The Last Generation to Die

The last generation whose members will be forced into death by aging is alive today. It won't be the youngest of us, born in the past few years - they, most likely, have thousands of years ahead of them. It won't be the oldest of us either, as even under the plausible best of circumstances we are twenty to thirty years away from a widespread deployment of rejuvenation therapies based on the SENS research program. As to the rest of us, just who is left holding the short straw at the end of the day depends on the speed of progress in medical science: advocacy, fundraising, and the effectiveness of research and development initiatives. Persuasion and money are far more important at this early stage than worrying about how well the researchers are doing their jobs, however.

We live in a world in which the public is only just starting to come around to the idea that aging can be treated, and demonstrations of rejuvenation in the laboratory could be achieved in a crash program lasting ten to twenty years, at a comparatively small cost. But still, most people don't care about living longer, and most people try not to think about aging, or the future of degeneration and sickness that awaits. They think it is inevitable, but that is no longer true. If you are in early middle age today in the first world, then you have a good shot at living for centuries if the world suddenly wakes up tomorrow and massive funding pours into rejuvenation research. You will age and die on a timescale little different from that of your parents if that awakening persistently fails to happen.

So, roll the dice, or help out and try to swing the odds in your favor. Your choice.

Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and related sites is still the new new thing, the shine not yet worn off. One of the truths that this activity reinforces is that it is far, far easier to raise funding for the next throwaway technological widget than for medical research projects aimed at the betterment of all humanity. Research crowdfunding is a tiny, distant moon orbiting the great mass of comics, games, and devices on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others. Hell, it's easier to crowdfund a short film that points out how close human rejuvenation might be to the present day than it is to crowdfund a project to actually conduct a portion of that research. Is this a reflection of rationality? You decide, though it could be argued either way regarding whether a dollar given to raising awareness is more valuable than a dollar given to the researchers at this point in time. Both research and persuasion need to happen.

The Last Generation To Die - A Short Film

Set in the future when science first begins to stop aging, a daughter tries to save her father from natural death. The story takes place roughly 30 years in the future at the moment when science has first figured out how to stop aging through genetics. It is framed around the gulf between generations that would occur with the first release of this technology. A daughter who works for a company called Aperion Life - the first to bring this new technology to the public - wants to save her aging father. She starts him on the trials but he soon stops coming. The film continues with the conflict rising between them as she wants him to live on with her while he feels a natural ending is more human.

The film centers itself around the natural conflict that would exist at this divide. Upon developing this story, I've asked many people and I've found a pretty even 50/50 divide of opinions strongly on one side or the other- either they want to die naturally and believe there is beauty in finality, or they want to see what the future holds and have more time to explore and learn more in life. I'd like to turn the question to you... Which side are you on? Would you want to live on or die naturally?

I feel this is a film that needs to be made. Asking these questions in the form of art and story will help start the discussion. Our world is changing very fast and the rate of technology is speeding up. What does all of this mean for humanity? Everything we know, from a book to a play to a song, ends... What does it mean when there is no ending? Would we be more complacent? Would life be as meaningful? Is there more of a beauty in the way it has always been with our passing or is there more beauty in our bodies and minds staying fresh and alive for many, many years to come? What about social justice and overpopulation? Would life become boring after living on indefinitely or would you find it exhilarating to have time to learn new languages, instruments, subjects - to read more books, to love more - to live several lifetimes? Would it be worth it if some of your most loved friends or relatives passed on and wouldn't live on with you? Are you interested in seeing what the future brings in technology and social evolution or are you happy to have contributed and be a part of it for a short time?

Tim Maupin's Film, 'The Last Generation to Die', to Explore Longevity and Life Extension

Chicago filmmaker Tim Maupin launched a Kickstarter for a short film titled, "The Last Generation to Die." Maupin thinks now is a great time to start a conversation about life extension. And he's right. The idea that within decades a genetic fountain of youth may plausibly reverse the aging process, even indefinitely stave off death, seems to be rising up in pop culture. Maupin's Kickstarter has so far raised over $15,000 - $6,000 more than its initial funding goal. Encouraged by the positive response, they're dreaming bigger and hope to fund a stretch goal of $25,000 in the last 10 days of the campaign.
Comments

This is absolute absurd. This will never happen. In some ways, in fact, many ways. It's unethical.

If people have infinity-lifetimes, do they waste it? Are they efficient in their life?

The benefit of long-lives is a lot of time is spend developing a person till they get to the point to contribute to society. In the past children started helping at 5-6, I suppose today they do to with chores. In the past (1800's) a 12-year old was an adult--a farmer. Today doctors do not start to practice until they are in there 30's. So they have 40 years of practing.

This whole aging movement helps that ratio and in some ways makes our society more productive. But will people have the same drive? They will have more time to wander, how much will it effectively cost to keep them alive? Will that cost be worth it?

These questions are battled every-day. I doubt humans will ever reach immortality. There is no drug that is known that can slow aging rather than living well. The aging process is inherant. Maybe the benefit would be a low-meat, low-caloric diet and day that is broken up well like ones living in japanese or italian islands. Where people are equal and everyone is friendly and people feel free to converse, to live. Less stress than the states.

120 max. Beyond that humans will not live. Life-extension drugs are NOT real and will never arrive.

Sorry.

