What is death?

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Tue, 28 Jan 2003 19:30:30 +0100 (CET)

On Tue, 28 Jan 2003, Russell Turpin wrote:

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

Yes. We're rich, the changing developed world demographics should provide
plently of political drive to launch an unprecedented R&D programme. Do
you know those of your political representatives who support antiaging
research?  Make your voice heard. It's your hide, too.
> There is a generational issue, especially because
> of our misbegotten social programs. Any large

There seems to be a lost generation allright. What really frustrates me is 
how many people just give in to the world's expectations without a fight.

> research effort that significantly extends human
> life also undermines social security. As to real

That assumes a fixed retirement age. If you get to become 120 years old on
CR, why shouldn't you work until 90 or 100? Your body will be able to do 
it. Your brain will need exercise and supportive treatments.

As to social security, your best security is whatever you invested 
yourself. Diversify (why not real estate?), take the really long view.

> 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.

Allright, cults are the enemy. A believer more is just another sheep in 
the flock, grazing towards the slaughterhouse. You can't even break out, 
because the fucking sheep are everywhere.
> >I notice you gloss over cryopreservation here.
> I think it deserves research. I don't believe
> current techniques will work.

I think it definitely deserves research. However, I do not think that a
very significant improvement on current techniques is possible. They're
very good already (stuff in the lab, not what you see fielded which sucks
equine priapic instruments). It's the reconstruction end of the process
which needs to be tackled. For starters, we still don't have a detailed
assessment of damage on scale from molecular to ultra.
> It will be a few decades before we know how
> much an effect it actually has.

It works across all animals, starting with the lowly nematode. Why should
people be the only primates except from it? We're already somewhat pushed
towards longevity, that's why I said 120 instead of 140, 150.
> >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. ;-)

I don't ask you specifically. I'm just saying that if you're serious about 
life extension you should definitely start losing weight, and keep down 
the fraction of fatty tissue.
> 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,

So does work. So do many other things. Nevertheless we manage.

> 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.

Don't diet. Just constrain your calorie intake, exercise, and control your
weight daily.
> I do believe in exercise. I don't know that it

Yes. But exercise without limiting calorie intake, especially sudden bouts
of it will only ruin your cartilage. Which doesn't regenerate.

> 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.

I agree. Especially post menopause females need to track their bone 
density, especially if they have a predisposition to osteoporosis.