (coupled with relief from privations and the ravages of geriatric disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or Alzheimer’s), while in itself a question of profound and worthwhile scientific-philosophical merit, continually gets vulgarized into trash talk and repulsive narcissism on the pages of techno-tabloids like IEET and H+. In these venues, when one tries to get past all the gushing and giddiness reflexively prompted by this issue, one finds there is nothing left but a tediously predictable obsession with self-preservation along with a typically American consumers’ voracity for “having it all.” 

Even the animal exploitationist George Dvorsky takes the trouble to frame his imperial notions in terms of general “uplift” of the animal kingdom. Transhumanists seem to not want to be plagued with even the appearance of such broad-mindedness.  Strange that a group of intelligent people can worry themselves over the problematics of cryonics and nano-agents scouring their blood vessels but cannot bother to look at the issue from a universalist perspective.

The already privileged transhumanists seem stuck on a sample size of “me.”





@RascheR Dub -

think about it. If you could summarize one reason why our corporations, politicians, academicians whatever make bad decisions it is because they are mostly in their 40s or older, and they think in terms of them being dead ‘pretty soon’. So policies in out current world are made by people who anticipate being dead when most these policies come to fruition. I think that is bad by itself. In fact I anticipate that if suddenly, bam, out of the blue there would be a cheap, low entry (and even if scarce) life extension treatment - i.e. “The Silver Pill” (nice title for a movie if you ask me) then this would greatly improve the way the world operated - we would be then led by people with a keen interest in the world a few century down the road. Or governed by people very concerned about really angering anyone else.

But there is an even more practical consideration - people who are old are less smart. Sure they may be more experienced, but how many scientists publish their important works after 35? It’s less than a few percent. Brains work best when well-trained and educated, yet young.

Wise old age is not a process of accumulated wisdom it is a brain still intact despite cumulative age related scarring.

If I had a choice - prioritize life extension for the ‘deserving’ or not at all, I’d vote for having it either way. Worst case ‘the deserving’ can beta the kinks out of the first treatments smile

Also - I met Aubrey, and I am pretty positive he’ll give me priority treatments if he had the freedom to select early beneficiaries of his treatments.  And I am on welfare!

*snortle*





You guyz r quite pessimistic, do you think Aubrey ain’t god ? Well, you guys are so dumb you are expecting god to be like some flying angel etc. but the cancer stuff won’t happen again because it’s not necessary to treat cancer, meaning even if we got trouble adressing the SEVEN DEADLY SINS the social impact will be so huge you’ll be surprised which amount of results 7billions can proceed. You don’t believe me ? Well, I met Aubrey and told him he would become the most famous man in 2015, now I’m confident that may be earlier.





@Kheanna: You wrote: “If you could summarize one reason why our corporations, politicians, academicians whatever make bad decisions it is because they are mostly in their 40s or older, and they think in terms of them being dead ‘pretty soon’. ”  I take your point but I submit that you do not really know that.  It is an assumption that is plausible, as are a number of other assumptions about “people who are old.”

You ask, ” how many scientists publish their important works after 35?” as if laying down a trump card, but I’m willing to wager that, without googling or running to look it up, you do not know that either or you would have stated it as a declarative fact rather than a rhetorical question. I am not going to search for the pertinent figure, but I would counter that many academics over 35 are engaged in having their work published. 

Glad you met Aubrey and that you will have head of the line privileges.  You preening about this reinforces my point. I never said money was the determining factor.  Being able to meet Aubrey and have him as a contact is in itself a kind of privilege.  What about those who are not FOA (Friends of Aubrey?  One hopes that they will not be SOL.

And I don’t agree with the tired argument that people make bad decisions because they, whether consciously or unconsciously, are acting on the belief that they will not live to see the results of their bad decision-making.  Many people are motivated to do good precisely because they have offspring or reputations and want to leave a positive legacy.  There is not one, but a number of reasons behind bad decision-making.  Lacking any further evidence, I would say that your assumption not only is groundless, but it oversimplifies.  What evidence do we have that a person living an indefinite lifespan would not procrastinate?  Merely to say they wouldn’t procrastinate because it makes sense that they wouldn’t scarcely constitutes an argument.





