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Dean Pomerleau

New Interview with Aubrey de Grey

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Hi Matt,

 

Nice to hear from you! 

 

 

I wonder what his opinion is about where everything is at right now? Did he or anyone else expect for SENS to have produced a lot more by now?

 

Aubrey repeatedly says when asked that SENS has made about as much progress as he predicted in the last 10 years, given their level of funding (i.e. very limited). He estimates with the proper funding (i.e. 10x more than today) successful mouse rejuvenation could happen in 6-8 years, but with current level of funding it will likely take 15 years. As for human trials, the progress they are making to break down oxidized cholesterol or eliminate the macular degeneration gunk will probably take "15 years if we're lucky".

 

So from what I can see, it will slow going unless and until Aubrey and his team can raise a lot more money. Then and only then will we really see how hard a nut to crack aging really is.

 

--Dean

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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.

Edited by Taurus Londono

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Thanks Taurus, and good to hear from you again!

 

I agree with you, but I wonder if you'd like to take a stab at dispelling my critique of Aubrey's automobile repair analogy. While I agree SENS's is the right(er) approach, it still seems like an awful big engineering challenge to understand how damage is occurring, and repair it without negative side effects.

 

It would be great if Michael could/would respond too, but I suspect that is too much to ask... ☹

 

If you reply, it would be better to do it here, since this is a more SENS-related thread than that one.

 

Thanks!

 

--Dean

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Interesting guy, this Aubrey!

 

I’m an engineer, so I thought I would share an engineering story of mine as a counter to Dean’s Intel example. Hope you don't mind. 

 

I worked at Bell Labs right out of graduate school (late 80’s – 90’s before it went bust). My work was in multi-dimensional adaptive signal processing and control systems.  I’m not a biologist, but I’m thinking maybe adaptive non-linear systems with multi-feedback loops might be a better model for human systems.  ;-)

 

As was not uncommon, we were working around the clock to prepare for a first proof-of-concept demo for a government contract.  With less than 48 hours to go, our very expensive demo system was still not performing correctly.  We were getting good control for the first several minutes but some sort of small error was causing our control to drift away from the desired solution.  Not only were millions of research dollars on the line, but more significant to us, our reputations!  

 

We were not yet certain what was causing it.  Fortunately, we were able to engineer a “fix” based on experience, some insights, and a lot of luck. We added a small perturbation term to our mathematical equations that we could tweak during testing.  It worked! It worked perfectly! We secretly called it our “fudge factor”.  

 

It was only after we had a very successful demonstration for our “customer / the government” that we were able to go back and determine exactly why our fudge factor worked. In R&D engineering, I don’t think this is especially unusually. 

 

Seem to me, the human system has built in mechanisms for repair.  Maybe we can stumble on a few fudge factors to keep it healthy a bit longer than it otherwise might on its own. 

 

Dollars for research in this area are likely to be a real problem.  Where are $ most likely to come from? Not pharmacology, whose best interests are in treating diseases, not preventing them.

 

-Pea

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Pea,

 

I worked at Bell Labs right out of graduate school (late 80’s – 90’s before it went bust). My work was in multi-dimensional adaptive signal processing and control systems.  I’m not a biologist, but I’m thinking maybe adaptive non-linear systems with multi-feedback loops might be a better model for human systems.  ;-)

 

What an interesting history you have! I've heard Bell Labs was a very cool place to work in its heyday. In fact, Intel Labs, where I worked for a few years until Intel too started having problems and closed us down, was modelled on Bell Labs. I worked on fMRI-based mind-reading and brain-computer interfaces, and the guy in the cubicle next to mine worked on robots made of shape-shifting "programmable matter" not unlike the T-1000 model Terminator. Fun work while you can get it...

 

... Fortunately, we were able to engineer a “fix” based on experience, some insights, and a lot of luck. We added a small perturbation term to our mathematical equations that we could tweak during testing.  It worked! It worked perfectly! We secretly called it our “fudge factor”. ...

