Together with my fellow member of the World Futures Studies Federation, Dr. Thomas Lombardo, we have begun a YouTube video series of ongoing dialogues on topics pertaining to the future. In this first dialogue we focus on the book Science Fiction: The Evolutionary Mythology of the Future and discuss the nature and value of science fiction in the modern world. We discuss the historical evolution of science fiction and the nature of mythology and why science fiction is the modern mythology. In future dialogues we will delve more deeply into books on science fiction and more broadly on futures studies and future consciousness.
Predicting an economic “singularity” approaching, Kevin Carson from the Center for a Stateless Society writes in The Homebrew Industrial Revolution (2010) we can look forward to a vibrant “alternative economy” driven less and less by corporate and state leviathans.
According to Carson, “the more technical advances lower the capital outlays and overhead for production in the informal economy, the more the economic calculus is shifted” (p. 357). While this sums up the message of the book and its relevance to advocates of open existing and emerging technologies, the analysis Carson offers to reach his conclusions is extensive and sophisticated.
With the technology of individual creativity expanding constantly, the analysis goes, “increasing competition, easy diffusion of new technology and technique, and increasing transparency of cost structure will – between them – arbitrage the rate of profit to virtually zero and squeeze artificial scarcity rents” (p. 346).
An unrivalled champion of arguments against “intellectual property”, the author believes IP to be nothing more than a last-ditch attempt by talentless corporations to continue making profit at the expensive of true creators and scientists (p. 114–129). The view has significant merit.
“The worst nightmare of the corporate dinosaurs”, Carson writes of old-fashioned mass-production-based and propertied industries, is that “the imagination might take a walk” (p. 311). Skilled creators could find the courage to declare independence from big brands. If not now, in the near future, technology will be advanced and available enough that the creators and scientists don’t need to work as helpers for super-rich corporate executives. Nor will the future see such men and women kept at dystopian, centralized factories.
Pointing to the crises of overproduction and waste, together with seemingly inevitable technological unemployment, Carson believes corporate capitalism is at death’s door. Due to “terminal crisis”, not only are other worlds possible but “this world, increasingly, is becoming impossible” (p. 82). Corporations, the author persuades us, only survive because they live off the subsidies of the government. But “as the system approaches its limits of sustainability”, “libertarian and decentralist technologies and organizational forms” are destined to “break out of their state capitalist integument and become the building blocks of a fundamentally different society” (p. 111–112).
Giant corporations are no longer some kind of necessary evil needed to ensure wide-scale manufacture and distribution of goods in our globalized world. Increasingly, they are only latching on to the talents of individuals to extract rents. They may even be neutering technological modernity and the raising of living standards, to extract as much profit as possible by allowing only slow improvements.
And why should corporations milk anyone, if those creators are equipped and talented enough to work for themselves?
The notion of creators declaring independence is not solely a question of things to come. While Kevin Carson links the works of Karl Hess, Jane Jacobs and others (p. 192–194) to imagine alternative friendly, localized community industries of a high-tech nature that will decrease the waste and dependency bred by highly centralized production and trade, he also points to recent technologies and their social impact.
“Computers have promised to be a decentralizing force on the same scale as electrical power a century earlier” (p. 197), the author asserts, referring to theories of the growth of electricity as a utility and its economic potential. From the subsequent growth of the internet, blogging is replacing centralized and costly news networks and publications to be the source of everyone’s information (p. 199). The decentralization brought by computers has meant “the minimum capital outlay for entering most of the entertainment and information industry has fallen to a few thousand dollars at most, and the marginal cost of reproduction is zero” (p. 199).
The vision made possible by books like Kevin Carson’s might be that one day, not only information products but physical products – everything – will be free. The phrase “knowledge is free”, a slogan of Anonymous hackers and their sympathizers, is true in two senses. Not only does “information want to be free”, the origin of the phrase explained by Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly in What Technology Wants (2010), but one can acquire knowledge at zero cost.
