The Sizable First Volume of the 2017 Longevity Industry Landscape Overview

Over on the other side of our still quite modestly sized longevity science community you will find the network that includes Deep Knowledge Ventures, the Biogerontology Research Foundation, and the Aging Analytics Agency, source of the report I'll point out today. "Other side" is a relative term; it isn't far, and you'll recognize many of the names as also being involved in the US research and advocacy ventures more often mentioned here. Portions of our community have long pursued an interest in mapping the initiatives, people, and funding involved in aging research; see the International Aging Research Portfolio, for example. As the fields of geroscience and rejuvenation research have solidified and gathered increasing support, producing an overview of research aimed at the treatment of aging has become a sizable task. That point is well illustrated by the large first volume of the Longevity Industry Landscape Overview series, to be followed up by another four volumes in 2018, and then, if I understand the intent correctly, to be updated yearly going forward. It represents an imposing amount of work, and those involved are to be thanked for their dedication.

This sort of undertaking might be viewed as the building of a foundation, laying a part of the groundwork needed for large-scale investment in the future, particularly from governments and other entities capable of devoting enormous resources to a task (albeit usually clumsily, wastefully, and late). Organizations of that nature tend not to move at all until the topic at hand is buried beneath paper, committees, and years of consideration. All that the relevant functionaries know comes from digests and reports such as the Longevity Industry Landscape Overview, not first-hand understanding. At present the industry of treating aging is just moving out of the laboratory and into the stage of startup companies and handshake deals on investment, of funds whose principals can educate themselves on the science, and of people willing to make leaps of faith and risk. Somewhere in the future, that will slow down and become far more conservative; far greater sums will be moved around as treatments to modestly slow aging and treatments to repair the damage of aging move into the mainstream medical system.

Regarding the science, the first volume quoted here is a set of disparate views on how to proceed, from the pharmaceutical metabolic manipulation to slow aging that characterizes the geroscience community to the SENS vision of regenerative medicine applied to aging, the periodic repair of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging. There is no integration between these different paths ahead, because there really can't be; the purpose is to show the diversity of opinions in the context of a young and rapidly growing industry, not smooth over the sizable differences and many disagreements on the best approach to take. In the years ahead, the evidence from studies in mice and humans will guide the way. The best approaches will stand out and be taken forward to the clinic - just so long as we, the advocates, manage to argue well and raise sufficient philanthropic funding to allow the most promising studies to be carried out in the first place. Standing aside and letting matters progress without that intervention isn't an option, as it only leads to years of unnecessary delay.

Longevity industry systematized for first time

For scientists, policy makers, regulators, government officials, investors and other stakeholders, a consensus understanding of the field of human longevity remains fragmented, and has yet to be systematized by any coherent framework, and has not yet been the subject of a comprehensive report profiling the field and industry as a whole by any analytical agency to date. Experts on the subject of human longevity, who tend arrive at the subject from disparate fields, have failed even to agree on a likely order of magnitude for future human lifespan. Those who foresee a 100-year average in the near future are considered extreme optimists by some, while others have even mooted the possibility of indefinite life extension through comprehensive repair and maintenance. As such the longevity industry has often defied real understanding and has proved a complex and abstract topic in the minds of many, investors and governments in particular.

A report entitled 'The Science of Longevity', standing at almost 800 pages in length, seeks to rectify this. Part 1 of the report ties together the progress threads of the constituent industries into a coherent narrative, mapping the intersection of biomedical gerontology, regenerative medicine, precision medicine, and artificial intelligence, offering a brief history and snapshot of each. Part 2 lists and individually profiles 650 longevity-focused entities, including research hubs, non-profit organizations, leading scientists, conferences, databases, books and journals. Infographics are used to illustrate where research institutions stand in relation to each other with regard to their disruptive potential: companies and institutions specialising in palliative technologies are placed at the periphery of circular diagrams, whereas those involved with more comprehensive, preventative interventions, such as rejuvenation biotechnologies and gene therapies, are depicted as central.

Since these reports are being spearheaded by the UK's oldest biomedical charity focused on healthspan extension, the Biogerontology Research Foundation is publishing them online, freely available to the public. While the main focus of this series of reports is an analytical report on the emerging longevity industry, the reports still delve deeply into the science of longevity, and Volume I is dedicated exclusively to an overview of the history, present and future state of ageing research from a scientific perspective. Volume 2, is set to be published shortly thereafter, and will focus on the companies and investors working in the field of precision preventive medicine with a focus on healthy longevity, which will be necessary in growing the industry fast enough to avert the impending crisis of global aging demographics.

These reports will be followed up throughout the coming year with Volume 3 ("Special Case Studies"), featuring 10 special case studies on specific longevity industry sectors, such as cell therapies, gene therapies, AI for biomarkers of aging, and more, Volume 4 ("Novel Longevity Financial System"), profiling how various corporations, pension funds, investment funds and governments will cooperate within the next decade to avoid the crisis of demographic aging, and Volume 5 ("Region Case Studies"), profiling the longevity industry in specific geographic regions.

Longevity Industry Landscape Overview 2017, Volume 1: the Science of Longevity (PDF)

The greatest problem threatening global economic prosperity and social stability is demographic aging. The only sustainable solution is to extend healthy lifespan (healthspan). Clearly it would be desirable to add life to our years rather than merely years to our lives. But few are aware that health span extension is becoming routine in the laboratory. Scientific breakthroughs have demonstrated up to 30% increased healthspan extension in mice, and much more in non-mammalian model organisms by various pharmacological, environmental, and genetic interventions. In recent years, scientists have elucidated the fundamental mechanisms or hallmarks of aging, opening the field of geroscience - the understanding and manipulation of the fundamental biological processes in age-related disease.

The widest ceiling over the aspirations of geroscience has always been the inextricability of disease from aging and the inextricability of aging from human metabolism, which, being so complex and integral to our day-to-day functioning, can only be amended rather than reconstructed. This limits us because it robs us of the most obvious approach to radical life extension: radical interference in human metabolism. For just as we might like to be able to alter a car's inner workings so that they inflict less wear and tear, so too might we like to be able to somehow rearrange metabolism so that it inflicts less wear and tear on body tissues.