Posted by: Jeff at September 27th, 2013 8:20 PM

Nice to see the optimism.

Posted by: Adam at September 27th, 2013 8:38 PM

This is absolute absurd. This will never happen. In some ways, in fact, many ways. It's unethical.

If people have infinity-lifetimes, do they waste it? Are they efficient in their life?

What people do with their lives is their own business, period. How other people live their lives is none of your business. Same for those of us who choose immortality. What we choose is none of your business as well.

That some people might just hang around, party, and fret away their lives IN NO WAY justifies restrictions on the development of biological immortality for those who want it. It is the justification of forcing people to undergo the suffering of aging and death that is truly immoral. Any worldview that justifies such suffering is utterly immoral and repulsive and should be rejected by all right thinking persons.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey at September 28th, 2013 10:00 AM

Jeff, if you think that we're advocating a traditional 'drug based' solution to old age, I'd say it's pretty clear that you haven't been paying attention at all to the content of this site.

As for how I would prefer to spend an arbitrarily long life span, that is my decision, not yours. You are welcome to die of old age if you feel it suits you. I won't stop you.

Posted by: Dennis Towne at September 29th, 2013 12:06 PM

If we would first develop a foolproof method to know when a person is telling the truth, we would then have valid LE research. At the moment greed
is in control.

Posted by: hippo at September 29th, 2013 1:24 PM

The good thing about the fools who reject this notion is that they will presumably all be content to get old and die off, leaving the world to the sane people. There's a pleasant thought. See you, Jeff! ;)

Posted by: Ian at September 29th, 2013 7:20 PM

I notice that practically everybody in general will not stand up against aging and death. They prefer to just sit around whining and complaining about it instead, or wait for someone else to deliver them from these.

That is why I consider Christianity so unhealthy. It fatally weakens the will.

Complaining about how hard things are has never gotten anything done. It did not abolish polio and smallpox. It did not land Apollo on the moon. It cannot even stop tooth decay. It has never done a damn thing for anyone. All it would ever have done by itself is kept us scratching our asses in Olduvai Gorge for the last 4 million years.

And we'd still be apes.

My mother (1922-98) rejected cryonics as "weird and stupid". She never bothered to learn anything about it or to think: she just abreacted.

Now look where she is.

I, however, have become one of the few to stand up and fight rather than just meekly surrender. Indeed I have signed up with Alcor as A-2664.

My watchword as published at the 300 page of mprize.org?

"Man, become thou Superman and then god for thine Self!"

Posted by: Tatiana Covington at September 29th, 2013 7:35 PM

My mother (1922-98) rejected cryonics as "weird and stupid". She never bothered to learn anything about it or to think: she just abreacted.

Please don't be hard on your mother. Its a generational thing. My mother was roughly of similar generation to your's and she thought cryonics "kooky". A lot of people grow up and spend most of their lives based on the notion of the conventional life cycle. They have a very strong emotional attachment to it. Cryonics is a relatively new idea. Most "old school" people (those older than baby boomer) simply do not have the emotional make up to embrace anything like cryonics.

Posted by: Abelard Lindsey at September 29th, 2013 7:56 PM

With all due respect Jeff you're an idiot. It seems like you haven't read any of the literature. With or without life extension we're just rats in a race. Why is it so important that be motivated to do anything especially by a life dominated by pain and loss of ability? I suppose you don't ever bother going to the doctor?

Posted by: Louis at September 30th, 2013 8:32 AM

Ok so most of you don't believe what is currently in full swing, im studying nanotechnology and we are about 20 years ahead in the progress, so what you are hearing is more than likely true, we currently have 5 vaccines in final stage clinical human trials for pancreatic, stomach and lung cancer's which will be on the market very soon, a cure for ovarian cancer has been discovered there are cures' for Alzheimer's, blindness and and birth defects currently in first stage lab trials. There is almost a break through every week with nanotec.
so those who are in early to mid 30s or younger will see big changes in the next 20-25 years so don't die n the mean time.
we have 3d printers which can print any object you can think of, in 3 years from now you will be able to have a new heart printed instead of waiting for one to come available.
so all who think this is bull need to get a grip and come back to reality as this is happening weather you want it or not.
we only have 12 years at a push left of our current medication as it is becoming obsolete if we don't find new medicines we all will die.
our tec is getting more advanced every year the computers of today will make their final fold in 2020 then nanotechnology will take over, then you will see what we have in store for the world life as we know it will change beyond recognition, so in the mean time do some research and stay alive. Oh you will see some of what we currently have over the next 5 years so have fun with them.

Posted by: tom65 at October 10th, 2013 7:33 AM

To Jeff, the aging can be reversed as we are currently in early stages of developing a nanobot to reconstruct human stem cells , which means you wont age as you will be able to repair your own stem cells with a injection of nanomedicine this is a long way from any sort of human testing it may be available early2030s.

Posted by: tom65 at October 10th, 2013 7:47 AM

Interestingly, many religious people may reject such therapies out of hand on dogmatic grounds. Still, the possibilities are simply beyond our ability to fully apprehend...for now. I know I'm willing to invest the centuries necessary to determine if it's a good thing. But can you imagine thousands of years of Kim Jung Un?

Posted by: DMT-07 at October 9th, 2014 9:44 PM

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