Idle Thinking on the Outcome when the Political Establishment Notices that Rejuvenation Therapies are Imminent

The political establishment is a plague upon the land; this is generally true of any era. We are fortunate to live in an age in which the level of impact is less brutal and more bureacratic than it has been, and in a region in which the level of wealth is high enough to allow most people to live comfortably despite the constant wars and vast waste of the powers that be. There is, importantly, sufficient space in our society left unpillaged and uncontrolled for technological development to take place at a fair pace. Technology determines near everything about our lives, the degree to which they are worth living, the shape of our societies, and the pace at which we age to death. Faster progress is a great and wondrous thing. Yet, sooner or later, new technologies become promising enough to come to the attention of the political establishment, at which point the challenges of development turn into the challenges of fending off various genteel and less genteel forms of banditry and sabotage.

I noticed the article below in the political press today; it is surprisingly informed in its details, if not some of its premises, given the source. Political journalism is just about the worst of the press industry, and "worst" in this context has become a very low bar of late; the stentorian propaganda of the past has given way to a sort of tawdry crab bucket mass hysteria. As to the article here - should we start to see more of this sort of thing, repeated more often, that might mark the beginning of an interventionist establishment in the matter of longevity science. This probably isn't something to be welcomed: the first instinct of that establishment is to put a halt to any form of change, the second is to tax every new thing regardless of the damage done, and the third is to restrict and control access, limiting it to those with connections.

Where the attention of the establishment results in funding wrestled from the pool generated by involuntary taxation and devoted to a specific cause, such funds are invariably largely diverted into useless activities and waste, or used to prop up unrelated activities carried out by the politically connected. Look at just how little the US National Institute on Aging has accomplished over the last twenty years: so much funding, so many studies, so many programs, and yet where are the results in terms of years of human life span gained? Remaining life expectancy at 60 has moved very slowly upward in a trend unrelated to public research expenditure. The future of additional years of healthy life will be enabled by philanthropy, charities, and startup companies using a tiny fraction of the NIA budget, based on science that was sufficiently explored to get started thirty years ago.

Meanwhile, the first instinct of the propagandists of the political press is to ask how any improvement to the suffering of the elderly might affect the balance of votes or entitlement payments or political parties or current regulations. One gains the distinct impression that people, that suffering, that death really don't matter all that much in their eyes, save for how they are seen at a distance from the city on the hill. It is ugly, I think.

We could do worse than to shun all politicians and their creatures, and work on doing the good that we want to see in the world ourselves. The political establishment exploits and thrives by co-opting our worst instincts, however, and as the present state of the world demonstrates, this strategy is highly effective. As a choice in life, I'd advise reading more Thoreau and Spooner and less of the press as it stands today - advice that was no doubt just as relevant a few centuries past as today. Engaging with the political establishment is a poisoned chalice, one that drags down the productive and ensnares them in a system that does little but generate waste and mockery. The real work is done elsewhere.

Why a drug for aging would challenge Washington

What if you could live to 85, 90 or even 100 with your mental faculties intact, able to live independently without debilitating conditions until the last year of your life? What if just one medical treatment could stave off a handful of terrifying ailments like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's? The idea of a pill for aging sounds like science fiction or fantasy. But the hunt is increasingly real. The leading approach even has a name: senolytic drugs. The science is still far from proven, but the prospect of a drug for healthier aging has already attracted significant investment from well-known drug companies, and the first human studies of anti-aging drugs are getting underway. If the results pan out, the first drugs could be available in as little as a decade.

As the research moves forward, however, it is raising a series of new questions that both medicine and regulators will need to confront. And the most complex questions arise around exactly the issue that makes the field so exciting: The notion of treating the aging process itself. There's never been a drug for aging in part because "aging" isn't considered a disease by the FDA. Should it be? What signs and symptoms of aging is it OK to medicalize? And if a drug were approved for aging - something that every human experiences - who would bear the costs for a pill that potentially could be prescribed for every person alive? And those aren't the only questions. It turns out that evaluating the science is also complex, partly because it's hard to measure whether a drug is fundamentally changing the course of human aging. It's also ethically fraught: Aging is a normal human process, so testing a drug for "aging" means that otherwise healthy people would be subjected to its inevitable side effects, for unproven benefit. How long a trial would even be needed? Regulators aren't close to answering this kind of question.