Sadly this is not an option. While subtle interventions in areas such as calorie restriction mimetics hold some promise to appreciably increase life expectancy, anything amounting to a successful radical intervention in metabolism which radically extends life span is inconceivable for the foreseeable future for the above reasons. This brings us to the alternative approach to vehicle longevity: repair and maintenance. Which in human terms means the continuous restoration of human tissues, irrespective of the various processes that age them.

These two approaches differ starkly. The former could be thought of as like meddling with the inner mechanisms of a clock, cogs and all, in order to slow it down. The latter could be imagined as forcing back the hands of a clock, setting back the progress, while inner clockwork, the process, remains unaffected. In human terms 'setting back the hands' means taking knowledge obtained by geroscience, fashioning it into a damage report and devising a repair strategy. And just as setting back a clock does not require the same extensive knowledge of horology as would be involved with meddling with the clockwork, nor does the restoration of aging tissue require an unfeasibly extensive knowledge of geroscience, only enough to enumerate the manifest differences between old and young tissue. So could we then aspire to repair these enumerated damages comprehensively enough and rapidly enough to appreciably postpone disease? In other words might there be an extent to which we can afford to allow aging to proceed as it normally does while simultaneously clearing up the damage it leaves behind, kicking the can disease down the road?

We are in effect describing the application of regenerative medicine to aging. Regenerative medicine is an area of biotechnology which aims to restore damaged tissues and organs. So why not tissues and organs damaged by the miscellaneous ravages of age?

Comments

By "the other side" do you mean "the other side of the pond"? Or some research side, like programmed/non-programmed aging?

Posted by: Antonio at February 3rd, 2018 12:25 AM

"Clearly it would be desirable to add life to our years rather than merely years to our lives."

It's not clear at all. Many of us would prefer the opposite.

Posted by: Antonio at February 3rd, 2018 6:17 AM

"They are living long lives and developing wisdom", physicist Stanton T. Friedman said about aliens if they visited earth what they would do.

That shows for me that a longest possible life is the most important goal. When an advanced civilisation chose that we should as a society too.

Posted by: Norse at February 3rd, 2018 6:43 AM

@Antonio and others: Im tired of those that have objections to a long life. A man I met said its quality that counts. I hope I show him one day that I have made big money and the cause and companies working on this are the largest.

Posted by: Norse at February 3rd, 2018 6:44 AM

@Antonio: People who are largely two and three degrees of separation away, rather than largely one and two degrees away.

Posted by: Reason at February 3rd, 2018 6:55 AM

@Norse Yeah, if you don't have life, you don't have anything. Dead people don't have health nor wealth nor happiness nor love nor anything. Lifespan, first and foremost, then health, not the opposite. I can't understand the people that address death as unimportant vs health, saying that they don't care to live longer. Then why do we have such a big framework against homicide, suicide, mortal accidents, ...?? Why the hardest penalties of our legal systems are for murderers, not for people that cause ill-health to others??

I'm really sick of hearing the health-not-longevity mantra...

Posted by: Antonio at February 3rd, 2018 6:58 AM

The health not longevity mantra is a strategy because people associate longevity with more time sick and frail. It is the standard line that most researchers use to placate the audience and it is not going away anytime soon. When you hear it in most cases the researchers know damn well what the goal is but they are playing it safe. There are of course some exceptions like Faragher and others who actually believe health and not health and longer life combined is the only goal here. However, it's all about spin and this is why we see the phrase oft repeated. Play the game.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 3rd, 2018 7:26 AM

@Antonio: I agree. What I particularly hate is the tacit ableism. They're basically saying it's better to die than to live with a disability or chronic condition. The sort of logic that leads so many parents to murder their disabled children.

Posted by: TL at February 3rd, 2018 7:33 AM

In advocacy its all about playing the game. Trust me, most of these researchers know exactly what the goal is but science is always appropriately cautious, and this is all about spin and getting the public onboard. Take it from those of us working on the frontlines, this mantra will be here for a good while until things fall into place.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 3rd, 2018 7:52 AM

@ Steve : You have a point, but at the same time the hypocrisy from the researchers is unbearable. Scientists aren't supposed to be hypocritical. It's against the very concept of science.

@ TL : Disables and chronically ill people also have the right to die. But because society is so disgustingly regressive and inhuman, it denies them this right to die in a dignified manner.

Posted by: Spede at February 3rd, 2018 7:56 AM

@Steve Hill: Equally, the rejuvenation research community exists at all because a number of people in the transhumanist community wanted progress towards radical life extension and were not shy about talking about it. The danger of moderation in public messaging is that you get what you're asking for.

To be clear: the whole and entire point of this exercise is the end of aging, followed by the end of death to the greatest degree possible.

The more that we talk about radical life extension and demonstrate that it is plausible, the further along towards that goal we move. That people react poorly at first is a challenge; it is not a reason to change the goal.

Posted by: Reason at February 3rd, 2018 8:15 AM

Wow, FA! appears in their infography of top 10 resources! Congratulations!

Posted by: Antonio at February 3rd, 2018 8:24 AM

"The more that we talk about radical life extension and demonstrate that it is plausible, the further along towards that goal we move. That people react poorly at first is a challenge; it is not a reason to change the goal."

No, but that is about changing the attitude of academics Reason and we both know that is not an easy task. The public like reassurance and they react to the right messaging so playing the game to a certain extent is the way to go.

And yes we also both know the goal as do most researchers. But it is not always the best move for them career-wise to radical. We are getting there and once the technology starts arriving I expect most people will wise up. For now play the game.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 3rd, 2018 8:37 AM

"Clearly it would be desirable to add life to our years rather than merely years to our lives."

The main provocative point in this sentence is that they are trying to impose their values on others. What if a person wants the opposite?

Posted by: Norse at February 3rd, 2018 8:56 AM

Hi! Just a 2 cent.

''Clearly it would be desirable to add life to our years rather than merely years to our lives.''

Just like what Abraham Lincoln said long ago:

''At the end, it is not the years in your life that count, it is the life in your years''.

Goes to show, that centuries pass and 'the more it changes the more it's the same'.

It will be hard to deconstruct these old humanity feelings. It's only normal, it's human nature.

''Clearly it would be desirable to add life to our years rather than merely years to our lives.''

