The Quest For Immortality Pushes Forward8 months ago
Posted on Oct 15, 2018, 3 a.m.
Sooner or later everyone dies. That very fact and subsequent fear drives the way many people go about their day to day lives. Some live as methodically and cautiously as possible trying to stay in this earthly realm as long as possible; while others go full out opting to spend their time enjoying life to its fullest participating in anything from caloric indulgences to high risk adventures like skydiving.
A handful of entrepreneurs have been trying for years to extend life beyond what is deemed the norm and thwart the grim reaper. Research is pushing hard and showing significant findings. Google’s co-founder Brin, Oracle chairman Ellison, and Elon Musk are approaching the supposed limits of their expected lifespan with the same gusto as an average person might show for home remodeling. Members of this select club are set on extending limits of the human lifespan from as it is at present to 120 years and beyond.
To this group admitting that they may die on a typical timeline would be akin to accepting defeat. Some may say death is a natural part of life, but there are those that challenge this saying death is a problem that can be solved. These billionaires may not succeed in their goal. Should they find a method to extend life it may not even really benefit them directly, or possibly any one else for that matter, as it would need to pass through clinical trials and regulations and then be approved by the FDA which rules with an iron fist.
Others are more concerned with treating chronic and age related disease to extend healthspan which will in turn as a benefit extends lifespans, such as Human Longevity Inc using algorithms to predict individual risks of cancer or genetic conditions based on genetic testing; or Verily creating devices to improve quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.
Given the choice most would hope when their time comes to check out to do so quickly and painlessly during sleep. However cancer and heart disease rates are on the rise, as poor lifestyle choices often lead to the kind of disability and death that most people don’t want.
There are a few treatments being explored that may help people to live healthier for longer which would be affordable to the general public. Among these are metformin, rapamycin, and tanespimycin.
Despite promising research most Silicon Valley companies seem to be more interested in out of the box approaches to longevity with approaches to anti-aging that would not help the average person, it would seem most investors are pouring money into efforts designed to mostly help themselves.
Lack of scientific proof translating from animal to humans isn’t stopping tech leaders from trying out new things either, such as self experimentation receiving injections of blood from health young donors, a technique that has only been shown to work in animal studies; and biohacking including hearing aids to augment hearing and microdoses of MDMA in efforts to live best lives. Such efforts are being done knowing that if they do manage to extend life it will be way too expensive for the average person to afford which in the long run could create 2 entirely different classes of people: the wealthy that can see 150; and the rest left to take whatever small insights trickle down, if it is made known and allowed to trickle down that is.
“Disparity of wealth within the USA will create a class of immortal overlords.” Says Sean Parker former Facebook president, “ I’m a billionaire and will have access to better healthcare, so I will be 160 and be part of the class of immortal overlords”.
Money and a bit of self experimentation may solve issues that have plagued humanity and have been unsolved since humans evolved and will create 2 biological separate classes of human beings. Are these people in denial about their own mortality because they’ve helped to change the world so much? Faith could be playing a role. Belief in the power of technology and science to save humanity in leaders who are too young to find peace in the concept of death and those who have not experienced the kinds of traumas that might inoculate them against some of that fear, providing the perfect storm of longevity obsession.
To date there are no known drugs, infusions, or special herbs that will make you live a longer life; but science is showing promise to help with age related disease that may help one to live healthier for longer. The only thing that has been proven time and time again to help you live longer is to make healthy lifestyle choices which includes a well balanced healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetable and to remain physically active. Currently there are no shortcuts.
If those billionaires in the Silicon Valley really want to disrupt death they would be wise to do more of the healthy lifestyle choices and blow less money on self experimentation to soothe their egos.
Humans aren’t meant to live forever, there just isn’t space for it for starters, and the implications in doing so along with the inequalities of society are vast such as “ Everyone wants to live forever. They all think they have a chance at immortality even though all the evidence is against it. They all think they will be the exception. But the truth is: For a few to be immortal, many must die.” “ Even so a day comes when you’ve had enough. Your mind can be spent even though your body’s not. We want to die. We need to.” ~ In Time.
“We might be looking forward to a future with people blessed by technology with indefinite longevity obsessing over their lack of immortality. Death, having become much less obviously necessary and much more seemingly accidental, might consume our lives. We’ll knock ourselves out like never before in accident-avoidance strategies — maybe spending our lives in in lead houses communicating with our virtual (and so non-threatening) friends with the most advanced forms of social media.” ~New Atlantis
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