So far scientists are tiptoeing around many of these complicated issues by testing these drugs only in very sick people, studying to see if they help treat deadly diseases with few other treatment options. The idea is to get a potential anti-aging drug approved first under more traditional protocols without having to tackle the thornier, longer-term questions raised by the idea of treating "aging." However, doctors are unlikely to wait for answers to the larger questions around these drugs before they begin to prescribe them to patients. As soon as a senolytic or other anti-aging drug is approved for any purpose, physicians are allowed to start prescribing them to their patients for any condition they want, and likely will.

Anti-aging science has long been viewed with skepticism, a "soft" science more often the province of quacks selling dubious potions than serious medical researchers. But senolytic drugs are changing that. The idea behind them is to attack senescent or "zombie" cells - cells that have stopped dividing, but aren't dead. Senescent cells release toxic and inflammatory compounds that impair the function of healthy cells, and scientists believe they help drive the decline of important body tissue, like organs. Scientists have found that the number of senescent cells increases with aging in mice, monkeys and humans; they're associated with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and overall frailty. In small mammals, scientists have found that killing senescent cells delays and prevents many age-related conditions and diseases. In animal testing, senolytic agents have also successfully treated conditions including heart dysfunction, lung diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and damage induced by radiation. Clearing senescent cells from adult mice has even been shown to increase median lifespan.

Interpreting results of human anti-aging studies won't be easy. To prove that a drug prevents aging, companies will ultimately have to find changes in people that aren't known to be affected by disease. For example, skin gets lined and wrinkled and loses elasticity over the years - but that doesn't cause illness. Muscle mass also decreases with age. If a company could show that the drug alters these changes, "that's a pretty good argument that you are affecting aging." But the potential for approving anti-aging drugs on the basis of these signposts is already triggering the alarm bells of bioethicists. They fear companies' pressure to approve these medicines quickly could lead to patients being exposed to medicines that offer only superficial benefits - and possibly hidden harm. This concern over "indication creep" - the tendency for drugs to be prescribed for problems they weren't approved to treat - is another trigger for ethicists. Many of the companies testing the first senolytic drugs aren't trying to get them approved for aging but instead are targeting diseases where they believe senescent cells play a role.

Because of the enthusiasm around the drugs, researchers are already concerned about anecdotal stories of people wanting to use the medicines to treat aging before they're ready for prime time. Paul Robbins of the Scripps Institute said some senolytics are natural products or older chemotherapy drugs. He's heard of clinics already being set up overseas to provide drugs like these as anti-aging treatments, even without evidence they work, or data on the right dosage. The hype is dangerous, warns James Kirkland, whose employer, the Mayo Clinic, is investing in senolytics. "Anything can go wrong along the way. If you could caution your readers, tell them absolutely not to take these drugs until trials are done, because this is a new way of doing things. We don't know if they are going to work and we don't know what the side effects are."

"If you demonstrate that these drugs work, probably everybody is going to want to take the drugs. So then the question becomes a question of cost," said Steven Austad, scientific director of the American Federation for Aging Research. A high-priced drug taken by everyone could place a burden on an already strained health care system, which presumably would have to pay for everyone to take the drug for many decades. And the longer people live, the longer they will draw from government benefit programs. "Politically, this is a hot topic," said Laura Niedernhofer of the Scripps Research Institute. "Someone who does not dig in deeply thinks immediately, 'Oh my God, lifespan is going to extend and Social Security is already in bad shape, and so how are we going to handle this'?" Niedernhofer is an optimist, however, arguing that the costs of anti-aging therapies will more than pay for themselves, their costs offset by the fact that healthier people will require less medical care in the final years of their lives.

Another concern, said University of Minnesota bioethicist Leigh Turner, is pushing resources toward an unproven idea, instead of toward tried-and-true public health programs that have already been proven to extend lives and improve health, like providing clean drinking water or better waste management. But "nothing in our world is equitably distributed - not money, not food, not water," counters S. Jay Olshansky, who studies aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. These inequities aren't an excuse to stop pursuing an idea that could improve health for everyone. And the potential high cost shouldn't stop the research, he says: Richer countries have pursued a lot of expensive health interventions that were at first not affordable, or are still not affordable to parts of the developing world.