Simply put, it is a health question (and ethics thrown in because health reaches ethics, and ethics reach health). That is,

Do you want to suffer, as other said have a period of frailty that last Much longer than before' - because you are living longer ?

Many people will answer: no. It if means long-lasting suffering and decrepiting - forget about it I rather End It right now than go through this misery. What kind of life is that ?
It might be a 'life' but not the 'kind' of life I want (one with suffering) I don't wish that, I wish one WITHOUT suffering and pain (for a long time at least), if ever. Pain is part of life, it's a mechanism to protect you and tell you you are being endangered/your life is endangered - it's inflammation, a response, you need it (to alert you of impending danger on yours if not acting to stop the threat. You are incuring damage and that is 'felt' quick, DDR (DNA damage response full pin)).

But us humans despite so prefer avoiding pain and misery altogether, whenever we can and longest possible; anti-inflammation is the name of the game. Anti-inflammation protects you and curbs pain/decrepitude/even aging. Thus, it is about protecting your life.

But,

"Clearly it would be desirable to add life to our years rather than merely years to our lives."

Assumes that we will be sick, dying, frail and unhealthy, because it is what happens for the majority of us as we age. Thus, it's normal to come up with that thought.

''Don't think about the pain, the bad memories...forget about that...think about the positive and great years in your life...that is what matters''.

Your life has an end thus you are limited in numbers of years, the point being focus on the good ones - the ones that had 'life' in them - as in no suffering.

I think THAT is what people mean.

Now, don't get me wrong, I agree but I'm not just for that, I am also for Both.
That is that, in life, you must Survive and pain is part of it (Trust Me. I Know. I was going to be dead, and here I am. Atherosclerosis would have killed me and I live decrepit.).

I LIVE ON. Yeah Scott Emptage may call me a Debbie downer party pooper pessimist : )but
when you go through sh...lots of it. and pain and think..ok you know what, I had it....it's Over and Out. I want Out. I'm done.

Well, the pain is just unbearable anymore (same thing for people suffereing of mental problems and being suicidal, their meantal pain is too huge it takes over and their brain atrophies - it can only be them to suicide because the pain unberable anymore).

Life is harsh, hard and emotionless, it does not care;

Would I go Through All Over what I went through - like having atherosclerosis AGAIN...no prob not.
But If my life depended on it (and it does) then yes I would go through all this sh again and feel death ever closer.

Survivors are special breed, you become thick skin and then you even become Repeat Survivor, you can ReSurvive what you went through and Live Pain, Again, Again and Again. Until you think you should end it because you are tired and weak and so f...'tired/annoyed' that it repeats on and on...Why could it just not be BETTER...because seomtimes life hands you lemons...many, one after another.

You might not be Lucky.

The question is, how Willing, how Much Do You Want To Survive and Live On. Despite hurting ?

That is mental power, mental will. Build your mind again pain, don't be cold but be ready because it can come.

I am FOR Lifespan extension and FOR respecting those that wish to end it, like pull plug on coma person for example.

SENS offers a future of good health and longevity, that is the message that they must understand. It is not just pain, there is possibility to obtain a good healthy life WITH longevity. But that message does not get through.

Because people fear lifespan extension or Eternal life as Something 'no ok/not ethical'. Because 'you must have pain' and 'you must die' (says every fatalist amd ethicist).

How about No, Not die, Not pain, none of that...would you like that ?

''No.'' ''I would prefer pain, and remember the life in my years...and then die peacefully''.

Not even 'FREE IMM.Eternal Life TM - no pain, just bliss' ?

''No.''

It's hopeless to try to sway them, stubborn and mule like. That's human nature, you can offer a thousand solution but it's 'not right or ethical'.

Just a two cent.

Posted by: CANanonymity at February 3rd, 2018 11:19 AM

lol CANanonymity has spent so many 2 cents on here over the years he could probably fund the end of aging :)

Remember what Aubrey says, we do not have to convince everyone about the validity of ending aging, only enough people. I paraphrase somewhat but he is right and we are right now seeing a significant shift in support and opinion. I can tell you from the advocacy front and fundraising, things are becoming easier. Not easy but easier. I believe there will be a tipping point in the future where things begin to really move, we are getting there but there is a ways to go yet.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 3rd, 2018 11:34 AM

The Spirit to live longer varies by the person and their life situation. Take Physicist Stephen Hawking (76), he is still going strong with predictions for the Earth and Society and man's future, despite being a longtime physical invalid.

Posted by: Biotechy at February 4th, 2018 9:26 AM

@Steve Hill: "Remember what Aubrey says, we do not have to convince everyone about the validity of ending aging, only enough people."

I discussed with an academic in political science. He said: That you will not get enough people with you to support. Because we need something new. Therefore we have sex organs.

Posted by: Norse at February 4th, 2018 9:31 AM

@ Norse : It's fine. We just need enough wealthy people onboard. Thankfully, the number of these people supporting our cause is growing - either as donors or as investors.

Posted by: Spede at February 4th, 2018 10:21 AM

@spede jim mellon FTW

Posted by: scott emptage at February 4th, 2018 10:53 AM

Steve,

Where are you seeing a significant shift in support and opinion? Academic circles? I mean, I take your word for it, since you're clearly way more involved, but I'm just curious. Because as far as I can see, there's no shortage of hit pieces published in mainstream media, like this one from ~2 weeks ago: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/opinion/sunday/silicon-valley-immortality.html . Which, as I'm sure you could guess, also receives little support for our cause in the comments.

I suspect that a lot of academics, policymakers, and the general public probably would have the same response as the person Norse mentioned too, unfortunately. Either way, the uptick in funding has been great, and hopefully it continues and translates into something tangible.

Posted by: Ham at February 4th, 2018 11:06 AM

@norse I bet the public will change their minds when they see rejuvenation in a human being

Posted by: Scott emptage at February 4th, 2018 2:02 PM

Scott,

You would think so, but I wouldn't count on it. Surely people are objecting to it for more reasons than not wanting to get false hope about it. I highly doubt people will just suddenly get over their concerns about evil dictators, population, the environment, and religion. I hope I'm wrong but we'll see.