 

Seem to me, the human system has built in mechanisms for repair.  Maybe we can stumble on a few fudge factors to keep it healthy a bit longer than it otherwise might on its own. 

 

Great story. I'm no stranger to magic numbers, fudge factors, and kludges to make demos work. And many of us engineering-types have thought exactly along the same lines as you've been thinking about biological repair and lifespan. In particular, we've been thinking that CR might be a "back door" to longevity - a loophole in our biological programming that we might be able to exploit to dramatically extend lifespan. Unfortunately, many of us (including Aubrey) are now realizing we've probably been a victim of Orgel's Second Law - "Evolution is cleverer than you are."

 

It's looking more and more like Mother Nature got there first, and the clever tricks evolution found to extend the lifespan of short-lived lower organisms like worms and spiders through lean times (i.e. CR), have already been exploited to extend the lifespan of long-lived mammals like us.

 

But some of us haven't given up hope. For example, genetic engineering via CRISPR-Cas9 to give us extra copies of the P53 gene, like long-lived elephants and cancer-resistant naked mole rats possess, might make us better able to avoid cancer. But then again who knows what nasty side effects such a treatment might have. Heck, we might lose our hair ☺.

 

I'm personally a bit hopefully that the missing "secret sauce" for a few extra years might involve the synergistic effects of mild CR + cold exposure, a combination that makes evolutionary sense, seems to be required for CR to work in rodents and which is virtually non-existent in our modern, cushy environment. Do I think mild CR + CE will be a "silver bullet" - heck no. But if we're extremely luck, the combination might buy us a few extra healthy years, which could be enough time for SENS or cryonics breakthroughs to kick.

 

Dollars for research in this area are likely to be a real problem.  Where are $ most likely to come from? Not pharmacology, whose best interests are in treating diseases, not preventing them.

 

Yes - funding is the real fly in the ointment. It seems to me that Aubrey may need to clean up his act and/or hire a good PR firm if SENS research is going to get the funding it needs to make serious progress in a timeframe that could benefit any of us...

 

--Dean

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[Admin Note: I move this and the next five posts between Sthira and me from the sciency thread about Intrinsic Aging vs. the Damage Model of Aging to here, which is a more SENS and Aubrey-oriented thread. Sthira - I presume you won't mind. No words have been edited... --Dean]

 

Dean, wild idea, but have you considered going to work for SRF? You'd be a great asset, even if only as an unpaid volunteer. You seem to have the money to coast, the time to post, and the enthusiasm to ... gaw no please not another goofy rhyme ... boast...because no "boast" isn't the right word. The right words are turn this site into that site. SENs site is sorry, and if you could persuade them to open up an active forum, maybe things would pick up.

CR and its enthusiasm are dying. But enthusiasm for anti-aging will never, ever die. You'd be a good one to transfer your research skills (genius-level) and posts (magnificent works of art and science) over to them., SRF. Let's kill this site (CR) and move your stuff over to their site (SRF) and revamp them.

Anyway, now hack down this idea to nothing :-(

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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Sthira,

 

Dean, wild idea, but have you considered going to work for [the SENS Research Foundation]? 

 

Are you kidding me!?

 

I appreciate your vote of confidence, but given my criticism of Aubrey fundraising strategy & prowess (which you yourself have characterized as judgmental and inappropriate), coupled with my unremitting Michael-badgering, makes me think I might not be the best fit for the SENS team ☺.

 

Let's kill this site (CR) and move your stuff over to their site (SRF) and revamp them.

 

Honestly Sthira, I rather like it here. It reminds me of a sturdy and well-maintained old house which has nevertheless been abandoned. We've moved in, made it home, redecorated the place and are now free to do and say whatever we want in it.

 

For example, I'd feel awkward speculating about things like this (the singularity is closer than it appears) or this (the ultimate purpose of life) or sharing personal stuff like this (my family trip to Niagara Falls, or you know, the really personal stuff..) on a forum sponsored by SENS and monitored by people looking for news and discussion about SENS longevity research.