Dear Khannea, do you expect people rioting for bigger funding of Aubrey ? Do you think that would be historically justified ? What else would you advise to do to save those 100 000 lives every day ( = six shoah per year in numbers) ?

Seems people take bad decisions caus ethey are bad people…

Tonight I’m wondering if in fact, being immortal and human wouldn’tbe more tempting then to act bad, just for the pleasure to spoil a full eternity ; and consequently that only our anticipated death justifies solidarity - but one could anticipate 1000 years which is enough to enjoy earth mains attractions.





The hard-headed realist in me tends to agree with Khannea, and keeping calm and enjoying the ride (as long as it remains tolerable) sounds like good advice.

But it doesn’t quite work, does it? We’re hard-wired to care about the future, and just passively watching the wheels and thinking, “ooh, how fascinating!” doesn’t satisfy us for long. Also, we don’t actually KNOW it’s going to end in collapse, do we? Personally I think living for “a very long time” is a cool idea, and as long as I don’t KNOW it’s not going to happen, I’m going to believe in the possibility. And more generally to invest in making the world a better place, irrespective of my eventual place in it.

By the way, whether “I” will live for a very long time depends in part who “I” am. Am I the physical human organism that is typing these words? Am I some kind of train of consciousness? If I lose a finger, have I lost part of myself? What if someone plants a chip in my brain that gives me a vastly bigger bandwidth of connection with someone else than any of us currently know (via speech and the five senses), such that our senses of identity merge? Does that count as dying?





Great post Mike. I am one of those who think “that I already am too old and that none of this will arrive soon enough for me to benefit from it”, but I believe these technologies will be operationally deployed someday, younger persons may be able to benefit for them directly, and cryonics (or perhaps chemical brain preservation) is a hope for the rest of us. And there may be some unexpected scientific breakthrough.

I think Peter is right, this all depends on who “I” am, and future options such as mind merging may cause important changes in our concept of self. I think I am the memories and thoughts chemically and electrically encoded in my physical brain, and I think in principle this pattern is portable to alternative substrates. I don’t really see mind uploading tech happening in the first half of the century though.

Chemical brain preservation can preserve nanoscale brain information and is a good first step towards uploading for the people of my generation. Chemical brain preservation can be seen as “cryonics for uploaders”:

http://giulioprisco.blogspot.com/2010/07/chemical-brain-preservation-cryonics.html

Back to the self, I think I am the same person who went to sleep last night in my bed, and I think the person who will wake up in my bed tomorrow is me, because 1-we share a very large set of memories and thoughts, and 2-we accept to consider each other as the same person. This concept of self is also portable in principle to alternative substrates.





@Adam - all valid points, but the article and the poll are about technical feasibility, not ethical issues. We don’t gloss over ethical issues, and they have been covered at length in other articles.

I think when immortality technologies are perfected, they should become part of the social contract for all persons, no questions asked. Like (it should be the case for) access to food, education and health care.

But I have no grudges against those very rich persons who will benefit from immortality technologies first. They will be those who finance the development of cheaper next generation technologies, and they will be the alpha testers who will pay an even higher price for the inevitable initial errors.





Concerning the near future possibilities for longevity through mind uploading to different substrates..

IBM Research has unveiled a new generation of experimental computer chips that emulate the brain’s process of perception, action and cognition.

>> http://turbotodd.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/brain-man/





@Giulio “...they will be the alpha testers who will pay an even higher price for the inevitable initial errors.”

There are many things to say about this assumption. Principal among them is that—as history has shown us—“error testing” is almost always carried out on the most vulnerable populations (ie. prisoners, children, people in so-called under-developed (read: unregulated) nations). Which is to say nothing of the resource extraction and knowledge pillaging, often forcibly and/or illegally, from these same communities in order to develop and produce more conventional medical technologies and treatments, whatever they might be. Here, the Declaration of Helsinki comes to mind, among many other examples.

Now, if I were to indulge your fantasy for a moment and agree that such technologies might some day be developed, sure the richies among us would benefit first (no surprise there) but I would never in a million years concede that they would take on a lion’s share of the risks (aside from financial, perhaps) involved in their development. This, by the by, is an ethic issue of the highest degree.





