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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.
  14. Taurus Londono

    DHA-Accelerated Aging Hypothesis Validated

    AFAIK, these are not counterpoints to what's on offer here. You should read through the first post (including links).
  15. Taurus Londono

    800 Calorie Diet: Too Severe?!

    Frederick, please see: http://www.crsociety.org/resources/getting_started CR should be undertaken responsibly in consultation with your physician, other health professionals, etc. Ideally, blood work should be done and lab values assessed. Why? Weight loss per se is not necessarily a goal nor an especially reliable metric of anything like "degree of CR." Although weight loss is an inevitable side effect, it would be prudent to be aware of BMI recommendations. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm Although this will undoubtedly result in weight loss (again, weight loss is not necessarily a *goal* of CR), there is good reason to believe that it will be harmful to health (improving health is the whole point of CR). A 40-day water fast is totally irresponsible and dangerous in ways that may not be immediately apparent on a youtube video (other than the obvious and alarming weight loss). The mere fact of having seen multiple people doing something (whether they seem to be OK afterward or not) does not by itself provide good reason to engage in that same something. Seeing multiple people shooting up heroin and seeming to be OK afterward doesn't, in and of itself, manifest sufficient cause to shoot heroin yourself. Ask yourself what your goal is. This seems obvious, but introspection may surprise you. What is your goal, really? Why? What will you benefit from having achieved this goal? Having identified your goal, your actions serve as means to an end, not ends in and of themselves. Tailor your actions so that they are, to the best of your knowledge, in service of your goal (rather than inadvertently thwarting your progress).
  16. Michael, Absolutely delightful reading! Thanks as always for your thoughtful and meticulous perspective!
  17. Taurus Londono

    Relationship Between BMI and Disease, and Longevity

    ...unsurprising that the bottom of that curve lies beyond the error bars...never ceases to be exasperating...
  18. Taurus Londono

    Cryonics -- which organization?

    CI's prices are radically lower for several reasons. As ever in life, you often get what you pay for. If you were really "already dead," then what would be the point? Unless your name is Lazarus and your experience is confined to the pages of the New Testament, you should have no reason to expect survival of death. You should only expect to resume conscious experience if you were never really dead in the first place. "Death" is equal parts make-believe, coping mechanism, and ritual holdover. So deeply embedded into the fabric of human experience, it is a construct that exists in much the same form as it always has, withstanding the scrutiny of a vast, science-armed population. Within even the most learned and unbiased minds, death retains its supernatural patina; it implicitly involves either an impermeable and invisible soul (the *real* you) quietly leaping out of a husk of organic chemicals or an unsolvable "Mystery," an awe-inducer that stands astride the process like some supermassive black hole preventing all possibility of close investigation. It is profoundly bizarre--almost surreal--that this state of affairs persists while elan vital does not.
  19. Keith was pretty clear- "The impact that CR has on health cannot be duplicated by exercise and reasonable diet." No combination of exercise and dietary composition alone can duplicate anything whatsoever like the maximum life span extension of CR in any animal thus far studied.
  20. Taurus Londono

    Dr. Lustig on Fruit Fructose

    Even if we assume that using a juicer and discarding the "pulp" is as nutritious as actually consuming a whole vegetable, bear in mind that water makes up most of the mass anyway. You need only look up any vegetable or fruit on CRONOmeter and check the water content. ...and even if you take the chewing out of it, the abdominal distension is still an issue... (and remember, that's only 700 calories; you'd still have to consume more to have a sane calorie allotment for the day) ;)
  21. Taurus Londono

    Advice Wanted: Optimal Nutrition

    Also, Michael Rae's posts make for informative and worthwhile reading- http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/51743-michaels-quotidian-diet/ http://www.methuselahfoundation.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2223&postcount=5 http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/45958-calorie-restriction-targets/page__p__450451#entry450451 "I finished growing when I was 11 or 12" It might have seemed that way, but I can tell you that is most definitely not the case. You're still growing. Indeed, at age 22, neuroanatomical maturation is not yet complete. Regarding the BMI target, most GPs would probably tell you not to diet to reduce body weight if you're under 25kg/m^2. Once you start CR proper, targeting a specific bodyweight (ie; down from a healthy, non-obese setpoint) is essentially unavoidable as a means by which to gauge restriction necessary for "CR" (as opposed to *merely* down from the calories necessary to support an overweight/obese body)...but weight loss per se is not the goal, it's merely a side-effect. "I am a pre-med biology major and I am hoping to get into med school and/or a research program to study endocrinology and put it to practice." Excellent! I think endocrinology is a *particularly* important discipline. It's also a profession in *great need*. I wish you continued success!
  22. Taurus Londono