If the “transferrability” of individual creativity and peer production “to the realm of physical production” from the “immaterial realm” is a valid observation (p. 204–227), then the economic singularity means one thing clear. “Knowledge is free” shall become “everything is free”.
“Newly emerging forms of manufacturing”, the author indicated, “require far less capital to undertake production. The desktop revolution has reduced the capital outlays required for music, publishing and software by two orders of magnitude; and the newest open-source designs for computerized machine tools are being produced by hardware hackers for a few hundred dollars” (p. 84).
Open source hardware is of course also central to the advocacy in The Homebrew Industrial Revolution, especially as it relates to poorer peripheries of the world-economy. It is through open source hardware libraries of the kind advocated by Vinay Gupta that plans for alternative manufacture as the starting point in an alternative economy for the good of all become feasible.
As I argued in my 2013 Catalyst booklet, not only informational goods will face the scandals of being “leaked” or “pirated” in future. The right generation of 3D printers, robots, atomically-precise manufacturing devices, biotechnology-derived medicines and petrochemicals will all move “at the speed of light” as the father of synthetic biology J. Craig Venter predicted of his own synbio work.
The fuel of an economic singularity, those above creations should be of primary interest in the formation of an alternative economy. They would not only have zero cost and zero waiting times, but they would require zero effort. Simply shared, they must be allowed to raise the living standards of humanity and allow poor countries to leapfrog several stages of development, breaking free of the bonds of exploitation.
One area to be criticized in the book could be a portion in which it reflects negatively on the very creation of railways or other state-imposed infrastructure and standards as a wrong turn in history, because these created an artificial niche for corporations to thrive (p. 5–23). It seems to undermine the book’s remaining thesis that the right turn in history consists of “libertarian and decentralist technologies and organizational forms”. “Network” technologies and organizational forms only exist due to that wave of prior mass production and imposed infrastructure the author claimed to be unnecessary. Without the satellites and thousands of kilometers of cable made in factories and installed by states, any type of “network” organizational form would be a weak proposition and the internet would never have existed.
Arguably, now the standards are set, future technological endeavors that connect and bridge society won’t need new standards imposed from above or vast physical infrastructure subsidized by states. The formation of effective networks itself now produces new mechanisms for devising and imposing standards, ensuring interconnectivity and high living standards should continue to flourish under the type of alternative economy advocated in Carson’s book.
Abolish artificial scarcity, intellectual property, mandatory high overhead and other measures used by states to enforce the privileges of monopoly capitalism, the author tells us (p. 168–170). This way, a more humane world-economy can be engineered, oriented to benefit people and local communities foremost. Everyone in the world may get to work fewer hours while enjoying an improved quality of life, and we can prevent a bleak future in which millions of people are sacrificed to technological unemployment on the altar of profit.
How could global economic inequality survive the onslaught of synthetic organisms, micromanufacturing devices, additive manufacturing machines, nano-factories?
Narrated by Harry J. Bentham, author of Catalyst: A Techno-Liberation Thesis (2013), using the introduction from that book as a taster of the audio version of the book in production. (http://www.clubof.info/2016/04/liberation-technologies-to-come.html)
Audio: coming soon!
The Human Race to the Future (2014 Edition) is the scientific Lifeboat Foundation think tank’s publication first made available in 2013, covering a number of dilemmas fundamental to the human future and of great interest to all readers. Daniel Berleant’s approach to popularizing science is more entertaining than a lot of other science writers, and this book contains many surprises and useful knowledge.
Some of the science covered in The Human Race to the Future, such as future ice ages and predictions of where natural evolution will take us next, is not immediately relevant in our lives and politics, but it is still presented to make fascinating reading. The rest of the science in the book is very linked to society’s immediate future, and deserves great consideration by commentators, activists and policymakers because it is only going to get more important as the world moves forward.
The book makes many warnings and calls for caution, but also makes an optimistic forecast about how society might look in the future. For example, It is “economically possible” to have a society where all the basics are free and all work is essentially optional (a way for people to turn their hobbies into a way of earning more possessions) (p. 6–7).
