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Taurus Londono

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  1. Taurus Londono

    Are Vitamin D supplements over-hyped?

    A good take on Vitamin D and Michael Holick here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/business/vitamin-d-michael-holick.html I recall the vigorous debates in the old CR mailing list when Holick and his Vitamin D enthusiasm were coming to public prominence. As has been the case (e.g. Pauling and Vitamin C), the old routine of a credentialed, respected expert advocated a single molecule miracle turns out to be little more than unjustified hype that's served to further muddy the public morass of perceptions about supplementation, nutrition, and health. If any good came of all this, it was that there was at least enough of a kernel of truth to get the IOM (now HMD) to revisit and modestly alter recommendations for Vitamin D. As for the harm...one can only speculate regarding how many people were motivated to inadvertently give themselves skin cancer or hypervitaminosis D. EDIT: And regarding the usually reliable Michael-Rae-evidence-filter, worth mentioning the more up-to-date qualifications here: https://www.longecity.org/forum/stacks/stack/122-michaels-tiered-supplement/
  2. Taurus Londono

    Any help from virtual reality imaginative regeneration?

    Sthira, You are not consciously aware of your spleen. In fact, you have no direct conscious experience of any of the things happening in your bloodstream, etc. Watching a fictional cartoon intended to represent what human cells are doing cannot grant you conscious control of processes which are totally disconnected from conscious control (and would still be humming along even if you were in a vegetative state).
  3. Taurus Londono

    New Interview with Aubrey de Grey

    On Calico: As far as I know, Calico and SENS are pursuing fundamentally different (even opposing) strategies toward ameliorating age-associated physiological decline. One of these strategies seems to me vastly more far-fetched in terms of ultimately yielding real, long-term advances against the ill health of old age. Contrary to popular perception, I think it is the Calico strategy that is the more fantastic, far-fetched, and ultimately less profitable. Sadly, Calico seems to have been put together for the sole purpose of pumping massive resources into a drug development money pit to bring interventions to market that would in the best case represent delaying actions against aging and its panoply of disease and dysfunction. I call this the "delay and pray" approach. I don't mean to minimize the tangible effects of success (in the best case scenario), but Aubrey's simply right that this is the wrong approach. I call this approach "fantastic" because *it* is typically the version of "anti-aging therapeutics" that's often (rightly) dismissed out-of-hand or ridiculed by credentialed experts. I think prospects for successfully intervening in human metabolism to "stop" aging are so far off as to be unworthy of Calico's investment right now. Human metabolism is a giant Rube-Goldberg machine that we're only just beginning to figure out. On the other hand, I think of Aubrey's approach as "repair and replace." Aubrey's automobile analogy is excellent, but despite its reliable appearance in his slides over the last decade or so, the media (and the establishment in general) still don't seem to get it. They don't appreciate the distinction, instead consistently conflating SENS with efforts such as those undertaken by Calico.
  4. Taurus Londono

    Self Driving Cars

    Very cool, Dean. I agree, it seems that this is a no-brainer.
  5. Taurus Londono

    Cryonics Anyone?

    Glad you pointed that out, Dean. I actually met Ray in person late last year (only to pose for a brief picture and to mention a person's name to him), and noticed the "hair." Ironically, I'm less than half his age and have had my head completely shaved for several years; I don't know why he doesn't just do the same. We all *know* that ridiculous cocktail of supplements and ionized water regimen ain't stopping the aging, Ray! Does he want us to believe that all the green tea magically reawakened his hair follicles? I acknowledge the fact that he's been the single most successful communicator of relevant ideas (radical life-extension, transhumanism, etc) to the lay public, but I worry that his relentless addiction to prophecy, especially the imaginary "singularity," make him the Edgar Cayce of our time. Everyone's so high off Ray's *ideas* (which are good) that few have actually bothered to check how his prophecies have panned out (not well at all, especially given the fact that he bizarrely INSISTS on providing more or less the exact year for x technology to be in wide use). Since it is impossible to know what *new knowledge* will exist in the future, any claim that purports to date events the way Kurzweil does is just prophecy. Case in point:
  6. Taurus Londono

    Is there a unity consciousness?