I just found this gem of our old friend Carrico. He criticises this article because “That you are going to die is part of what it has always meant to be human…”
http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2011/08/all-humans-are-mortal-socrates-is-human.html

Inspired by previous debates (see below) I have taken the liberty to re-write his apology of death, changing a couple of words:

Everybody who has ever lived has suffered from haemorrhoids and diarrhea. Everybody has haemorrhoids and diarrhea. You have haemorrhoids and diarrhea. That you have haemorrhoids and diarrhea is part of what it has always meant to be human. If you didn’t have haemorrhoids and diarrhea, you wouldn’t be living a legibly human life. But of course you have haemorrhoids and diarrhea so there is no reason to belabor the point, and to do so is probably just to indulge in pathetic panic-stricken distraction or denialism about it anyway.

Mike Treder, Managing Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (long-time readers may recall that I tend to call it “stealth Robot Cult outfit, IEET” and tend to call its high level muckety mucks as “Very Serious Futurologists” or, alternatively, “White Guys of ‘The Future’”), asked the question in a post yesterday, Will You Continue to Have Haemorrhoids and Diarrhea? (The answer, for you kids keeping score at home, is: “Yes, Mike, yes, you will continue to have haemorrhoids and diarrhea, as will every single person who reads these words.”)

It doesn’t seem right to make fun of people this desperate and deluded and dumb, but, well, I say, go ahead. Especially rich for regular readers will be the robotic predictability with which the Robot Cultists and the industrial-militarist complex continue to announce the arrival of a Cure For Haemorrhoids and Diarrhea, Artificial Intelligence, Drexlerian Nanotech, Designer Babies, Clone Armies, Immersive VR, the Paperless Office, Energy Too Cheap to Meter, Orbital Space Hotels, the Cure for [insert disease], and the history-shattering Singularity when the Robot God inaugurates Tech-Heaven or eats the world for lunch (you decide). No less enjoyable is the accompanying illustration for the piece of drawing-board nanobots on graph paper backgrounds just like real engineers use and with orange arrows indicating the immortalization action, and also, too, the reference to cyber-immortalization via “uploading” presumably involving something called your “essence.” Science!

It is interesting to note that in previous debates Carrico has, instead, considered haemorrhoids, diarrhea and similar things related to what he considers as the noblest parts of the sacred human anatomy and the holy human biology as better examples of your “essence.” See for example:
http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2009/01/cyborg-angels-live-forever-and-never.html
http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2008/03/power-of-poop-or-prisco-responds.html

Dale, my boy, please feel free to live a legibly human life and to pursue happiness and meaning your own way. If this means continuing to suffer from haemorrhoids, diarrhea and death, so be it. I would not wish these things upon my worse enemy, but you are the best judge of what is good for you and makes you happy.

But I hope you will forgive me for choosing to do my best to avoid haemorrhoids and diarrhea. And death. If these things must remain part of a legibly human lives, then fuck legibly human lives.





@Adam re “is almost always carried out on the most vulnerable populations

Good point, conceded.

Yet in this case a 95 years old zillionaire in poor health probably would not wait for the result of human testing on prisoners or 3rd world children, but would rather prefer to be a test subject himself with all the risks involved.





I take part in the wide range if human experiences. I am selective, mind you (wtf is this with Dale and the recurring colon topic??), but I myself have often indulged in deeply visceral experiences. For being in this human state I did eagerly include experiences some people would certainly not want.  In fact I have gleefully submitted in a range of experiences that had in fact did wreck the psychology of some other people I know. In essence I do things for kicks that other people jump off a bridge for if it would happen to them.

And that’s the clue here - freedom.  Screw ‘humanity’, it’s a vague concept any ways. Freedom to not have to die, and freedom to not have imbeciles gather in comittees and discuss policy while 50.000 a year die, or freedom from deluded and rude commen-dale-ors who in affirming the tragic nature of, well, “nature” like a bunch of affirmative normalcy fundamentalists. 

Thereby perpetuation the destructive character of the normal, like Chinese mandarins perpetuating a culture of widespread and pervasive fail.

Yah Dale, implementing a polio vaccin might not have been a good idea after all. Dork.

Freedom to label desirable and edit as undesirable, and engage in ranges of perceived freedom, as much as that crappy neurology allows us,  to have you ideas changed by others so you can enrich your experiences over time.

It’s all part of this massive transtemporal Goodness generator.