 

Longecity.org seems like a much more promising place in which to squat if this old house ever burns down...

 

--Dean

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Ok yeah I guess you're right. Forget SENs. I like the old abandoned house idea for this site, maybe it's surrounded by Pinus longaeva, and so I feel like living in the cramped cupola formerly used to store forgotten boxes of useless tag sale acquisitions that I've turned into ironic art projects. For my 200th birthday my entire room is totally for sale.

 

...given my criticism of Aubrey fundraising strategy & prowess (which you yourself have characterized as judgmental and inappropriate),

Oh yeah gaw, I did write that didn't I but I meant don't hate on his gnarly beard because when Matisyahu shaved off his ratty his music seemed to lose. Imagining Aubrey clean-shaven and in a suit, and aww darn more disappointing news Edited by Sthira

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Sthira,

 

You probably won't believe this, since you think I've got a suburban American model of what's appropriate, but I'm totally into Matisyahu. I love his optimistic message, and his eclectic combination of reggae style with orthodox Jew appearance and mannerisms. I've got a Pandora channel devoted to his music. Jerusalem, One Day, King Without A Crown - Matisyahu rocks!

 

For anyone who's feeling down and looking for a little inspiration to persevere in the face of adversity and the inevitability of death, watch and listen to this:

 

 

But you're right, much of what makes Matisyahu special is (was) his beard. I still love his sound, but much is lost when he looks like an average white guy:

 

This: Matisyahu_early.jpg  to this: ybiMYNJ.png

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyvN32fTbwQ

 

But that still doesn't mean Aubrey's beard works for him or especially his fundraising efforts.

 

Sh***t. I really wish you are joining us in Costa Rica...

 

--Dean

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Back at you Sthira!

 

I know it's off topic, but Aubrey's beard has been a significant part of this thread, so, here is an interview with Matisyahu about his beard from 2011 by Rolling Stone:

 

 

I was fascinated to see how thoughtful and sincere Matisyahu is about the whole beard thing. He actually sounds and looks like he could be one of us. I still like him better with the beard, but I can certainly understand the nuances he's talking about regarding beards, self-image, commitment, public perception, past/present/future, living in the moment etc. You may not know it, but I had a beard for a while. I really sucked at it - growing it that is. Everyone says I look younger now without it, so I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

 

Here is me (with beard, such as it was) and my lovely wife, while on a magical family vacation in 2013 to Atlantis in the Bahamas. I haven't seen her smile like that since a few months after we returned from that trip...

 

oqS7zxD.png

 

Some things you should let go, they're only gonna pull you down,
Just like weight on your shoulder they are only gonna make you drown
We all swing high, we all swing low,

We all got secrets people don't know

 

Today, today, live like you wanna,

Let yesterday burn and throw it in the Fire...

Live like a Warrior.

 

- Matisyahu

 

--Dean

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Back to our regularly scheduled Aubrey programming...

 

Here is a new interview with Aubrey by two sharp guys with a podcast I'd never heard of, but may have to start tracking. It is the first half of a hour-long interview (second installment coming next week).

 

He starts out with his usual "longevity therapy ≈ car repair" analogy - a perspective apparently meant to convince a rather naive layperson that repairing the human body to undo the damage of aging may be right around the corner. After all, how hard could it be? We repair cars don't we, and can keep them going for 100+ years. Why can't we do the same with people? All we need to do is find the right size wrench and formulate the right synthetic oil and we'll all live forever - so give us money.

 

It gets most interesting (for us) during the last 5 minutes, starting at 25:00, when Aubrey talks about CR. For those of you who hate wasting time watching videos (even of your own boss...), here is a transcript of Aubrey's CR-related discussions:

 

First of all I want to say that I do agree that a lot of people, maybe most people, have a lot of potential to derive some benefit in terms of health from this kind of dietary manipulation, call it calorie restriction, intermittent fast, whatever, I don't think we need to get into the distinctions between these various flavors of the method because they all really have the same results.

