The Horrors of Aging
Permalink | View Comments (5) | Post Comment | | Posted by Reason

There are no shortage of horrors in the world: famine, war, inhumanity and plague of a thousand stripes. It is human nature to hunch over and try to believe that it will never happen to us - those of us in the wealthy Western world might even be luckily correct in this belief. But degenerative aging - the result of accumulated, unrepaired damage to the complex machinery of our bodies - brings pain and suffering to best the most malignant disease. Do you think you know what lies ahead? Do you think you have come to terms with it? Read this harrowing account from See Spot CRON! ... read it all the way through. Those ugly details form the future that awaits everyone who is reading this now.

Without action now, your future will be one of pain and suffering, of the slow destruction of your body and mind. Aging is not noble. It is not romantic. It is a slow and increasingly terrible disease - no one goes quietly or with dignity.

But still, we do our best to put this out of our minds. Human nature at work. Yet there is hope - medical science is within decades of developing therapies to prevent and repair the root causes of age-related degeneration. However, the funding to make these therapies a reality will only be deployed in a climate of widespread support for rejuvenation and understanding of the possibilities. It is a matter of will and resources rather than a matter of science - the technological and medical path ahead is clear. The path of fundraising and awareness is not.

By refusing to face an unpleasant future, and thus failing to take the actions that could have saved us, we will doom ourselves to the very thing we feared to confront. We can do better. We can face the realities of aging and do something to make a difference - each and every one of us. The alternative is not pretty.

Comments

That was a heartbreaking story, but it needed to be told. I went through roughly the same thing with my dog. Without a cure for aging, I may eventually experience the same hell...

Posted by: Kip Werking at June 27, 2005 9:41 PM

Unfortunately, the horrors of aging will come all so true for our unfortunate generation. We will suffer the same degeneration and decay that our ancestors did. A decent cure for aging will NOT come about for 100 years. That's the ugly reality we must face. Us born in the 20th Century will fade and vanish into the mists of time just like our predecessors. SENS is NOT being funded, nor nanotechnology or biotechnology, that is anathema to our current political climate. GOD is what people want, NOT science. Technology is not accelerating or changing. What Aubrey De Grey says, curing aging in 30 years is considered to be outright quackery. WE. WILL. DIE.

Posted by: MysticMonkeyGuru at June 28, 2005 4:02 PM

And next to write on why pessimism of MysticMonkeyGuru's sort is just as bad as burying heads in the sand...

One point - technology *is* both accelerating and changing, measurably so by any number of metrics. It's not going as fast as it could be, but it is going - and that progress *can* be steered to where it can do the most good. But it will take effort, not hand-wringing or head-burying.

Posted by: Reason at June 28, 2005 6:59 PM

I wonder how many of us are prepared to be financially capable of combatting old age or simply leave it to others to worry about when the time comes. My wife and I spend about @200.00 a month on the best vitamins and minerals including Dr Patrick Flanagan's Mega H. (fantastic anti oxidant ...he's already into nano technoloy. I think Ray Kurzweil's Fantastic Voyage is a winner! I'm 77 this year and my wife will be 72. We compete internationally in masters swimming. We both play tennis and badminton and I still fly gliders one in a while.
I'm also a writer and my next novel will be a futuristic thriller. ...Come on folks get positive ... get with it and help yourself to what's available now to combat ageing. One thing we are lucky to live in the best place in the world ...The Sunshine Coast. Queensland Australia

Posted by: Ken.B. at February 13, 2006 12:19 AM

Well then, Monkey, we can leave you to your death, and press on without you. I, on the other hand, think it's ludicrous to suppose that there won't be any interventions on aging by 2105, as you suppose.

I think people miss two key points when talking about the feasility of life extension.

First, looking at the progress of SENS and concluding that life extension is not going to happen based solely on its progress is a poor indicator. The economy is would together in every way. In order for life extension to occur, for example, we need fast computers. We need good laboratory equipment. We need excellent communications software. Heck, we even need faster cars and planes to make people more productive. Advances in almost any area of life indirectly benefit life extension research, so the amount of money spent directly on the research is important, but it's not the only consideration to the feasibility of this.

Second, everyone should contribute to the Mprize. But because the exponential nature of technological advance, the progress that can be made this entire year is a week's worth of progress in 2016. Thus, just because the Mprize hasn't reached two billion dollars yet isn't a cause for panic. Unfortuantely, some people will die as a result of the delay, and that's a bad thing. It may not be you, though, because money spent on this research tomorrow is worth more than money spent today.

Look at the human genome project: the first seven years of the project yielded just 1% progress! The last year yielded the vast majority of the 15-year project's results.

Posted by: Steve at April 13, 2006 2:21 PM
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