Posted by: Ham at February 4th, 2018 2:05 PM

@ham Aubrey says there will be at least a decade or so where people know it's coming, which gives people time to think things through and adapt to the idea

Posted by: Scott e at February 4th, 2018 2:13 PM

I've thought for a while now that if there ever was something meaningful coming through the pipeline, it would be a hotly contested and debated topic much like abortion is here in the US... and all that comes with that. I'm just hoping whatever comes doesn't get tied up in red tape forever, really.

Posted by: Ham at February 4th, 2018 2:21 PM

@Ham the concerns that peopke have are easily debunked using data, so any delay caused by ethical debates is pretty stupid. if the treatments are aimed at targeting damages that cause disease then i cant see how anyone would choose they would rather get it for fear of overpopulation

Posted by: scott emptage at February 4th, 2018 2:33 PM

This is where China comes handy. They're aggressively building up their biotechnology industry and have no qualms about going against established fairytales.

I hope the SENS approach will be embraced by Chinese scientists and businessmen. These people could really speed up the whole field.

Posted by: Spede at February 4th, 2018 2:36 PM

We don't need public support. Just financial support.
What the average Joe wants is irrelevant.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 4th, 2018 2:48 PM

@Ham

Hi Ham ! Thanks for that link. Just a 2 cent (Steve I am a good payer, :) soon I will change it to 'Just my 2 bit coins' (each bit coin is Worth a lot (more than 2 cents)).

I read the comment section. Oh... My.

-God.

Anonymoose is right that we should not be listening Too much what they say because not that is completely irrevelant, but Less revelant because it seems so one-sided : 'Down with the Imm.lists/Eternal self-absorbed people who want life extension/live forever'.

It's eye opening. THe readers are so fatalist. Except a few 'decent reseaonable ones'. I picked up a few and give thoughts :

''Outliving everyone you've ever known or loved? No thanks. Death gives life meaning. Perpetual life sounds akin to purgatory, or those so eager to go on a one-way ticket to inhospitable Mars: lonely.''

At least people are starting to realize there are other planets besides earth, that's a good thing; altought I do agree on the 'lonely' point; life is Lonely but you make the best to make it less lonely but at any time in life you will face loneliness it is an intrinsic element of it. Because only You lives In You. ''Death gives life meaning''. Yes, I could understand, but you know what else : ''Life gives meaning to Living On and pushing back Death''. They can it is meaningless to 'live on' and that death is more meaningful/and to life (since it gives it meaning). But the contrary seems not 'meaningfull' (enough) that is 'better' to die than to live (on). Yes it's sad that you may outlive people who Prefer To Die then wish rejuvenation, it is a choice; you can't stop them 'from wanting to die', in life you will have many encounters some short, some long, some that you will have to 'move on' from and learn to adapt that they 'are gone'.

''Perpetual life sounds akin to purtagory''. That might be an overstatement, though I do understand the point of 'forever pain and loneliness' because others die before you/you outlive them all - thus you death dying people all around you 'as you live on'.

''If only the billionaires were nearly as interested in preserving the biosphere - as it is, they may get extended lives, all right, with no healthy planet on which to live. The roll call of devastating events caused by man goes on and on - from oceans filled with plastic to South Africa on track to run out of water this year to 360 billion dollars worth of damage from hurricanes and fires to millions of dead trees and the destruction of the Amazon, the lungs of the planet...but oh no, these fools are concerned with extending their own lives, and only with extending their own lives. ''

It's true the collective is important (Altrustic vs individualistic, altruism vs selfishim/individualism), and the 'collective' is 'Earth' - the people in it, all of them.
The biosphere, a healthy planet, I understand. But Earth is not the Only thing there is, there are other solutions, other planets, other ways.

''but oh no, these fools are concerned with extending their own lives, and only with extending their own lives''.

Yes and no. Not so fool after all. Maybe you show foolishness too. It's true that it is selfish, but it an altruistic individualism where it is for you mostly, but it is wished for all (all those who wish it too) and those who do not wish it; no problem, you don't have to wish it and you will not receive it, we use respect - BUT DO NOT ENFORCE YOUR WISH ON US because Then it is ONE-sided and YOU want to decide on us; and that does not work - THAT IS OPPRESSION/CONTROL FREAK. I know they will say ''no no we are not enforcing our controlling fatalist belief, we are just 300 million people who believe the same, thus it makes you very minimal with your 'Eternal life bs convictions. I.e. your views are futile and unimportant/don't count because we are 300 million strong that believe that Death Is The Answer. The Good one. The Right One. The Ethical One. The One You Will Abide By.
Says 300 million people against not even 10,000 'eternalist' 'Life ExtensioN 'out there' people''.

Thank goodness some decent ones that use their logic common sense, not just their ethical emotional one :

''2. The attitude is not one of fearing death - there have been so many eloquent comments about embracing death and how death defines life and what not. But all of that is a fatalistic view. What if we gave up on every challenge because death was inevitable so why bother? No, these guys know death is inevitable, but they ask the question, what if I could beat it back a little bit, how would that work? As in, sure birds and insects can fly and humans cannot. Give up? No, what if we could fly for a few minutes, a few feet, how would that work, what would it feel like?...
''

''As a hospice nurse, I can assure you money will not help. They too will die. Of course, the entitled are always shocked that they are simply mortal like the folks they look down upon. Of course it is those same folks they need to help them when their health deteriorates. Such a cruel irony. ''

Assumed, we are all entitled rich spoiled with all the resources.

Here is the best comment answer to that :

''I am like my elderly mother, who says, "I can't die yet because I'm still curious about what happens."
I am a woman with an abundance of empathy, based on mothering children, the elderly, and the insane. In sickness and in health. I don't have money or privilege, and I can brag that I am humble. ahem. Nothing about me resembles those dscribed as actively seeking eternal life.
And I really really really don't want to die. Ever.
So in this piece by Ms. Horn, we learn that certain super rich people (who may or may not be vapid or creepy)also really don't want to die and are putting their money into research to make that happen... And why not?
I think that brings us all closer together.
Most of us want to see how this story of Earth and Humanity comes out.''

Wow. A poorer person, woman (because it is only evil rich Tycoon Men that wish Eternal life apparently, the selfish ones in love with their cash$), that says :

''...And I really really really don't want to die. Ever.''

Another...

''Hubris is the marking of someone who wants to live forever. To live well one must embrace mortality and the preciousness of this life. ''

and another

''Actually there are 4 ends defined in Hinduism.

