A couple of items of interest showed up in my wanderings today. Firstly, Bruce Klein notes his modest profile in the recently released "How to Live Forever or Die Trying":
Bruce Klein founded The Immortality Institute (Imminst) in 2002 as a non-profit organisation with the aim of ‘conquering the blight of involuntary death’. ... Klein was thirty-one when I met him at Imminst’s conference at the Georgia Tech Conference Center, Atlanta, in November 2005. The conference turned out to be a snapshot of the immortalist front line. It is a movement that is part cult and part serious science. But all were united by the fervency of their belief in the rightness of the project of extending life and by their vehement rejection of deathism and scepticism.
The world "cult" is thrown around all too easily these days; I can only think that it is a symptom of the absence from public view of human activities that truly deserve the label. Strive to support the development of cures for age-related disease and you're a patient advocate. Strive to support the repair of the root causes of all age-related disease - via the same scientific processes and methods, I might add - and you're a cultist, hairstyle and clothing choices open for comment. Such blind, irrational creatures, we humans; I consider a wonder that anything of ambition is ever accomplished. A larger excerpt can be found elsewhere online; see what you think of the rest of it.
Why? Because, says Klein, ‘oblivion is the issue’. He says: ‘I came to a point about five years ago where I realised I can’t do all of this unless I’m alive . . . The thing that human beings, I think, are evolved to do is put the issue of oblivion to one side. What I try to do is address that problem with writings, with film scripts and the thing is not only to address it but to provide a solution, the solution of infinite life span.’
He speaks, as does everybody in this business, of the 150,000 people who die in the world every day, 100,000 of them from the diseases of old age. For him, this is not acceptably explained as the natural order of things, rather it is a disaster to which we are called to respond.
‘I call it the Silent Tsunami, every day more than 100,000 people die quietly and acceptingly, saying their time has come or some other euphemism. But, with a real tsunami, they say this is a tragedy, we must do things to prevent this in the future.’
Switching topics, we have some thoughts on calorie restriction from a member of the community who thinks that the arguments for significant human life extension via this methology are plausible:
Think of the differences in human longevity, from person to person. One person can live decades than another. Isn't that AMAZING?! Calment lived DECADES longer than the average person... Her aging was much slower than the average person. There are centenarians that live to old age and centenarians that survive to old age. Calment lived and survived to old age with luck, genetics and possibly lifestyle factors. But it shows you just how much of a degree there can be between how much longer one can possibly live.
The huge difference between when the average person dies, and when the oldest human ever documented lived is huge, spanning over 40 years? That’s a remarkable reduction in the rate of aging. Aging must have been slowed in her, and damn right, CRON will slow the aging for us. To what degree is up for debate. But I would bet that our average life expectancies will be up their with those lucky few who survived to extreme old age without the help of calorie restriction.
There is a very good weight of science backing the fact that calorie restriction will do very good things for your health and resistance to the more common aspects of age-related degeneration today. But will that add a couple of years to your life, ten years, or how long? Good question, but look at exercise as a comparison - the difference between fit and unfit is large once you make it into later life. Just as for staying fit with exercise, you'd be a fool not to look into calorie restriction, given the impressive health benefits demonstrated in human studies.