Earlier this week I pointed out the first part of a three part series by Eric Schulke of the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension. Taken as a whole it's a point by point examination and defense of SENS, the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, as the best path forward towards extending human life. Moreover it is a defense of getting up and actually doing something about degenerative aging - and these days that has more need of defense than the viability of rejuvenation research after the SENS model.
We live in a bizarre mirror world in which the populace sleepwalk towards decrepitude and death, and in which the vast majority of the public have no interest in supporting efforts to extend healthy life spans. Instead they lavish their attention and dollars on fake "anti-aging" products, ways to create a pretense of youth, while talking heads tell us how terrible it would be if we actually lived longer. Yet at the same time the possibility of actually treating and reversing degenerative aging is right there in front of us, a realistic near-term goal for the research community. Further, we already live longer, on average, than our ancestors, and life expectancy for adults has slowly risen for more than a century - something taken for granted and then forgotten. It's a madhouse.
I like to see enthusiasm for longevity science of the sort exhibited in the articles quoted below: people have to speak out to illustrate the madness of the common culture and the importance of work on human rejuvenation therapies. It is helpful and encouraging that sentiments of this nature continue to emerge from the community. This is what is needed to move the needle, to continue the progress in research and advocacy that in the past decade or two has brought us from nothing to the point at which we can talk at all about SENS and tangible progress towards rejuvenation of the old.
"[...] the most promising ways to postpone aging are by disrupting the pathways underlying it, just as we do for specific diseases." That line sums up an important element of strategies for engineering negligible senescence (SENS) in Aubrey de Grey's book Ending Aging, published in 2007. The book outlines the straightforward sense in disrupting the pathways that cause us to age: by engineering the damage of aging out of our biology after the body has experienced the damage, but before the damage accumulates to deadly levels.
There seem to be only those seven forms of damage that age us to death by accumulating in and around our cells. These forms of damage have been discovered by science over the years, the last one being found in the 1980s. It's not "seven plus all the ones we can't get a grip on or figure out yet." It's not "seven just because these are Aubrey's or some group's favorite seven", and it's not "seven but we have absolutely no idea how we could even begin to think about tackling any of them." This isn't a widely disputed list of items. It has accumulated and been independently peer-reviewed through all of science over time.
As written in Ending Aging, "You could stop thinking of aging as a hopelessly complex theoretical problem to solve, and get on with attacking it head-on, as an engineering challenge that needed to be overcome." You can, and you must. At the very least, this engineering approach is one of the main avenues that needs full support of as many people from around the world as possible, and as soon as possible.
Act like you've seen the growing graveyards in your area, and face the reality that you, too, will be dead soon if the world, which includes you, doesn't rise to the challenge and do something about it.
Almost everything you do can and should involve this cause. Going on vacation? Bring some books or literature about this to give away. Socializing? Talk to them about it a bit and hang out with the ones that are amicable to this cause when you can. Going on the Internet? Be sure to share or comment on a related topic or three when you can. Looking for a career to get into or ways to spend your free time? Get involved with this cause. I and the people I know do these things and more.
Pick up the proverbial shovel and help with SENS. Help spread awareness, bring more people into the related conferences, write books, work with the media, talk to politicians, etc. Go into research if you have the aptitude for it. You can pick any lead that you find to be viable. Research existing methods to combat the damage, create your own methods, or do an exhaustive study to try to make the case for forms of damage in addition to the seven generally accepted types. Get in where you fit in.
If you need help with it, then ask in just about any of the communities involved in this. Help us get these mountains moved. Through exhausting more and more avenues and pathways, the picture will continue getting clearer. Answers to achieving negligible senescence and extending our happy, healthy life spans, will materialize. There is no "well, it can't work", "they aren't sure if we should yet", "it's too speculative", etc. It's not. We are dying, we have options, we get moving.