What is death?

Russell Turpin deafbox@hotmail.com
Tue, 28 Jan 2003 17:51:55 +0000

Eugen Leitl:
>Rather think about life extension politics. We should have started doing 
>something about death several decades ago. It's way overdue.

I agree, at least in the sense that we should be
doing more research on this now.

>I suspect the real reason is that no one is really interested in longevity, 
>despite all the bitching and moaning.

There is a generational issue, especially because
of our misbegotten social programs. Any large
research effort that significantly extends human
life also undermines social security. As to real
interest, keep in mind that a majority of Americans
adhere to some form of religious fantasy that not
only will they live forever, it will be in a
perfect body in a perfect environment.

>I notice you gloss over cryopreservation here.

I think it deserves research. I don't believe
current techniques will work.

>Significant extension is already a reality. It's called calorie restriction 
>(CR), and it actually works.

It will be a few decades before we know how
much an effect it actually has.

>Why do you need a pill? Why not simply change your diet?

Hey, don't ask me. Ask all the FoRK fatties. I
have only a moderate pot. ;-)

The real answer to your question is that attending
to diet is a pain in the butt that requires
constant suppression of basic urge. Personally,
I don't diet. I eat what I feel like eating when
I'm hungry. I suspect if I tried to diet, I'd lose
twenty pounds, gain back twenty-five, lose it,
gain back thirty, and soon I would become an
honored member of the FF.

I do believe in exercise. I don't know that it
will extend lifespan. But it WILL extend the years
of physicial competence. And in some cases, it
will extend lifespan, also. The risk of breaking
bones in the elderly goes down significantly when
they maintain their strength. For many, a broken
hip is the beginning of the last cycle down.

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