 

Ohh really... That appears to be another point on which Michael and Aubrey disagree, since Michael bashes fasting here and here, but as we know, he still thinks (or hopes) CR will be the cat's meow. Sorry Michael, don't get your panties in a bunch - that cat comment was just meant to get your goat. Jury, please disregard that last statement... Aubrey continues:

 

Some people certainly can't get any benefit [from calorie restriction - DP]. I for example, you know, I have perfect glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity despite the fact that I have pretty much undetectable levels of insulin.

 

I find it the height of irony that Aubrey is suggesting the only reason people might consider practicing CR, and the only reason people might benefit, is to improve glucose metabolism, when we're all worried (and rightly so) about impaired glucose tolerance as a result of the "CR Triad" as Michael puts it - low IGF-1, low testosterone, and low T3 thyroid hormone. I wonder if Aubrey is really unaware of this apparent "gotcha" for people practicing serious CR. Maybe Michael can clue him in about it in the SENS lunchroom (see below).

 

At this point, the host of the show says to Aubrey - "But you eat very little", to which Aubrey responds:

 

I eat and drink exactly as much as I feel like. I don't chose to eat less, or drink less.

 

That he does. We've all seen the videos in which Aubrey is knocking back several pints of beer, and is quite proud of it...

 

So you know, some people are just lucky like me. The people who are the luckiest naturally of course are the people who have the least to gain from doing this kind of thing. So it doesn't make much sense for someone like myself to engage in calorie restriction, however I do agree with what you said that most people who are not so lucky already as I am, there is some logic to it. 

 

So then the question is what is the limit to that. What can't calorie restriction do? You mentioned lifespan. I want to step back to make sure everyone understands ...

 

I've snipped from the transcript Aubrey blathering on here with his usual spiel that SENS doesn't work on longevity or lifespan. They only work on health. Any longevity benefits are purely a side effect, via a postponement of ill health. Yada, Yada, Yada. He continues at 26:49 on the topic of CR:

 

So then the question is what do we think of calorie restriction and its "friends" in that regard? And I've just said there can be a significant improvement in health [for most people - DP] so you might well think that actually must translate into a significant increase in lifespan. But it turns out that's not true. It turns out that perhaps because there are some aspects of ill-health that CR doesn't significantly alter, CR doesn't work all that well in long-lived organisms, by any measure that we do have in terms of health and in terms of longevity.

 

Ouch... Aubrey continues:

 

What we see is a very steep inverse correlation between the natural lifespan of a species and the proportion by which that lifespan can be extended using calorie restriction. In nematode worms, which normally live about 3 weeks, we can increase longevity by a factor of 4-5 or perhaps even more by that kind of approach. In rats or mice, we can get 30-40% but we certainly can't get a factor of 4 or 5. In dogs, it's been done once very thoroughly and the result was about 10% [and see discussion here about how the vast majority of that benefit of CR in dogs was simply a result of obesity avoidance - DP]. In monkeys, it's between done twice extremely thoroughly and at great expensive [but sadly using pretty questionable methodologies - DP] and the result of the two experiments was somewhat divergent, one experiment got basically nothing and the other got maybe 5%, the truth is probably somewhere in between because in retrospect one can look at the diets given to the control animals and see that in one case maybe they were being slightly calorie restricted and in the other maybe they were being a bit poisoned, so the truth is probably halfway between. 

 

Double ouch... Aubrey's is thereby seeming to suggest about 2.5% lifespan extension (at best) as a result of lifelong CR in humans...

 

The host (who apparently practices intermittent fasting), retorts "some argue they [the monkeys - DP] were locked in cages and there was some, you know, mental stress so that [the CR monkey results - DP] doesn't reflect the true base reality", to which Aubrey responds:

 

That's true, but of course the control animals and the treated animals were both locked in cages, so one has to work quite hard to make an argument...

 

The ellipsis at the end is due to the fact that the interview ends at that point, and will be (presumably) picked up in next week's episode of their podcast.