A transhumanist possibility of interest in The Human Race to the Future is the change in how people communicate, including closing the gap between thought and action to create instruments (maybe even mechanical bodies) that respond to thought alone. The world may be projected to move away from keyboards and touchscreens towards mind-reading interfaces (p. 13–18). This would be necessary for people suffering from physical disabilities, and for soldiers in the arms race to improve response times in lethal situations.
To critique the above point made in the book, it is likely that drone operators and power-armor wearers in future armies would be very keen to link their brains directly to their hardware, and the emerging mind-reading technology would make it possible. However, there is reason to doubt the possibility of effective teamwork while relying on such interfaces. Verbal or visual interfaces are actually more attuned to people as a social animal, letting us hear or see our colleagues’ thoughts and review their actions as they happen, which allows for better teamwork. A soldier, for example, may be happy with his own improved reaction times when controlling equipment directly with his brain, but his fellow soldiers and officers may only be irritated by the lack of an intermediate phase to see his intent and rescind his actions before he completes them. Some helicopter and vehicle accidents are averted only by one crewman seeing another’s error, and correcting him in time. If vehicles were controlled by mind-reading, these errors would increasingly start to become fatal.
Reading and research is also an area that could develop in a radical new direction unlike anything before in the history of communication. The Human Race to the Future speculates that beyond articles as they exist now (e.g. Wikipedia articles) there could be custom-generated articles specific to the user’s research goal or browsing. One’s own query could shape the layout and content of each article, as it is generated. This way, reams of irrelevant information will not need to be waded through to answer a very specific query (p. 19–24).
Greatly similar to the same view I have written works expressing, the book sees industrial civilization as being burdened above all by too much centralization, e.g. oil refineries. This endangers civilization, and threatens collapse if something should later go wrong (p. 32, 33). For example, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resulting from a solar storm could cause serious damage as a result of the centralization of electrical infrastructure. Digital sabotage could also threaten such infrastructure (p. 34, 35).
The solution to this problem is decentralization, as “where centralization creates vulnerability, decentralization alleviates it” (p. 37). Solar cells are one example of decentralized power production (p. 37–40), but there is also much promise in home fuel production using such things as ethanol and biogas (p. 40–42). Beyond fuel, there is also much benefit that could come from decentralized, highly localized food production, even “labor-free”, and “using robots” (p. 42–45). These possibilities deserve maximum attention for the sake of world welfare, considering the increasing UN concerns about getting adequate food and energy supplies to the growing global population. There should not need to be a food vs. fuel debate, as the only acceptable solution can be to engineer solutions to both problems. An additional option for increasing food production is artificial meat, which should aim to replace the reliance on livestock. Reliance on livestock has an “intrinsic wastefulness” that artificial meat does not have, so it makes sense for artificial meat to become the cheapest option in the long run (p. 62–65). Perhaps stranger and more profound is the option of genetically enhancing humans to make better use of food and other resources (p. 271–274).
On a related topic, sequencing our own genome may be able to have “major impacts, from medicine to self-knowledge” (p. 46–51). However, the book does not contain mention of synthetic biology and the potential impacts of J. Craig Venter’s work, as explained in such works as Life at the Speed of Light. This could certainly be something worth adding to the story, if future editions of the book aim to include some additional detail.
At least related to synthetic biology is the book’s discussion of genetic engineering of plants to produce healthier or more abundant food. Alternatively, plants could be genetically programmed to extract metal compounds from the soil (p. 213–215). However, we must be aware that this could similarly lead to threats, such as “superweeds that overrun the world” similar to the flora in John Wyndam’s Day of the Triffids (p. 197–219). Synthetic biology products could also accidentally expose civilization to microorganisms with unknown consequences, perhaps even as dangerous as alien contagions depicted in fiction. On the other hand, they could lead to potentially unlimited resources, with strange vats of bacteria capable of manufacturing oil from simple chemical feedstocks. Indeed, “genetic engineering could be used to create organic prairies that are useful to humans” (p. 265), literally redesigning and upgrading our own environment to give us more resources.