1) Wealth 2) Fame 3) Goodness 4) Freedom (enlightenment).
...One who has immense wealth might crave fame and mostly get it. Some of them might then start craving goodness. We already see examples of people who have so much that they would then start wanting to do good. Earn good karma.

Once in a blue moon, there might be someone who gets disenchanted and starts desiring dis-attachment from the rest of the three ends. Rare. Lord Buddha. ''

We are entering sin terrority (greed, selfish, jealosy, apathy...).
''Earn good karma... Rare, Lord Buddha''.

How do I answer this (with respect), your beliefs are important (religious or not), but now it is more than just that - you are talking about pure ethics (Good humans, elightnment, craving..). You are not talking about Life and Death, in the most primal biological sense.
None of this makes much sense when you are near dying (as I went through), what DOES make sense is : Will You Live or Will You Die. Period. That is what matters 'now' and later you can deal with the aftermath or 'was it 'ok' or 'good' ethically/religiously/societarily...'.
I say later because life is short and there may be no 'later'. I know that ethics are done 'ahead' to control on Follow-Up actions since that is the whole point of ethics but there is not much thought put in about survival; survival seems totally absent from all these commments, like 'Survival ? What'S that ?...in what world do we need to survive, exactly, none'.

''After you have billions of dollars (but want more), after you have all the sex with as many partners as you desire (but want more), after you've acquired a museum of art (but want more), after you have a private jet (but want a bigger one), after you have experienced everything a mortal can experience yet still crave more experience, more knowledge ... what is left?

To live forever, of course! So you can never stop gorging yourself on the fruits of the world and consume unlimited mental and physical pleasure and gratification.

The greatest sacrifice a human can make is to give up their life for another. This is the selflessness we see in soldiers and why we honor them. This is the supreme sacrifice Jesus taught and how he reshaped history.

Contrast that with the greedy selfishness of these men -- and yes they are mostly men -- who want to make themselves immortal and you see just how small these men are. Even Dante couldn't have conceived a circle of Hell deep enough to hold the conceit of immortality.''

The cherry on the sundae, philosophy and ethics again, we have a big mountain to climb to cony this mass but like Anonymoose said, maybe it is futile and just forget about it; and if people want to join in later after a slight change of mind when they being to FEEL PAIN and DYING in AGONY, OK.. if not, OK.

If they Want pain and agony, and death. Let them have it, we'll have the inverse; everyone's happy and if they try to Attack us or block us- well now they are asking for trouble (and causing it as instigators). In the mean time better to ignore must of of this even if it very eye opening to read this. Respect and Peace to both side. But if they make war to us, it's going to be a long road.

Just a 2 cent -> converted 2 bit coins.

Posted by: CANanonymity at February 4th, 2018 7:06 PM

CANanonymity

It really was a cesspool in the comments section. I don't know if the whole not needing public support thing is true either... unless it's simply a free for all, pay as you go type deal (which usually gets depicted as a dystopia... think Elysium), where only the people who can afford it live extended lives. Which, despite the normal objection of 'only for the rich', on a global scale, the average American, Canadian, or western European is considered 'rich' compared to most other places in the world. But given today's political climate in regards to income inequality, who knows. Interesting times ahead.

Posted by: Ham at February 4th, 2018 7:25 PM

@Ham
I stopped thinking wide public support for LE can be achieved years ago - probably around the time I stopped being a starry eyed idiot in his early 20s. I'm pretty sure this is irrevocably true for the next 30+ years and so I've stopped caring for the political side of things.
We need industry, not political parties.

On dystopia I have a couple of thoughts:
1. Is it truly dystopia if people don't want and don't need what they can't get? I mean according to them they don't anyway. Will their opinion change once it's something they can actually buy but can't afford? Yes. Inwardly probably, but under perceived peer pressure they'll keep saying they don't want it - they will demonize anyone who does get it for a good while. So just don't be a public figure and you'll be OK.

2. Ultimately, and this should be rammed in the public's face as much as possible - it's a dystopia of their making. It always is. And anyone who thinks differently is a conspiracy theorist or some other assorted nutjob.

As for "inequality" - the left has moved the conversation to identity politics because, I suspect they are painfully aware, class warfare is impossible in the post-human industry era. The means of production? The average person has no clue what to do with them anymore, we moved away from hammers and nails a good 50 years ago. Human involvement in production in general is shrinking rapidly and that makes the whole "power to the workers" ideology of the 19th and 20th century meaningless. Since pretty much everyone is a part of the service industry now, or producing "intangible" goods at best, redistribution is impossible.

As for that article - there are enough good comments. But man, what a hilarious 3rd wave feminist article that was. Something something white men. Something something oppression.

Let's just ignore most people involved in the Hollywood rape scandal are not exactly, racially uniform. If anything there were just as many colored men as white and a sizable part of the white men were from the same ethnic background as the author of the article something she would very much like you to ignore.
I don't know about you but I'm always a bit angered when certain people become a separate racial (or at the very least ethnic) entity in relation to a certain historical event but are the same race as you whenever they fuck up. I'm not saying that the aforementioned historical event did not happen or that I approve of it mind you. But even this level of criticism towards those who shall not be named is considered dangerously "right wing" so I'm going to stop here.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 1:42 AM

When it comes to changing minds, I find it's best to use comparisons. Instead of just saying death is bad - sure, it is, but most people are too brainwashed to accept that - ask them if they believe a treasured monument like Big Ben in London should be allowed to fall into disrepair and eventually crumble to dust. If they say no, ask why they think something infinitely more complex and precious - a human mind - should suffer the same fate.

Ask them if they believe rape is bad. If they say yes, ask them why they believe age and annihilation - a process that violates autonomy and dignity every bit as much as rape does - is good.

Ask them if they believe women should have a choice in whether or not to have an abortion. If they say yes, ask them why they believe women shouldn't have a choice in whether or not they die - a far worse fate than giving birth to an undesired child.

At the very least, it should make them think instead of regurgitating the same old nonsense.