 

 Interesting to hear once again just how negative Aubrey is about the lifespan, and even the healthspan, benefits of calorie restriction. I wonder what it's like at SENS when Aubrey and Michael sit down in the lunchroom together. Aubrey with his beer and whatever else he feels like eating and Michael with his thimble-full of olive oil and a mega-muffin. Interesting tableau to consider. Oh to be a fly on the wall...

 

--Dean

 

 

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Back to our regularly scheduled Aubrey programming...

 

Here is a new interview with Aubrey by two sharp guys with a podcast I'd never heard of, but may have to start tracking. It is the first half of a hour-long interview (second installment coming next week).

Thanks for this, Aubrey is always good, imho.

 

He starts out with his usual "longevity therapy ≈ car repair" analogy - a perspective apparently meant to convince a rather naive layperson that repairing the human body to undo the damage of aging may be right around the corner. After all, how hard could it be? We repair cars don't we, and can keep them going for 100+ years. Why can't we do the same with people? All we need to do is find the right size wrench and formulate the right synthetic oil and we'll all live forever - so give us money.

At least he's talking at all. And one thing he reiterates (maybe not in this go, but elsewhere) is that yes he certainly accedes the point that cars are far less complex than humans, and while we have some understanding of how cars work, we have way less understanding of how human bodies work. Yes, yes, but then he says if we focus on damage then how much different in complexity is car damage from human damage? He never ever says damage ain't incredibly, almost impossibly complicated. He reiterates this point way better than I do -- but let's focus on damage; damage is less complicated than focusing on how the entire working organism works. Fix damage. Sure it's "bloody hard." Focus efforts on damage, not on the overall machines' (cars, humans) complexities.

 

Interesting to hear once again just how negative Aubrey is about the lifespan, and even the healthspan, benefits of calorie restriction. I wonder what it's like at SENS when Aubrey and Michael sit down in the lunchroom together. Aubrey with his beer and whatever else he feels like eating and Michael with his thimble-full of olive oil and a mega-muffin. Interesting tableau to consider. Oh to be a fly on the wall...

 

--Dean

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzm-3DhB_JU

Dean, I don't think Michael ever said or meant that CR wasn't a big, experimental risk that might not work out for free-living humans. My reading is that he's stated over & over again how CR is an experiment in personal living and it may very well turn out to be ineffective for LS extension for us. Buyer beware! He's said. So I'm not sure why you keep intentionally misrepresenting his views. You're chasing away a very solid, serious mind here, which may be counterproductive to your (our, everyone's) goals of healthy LS extension.

 

Your thesis seems to be that CR may work only in conjunction with keeping the body cold. And you're tirelessly working to give traction to that idea in the mind of future AGI; but caricaturing Mr. (Dr?) Rae's CR MO should be really edited from your Google AGI crawl, unless there's stuff I'm missing (likely ha...)

 

For example, include links to where Michael says CR is a big risk for people.

 

My thesis is metabolism is hard, it'll only be solved by AGI, and fixing damage will arrive drip-drop as byproducts of understanding why and how the body destroys itself over time. The incomplete charts and graphs of human metabolism ("small sub-sets of what we know about metabolism which are then dwarfed by what we don't know...") these will be known by AGI. Maybe this is where Calico is going.

 

Then, as metabolism is better understood (AdG says we'll never understand it, understanding such complexity is hopeless, but I doubt that...) once better understanding of damage evolves, reparative technologies will arise for sale: wildly expensive at first (and some may already be here for the rich) and then repair technologies will drop in price since the costs of dying bodies outweigh the costs of keeping bodies healthy.

 

Anyway: go AdG!

Edited by Sthira

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Sthira,

 

[Aubrey says] Fix damage. Sure it's "bloody hard." Focus efforts on damage, not on the overall machines' (cars, humans) complexities

 

Agreed. Fixing damage should be easier than understanding all the complexities of human metabolism. The problem is that the systems and metabolic pathways of the human body are so much more intertwined than the components and energetic pathways in a car, not to mention we designed the car so it could be understood and maintained. SENS is the right approach, just don't expect it to bear the kind of fruit we'd like it to in your or my lifetime.