The book advocates that politics should focus on long-term thinking, e.g. to deal with global warming, and should involve “synergistic cooperation” rather than “narrow national self-interest” (p. 66–75). This is a very important point, and may coincide with the complex prediction that nation states in their present form are flawed and too slow-moving. Nation-states may be increasingly incapable of meeting the challenges of an interconnected world in which national narratives produce less and less legitimate security thinking and transnational identities become more important.
Close to issues of security, The Human Race to the Future considers nuclear proliferation, and sees that the reasons for nuclear proliferation need to be investigated in more depth for the sake of simply by reducing incentives. To avoid further research, due to thinking that it has already been sufficiently completed, is “downright dangerous” (p. 89–94). Such a call is certainly necessary at a time when there is still hostility against developing countries with nuclear programs, and this hostility is simply inflammatory and making the world more dangerous. To a large extent, nuclear proliferation is inevitable in a world where countries are permitted to bomb one another because of little more than suspicions and fears.
Another area covered in this book that is worth celebrating is the AI singularity, which is described here as meaning the point at which a computer is sophisticated enough to design a more powerful computer than itself. While it could mean unlimited engineering and innovation without the need for human imagination, there are also great risks. For example, a “corporbot” or “robosoldier,” determined to promote the interests of an organization or defeat enemies, respectively. These, as repeatedly warned through science fiction, could become runaway entities that no longer listen to human orders (p. 83–88, 122–127).
A more distant possibility explored in Berleant’s book is the colonization of other planets in the solar system (p. 97–121, 169–174). There is the well-taken point that technological pioneers should already be trying to settle remote and inhospitable locations on Earth, to perfect the technology and society of self-sustaining settlements (Antarctica?) (p.106). Disaster scenarios considered in the book that may necessitate us moving off-world in the long term include a hydrogen sulfide poisoning apocalypse (p. 142–146) and a giant asteroid impact (p. 231–236)
The Human Race to the Future is a realistic and practical guide to the dilemmas fundamental to the human future. Of particular interest to general readers, policymakers and activists should be the issues that concern the near future, such as genetic engineering aimed at conservation of resources and the achievement of abundance.
The Prospect of Immortality − Fifty Years Later
Editor: Charles Tandy, Ph.D.
Publisher: Ria University Press
Timeline: To be published in 2014 (fifty years after 1964)
CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS
Please look at Dr. Tandy’s chapter-by-chapter summary of Robert Ettinger’s classic, The Prospect of Immortality or consult the 1964 volume directly. Notice that Ettinger’s book consists of eleven chapters devoted to the following eleven topics:
Please consider contributing SPECIFICALLY TO ONE of the eleven invited topics. If you are interested in contributing, the following approach is suggested:
1. Read, with understanding, all eleven chapters of Robert Ettinger’s Prospect of Immortality.
2. Determine which one chapter on which you wish to focus.
3. Consider how a new and up-to-date Ettinger or expert might write the chapter today so as to properly persuade readers to cryonics. Write a chapter proposal (but NOT yet a draft paper) aimed at updating and/or revising the chapter of your choice.
4. Submit your chapter proposal, along with your cv/resume, to Charles Tandy, Ph.D.) at <[email protected]>.
Containing more than 160 essays from over 40 contributors, this edited volume of essays on the science, philosophy and politics of longevity considers the project of ending aging and abolishing involuntary death-by-disease from a variety of viewpoints: scientific, technological, philosophical, pragmatic, artistic. In it you will find not only information on the ways in which science and medicine are bringing about the potential to reverse aging and defeat death within many of our own lifetimes, as well as the ways that you can increase your own longevity today in order to be there for tomorrow’s promise, but also a glimpse at the art, philosophy and politics of longevity as well – areas that will become increasingly important as we realize that advocacy, lobbying and activism can play as large a part in the hastening of progress in indefinite lifespans as science and technology can.