Well, they say that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Anyway, the article is not so bad. Apart from no apparent mistakes in the facts side, they include some proantiaging arguments. Quite an improvement.

Posted by: Antonio at December 13th, 2017 7:31 PM

Of course, there are some misunderstandings. They seem to fall to the Tithonus error. But anyway it's not that bad in general.

Posted by: Antonio at December 13th, 2017 7:34 PM


Agreed, the more mainstream news talking about REAL anti-aging, the better. We really should hope to get this idea out of the niche and into the general news.

Posted by: Robert at December 13th, 2017 8:48 PM

We sure need to pursue our publicisation efforts - but just by seeing the articles in the mainstream press getting more numerous and more serious, I can tell there's a real social shift in the making. It's the same phenomenon happening with robotisation and Basic Income.

Posted by: Spede at December 14th, 2017 12:46 AM

Broad hints of that favourite of policy makers: the precautionary principle. The whole e-cig farrago (for example) demonstrates that the 'public good' is in reality way down on the list of priorities. Am I cynical to think that the deadening hand of legislation will soon clamp down?

Posted by: Neal Asher at December 14th, 2017 4:36 AM

I think Reason brings up a valid concern, which I think is especially likely in the USA - that being the potential interventionist establishment he mentioned. I think that's probably very likely given now quick people are to complain and protest about anything and everything these days. It really wouldn't shock me to see some politicians make it the center of their platform and campaign against it, because it's against god and nature etc... which would likely get lots of votes in the US at least. Just my thoughts.

Posted by: Ham at December 14th, 2017 4:45 AM

At the moment, government's primary cost is in blocking progress in the West through the long and expensive approval process. But success will indeed draw their attention and it will probably be a bad thing. But it will only be a short delaying action, I think.

The best defense is to spread knowledge far and wide, and we have that with the internet. As long as treatments and drugs are cheap and easy, then demand will be met with supply somewhere in the world. They'd steal it, control it, or wreck it if they could, but it's probably going to be out of their hands.

If people go fly off to Thailand or Singapore or Russia and come back feeling great with all their hair growing back in, who is going to listen ridiculous government hand wringing about safety, or smuggling, or anything they have to say at all?

"It's not safe, you should just stay home, shrivel up and die." Nah, not gonna work. People are tired of hearing this sort of malarkey, they aren't listening any more, not really. Nobody believes anything coming out of Washington anymore.

Posted by: Paul at December 14th, 2017 5:52 AM

I think we need to be very concerned about the nexus of Government/Deep State power in the USA with Globalist corporate power. I have assumed since it's inception that the purpose of CALICO is to patent and block off, delay, or even misguide avenues of SENS research. The global elites, which have captured Washington through the Deep State are no doubt undermining rejuvenation therapies for the masses. This is just one front and reason why we must fight to Drain The Swamp and defeat the globalists.

Anecdotal evidence: There is one Alphabet high level employee who formerly used his blog to cover and advocate for SENS/Rejuvenation therapies, even talking about "bridges" to more advanced SENS time periods. That individual has gone silent.

Thank God for!

Posted by: Tom Schaefer at December 14th, 2017 8:55 AM


It's kind of sad to see this site degenerate into a Trumpanzee forum. For without government, the vast majority of us would simply be serfs. It's heading that way.
We would all have worse than Flint water, far more poisonous air, unsafe food and the like. In other words, the pure capitalist dream. Un-tethered to be your corporate, unelected masters.
No corporate accountability or clean up for the damage they do, it's ok because the taxpayer will end up cleaning that up for them.
Yeah, government has issues; part of our problem is the two party system. We need much more.

Posted by: bmack500 at December 14th, 2017 10:03 AM

Wow.. where to start...

Lets look at this with logic, and what we know now with some of the existing policies in place and developments we have already seen.

