Ronald Bailey Reports on the Manhattan Beach Project

Ronald Bailey, who has long covered conferences organized by the transhumanist and engineered longevity communities, has an article in Reason Magazine on the recent Manhattan Beach Project longevity summit.

Our first scientific anti-aging conference was held in Manhattan Beach, California over nine years ago. This was no ordinary conference. Rather, it was a high-powered brainstorm session to figure out how to reverse aging. Twelve researchers from around the world combined their genius and their levels of expertise in their specific specialties, and they laid the groundwork for what eventually evolved into a scientific roadmap for full age reversal.

...

a Longevity Summit under the Manhattan Beach Project umbrella is scheduled for what looks to be [mid-November]. The Summit agenda lists a mix of well known names from the longevity advocacy and aging research communities, speaking on a range of interesting topics.

You should head on over and take a look:

If you’re under age 30, it is likely that you will be able to live as long as you want. That is, barring accidents and wars, you have centuries of healthy life ahead of you. So the participants in the Longevity Summit convened in Manhattan Beach, California, contend. Over the weekend Maximum Life Foundation president David Kekich gathered a group of scientists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to meet for three days with the goal of developing a scientific and business strategy to make extreme human life extension a real possibility within a couple of decades. Kekich dubbed the effort the Manhattan Beach Project.

...

Anti-aging research is a rich and varied territory right now. Researchers are finally beginning to get a handle on the actual causes of aging. With this increased scientific understanding, some researchers now believe they are on the way to figuring out how to stop it, and - eventually - how to reverse it.

But read the whole thing; it goes into more detail as to the presenting scientists and their messages. You're also unlikely to find this line elsewhere: "Theoretical biogerontologist, Aubrey de Grey, [is] the energizer bunny of anti-aging scientific research and advocacy." Quite so. You'll find many of the summit presenters mentioned in the context of their research back in the Fight Aging! archives if you care to go digging.

Near to the end of the article there is some speculation and discussion of topics rarely mentioned in the press, but often discussed by the pro-longevity community: why is there so little support for engineered longevity and aging research? To what degree is the scam-ridden, scum-infested "anti-aging" marketplace to blame for public suspicion and disinterest? Why are there so few wealthy people openly funding longevity and aging research, given the potentially great rewards and firm scientific support? And so forth. The community of advocates, entrepreneurs, and researchers interested in the development and application of longevity science lack good answers to these questions. Myself included. But good answers are needed, as they would lead to strategies for fundraising and persuasion that work far more effectively than those used over the past decade or two.

Comments

Living much longer than 120 is possible, but how much longer is not known (barring accidents of course). Yet this organization sells the notion of indefinite life.

That's a big problem but I understand the context is wanting to motivate people...yet those who get the premise don't need to be motivated.

One needs to sell a plausible story. Once that premise is broken (ie ageing is always going to be mysterious in my current expected lifespan), then the work towards public acceptance can accrue.

Mistake 2.

Most people cannot think for about the next 50 years of their life, let alone the next century. We need a culture that cares about the next century. This is almost entirely absent from American culture. Except in doomsday ridden sci-fi.

Finally, the premise that one actually would want to live forever or at least indefinitely. This has the problem of not being thought of by most folks who live day to day, AND the problem that we don't know if we truly want to live 1000 years. Naturally the transhuman scenario uncludes modification of the mind, BUT, that leads to another problem.

The widespread acceptance of religion is a barrier to these memes.

And then of course those who could be susceptible to them think "oh, it's your religion. lol." Which in turn ties back to the premise of 'it's possible soon' versus the bias of being super motivated yet irrational (perhaps).

etc. endless loops. good luck.

Posted by: Matthew at November 18th, 2009 10:34 AM

THE RICH INDIVIDUALS ARE MOTIVATED BY GREED (SHORT TERM GAINS)
IF THEIR SURVIVAL INSTINCT WERE STRONGER THAN GREED THEY PROBABLY WOULD SUPPORT LONGEVITY RESEARCH MORE GENEROUSLY.

Posted by: NIKKI at November 18th, 2009 2:26 PM

Personally, the bio-robotic-nano-AI-singlarity synthisis won't be stopped because, globally humans even those believing death is our permanent birthrite cannot stop those of us worried but willing to venture into this new unknown future that is unfolding as I write.

Our choice: Complex, to control our evolution yet not lose our humanity in the process.
It seems America in our unique creation
is up to the challenge.

Only a new nation so young that that old world still laugh at our errors could accually believe that ultimate goal of the human species is to self evolve, leave Gaia, mind-settle-live on asteroids and go beyond meet,greet other sentient beings older, younger,or near our state of applied technology.

I, a formally houseless person know the next few decades our technology may as the late Arthur C. Clark said be "Indistinquishable from magic."
I just hope I'm alive to personally experience and be part of self-evolving human progress.

There is danger and opportunity and as we know all of humanity not only American's are use to
the quest. In these years we'll all face the question. Do we continue and evolve or stop and stagnate.

Posted by: Joseph Bolden at May 2nd, 2010 3:11 AM

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.