Posted by: TL at February 5th, 2018 2:59 AM

Unrelated, but I just saw this...

https://aeon.co/essays/the-virtual-afterlife-will-transform-humanity

Really cool article about existing in a virtual world. Then you get to the final paragraph;

'To me, this prospect is three parts intriguing and seven parts horrifying. I am genuinely glad I won't be around. This will be a new phase of human existence that is just as messy and difficult as any other phase has been, one as alien to us now as the internet age would have been to a Roman citizen 2,000 years ago; as alien as Roman society would have been to a Natufian hunter-gatherer 10,000 years before that. Such is progress. We always manage to live more-or-less comfortably in a world that would have frightened and offended the previous generations.'

I just...what. What. Seriously.

He paints a picture of this incredible future, then declares he's glad he's going to be destroyed before it happens because it might be - oh noes - kind of spooky, and then he immediately contradicts himself by noting quite correctly that people have always been able to adapt to change. And yet...he's glad that he's going to die because adapting to change is just too hard.

Seriously, what.

Also, does he really think a Roman wouldn't love to live in today's world and experience airplanes and movies and cupcakes and all the billions of new awesome things we've made.

Posted by: TL at February 5th, 2018 3:56 AM

Whenever it comes to "immortality" I've been of the opinion we shouldn't talk about it because it's not at all related to longevity. You will die. Inevitably. There might be something left behind you, could be a child, could be something more ephemeral as a digital echo, but inevitably you will die.

And since this is such a topic of contention for religions - transhumanism being one - I prefer not to deal with this topic at all. It's not helpful to talk about with people, and it's not helpful to think about either. Why waste time on the impossible? Why try to convince people if you're not part of a sect yourself?

Personally I think digital recordings of humans are a waste of resources anyway. It's software tailor made for this specific machine. Put it in something else and you will experience unpredictable bugs.
And if I've learned something from VR - digital afterlife will be a hell rather than a heaven. Whoever wants that ... I mean ultimately you won't be experiencing it personally but still, think of your clones sanity :).

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 4:35 AM

The audience and support for LE is growing. What you folks need to understand about the internet and especially shitty articles like the above one in NYT is that they act as like a giant lens and focus these people. We are out there talking to average people and I can tell you that the majority are open to listening and often supportive if things are explained properly. You should not take comments sections in extremely biased articles as being indicative of what the public wants. There are numerous studies showing they are in favor of LE if health is part of the deal. It is easy to get disillusioned when you read comments like this but always remember that the internet focuses these people, they do not speak for the majority. I cannot stress this enough.

The movement succeeding is going to be a mix of grassroots creating a popular movement which then attracts celebs and investors. This has already started to happen and that momentum is growing each passing year. Have some faith folks things are moving ahead.

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 5th, 2018 5:43 AM

@Anonymoose

I disagree that immortality isn't an important concept in discussions of longevity.

I disagree that transhumanism is a religion. That's as silly as saying atheism is a religion.

'Unpredictable bugs' - like what. Also, our ugly awful stupid meat bodies already come with a TON of unpredictable bugs.

What have you learned from VR that suggests it would be 'hell rather than heaven'.

Not saying that VR would be 'heaven', just that it would be better than what we've got right now.

Posted by: TL at February 5th, 2018 6:50 AM

@Ham: You wrote: "It really was a cesspool in the comments section. I don't know if the whole not needing public support thing is true either..."

It was me who wrote that we need public support, but I have thought about if we really need it before and have come to the conclusion that we dont. But we need a certain number of people as scientists, advocates, donors, investors. How many in numbers I dont know. I think over a million persons dedicating their work to it. I take the number because over a million scientist work on stem cells. I prefer a million small donors over a single millionaire donor. He might die, change his mind, etc. The focus should be on expanding our donor base and dedicated persons.

Posted by: Norse at February 5th, 2018 6:56 AM

@TL
"I disagree that transhumanism is a religion. That's as silly as saying atheism is a religion."

Atheos means without god. Not without religion. The word for being without a religion is irreligious. Transhumanism is absolutely a religion and there is enough academic work you can read which has analyzed the movement in historical and social context which supports this conclusion.

"'Unpredictable bugs' - like what. Also, our ugly awful stupid meat bodies already come with a TON of unpredictable bugs. "

Like digitized human minds realizing pretty fast they don't enjoy anything they do. Because enjoyment is triggered by interacting with biological imperatives.
Enjoyment to begin with is something they will be able to toggle on and off at will.
And if you can simply toggle feelings like happiness and ecstasy - I'm sure anyone rational can see what is going to happen.

There is also the problem with curiosity - I've heard a lot of transhumanists say they want to learn everything so I know that's going to hit you hard - curiosity is governed by the same biological reward mechanisms as everything else. Eating knowledge isn't in anyway different from eating food to your mind.

The moment a digitized human mind realizes it can feel fulfillment automatically without doing anything - it's all over. Most minds will simply stop functioning altogether. This is why drug addiction is so strong.

And what if you simply resist the urge to feel good? If you can.
It's very hard for a human to imagine living without any reward mechanism but it's probably similar to being constantly clinically depressed. So I imagine most of those digitized people will choose euphoria over feeling empty and meaningless.

Now granted this is only true for normal minds. There are the socio and psychopaths which have heightened self preservation algorithms. They might be able to persevere. And herein lies an actual danger, a digitized human with the right inclination will very soon realize he is not in complete control of his survival unless his has an interface to the physical world. And I'm sure there will be biological humans stupid enough to provide it. An unscrupulous unsupervised megalomaniac AI with human rights... the sci fi horror is writing itself.

For the betterment of humanity digitizing humans should probably be heavily regulated, just as much as AIs to be honest. A human mind without the constraints of biology is a terror, not something to look forward to. I agree with that author.

As for VR. Try VR chat. It's a bad representation because people still fear social shunning so there is still some modulation on behavior but it's less than in the real world. Those are still biological humans to remind you. Still have dopamine increases every time someone laughs at their jokes or wants to be friends with them. If interaction changes THAT much by a the addition of anonymity (I suppose that's true for certain internet cesspools) I can only vaguely extrapolate what a room of digitized humans would look like in conversation. Something akin a thermonuclear war probably.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 7:52 AM

@Anonymoose: Transhumanism isn't a religion, it is a name given to a set of ideas and aspirations relating to technology and its potential uses. If you want to live longer through technology, then congratulations, then you are a transhumanist by virtue of wanting to overcome boundaries on the present human condition through research and development. That's all there is to it. Nothing magical.