1) Lets assume the Elite don't want to die just as much as we do. And they go ahead and only make these therapies available to the affluent. How well do you think that's going to sit with the rest of the population? Their lives would be the most valuable thing they have. They can sill be killed by accidents meteor strikes or... angry mobs. Now THAT would cut your life expectancy short. Something tells me that even the most greedy irrational sociopath has some sense of self preservation. Try telling 99% of the population they have to die. A cornered animal with nothing to lose is a DANGEROUS opponent. If they want to go this route, its an instant loser. ESPECIALLY for them. They will have THE MOST to lose.

2) The economic burden of aging is IMMENSE. We can't afford it. Any G20 country is going to need this tech. Japan knows this. They are changing their regulatory environment to a progressive licensing model and I'm pretty sure the rest of the world will follow. Its really a double win. Modern economies will sink with the costs of aging. The other option is putting grandma in the woodchipper. They tried that in the UK and it BACKFIRED HARD.

3) We've seen some movement in the US already and the FDA seems to be on-board. The TAME trial is moving ahead, and it has the FDA's blessing. Earlier this year, we ALMOST had a transhumanist as the FDA head. Sure, Gottlieb got it, and he's better than most. Just have a look at the updated Regenerative Medicine guidelines. They know its coming and they are getting ready for it.

4) Seeing is believing. Right now, to most people, anti-aging therapies have ALWAYS been quackery. They are jaded, and distance themselves from any kind of hope in that area. How do you think this will change when they see REAL results in mice or humans?

5) The MSM has a general reputation now of being dishonest and complacent. I have to vet my news sources very carefully. I'm not alone. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the mainstream press is full of fake news, a sentiment that is held by a majority of voters across the ideological spectrum. The Elite's megaphone is broken. More and more people are cutting the cable cord every year. Reputable blogs, and media sources outside the US are taking over. (Thank you CBC, you aren't perfect, but your no FOX or CNN).

6) There seems to be a growing disregard for authority. The recent growth in biohacking and self experimentation with CRISPR come to mind. A lot of people are sick and tired with the heavy-handed FDA. This tech is now cheap enough that you could start up a garage lab and do some serious things. Who says this stuff has to be done in the US anyway?

7) Big money is moving in and they WILL lobby. Jim Mellon is becoming the financial face of our movement. To be honest, of all the HNWIs out there, I don't think we could have possibly done better. He doesn't have the deep pockets of Zuck, Gates, Bezos, etc, what he DOES have is credibility, a following, and straight up logic. He puts his money where his mouth is. This guy is actually building a company to build anti-aging drugs. He is one HELL of an advocate for us at the top level. He's sounding the bell and making the investor class take notice. He's trying to get the policy makers to take notice. He's spinning it as a real money making opportunity, and if he can pull it off all of this hand-wringing becomes mute.

Just have a look at him in action here. The 1% are increasingly becoming aware of the money this will make.

When looking for companies to invest in, he's pushing HARD for the biotechs and pharmas working on longevity, Andrew Scott is now backing him up. You think this is the only talk at that level going on? I'm betting Jim is fielding tonnes of calls from other investors he's connected with. Aubrey seems to hint at that in his AMA. This is starting to take on a life of its own.

The 1% don't know what to do with this yet, and you can see them TRYING to come to grips with it. It is one HELL of a mind shift from them. But if Jim can keep them on track, and I think he can, everyone wins.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at December 14th, 2017 10:07 AM

US two party system Im so tired of. In the nordic countries we have multi party system and voting gets more fun.

Posted by: Norse at December 14th, 2017 10:27 AM

Mark Borbely,

You give me hope. Thank You.

Posted by: bmack500 at December 14th, 2017 12:14 PM

You are most welcome bmack500!

One of the things we struggle with in the community (and this is true in the broader population as well), is we are dealing with an existential risk. Mainly, "We have a path to something that can save ALL our lives. This sounds too good to be true, it can never happen and we can't get our hopes up because of X".

This is actually a rational defense mechanism in today's day and age. Nothing like this has EVER happened in the history of our species. Every one of us suffers from existential depression and we are ALL fighting it right now. We get some good news, and we feel some relief, we get some bad news and we feel that the game is over.

