I personally don't have the "clout" to reverse the mental "paradigms"
that people have, esp. those of CNN announcers. My personal opinion is
that there are going to be a *lot* of people who wake up in 15 or 20 years
and suddenly realize "Oh my god, people don't 'age' anymore". It
isn't worth the mental or physical energy to try and change their
minds, when that energy can be used instead to actually go solve
Things are moving forward very nicely with things like the
genome project, gene chip studies of aging genes and things like the
If you haven't caught it yet, Virginia Postrel's and Ronald Bailey's
articles on the recent Templeton conference are quite interesting
It is worth nothing that there were a host of people at that
conference from the biotech industry making it quite clear that changes
are coming fast and furious. I found the comments of the bioethicists
so silly, that I'm probably going to have to write a position
piece in response. The Templeton Foundation has much more
"clout" in making people aware of the progress occuring than I do.
If newscasters or press people choose to focus on the controversy
of the conferences more than the science, then that is an
interesting comment on how upset people are going to be when
the "We must all die (soon)" paradigm actually shifts.
Just so you don't think things are standing still. Allen Tough is
working on another Templeton conference for next spring where
people like myself and Paul Davies and others get to seriously look at
what happens when civilizations do evolve to a non-aging state,
develop nanotech, etc. The framework of that conference will
be very much in the vein of "of course" you get superintelligent,
immortal "beings". So there are people who are thinking this
way in spite of the efforts of newscasters to take only baby steps.
There is also a private meeting, being hosted by Dave Kekich and
LifeEx Tech in June, where we are going to spend 2 days with people
from industry, govmt, investors and academics, really trying to
put together a "Roadmap for Lifespan Extension". My thinking is
that the "Roadmap" for the semiconductor industry was what has
really made Moore's Law work the last 10 years or so. We need
an equivalent working document for the Lifespan Extension
industry if we are to make similar progress. Once you have
a concrete plan, then you throw it on the desks of the CNN
newscasters and watch them spin their wheels.
As was the case with nanotech, it took "throw weight" books like
Nanomedicine and Nanosystems to make it "real". It will require
a similar effort with Lifespan extension.
The best thing people can do in their day-to-day lives is to
poke at the paradigm of their friends, family, coworkers, taxi
drivers, etc. Little by little the fabric will thin, tear
and then totally fall apart. Watching those "ah-ha's" as
the light-bulbs go on is one of those pleasures we who
see this already get to enjoy. Then we get more people
to join us in figuring out how *not* to let the nightmares
of people such as Bill Joy or nanoterrorists spoil the party.
On Tue, 11 Apr 2000, James Swayze wrote:
> [snip] This was interesting enough but what I wanted to tell
> you about was the commentator's and CNN's shortsightedness in how they
> presented the information. She moronically said we would never cure aging.
> We would all grow old and die but the study of this gene might help us live
> better up to our 120 year age limit. Then the grey hair smiling guy chimed
> in that we should all be lucky enough to grow old.
> I was wondering if you had the clout to introduce them to the myriad efforts
> made towards defeating aging such as telemere research and the rest I know
> you have knowledge of. They need to know they've missed a scoop. Is this
> mainstream ignorance of immortalism simply oversight or by design?
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