This is great – I’ve always been very interested in life extension – I heard Aubrey deGrey speak once on how we actually get to immortality and I thought that it was a fantastic concept and totally doable, as long as we can get push the envelope on medicine in all ways. His thesis is that is we can extend the average lifespan by 20 years, then within that 20 year extension we can figure out how to extend it another 20 years, and so on and so on – almost in a Moore’s Law kind of way, become immortal.
Of course, this involves quite a few things that many people might find unsettling, like genetic manipulation, cloning, growing replacement body parts, stem cell research etc. It’s always been my contention that we should see if we can actually accomplish something before we decide we don’t want to do it – unlike some others who would prefer to have endless dialog on the ethics or morality of improving humanity and the human condition in any way possible before we even know that its possible.
Since we’ve successfully grown and eaten a completely synthetic $300,000 hamburger, how far away really are we from growing a new liver when ours quits, or growing new limbs when we lose them, or performing genetic manipulation in utero (or even earlier) in order to eliminate disease and disorders, or even improve immune systems? Sure, there is always some danger of introducing genetic factors for preferences in looks and gender, but isn’t curing some of humanity’s worst scourges worth at least investigating the possibilities?
In person, it can be a little hard to hear Larry Page. That’s because he has nerve damage in both vocal cords: one was paralyzed about 14 years ago, the other left with limited movement after a cold last summer. This rare condition doesn’t slow him down, though it has made his voice raspy and faint. You have to listen carefully. But it’s generally worth it.