The REALITY is neither. It's a battle in progress. You have to try to take emotion out of this. I hate to sound like a Star Trek nerd, but in this case, emotions run high, and its understandable. WE DON'T WANT TO DIE. It's fair to assume that many in the 1% feel the same way. So, we get a LOT of hand-wringing in this community. I have moments of weakness too, and I'm just as guilty. But... step back a sec, breathe, think. Take the panic and dread you feel at the back of your skull and push it out for a few minutes. Having SOME of that there IS good. It keeps us motivated, it keeps us focused. Too much and it becomes self defeating and paralyzing.


We know things the general population does not know yet. That is slowly changing.

We now know that the political class knows about this. There's a lot of head scratching as you can see from the above video. They don't 'get it' yet. But you can actually see the wheels turning in their heads. We need to do what we can to clarify what's happening into policies they can apply. If they need help and ask, WE MUST BE THERE AND WE MUST BE READY.

We know the science is possible. Soon EVERYONE will know this as well.

We know we're making progress.

We know that we're going to be a HUGE part of building this new society. We MUST be there to help others get around this paradigm shift in thought. We will be the tip-of-the-spear in all this. We have to show that you CAN re-invent yourself and that the longer the timeline you have alive, the more things can change for the better.

We must be armed with POWERFUL and IRREFUTABLE facts on economic, social, moral, and scientific issues. The Leon Kass's of the world can have all the death THEY want, I'll personally hand him a bottle of hemlock, but they have NO MORAL RIGHT to ask that of EVERYONE. We must hammer this last point home OVER AND OVER. We will be alive in this world, and we WILL find the solutions for everyone to thrive.

If one of our more 'connected' members are out there, I would suggest contacting a marketing MASTER to bring into the fold on framing issues. This is one area I would do everything I could to help. Framing/Marketing is important. It can turn the tide in this so fast. A lot of people think that the most powerful force known to man is something like... gravity, or entropy or something like that. It's not. It's Marketing/Framing. I'll go into it some other time.

Bottom line, we saw here today via that clip that the 1% and policy makers are becoming aware of what is coming. We need to start steering things in our favor now. Aubrey, LEAF, Jim and others are doing this. We need a plan from them, and we need to get on board.

I'm in.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at December 14th, 2017 2:09 PM

Hi all!

''This probably isn't something to be welcomed: the first instinct of that establishment is to put a halt to any form of change, the second is to tax every new thing regardless of the damage done, and the third is to restrict and control access, limiting it to those with connections. ''

That is what I fear will happen, it's always like that that it happens. But only movers and shakers can move and shake this whole thing from being Limited and constrained like eveything else.

''Try telling 99% of the population they have to die. A cornered animal with nothing to lose is a DANGEROUS opponent''


100% agree. It's akin to try telling 99% of population you are taking their guns or some other thing that is very important, in this case, that you will take their life because it is for the greater good of all/humanity. See my previous comment, they will try to use unethical methods because they will say that rejuvenation is Unethical by itself so things even out.
If they implant some chip in you to die at 120 or they come to get you (firing squad), it will be really the start of a revolution and the end of times as in, people will not let themselves be killed because they are 'told' they 'must' die 'because it is so' and you should 'shut up' and die a good behaving person (your life is worth nothnig anyway if they say oyou must die - when you acn STILL LIVE on and have the capacity too keep your life).

''It's kind of sad to see this site degenerate into a Trumpanzee forum. For without government, the vast majority of us would simply be serfs. It's heading that way.
We would all have worse than Flint water, far more poisonous air, unsafe food and the like. In other words, the pure capitalist dream. Un-tethered to be your corporate, unelected masters.
No corporate accountability or clean up for the damage they do, it's ok because the taxpayer will end up cleaning that up for them.
Yeah, government has issues; part of our problem is the two party system. We need much more.''

I''m fully agreeing with you, we are not trying to be haters living in some utopia in their minds (ok it might be a bit day dreaming but to dream you need a life in the first place) and if the gov or any entity 'Decides' that you are game over at 122years old, I'm sorry I don't buy it. See previous comments : China restricting you and its 1 billion people, what happens if LEV is available now and eternal life possible in 1 billion people in China....and the gov/authorities say NO - you will habve 1 child, 1 girl, 1 boy, 1 life, 1 death and we decide when.