The collection is edited by Franco Cortese. Its contributing authors include William H. Andrews, Ph.D., Rachel Armstrong, Ph.D., Jonathan Betchtel, Yaniv Chen, Clyde DeSouza, Freija van Diujne, Ph.D., John Ellis, Ph.D., Linda Gamble, Roen Horn, the International Longevity Alliance (ILA), Zoltan Istvan, David Kekich (President & C.E.O of Maximum Life Foundation), Randal A. Koene, Ph.D., Maria Konovalenko, M.Sc. (Program Coordinator for the Science for Life Extension Foundation), Marios Kyriazis, MD, M.Sc MIBiol, CBiol (Founder of the ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans and the medical advisor for the British Longevity Society), John R. Leonard (Director of Japan Longevity Alliance), Alex Lightman, Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE), Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., Tom Mooney (Executive Director of the Coalition to Extend Life), Max More, Ph.D. , B.J. Murphy, Joern Pallensen, Dick Pelletier, Hank Pellissier (Founder of Brighter Brains Institute), Giulio Prisco, Marc Ransford, Jameson Rohrer, Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., MBA, JD., Peter Rothman (editor-in-chief of H+ Magazine), Giovanni Santostasi, Ph.D (Director of Immortal Life Magazine, Eric Schulke, Jason Silva , R.U. Sirius, Ilia Stambler, Ph.D (activist at the International Longevity Alliance), G. Stolyarov II (editor-in-chief of The Rational Argumentator), Winslow Strong, Jason Sussberg, Violetta Karkucinska, David Westmorland, Peter Wicks, Ph.D, and Jason Xu (director of Longevity Party China and Longevity Party Taiwan).
Immortal Life has complied an edited volume of essays, arguments, and debates about Immortalism titled Human Destiny is to Eliminate Death from many esteemed ImmortalLife.info Authors (a good number of whom are also Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board members as well), such as Martine Rothblatt (Ph.D, MBA, J.D.), Marios Kyriazis (MD, MS.c, MI.Biol, C.Biol.), Maria Konovalenko (M.Sc.), Mike Perry (Ph.D), Dick Pelletier, Khannea Suntzu, David Kekich (Founder & CEO of MaxLife Foundation), Hank Pellissier (Founder of Immortal Life), Eric Schulke & Franco Cortese (the previous Managing Directors of Immortal Life), Gennady Stolyarov II, Jason Xu (Director of Longevity Party China and Longevity Party Taiwan), Teresa Belcher, Joern Pallensen and more. The anthology was edited by Immortal Life Founder & Senior Editor, Hank Pellissier.
This one-of-a-kind collection features ten debates that originated at ImmortalLife.info, plus 36 articles, essays and diatribes by many of IL’s contributors, on topics from nutrition to mind-filing, from teleomeres to “Deathism”, from libertarian life-extending suggestions to religion’s role in RLE to immortalism as a human rights issue.
The book is illustrated with famous paintings on the subject of aging and death, by artists such as Goya, Picasso, Cezanne, Dali, and numerous others.
The book was designed by Wendy Stolyarov; edited by Hank Pellissier; published by the Center for Transhumanity. This edited volume is the first in a series of quarterly anthologies planned by Immortal Life
This Immortal Life Anthology includes essays, articles, rants and debates by and between some of the leading voices in Immortalism, Radical Life-Extension, Superlongevity and Anti-Aging Medicine.
A (Partial) List of the Debaters & Essay Contributors:
Martine Rothblatt Ph.D, MBA, J.D. — inventor of satellite radio, founder of Sirius XM and founder of the Terasem Movement, which promotes technological immortality. Dr. Rothblatt is the author of books on gender freedom (Apartheid of Sex, 1995), genomics (Unzipped Genes, 1997) and xenotransplantation (Your Life or Mine, 2003).