Posted by: Reason at February 5th, 2018 8:00 AM

@Reason
The problem with ideologies is they sound very nice if they are condensed into 3 sentences but they are less so once you extrapolate.
Communism and Fascism sound plenty agreeable when you condense them to same length.

Transhumanism has always suffered from supporters with misanthropic streaks. In many ways it's akin to environmentalism but it's on the other side of the spectrum. Instead of nature woo you have technology woo.

Transcending limitations is great as long as you don't believe you are ushering in utopia. Unfortunately very few ideological transhumanists are lucid enough to realize that.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 8:14 AM

Anonymoose said:

"inevitably you will die"

Prove it.

"The problem with ideologies is they sound very nice if they are condensed into 3 sentences but they are less so once you extrapolate."

That doesn't make every ideology a religion.

"Transhumanism has always suffered from supporters with misanthropic streaks."

That doesn't make it a religion either.

Posted by: Antonio at February 5th, 2018 8:51 AM

Thinking you are creating a utopia on Earth absolutely does make it a religion.
Nice how you tried to evade the main point.

Basically it's the typical "follow these steps and you will achieve enlightenment and nirvana" idiocy every religion sells. And it can be traced back in European history to a long line of religious movements latching on to technology instead of denouncing it.

Secondly if you don't see transhumanists trying to mimic Buddhist spirituality you're probably not looking hard enough. Or at all really. Heck go watch one of those RAADfest videos, some of those speakers are one set of singing bowls away from singing a mantra.

At least the Turing Church doesn't bullshit about what they actually are.

Apotheosis through magic. Apotheosis through technology. Same difference. Same impossible result.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 9:05 AM

@Anonymoose

If one defines 'utopia' as a world in which there is no scarcity, no undesired pain, no existential threats, and none of the limitations and vulnerabilities that currently plague our organic bodies, then yes, transhumanists are trying to achieve utopia.

But they're trying to do it because they have every reason to believe it's possible. Not that it's necessarily going to happen - just that it CAN happen. There is no logical reason we cannot become a post-scarcity society. There is no logical reason we cannot eliminate poverty, disease, war, ageing, etc. It'll be hard work and it'll require technology we don't currently have, but it's entirely possible.

You can't compare that to a philosophy that tells people to sit down, keep quiet and wait for God to sort everything out.

I agree that some transhumanists can get a touch overwrought when they try to paint a picture of the future, but the way someone presents their message doesn't actually change how valid the message is.

Posted by: TL at February 5th, 2018 9:40 AM

also technology isn't magic. magic doesn't exist. technology does.

Posted by: TL at February 5th, 2018 9:43 AM

@TL It's interesting how you evidently realize the technology to achieve this doesn't exist yet you make a distinction between it and magic.

There is no technology which can provide you with absolute safety from existential threats.

And any technologies proposed to provide more safety than biology in many cases only provide philosophical continuation of your life - which again this is very akin religion, it's sad I need to point it out even, but you people...

"Your body will die but your digital soul will carry on, my Son" so said the transhumanist preacher and we all said Amen with tears in our eyes glad that we had achieved absolution from this mortal realm...

Ultimately if you want to recreate Christianity that much, just be open about what you're doing. Religious people think their religion is real too by the way. You're in no way different from them. I know you like to think you are. But you aren't.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 10:04 AM

@Anonymoose

Oooookay, so I was going to reply to your first sentence by pointing out that the distinction between magic and technology that doesn't exist yet is that technology that doesn't exist yet might one day exist whereas magic will not.

Then I noticed you referring to me as 'you people', which I was going to suggest was a little rude.

Then I read one of your earlier comments and noticed that you refer to people who aren't white as 'colored' and said some weird shit about 'certain historical events' and 'those who shall not be named'.

So now I'm think I'm gonna back out of this conversation. We clearly exist in two very different worlds. Have fun in yours.

Posted by: TL at February 5th, 2018 10:20 AM

"Oooookay, so I was going to reply to your first sentence by pointing out that the distinction between magic and technology that doesn't exist yet is that technology that doesn't exist yet might one day exist whereas magic will not."

Technology which cannot exist will never exist. There is no technology which can provide you with 100% existential security. I thought I was quite clear on that one.

"Then I noticed you referring to me as 'you people', which I was going to suggest was a little rude."
I can't say it wasn't meant to be a bit. I don't like ideologues.

"Then I read one of your earlier comments and noticed that you refer to people who aren't white as 'colored' and said some weird shit about 'certain historical events' and 'those who shall not be named'. "
Isn't that the PC way to talk about them? Heck if I know. I'm not American.
It's quite normal to use the Belgian word for black in my country most people wouldn't even bat an eye.
Either way the article was very clear on it's identity politics. You can't blame me for mentioning race when the author starts with - "white old men are evil".

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 10:45 AM

Anonymoose said:

"Thinking you are creating a utopia on Earth absolutely does make it a religion."

No, it doesn't. And transhumanism is not about that. It's about transcending human limitations through technology, period.

"Nice how you tried to evade the main point."

It's you who is continually evading the answer to why transhumanism is a religion, continually referring to some uncited academic literature, some unspecified historical events or some things that have nothing to do with transhumanism or that aren't exclusive of religion, like ideology, utopy, idealism or optimism.

"Basically it's the typical "follow these steps and you will achieve enlightenment and nirvana" idiocy every religion sells."

Again depicting something that has nothing to do with transhumanism...

"And it can be traced back in European history to a long line of religious movements latching on to technology instead of denouncing it."

Unspecified historical events with unspecified connection to transhumanism...

"Secondly if you don't see transhumanists trying to mimic Buddhist spirituality you're probably not looking hard enough."

Again evading the answer...

"Heck go watch one of those RAADfest videos"

Transhumanism is much more than RAAD. Your are picking the part for the whole.

"Apotheosis through magic. Apotheosis through technology. Same difference. Same impossible result."

Mixing all with all in a homogeneous whole nonsense.

Posted by: Antonio at February 5th, 2018 11:20 AM

"transhumanism is not about that"
Unfortunately transhumanism isn't about what you want it to be about.
Antonio get with the program. Transhumanists want to replace you with a machine.