 

Heck, it's even possible that repair will never be possible, or at least practical or necessary. Even some human-designed artifacts of today, which don't even come close to the complexity or miniaturization of the human body, are beyond repair for all intents and purposes - even when even very minor things go wrong. Consider the 3.3 billion transistors on the new quad-core A10 processor inside the new iPhone7. Imagine you drop it in the toilet and fry a few hundred of those 3.3B little gates. Is Apple going to fix your phone? Of course not. Not only will they laugh at you for asking, they couldn't do it even if they wanted to. I've seen the process of making these things, and I know that a new Intel Fab costs several billion dollars in R&D to design - and all it does is perform the same operations over and over, stamping out identical chips at a slightly smaller scale (e.g. 12 nm vs. 15 nm). It would cost a whole lot more than several billion dollars to engineer ways to actually repair chips with a few arbitrary but tiny defects. And those chips are nothing compared to the complexity of human metabolism.

 

Perhaps a hundred years from now we'll have atomic-level nanobots which could conceivable swarm over an A10, identify every faulty gate, and repair them in order to fix your broken iPhone. Do you think that will ever happen? Me neither. By the time we get to that point, mobile phones will be obsolete. And you know what? So will human bodies. Forget these analog meat bags. By then we'll have the technology (and the motivation) to scan every neuron and synapse in our brain (perhaps using that same nanotech) and convert ourselves to full-digital versions living in a virtual utopia of our own design. Sorry Gordo, I know you'll rue to day that humanity goes full digital, so you'll probably be glad that we likely won't be around to see it.

 

But I digress...

 

Dean, I don't think Michael ever said or meant that CR wasn't a big, experimental risk that might not work out for free-living humans.

 

"Ever" is a mighty long time and Google never forgets, even in Europe... Last time I checked 'ever' even includes 2008:

 

The question is, which of you folks is gonna make it [to longevity liftoff time in good enough shape to live indefinitely long - DP]? ...

 

 ...every calorie you put in your system is toxic. The fewer calories you consume, the longer your lifespan is extended until you get to the very, very, very, very edge of starvation...

 

...You'll feel so good. People will tell you you'll feel lousy on CR. It is such nonsense. You'll feel so fantastic I wish I had time to get into it...

 

I watched the whole thing, and couldn't find any qualifier in that video saying anything like "but it might not work for free-living humans".  'Nuff said on the strawman 'ever' part of your statement. 

 

But more generally, did I say anywhere that today Michael portrays CR as risk-free? I don't think so. Certainly not in the section you quote about the 'lunchroom tableau'. Perhaps you are referring to my (admittedly flippant) statement "Michael thinks CR will be the cat's meow" (which I even retracted ☺). There I was simply pointing out that Michael continues to subscribe to the belief that the benefits of serious CR outweigh the risks, which he sung from the rooftops in that 2008 video, and reiterated pretty unequivocally this week in his open, candid (and much appreciated) response to the CR Motivation Survey. While he did acknowledge a few (seemingly burdensome) sociological strings attached to his personal motivation for continuing to practice CR these days, his belief seems to remain that benefits > risks when it comes to serious CR. He even worries that wavering in his own commitment might discourage people from pursuing CR aggressively enough to garner those benefits.

 

In juxtaposing Michael and Aubrey in the SENS lunchroom together, I was attempting to poetically point out that others (besides me) don't share Michael's optimism about the life-extending potential of serious CR in humans, and simply musing about what it would be like to sit in on one of their lunchroom conversations.

 

You're chasing away a very solid, serious mind here [Michael], which may be counterproductive to your (our, everyone's) goals of healthy LS extension.