Marios Kyriazis MD, MSc, MIBiol, CBiol. founded the British Longevity Society, was the first to address the free-radical theory of aging in a formal mainstream UK medical journal, has authored dozens of books on life-extension and has discussed indefinite longevity in 700 articles, lectures and media appearances globally.
Maria Konovalenko is a molecular biophysicist and the program coordinator for the Science for Life Extension Foundation. She earned her M.Sc. degree in Molecular Biological Physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. She is a co-founder of the International Longevity Alliance.
Jason Xu is the director of Longevity Party China and Longevity Party Taiwan, and he was an intern at SENS.
Mike Perry, PhD. has worked for Alcor since 1989 as Care Services Manager. He has authored or contributed to the automated cooldown and perfusion modeling programs. He is a regular contributor to Alcor newsletters. He has been a member of Alcor since 1984.
David A. Kekich, Founder, President & C.E.O Maximum Life Extension Foundation, works to raise funds for life-extension research. He serves as a Board Member of the American Aging Association, Life Extension Buyers’ Club and Alcor Life Extension Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund. He authored Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100?, a how-to book for extreme life extension.
Eric Schulke is the founder of the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE). He was a Director, Teams Coordinator and ran Marketing & Outreach at the Immortality Institute, now known as Longecity, for 4 years. He is the Co-Managing Director of Immortal Life.
Hank Pellissier is the Founder & Senior Editor of ImmortaLife.info. Previously, he was the founder/director of Transhumanity.net. Before that, he was Managing Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology (ieet.org). He’s written over 120 futurist articles for IEET, Hplusmagazine.com, Transhumanity.net, ImmortalLife.info and the World Future Society.
Franco Cortese is on the Advisory Board for Lifeboat Foundation on their Scientific Advisory Board (Life-Extension Sub-Board) and their Futurism Board. He is the Co-Managing Director alongside of Immortal Life and a Staff Editor for Transhumanity. He has written over 40 futurist articles and essays for H+ Magazine, The Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, Immortal Life, Transhumanity and The Rational Argumentator.
Gennady Stolyarov II is a Staff Editor for Transhumanity, Contributor to Enter Stage Right, Le Quebecois Libre, Rebirth of Reason, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Senior Writer for The Liberal Institute, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator.
Brandon King is Co-Director of the United States Longevity Party.
Khannea Suntzu is a transhumanist and virtual activist, and has been covered in articles in Le Monde, CGW and Forbes.
Teresa Belcher is an author, blogger, Buddhist, consultant for anti-aging, life extension, healthy life style and happiness, and owner of Anti-Aging Insights.
Dick Pelletier is a weekly columnist who writes about future science and technologies for numerous publications.
Joern Pallensen has written articles for Transhumanity and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
1. In The Future, With Immortality, Will There Still Be Children?
2. Will Religions promising “Heaven” just Vanish, when Immortality on Earth is attained?
3. In the Future when Humans are Immortal — what will happen to Marriage?
4. Will Immortality Change Prison Sentences? Will Execution and Life-Behind-Bars be… Too Sadistic?
5. Will Government Funding End Death, or will it be Attained by Private Investment?
6. Will “Meatbag” Bodies ever be Immortal? Is “Cyborgization” the only Logical Path?
7. When Immortality is Attained, will People be More — or Less — Interested in Sex?
8. Should Foes of Immortality be Ridiculed as “Deathists” and “Suicidalists”?
9. What’s the Best Strategy to Achieve Indefinite Life Extension?
1. Maria Konovalenko:
I am an “Aging Fighter” Because Life is the Main Human Right, Demand, and Desire
2. Mike Perry:
Deconstructing Deathism — Answering Objections to Immortality
3. David A. Kekich:
How Old Are You Now?
4. David A. Kekich:
Live Long… and the World Prospers
5. David A. Kekich:
107,000,000,000 — what does this number signify?
6. Franco Cortese:
Religion vs. Radical Longevity: Belief in Heaven is the Biggest Barrier to Eternal Life?!