    Advice Wanted: Optimal Nutrition

    Hi Hannah, welcome to the CR Society forum. Just by finding your way here, you've demonstrated a level of conscientiousness that, if properly nurtured and maintained over the years, should give you a solid opportunity for a long, healthy, and rewarding life. How old are you? Assuming your BMI is not above 25 kg/m^2 and/or you're obese, I would personally urge you not to undertake a long-term CR regimen of any kind unless it's on the explicit advice of your doctor/health care professional. ...though that's dependent on your age. *Real CR* will intervene in your healthy growth and development; I believe that it may subvert fundamental, necessary biological changes that occur throughout young adulthood. These changes are critically important. I personally don't think it's wise to begin CR until you get close to the beginning of the fourth decade of life...though I am not qualified to give medical advice (and this issue is murky at best). Until then, if I were you I would focus on ensuring that you have optimal lean mass, bone mineral density (which peaks around age 30 and essentially slips away like sand in an hour glass not long thereafter) and adjust to a healthful diet that (at least) meets minimum USDA/IOM requirements for micronutrients, protein, and essential fatty acids...with as much of those micronutrients as possible coming from natural sources and not supplements (ie; so-called "whole foods" and not fortified cereals, vitamin pills, etc). http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/dietary-guidance/dietary-reference-intakes/dri-tables Also consider these very basic physical activity guidelines- http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html ...open to some very loose interpretation by some... I consider it be nothing more per se than meeting nutrient requirements on a calorie-restricted diet (something which is, surprisingly, not necessarily obvious to either general practitioners or the lay public when considering CR). As per above, CR(ON) is not a deficient diet combined with multivitamin pills to make up the difference. Excellent. Meticulous tracking of your diet, preferably with the use of a scale and some sort of software, is, I think, very important to successful (and safe) CR. Please don't be. I can tell you, from one human being to another, I can relate to the emotional difficulties of sticking with a diet (or any lifestyle practice), the ups and downs, the nagging desire to give in to hormonal urges. I know what it feels like to be ashamed (in more ways than one). I've learned that diet-induced shame is *not* healthy. Certainly, aside from my personal experiences, nobody in the CR Society or anybody who responsibly advocates a CR diet wants anyone to be ashamed if they don't happen to stick to the dietary goals they've set for themselves. Consider that if CR has any worth as a means by which to reduce risk of non-communicable disease, increase lifespan, and enhance your healthy years, then it will pay off those rewards over the long course of your life. In other words, whatever the acute or short-term gains, the greatest benefits come from life-long practice. If the rewards compel you, then this is something you'll be doing, to some degree or another, for the rest of your life. Don't be hard on yourself, and don't set the bar so high that you set yourself up for failure and doubt. Be easy-going about this, and exercise enough moderation that you feel comfortable with this lifestyle. Remember, CR is not a college course or a test. CR is a lifestyle choice that should ultimately work for you, for your happiness and your enrichment. Assuming you're old enough to undertake CR in the first place, I think it's critical that you adjust your CR regimen to work for you. Ask yourself what the results are; if it makes you feel ashamed, then you're not to blame, the diet is. Relax. Adjust your diet as you need. Make it work for you, not against you. I'm a 5'5" male and I consume nearly twice as many calories (though requirements vary greatly). Be careful. Remember that the CR we're talking about here is not about weight loss; weight loss is a (not necessarily desirable) side effect. Don't lose more than a pound or so per week. Don't end up much below your healthy adult setpoint weight. If your BMI is around 18.5 (or lower), exercise extreme caution. Ensure that you meet (or exceed) minimum protein requirements. Speaking of gastroenterologists, have you discussed CR with your doctor? I think it's important that a CR regimen (especially at ~1,000 calories per day) be undertaken in consultation with a health care professional. You'll want to have blood work done and establish a baseline, monitoring changes in biomarkers as you proceed. Vegetables should be the go-to choice for nutrient density; they're a staple of any high quality diet. Dark leafy greens, crucifers like broccoli, kale, etc... (cooked) starchy tubers are typically not relatively nutrient dense but carrots are good sources of vitamin A. Tomatoes and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons... I get a lot of potassium from homemade tomato sauces. A single citrus fruit typically has me covered for vitamin C. Bear in mind that you'll get more nutrients calorie-for-calorie from raw vegetables rather than cooked; generally, less cooked = better, but there's reason to prefer cooked tomatoes (potential for reduced risk of cancer). Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts (omega 3) are a good way get required fatty acids and will help some in reaching mineral requirements as well as vitamin E. Pulses of all kinds like lentil and fava are generally good sources of protein, and they'll also help with nutrients like potassium, iron, and folate. Some dairy products like yogurt are another potential choice for protein and potassium. Avocados, olive oil, and green tea and absolute fixtures of my own daily diet. An un-supplemented diet composed of many of the above foods should help you reach most nutrient requirements; I'm a vegetarian, and I consume more than enough non-heme iron...though, again, blood work is important; exceeding iron requirements (especially for women or vegetarians) may not be enough. Test results should include ferritin to be sure. If the diet isn't perfect and you're short on some nutrients, that's not the end of the world. I'm typically short (but not too short) on zinc, calcium, and B12. I supplement these with modest amounts (sometimes) so that weekly averages meet (or exceed) requirements. Sometimes other nutrients, like selenium, are low. I don't worry *too much* about it. You don't need them, and I suspect your Gastroenterologist may tell you to avoid them. If you wish, barley and quinoa (perhaps oats and rice as well) could be potential substitutes AFAIK. AFAIK, there is no *need* to restrict carbohydrates per se...the foods I singled out above amount to plenty of carbs... But AFAIK, there's also no *need* to consume any kind of minimum amount of carbohydrates either. Unlike protein and fats, there's no such thing as an "essential carbohydrate" as far as I know... I tend to stay away from the carbs vs no-carbs morass (be aware that the "debate" is mired in some outright pseudoscience); I'm content to acknowledge that carbs are merely a de facto contributor to the caloric intake of any sane person on a reasonable healthy diet. I don't go out of my way to avoid them, I merely choose healthy foods. Sweet potatoes are certainly the more nutrient-dense of the two on a per-calorie basis, though I wouldn't particularly seek out either food for health reasons. Not to say that you should go out of your way to avoid them either, necessarily. Bear in mind that both are pretty high on the EWG list when it comes to pesticides (apples are #1; choose organic). http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list/ 5'5" and ~117 here, so I can relate. Put simply; increase your intake of nutrient-dense foods (and the concomitant carbohydrates) in an effort to meet nutrient requirements. If that means swapping some calories, then do it. ...but, if you're young (especially if you're too young to start CR in the first place), a high protein intake like yours might conceivably be beneficial. Remember, your best chance for good lifelong lean mass is now. Good luck. (sorry if this post was too lengthy!!!)
  23. Taurus Londono

    Some advice as I start CR?

    Hi Dave, I hadn't noticed this message until now, otherwise I'd like to think I'd have posted *something* to help you out in the ensuing months. The best I can do is point you to this post in the CR Society mailing list archives, which I think is as good a primer as you're going to find that can fit into a single e-mail message. http://arc.crsociety.org/read.php?2,201380,201444#msg-201444 ...I would add that you should of course make sure to follow government and NGO guidelines on basic nutrition, (ie diet not supplements); meeting RDAs for micronutrients, protein, essential fatty acids, and losing no more than a pound or so of weight per week. Also remember that human CR basically boils down to consumption of fewer calories than you would need to sustain your healthy adult setpoint weight, it's not about weightloss per se. Keith is right about the exercise; That goes to the point about CR and weight (enough exercise will result in weight loss, but it isn't CR). There's another thread about the same topic. Whatever your exercise routine, if your weight gets lower than you'd like (or you lose weight too quickly), just increase your caloric intake. BTW: 2,600+ calories per day and ~18 BMI would seem pretty unusual to me (unless you've got a hardcore exercise routine). You are using a digital scale and software (like Cronometer) to track calories, right?