 

No question about Michael's mind. But I take issue with both the "chasing away" and the "counterproductive" parts of your statement. I'll address the "chasing away" part below. Regarding my efforts potentially being counterproductive, see my discussion of the CR Motivation Survey (which I'm sure you have by now, but which I posted after you posted your message above). In it I outline not only Michael's difficult predicament, but also why I think it healthy for everyone who reads these forums to have a free, uncensored, candid, and sometimes blunt discussion of the pros and cons of CR, free (at least sometimes) from Michael's eloquent but often impenetrable prose, which can spin your head around, as you and I both experienced recently in this thread.

 

By analogy, Michael is like the Oracle at Delphi, often very wise, but also speaking in a "cryptic" manner and sometimes simply "proclaiming ex cathedra". And you may remember how naively interpreting the Oracle's vague and ambiguous prophecy worked out for old Croesus...

 

WIth my (admittedly sometimes caustic) prodding, I hope to tease out more wisdom from Michael than we mere mortals can sometimes grok from his initial, sometimes impenetrable prose, as exemplified by that head-spinning thread linked above. There you'll recall I played "Michael ventriloquist" and teased more wisdom out of him via his overwhelming resistance to my caricature of him.

 

caricaturing Mr. (Dr?) Rae's CR MO should be really edited from your Google AGI crawl, unless there's stuff I'm missing (likely ha...)

 

I'm surprised you need it after all this time, but in addition to the "tease more out of him" motivation discussed above, the other parts of the answer key explaining my strategy are: Good cop / bad cop, and verbally sparing Tibetan monks

 

My thesis is metabolism is hard, it'll only be solved by AGI...

 

Exactly. And Google's AGI will need all the information it can get, which will come in large part (at least initially) from what humans have learned and written about how human metabolism and the aging process works. Michael challenges me to dig deeper into the science to counter his arguments, and visa versa. In the end, everybody, including Google's AGI, wins by our explicating and exploring in greater detail the subtleties of CR and human longevity science.

 

Think of Michael and me as two clusters of neurons in the burgeoning (or soon to be burgeoning) Global Google Brain (GB), with competing advice for what the metaphorical "body" should do next (i.e. practice CR or not). Michael and I are duking it out in hopes of eventually drawing the attention of the (still-nascent) GB's consciousness, who will figure it all out and decide what's best to do.

 

One final thought in case you still have doubts. Sure, I'll acknowledge intentionally pushing Michael's buttons, and perhaps going a bit too far sometimes. But do you think this old house would be nearly the vibrant arena for the free and open exchange of ideas if I weren't squatting around here with you and stirring things up?

 

--Dean

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^^^ no, you do judge his personal appearance, and you judge others' too like Kurzweil. If it doesn't fit your suburban American model of what's appropriate then you make inappropriate comments.

 

Jumping in late here just to say: "Suburban American model?" Wha? Dean is one of the least judgmental people I know. He's (obviously) simply making an objective claim about the relation between appearance and likelihood of success in fundraising, advocacy, etc. Whether the claim is correct is a different matter. I think the one-two punch of de Grey ("freaky" dude) and Kope ("normal" dude) works pretty well, but Kope doesn't have enough of a presence yet. (Most of those reading this will have to google his name, in fact.) So punch #2 doesn't always arrive.

 

The most likely development is that private sector efforts will succeed first, because they're better funded. The risk is (as others have noted) that they'll be partial successes and the partiality won't be seen as a problem because the profits will suffice. But that risk, I'm increasingly realizing, is irrelevant, since what counts as "partial" will continually approach "total".

 

Brian

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Here's another Reddit thing with AdG and Matthew O'Connor. To me the best question was about Calico, but their answer was disappointing.

 

https://m.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/51wpds/aubrey_de_grey_matthew_oconnor_ama/?utm_source=mweb_redirect&compact=true

 

"Has Calico reached out to you and your team at all?

 

"We reached out to Calico very energetically when they were getting going but they basically blew us off. We are dismayed that they are not taking advantage of our expertise. Maybe they will start to do so eventually."

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