People are chatting more about longevity, aging and the scientific way forward to significant healthy life extension; this is a good thing. I'm of the opinion that living a longer, healthier life is such a compelling proposition - and the common objections so easily demolished - that more widespread conversation can't help but swell the ranks of those who support and act to build a future of working anti-aging medicine.
With that in mind, here are a couple of recent posts that I think are worth a few minutes of your time - starting with one that I think hits the utilitarian spot without even going past the title:
It is clear that living longer is good for people and for the economy. It is clear that there is lot more that can be done to raise human life expectancy and life span. We should spend a lot more on pushing technological horizons outward in an aggressive way.
Last night at the University of Toronto's Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Dr. Mark Walker delivered a presentation about the ethics of radical life extension, or as Walker refers to it, 'superlongevity.' The talk was organized by the Toronto Transhumanist Association.
The talk was party adapted from his recent paper, "Universal Superlongevity: Is it Inevitable and is it Good?"
Aubrey de Gray has brought it all front-and-center, suggesting that life extension is no longer out of reach. In our usual chronocentric arrogance, we believe this is all new territory. There are innumerable technical discussions and observations, but the philosophical discussions seem to be brief, and not very interesting.
A: I don't know as I'd want to live to be 150.
B: Yeah, but you might if you had your health.
Or the quasi-theological discussion
A: I'm not sure that it's right
B: Yeah, you religious guys say that about everything. It's fine. Get out of our way.
Not that this last piece is pro-life extension; the author employs an odd looking argument for choosing mortality based on the undesirability of cultural diaspora extended out ad infinitum. Seems a little strawman-ish to me, given the degree of cultural diaspora an earnest person can put under their belt in just a decade or two, but see what you think. The discussion in the comment section is worth investigating - join in if you feel you have a good counterpoint to add that hasn't been used already.
For my money, if the worst you have to complain about two hundred years from now is that you don't really understand 99% of the rest of (post-)humanity, I'd call that a stunning success in overcoming the many challenges ahead. Not dead, not frail, but healthy and engaged in living a growing, vital life.