Every ideology boils down to what the radicals want. The people in the middle they bow down and except their yoke. Can't say I've ever seen that not being the case. Not in the real world. Maybe in some fantasy or 3000 years ago when democracy meant gathering up everyone capable of writing their name in the sand and asking them for an opinion.
As if we don't have enough current examples.

I examine ideas on face value and not as immovable parts of a packaged ideology. If most people did it we could prevent crazy people and ideas from gaining (too much) traction. Unfortunately most people do love their cults of personality and being a part of a tribe.

Either way, I used RAAD as simple and accessible example. There are significantly more "fringe" specimens if you wish to look for them. It's not like they are hiding. You could start with the old h+ website. Read through some of the comments, if you want to lose some brain cells. If the site owner has any sense he's removed them by now if not even the articles themselves.

Couple of weeks back someone had posted someone's twitter account and called his observations that transhumanism is actually antihumanism as a tantrum. There was a lot of reactionary ideas in those tweets but ... I can't say I disagree with that particular conclusion. A lot of people in the transhumanist community channel Mengele with authority. At least currently that is the situation.

If you want to act as if transhumanism is only about biotechnology that's ... that's really not rational. I know you've been to longecity so you are aware that is not the case. Oh talking about longecity... I mean ... you were there 5-6 years ago you've seen some strange birds.

Either way, we don't need transhumanism to achieve longer healthier lives for humanity. It's fully supported by so many UN documents anyone trying to deny us has a better chance of reaching the moon on a firework rocket.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 5th, 2018 12:23 PM

I don't think living in VR would have any issues once the necessary tech to interact directly with the brain is in place. And then gradually your neurons could be replaced with synthetic replacements to make the move 'permanent'. In fact it would be impossible for you to know that you were in VR given all the sensory inputs would be controlled.

But that is not what we are working on now - stopping mortality going up with time, namely aging. Of course this does not make us immortal, but subsequent advances might.

Posted by: Mark at February 5th, 2018 12:25 PM

We all have different goals, yet we all need rejuvenation to achieve them. So let's focus on this commonality.

We're not nearly potent enough to afford an infighting. Without a united front, the mainstream public - and amongst them wealthy people - will keep seeing the rejuvenation movement as a joke. And we'll all lose precious time.

Posted by: Spede at February 5th, 2018 1:14 PM

Anonymoose said:

"Unfortunately transhumanism isn't about what you want it to be about."

That's exactly what you are trying to do. You are trying to pose transhumanism as a religion. Reason gave a definition of transhumanism, I gave more or less the same definition. You gave none, but constantly tried to mix it with other things that have nothing to do with transhumanism.

Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

"Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology."

That's all. Only that. Don't try to mix your prejudices into it. Your belief that transhumanism is a religion doesn't make it a religion. Your belief that it's for misanthropic people doesn't make transhumanism misanthropic. Etc. That's just strawman arguments, calling a different thing "transhumanism" and then ridiculing that thing.

Posted by: Antonio at February 5th, 2018 1:36 PM

Transhumanism is a worldview, an ideology, but not a religion.
Transhumanism and religions share one important aspect: transcendence.
BUT they differ in another important aspect:
Transhumanism is monistic, there is no belief in an otherworld, in the beyond.
Religions, on the other hand, are dualistic.

Posted by: Nicolai at February 6th, 2018 12:34 PM

First of all... you have to realize monism is a religious concept...
I'm not sure where you learned the word otherwise.

Secondly there are many religions without a concept of an afterlife, I suppose this would surprise you, it does most atheists - Judaism has no defined afterlife.
It has Sheol - oblivion. Christianity didn't have one either until the 2nd or 3rd century when they borrowed some concepts from the Ancient Greek religions. Christian Heaven and Hell are direct copies of Elysium and Hades.

Thirdly - a lot of transhumanists believe in mutliverses or simulation theory. Which makes them dualists.

Fourthly a religion does not need to follow it's wikipedia description. Not sure why that needs to be pointed out. You would think that one is well known by any sane adult in Europe at this point.

But enough of this topic, you can either see it or not. I tend to forget identifying cult behavior requires one to be thinking rationally but then he wouldn't be a part of a cult to begin with.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 6th, 2018 6:17 PM

"First of all... you have to realize monism is a religious concept..."

Again inventing your own definitions? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monism#Definitions

"Judaism has no defined afterlife. It has Sheol - oblivion."

Nicolai didn't say "afterlife" but "otherworld", and Sheol is certainly another world. And anyway Judaism believes in the resurrection of the dead, thus in afterlife.

"Fourthly a religion does not need to follow it's wikipedia description."

It only needs to follow your own invented definition, yeah...

Posted by: Antonio at February 7th, 2018 12:11 AM

"The universe itself is God and the universal outpouring of its soul;" - Cicero 45BC

Coming up with a word in a specific language doesn't necessarily make you the first to think about the idea behind it.
By the way, that's pointed out in the wiki page you posted, but then again, it's not like you read them beyond the first 3 sentences so you wouldn't know that. Getting your information on a topic from wikipedia is enough of an intellectual sin, not even going beyond the first paragraph is something I expect from an 8th grader writing his homework, not an adult.

As for oblivion being another world ... non existence is another world? Really?
Maybe next time check the definition of every word you don't know. Not just the fancy ones.

Posted by: Anonymoose at February 7th, 2018 7:24 AM

LOL anyone got any popcorn?

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 7th, 2018 8:19 AM

@steve hill i prefer a hotdog lol

Posted by: scott emptage at February 7th, 2018 8:27 AM

@scott ok if you grab the hotdogs I will go get nachos, and sodas for us. Might as well get comfortable this show is only just starting :)

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 7th, 2018 8:55 AM

Anonymoose: Your reply is so childish, at several levels, that I will not bother to continue arguing.

Posted by: Antonio at February 7th, 2018 9:06 AM

I'm just trying to efficiently get my body and mind thru the next 20 years using advancing anti-aging technology, so that I can achieve the expected 50% chance of Longevity Escape Velocity. Who cares about Transhumanism and all that other speculative stuff until we get there.

Posted by: Biotechy at February 7th, 2018 4:00 PM

@steve hill it's getting very interesting

Posted by: Scott emptage at February 7th, 2018 6:41 PM

Scott its yet another idiotic slap fight but it is amusing reading lol

Posted by: Steve Hill at February 8th, 2018 2:14 AM

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