7. Dick Pelletier:
Stem Cells and Bioprinters Take Aim at Heart Disease, Cancer, Aging
8. Dick Pelletier:
Nanotech to Eliminate Disease, Old Age; Even Poverty
9. Dick Pelletier:
Indefinite Lifespan Possible in 20 Years, Expert Predicts
10. Dick Pelletier:
End of Aging: Life in a World where People no longer Grow Old and Die
11. Eric Schulke:
We Owe Pursuit of Indefinite Life Extension to Our Ancestors
12. Eric Schulke:
Radical Life Extension and the Spirit at the core of a Human Rights Movement
13. Eric Schulke:
MILE: Guide to the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension
14. Gennady Stolyarov II:
The Real War and Why Inter-Human Wars Are a Distraction
15. Gennady Stolyarov II:
The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences — turning the tide for life extension
16. Gennady Stolyarov II:
Six Libertarian Reforms to Accelerate Life Extension
17. Hank Pellissier:
Wake Up, Deathists! — You DO Want to LIVE for 10,000 Years!
18. Hank Pellissier:
Top 12 Towns for a Healthy Long Life
19. Hank Pellissier:
This list of 30 Billionaires — Which One Will End Aging and Death?
20. Hank Pellissier:
People Who Don’t Want to Live Forever are Just “Suicidal”
21. Hank Pellissier:
Eluding the Grim Reaper with 23andMe.com
22. Hank Pellissier:
Sixty Years Old — is my future short and messy, or long and glorious?
23. Jason Xu:
The Unstoppable Longevity Virus
24. Joern Pallensen:
Vegetarians Live Longer, Happier Lives
25. Franco Cortese:
Killing Deathist Cliches: Death to “Death-Gives-Meaning-to-Life”
26. Marios Kyriazis:
Environmental Enrichment — Practical Steps Towards Indefinite Lifespans
27. Khannea Suntzu:
Living Forever — the Biggest Fear in the most Audacious Hope
28. Martine Rothblatt:
What is Techno-Immortality?
29. Teresa Belcher:
Top Ten Anti-Aging Supplements
30. Teresa Belcher:
Keep Your Brain Young! — tips on maintaining healthy cognitive function
31. Teresa Belcher:
Anti-Aging Exercise, Diet, and Lifestyle Tips
32. Teresa Belcher:
How Engineered Stem Cells May Enable Youthful Immortality
33. Teresa Belcher:
Nanomedicine — an Introductory Explanation
34. Rich Lee:
“If Eternal Life is a Medical Possibility, I Will Have It Because I Am A Tech Pirate”
35. Franco Cortese:
Morality ==> Immortality
36. Franco Cortese:
Longer Life or Limitless Life?
Earth is a hostile place — and that’s even before one starts attending school. Even when life first sparked into being, it had to evolve defenses to deal with a number of toxins, such as damaging ultraviolet light, then there were toxic elements ranging from iron to oxygen to overcome, later, there was DDT and other toxic chemicals and of course, there are all those dreaded cancers.
In Evolution In A Toxic World: How Life Responds To Chemical Threats [Island Press; 2012: Guardian Bookshop; Amazon UK;Amazon US], environmental toxicologist Emily Monosson outlines three billion years of evolution designed to withstand the hardships of living on this deadly planet, giving rise to processes ranging from excretion, transformation or stowing harmful substances. The subtitle erroneously suggests these toxins are only chemical in nature, but the author actually discusses more than this one subclass of toxins.
The method that arose to deal with these toxins is a plethora of specialised, targeted proteins — enzymes that capture toxins and repair their damages. By following the origin and progression of these shared enzymes that evolved to deal with specific toxins, the author traces their history from the first bacteria-like organisms to modern humans. Comparing the new field evolutionary toxicology to biomedical research, Dr Monosson notes: “In light of evolution, biomedical researchers are now asking questions that might seem antithetical to medicine”.