RE: life extension advocacy plans (fear of Tithonus)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 20:35:16 MDT

At 10:39 AM 7/5/01 -0700, L B wrote:

>He thinks old people are a burden on society,
>though, and is somewhat anti-life extension. Anyone
>who could provide me with links/info to combat that
>attitude, please do--he is incredibly intelligent

Hmm. Funny, though, how even the incredibly intelligent seem unable to
follow the simple logic beyond the current parlous transitional situation.

*Nobody* wants to live to 120 if that means 40 years as a vegetable, or
slow physical and mental decay. The goal of life extension is *drastic
cellular repair and maintenance*, in the first instance, and *enhancement*
as a likely next step from there.

It's like moaning, `Oh, what's the point of being cryonically preserved
after death? You'll never be able to move or talk again, all frozen stiff
like that!' Biostasis is intended a temporary condition, obviously. And
current life extension methods, primitive as they are, should be regarded
as a way to hang on (`like grim death', as they say) until genomics,
proteomics and/or nanotech yield methods for (1) stalling and then
repairing existing damage, and (2) maintaining [regained] youthful health
perpetually, or until a better option comes along (such as, for example,
uploading into a more fluent body or life-space).

The fear of Tithonus, who in myth grew ever older and more feeble, to his
terrified despair, is a rudimentary failure of imagination. We'll get past
it, just as we got over the fear of Icarus.

(See Dr Chris Lawson's essay `The Tithonus Option is Not an Option' at )

Damien Broderick

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