The jury is still out on life extension or rejuvenation and I was just joking when I said knowing teh Aube makes any difference. I talked with the guy and looked him in the eyes and he himself does not believe he himself will benefit from his research.

I would be surprised if he denied this.

However when I was there in the presence of Him, and some delicious spicy food, I was sitting in on a table with a young kid, and Aubrey and myself locked eyes, and we both knew the same thing without uttering a word.

That kid has a chance to make it.

I don’t know who ‘deserves’ anything these days. It is just what it is.





The original piece of mine to which Prisco refers is here. You will find no references in it to either hemorrhoids or to diarrhea.  My response to Prisco’s latest effort is here. Of necessity, the scatological makes an appearance there, more’s the pity. I daresay regular readers will notice that poop comes up (as it were) more often when I am talking with Prisco than it does otherwise in my writing. I leave the implications as an exercise for the reader. By the way, you are all going to die.





Dale the harsh reality is you can no longer make that statement definitively. You can claim to know, but the time has come to say, ‘you can’t be fully certain’.





I wonder sometimes whether there is, in fact, anything “progressive” about IEET at all? TechnoAggresive maybe?

Too much politics, too little ethics - “Plus ça change.. etc”





i think giulio refered to your design of your website when talking about sronzo liquid - hih

http://osliriosdocampo.blogspot.com/2011/08/buenos-aires-eletric-dreams.html

http://cosmist-oblivion.blogspot.com/

hihihii





“Death be not proud, for though some have called thee mighty, thou are not so”

I am a constant blur of life and death. My cells commit apoptosis. Entire civilizations of bacteria live and die in the space of a single breath.

Information is not lost (latest discoveries about asymptotes/black holes/singularities).

Death was defeated the same moment you began to exist. Transfinite and eternal. Conservation of information.





“Too much politics, too little ethics”

But the above is political!





the time has come to say, ‘you can’t be fully certain’.

Whatever gets you through the night, guy.

Strictly speaking, certainty doesn’t attach to any empirical claims, only to logical ones.

But I see no reason to treat futurological utterances about radical longevity let alone techno-immortalization as any more warranted scientifically speaking—or any more reasonable to bet the house mortgage on—than comparable claims from priestly hucksters in robes rather than labcoats.

“Uploading” discussions especially remain conceptually incoherent, their plausibility deriving from metaphorical sleight of hand (“essences” “migrating” “across” “substrates”) and with nothing remotely scientific to merit our consideration. The preoccupations of SENS enthusiasts are off the radar, developmentally, but at least they bear some discernible relation to biology and medicine, properly so-called.

I don’t doubt fabulous genetic, cognitive, prosthetic therapies will be made available at any rate to some within the lifetimes of many now living, which is why I write regularly of the political and cultural dilemmas of non-normativing therapy and prosthetic culture (the blunt instrument of “enhancement” you fellows bandy about is worse than useless in the face of the quandaries at hand). But fabulous though these may be they scarcely look remotely likely to circumvent the existential problematic of human finitide, vulnerabilty, aging, mortality—and in the absence of grappling with these, discussions of wish fulfilling sooper-medicine come off as a rather sorry, facile, infantile business, I’m afraid.

Now, I’m an advocate of universal single-payer healthcare—both here and in the overexploited regions of the world—and I’m a champion of science education and increased medical research. People like me (almost none of whom belong to nor ever will belong to superlative futurological subcultures of the kind with you identify with here) together with actual researchers and funders and regulators within the scientific and regulative consensus to which you guys remain perpetually marginal, usually proudly and defiantly so, will contribute nearly the entire measure of progress toward actual progressive technoscientific outcomes and their fairer distribution among the stakeholders to their development.

Your faith in hyperbolic projections beyond technodevelopmental proximities may provide you with feelings of transcendence that you value (which is fine with me, let a bazillion flowers bloom), but that has nothing to do with serious scientific practice, serious policy analysis, or serious political organization. As someone who takes all of these seriously in their proper precincts you can be sure I’ll always direct attention to the differences that make a difference among them and to those who try to muddy these distinctions to the cost of the substantial work each does. 

By the way, I love me some Donne, too, but that is neither here nor there.





The greatest pleasure I have experienced in life (aside from sex and LSD) is the disbelief expressed by those like Dale when they finally get to see the Law of Accelerating Returns manifest itself in the real world.

