Meanwhile, Over at the Immortality Institute ...

The Immortality Institute volunteers are upgrading; always a painful process with a large forum and a content management system extensively customized over the years. If you haven't stopped by the Institute forum in a while, you should do so. Where else are likely to be able to participate in a discussion on the first recorded practitioner of calorie restriction - and noted author of the Renaissance - with researcher S. Jay Olshansky and other noteworthies?

A noble idea is a noble idea, and we shouldn't be surprised to find people from the past with constructive contributions to make on the topic of healthy longevity - taking into account the state of scientific knowledge in their time:

Sixteenth century Venetian Ambassador and Renaissance Christian Luigi Cornaro was celebrated in his time for his stance on dietary self-restraint, moderate living, and living to the age of 103. For these hundred of years his classic book has survived as a renowned text on longevity and an inspiring treatise on the path of temperance that the author believed could lead anyone out of a state of illness and into a healthy long life. The Art of Living Long contains Cornaros four discourses, respectively concerned with demonstrating his ideas through his own example, exploring the necessity of temperate habits, assuring a happy old age, and exhorting mankind to follow his rule. With introductions by Dr. Gerald Gruman and Joseph Addison, and additional essays by Lord Bacon and Sir William Temple.

To take a contrary point of view, however, is this really any different - important names of centuries past aside - from the standard mainstream media coverage of centenarians today? The form requires the journalist to ask for the centernarian's thoughts on longevity, but living for a long time doesn't make you an expert on how to live for a long time. Everyone has an opinion on how it is they've lived so long, but opinion isn't science.

When you're wandering through the vast libraries of writing on the topics of aging and longevity, remember that the scientific method is how progress is made. Opinions can be good, can be well-thought, can even be right as it later turns out, but opinions alone are not the foundation for a path forward.

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