    BTW: I apologize if my above post seems rude or disrespectful towards you, Dean. I sincerely respect you a great deal, and your posts were of tremendous personal value to me several years ago when I first became interested in CR. I consider you to be a pioneer (in more ways than one).
  7. Taurus Londono

    Unfolding Liz Parrish

    MR has posted before about telomere length as a "marker of aging." I don't have any reason to think this is anything other than a publicity stunt; for all we know, these gene therapies are less real than Theranos' "nanotainers." Are there any details on what these therapies entail? "Unfolding Liz Parrish" is a very appropriate title for this thread. Perhaps premature, but her work could amount to a distraction that only harms the burgeoning field. I hope I'm wrong.
  8. Taurus Londono

    Is there a unity consciousness?

    Consciousness is deeply mysterious, but there's no reason we shouldn't someday develop good explanations for what exactly it is, how it works, and why. An "indisputable" assertion based on no evidence of any kind whatsoever. I love Karl Friston. Dean, I'd encourage you to read something like David Deutsch's "The Beginning of Infinity" which offers as clear and concise an explanation of what science and knowledge are in the context of the only valid framework that exists, Popperian epistemology. I just don't see how you could fall for the example you've posted above. Yes, of course we project meaning, and yes, of course the meaning of a symbol (e.g. a word) depends on its context. Where *else* could "meaning" be but inside of us? But you of all people appreciate that the laptop on which I am typing this is not constructed of frozen yogurt. If you say that "frozen yogurt" could simply mean "a cpu, etc" then you're just playing trivial word games. Friston is himself just playing word games. He's drawing false conclusions from (trivially) true premises by stating those premises in such a way as to make them seem new and profound. Respectfully, Friston is "not even wrong." As usual, it seems that Friston assumes that "truth" and "falsehood" are about justified beliefs, but it's precisely *because* beliefs are inside of us and the only way to "justify" beliefs is by comparing them with other beliefs that "justified belief" is impossible. Truth and falsehood have nothing to do with those things, as the laptop on which I'm typing this will continue functioning in exactly the way it was designed regardless of my beliefs about it. Having spent time seeing human beings in various forms of distress and mortal danger, I can just picture someone saying... "But he hasn't *really* OD'ed on heroin! You're only projecting that onto him. I'm projecting something entirely different, and who's to say which "meaning" is actually "true"? After all, there is no "objective truth" outside ourselves. In fact, I believe that what you call 'narcan,' I call 'laundry detergent,' and he clearly doesn't need that. In fact, what you call 'asystole,' I call 'ballroom dancing' so we all might as well dance along!" The fact that anyone (including Friston) compartmentalizes silliness about "no mind-independent reality" as you go about your daily life, eating and drinking to survive, relying on technology (let alone helping to design it, as you do Dean), and medical treatment, etc should give an indication of how objectively "true" Friston's claims are.
  9. Taurus Londono

    Cryonics Anyone?

    Yes, it will.
  10. Taurus Londono

    Weekly research updates

    James, This is excellent! Just wanted to extend my thanks for providing this useful resource here on the forums. Also, congratulations on being elected to the CR Society board!
  11. Taurus Londono

    Cryonics Anyone?

    I appreciate the warmth, Saul! I hope to see you at a CR conference too, someday in the near future, perhaps... Be well.
  12. Taurus Londono

    Cryonics Anyone?

    Not to veer off topic (I originally wanted to peruse the thread because of strong personal interest in the thread title)... Thought and consciousness are not the same thing. The fact that you are aware of this sentence is all that's needed to definitively demonstrate the existence of consciousness. QED Your thoughts exist as much as anything else of which you're aware (via consciousness), but if you want to say that thoughts are "illusions" because they're reducible or in the same way that e.g. contact forces are illusions, that's just semantics. You might as well say it's all an illusion, that you're effectively a Dennett-style "brain in a vat," but in what sense can the illusion itself be said to exist if not in consciousness? It is the only place any illusion *can* exist. The self is just another thought illuminated by consciousness.
  13. Taurus Londono

    Cryonics Anyone?

    Consciousness (your own) is the one and only thing that cannot be an illusion in any sense of the word.