The remainder of this decade is going to sweep aside all remaining doubt, and instead of arguing about how fast, we’ll be doing our best to cope with Future Shock Disorder.





sometimes being pessimistic misinforms you on the nature of reality





claiming we can’t know what will be “a minimo” the state of anti scarcity science in ten years is b*******, it’s against science financial imagination





doing all my best, i can’t sleep at night knowing i may have a chance - but of course it’s a game you must accept you have a chance to not win all ;





Dale, if you state that the ‘techno-progressive’ is ‘non-falsifiable’ and hence ‘non scientific’ you are correct. It is not formal science. It is trend analysis. It is futurology, scenario building. One step above SF.

If you refer to it as a religion, or a batshit cult, fine. I don’t agree but, so? Sticks & stones.

What me annoys me is that you attack a system of ideas and try and falsify possibility. This damages the very idea of speculation and trend analysis in future trends. By hammering down and denying all such discourse, you display no clear agenda, other than blank dismissal. We both know that half Ray’s predictions won’t come to pass, or that time life extension will emerge it will either be snail paced progress, and probably be expensive, used as a political tool to control, or have loads of side effects. Or we may evolve into a society where most people ‘do not like’ anyone to live beyond a certain age. Or we may find out something we totally did not anticipate.

But even that we only need a few decades to get some amazing results. You can’t possibly conclude that by the end of this century people won’t live lives ‘potentially and statistically many decades longer’ ?

The sad fear I have is many may not want to. I sometimes doubt whether I want to live on in this horrific world for another month.

But what matters is that we already have seen so may unprecedented, unthinkable things in the last centuries. Your many years long dismissal tirade of this misses the barn. I know as well as you that the future, even mere months from now, remains unpredictable. But things will actually get invented and the world will actually change.  You can not sincerely keep on hammering out this constant ranting of what you call ‘the superlative’ or ‘the exaggerated’ and claim you do not have some kind of hidden agenda. What you do makes no sense,

... unless of course you are in on this and secretly working with the name transhumanists and act as ‘agent provocateur’.

In that case you do a fairly good job in making any criticism of this idealist movement look utterly dorkacious.  Judas worked closely with jesus too I heard?

Btw I prefer the appellation ‘miss’, Dale.

As in “hit and miss”.





Answer to Dale, pasted from http://giulioprisco.blogspot.com/2011/08/socrates-had-haemorrhoids-and-diarrhea.html

Good to hear from you Dale. Long time.

I also hope my readers will follow the links I provide and judge for themselves if what I say is a fair characterization of your viewpoint.

I guess it is not, but I am not a mind reader (yet wink and it seems to me a good characterization of your viewpoint as you have stated it in writing many times.

You seem to consider mortality and other aspects of “human finitude” as beautiful things to revere (hence “holy”), whereas I consider them as ugly things to eliminate like haemorrhoids and diarrhea.

Of course I know that I will die. I am 53, and I have never bothered to adopt a “healthy lifestyle.” I may be able to escape death via cryonics or chemical brain preservation, but more probably not because there are so many things that can go wrong. I will give it a try though, and it is my own fucking body to try with.

I will probably go into that good night, but be assured that I will not go gentle. I will rage against the dying of the light and say “FUCK DEATH”. Not because saying so renders me immortal, but because it is the right attitude.

I hope future generations will be able to escape death, and I feel happy for them. On the basis of my understanding of the related science facts, I am optimist.

Don’t worry for your precious “human finitude.” Even if we as a species leave mortality and biology behind there will still be obstacles to overcome (or, of you prefer, holy limitations to revere), and then others, and so forth. Any finite quantity is infinitely small compared to infinity.

On the IEET blog you say “Your faith in hyperbolic projections beyond technodevelopmental proximities may provide you with feelings of transcendence that you value (which is fine with me, let a bazillion flowers bloom), but that has nothing to do with serious scientific practice, serious policy analysis, or serious political organization.”

We certainly agree on your first point. Let a bazillion flowers bloom indeed.

I don’t disagree on the second point either, and I have stated so recently on a blog that we both read. When I am in my highly imaginative (or if you prefer “superlative robot cultist”) mode, I see myself as just one more science fiction geek in a great science fiction fan club with lots of good friends. At the same time, when I express opinions on “serious scientific practice, serious policy analysis, or serious political organization”, they are often similar to yours.