War. only thing left, many will 'abide' and die and say there is notthing we can do we can allow follow the laws or ttry to vote them out; if that does not work we have to convert the minds of people, if that does not work; war or else we are pawns in this and 'captured' because don't we don'T believe that; we believe in living how long you can and protecting your life ;there is notthing wrong (though eticist will everything is wrong and selfish about that).

We are not trying to push away these regulatory bodies necesarrily just that they Listen and wokr with us instead of against us and DECIDE for US.

''For without government, the vast majority of us would simply be serfs. It's heading that way.
We would all have worse than Flint water, far more poisonous air, unsafe food and the like. In other words, the pure capitalist dream. Un-tethered to be your corporate, unelected masters.
No corporate accountability or clean up for the damage they do, it's ok because the taxpayer will end up cleaning that up for them.''

I am agreeing with you we are not trying to impose anything and we could suffer in certain areas as you said, water, bad air ,services lost - stone age basically by war (1 billion people in china revolted by being told they must comply and die on clock at 120-150 with no more than 1 child offspring to reduce overpopulation for 'forever living chinese people and filling the place to brim'), I think there can be an 'in between' where the gov will not be disappearing and can help with CERTAIN decisions not These decisions; such as your life, your rights on your life and death; which it decides right now and will be a problem later. Again with analogy of China war, Russia war, Us war, India war, the monst numerous countries in population will change the future because they will decide what happens next - do we stay docile and die.
or do we say no - our life counts and we wish to live how long we wish to live and WE decides so (because only you in you) not some entity that 'Wants Good For You'.

You know like Chucky movie, his salopette has ''Good Guys'' on's hard to take that doll face value when it's written ''GOOD GUYS'' on it. Some people/entities are like Chucky, nice on the outside evil in the inside.

''But you're a good guy, Chucky''

''Yeah, it says so on my clothes. Now, let's play a game of hide and seek''.

Just a 2 cent.

Posted by: CANanonymity at December 14th, 2017 2:12 PM

How old is Nir Barzilai is the photo of him with the Politicol article? That's what I want to know.

Posted by: NY2LA at December 14th, 2017 9:47 PM

"To prove that a drug prevents aging, companies will ultimately have to find changes in people that aren't known to be affected by disease. For example, skin gets lined and wrinkled and loses elasticity over the years - but that doesn't cause illness. Muscle mass also decreases with age. . . ."

This statement precisely summarizes my perspective on anti-aging research. I think this strategy will also be necessary to prove to the public that an anti-aging process is really possible. The general public will take successfully curing or preventing age related diseases for granted, as most of the general public takes the conquering of infectious diseases of the previous century for granted now.

Posted by: NY2LA at December 14th, 2017 10:10 PM

bmack500: One of the problems I see is a genetic one. I think humans have a discernment gene, but few have the beneficial allele. About 10% of the population are homozygous for the discernment capability allele. These are mainly scientists and other STEM people as well as some other not as well defined people in the population. About 30-40% of the people are heterozygous for the for the beneficial discernment allele, and about 40 to 50% of the masses do not have the beneficial allele, and have a very difficult time discerning truth from untruth. Apply that to our present state of politics and you will see what I am getting at, and it is really a serious genetic problem with the Human Race as well as a political Tribal rule society.

Posted by: Biotechy at December 15th, 2017 4:38 AM

"Ethicists are also more comfortable with senolytics than some other anti-aging ideas, because the drugs aren't intended to extend how long we live, but improve how well we live. The goal is to achieve what McGill University bioethicist Jennifer Fishman describes as the "ideal form of aging": to be healthy until right before you die. People would experience more years of healthy, active, dementia-free life and then a briefer, more merciful final illness."

Anything is acceptable as long as we die on time then, I suppose? Why do we have to listen to, or abide by what 'ethicists' (which generally tend to be nameless, faceless, and unaccountable to the average person) think regarding our lives, again?

Posted by: Ham at December 17th, 2017 10:23 AM
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