But my science fiction fan club membership and my “superlative aspirations” give me a lot of fun, interesting things to read, a pleasant feeling of transcendence, happiness and the drive to get out of bed in the morning. Different strokes for different folks, dude.

Best - G.





“I will probably go into that good night, but be assured that I will not go gentle. I will rage against the dying of the light and say “FUCK DEATH”. Not because saying so renders me immortal, but because it is the right attitude.”

I like Giulio. If he dies, I will search for him as one of the first people we will resurrect.

“I heard there was a Singularity buried under the house next door”

“There is no house next door”

“Then let’s build one”





i knew it was you ipan..

i wonder if keeping secret identity mean khannea considers me as business partner..





Thanks iPan! Same here.





@ Amy Fox

“If we are cryonically preserved, can insulation technologies keep ahead of rising energy costs? Or can we invent room-temperature tissue preservation?”

Cryonic preservation isn’t done with active refrigeration, patients are kept in liquid nitrogen filled dewars that are topped off as needed. And LN2 is produced in large quantities for industrial purposes. Cryonics is a sliver of the demand.

But it’s true that better insulation to further reduce boil-off doesn’t hurt, and the R&D demand for that market doesn’t depend on cryonics, either.

And if you still have concerns, assuming that low-cost space flight comes before revival technologies or other options, there are places in space where passive, unattended, indefinite storage at cryo temperatures are also possible…

(The permanent areas of shadow near the Lunar poles, that people are already very interested in, for their water-ice content might be the nearest, best choice for passive cryonic storage. Any natural caves there would be perfect, to shield from solar/cosmic radiation damage. Such places could be shared with those who have anything else they want to keep cold and protected off Earth, such as a backup location for those who operate the ‘doomsday’ Arctic seed banks.)





je dis ça ipan, c’est pas (que) pour faire du sentimentalisme, c’est pour mike trader, lui montrer que son système n’est pas le mien

Frank Glover is a contemporary jazz musician and composer from Indianapolis, Indiana. Although he plays saxophone as well, Glover’s primary instrument is the clarinet.[1

is it yours frank ?





Best would be to encourage youths, who often get bad advice from their elders, to take better care of themselves as early as they can make informed health choices—with the assistance of health professionals.





Nope. I know who you’ refer to, Etienne. (who hasn’t Googled their own name, at least once?) But I’m afraid I’m not him. Can’t play an instrument, never been closer to Indianapolis than Dayton, OH.

He once had the frankglover.com domain, and gave it up. I considered taking it for my own web page (which does briefly reference him and others with my name, near its end. Google “delphinus100”), but decided I didn’t want it badly enough to pay for it…





I probably won’t make it to immortality, since I’m already 59, but I find the challenge quite invigorating and fun. I try to eat right and exercise, and that’s certainly good - just imagining that there is any chance at all of living forever, if, say, I live to be 105, (2057) is certainly more pleasant than just facing 100% certain death.  Also, it’s quite nice to tell my children honestly that I don’t think they will die.  A relief to bring people into the world who perhaps don’t have expiration in their future.

I’m tempted to do cryonics, but I see a drawback—my brain might be quite weakened by the time I actually expire.  Not so sharp, in which case, I wonder, is it actually worth saving?  I’d like to be around as a contributor in the future, not just a mentally subpar mouth to feed.





In case anyone is interested, I’m continuing to argue with Dale Carrico on this subject over at my blog.





“To love a thing means wanting it to live” - Confucius





Hank

I suspect if you make it to 2035, you’re golden smile

Also, let’s not forget that it’s not merely a matter of throwing a switch at the last minute.

There will be lots of incremental advances that increase lifespan between now and then, we will not suddenly go from 76 as the average lifespan (or whatever it is atm) to way over 100, rather, in the next few decades your expectancy will increase with each passing year.

Maybe your life expectancy right now is 85 (I assume you are much healthier than the average American). In 5 years, that might go up to 87. Then 5 years after that, 91. Then another 5 years, and it’s at 95. Then another 5 years, and it breaks 100.

Unless you die from an accident, or upheaval, I’d say you have a pretty good shot smile





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