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Dean Pomerleau

New Interview with Aubrey de Grey

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Aubrey remains pretty skeptical of the benefits of CR in humans.

 

http://www.planettechnews.com/interviews/ptn-interviews-dr-aubrey-de-grey-researcher-and-a-thought-leader-in-anti-aging-regenerative-medicine

 

Here is the relevant section from this Q&A article :

 

Q: You comment in your talks that tinkering with metabolism is not a viable approach, because it is too complicated and impossible to modify without causing "more harm than good". However, it seems a number of anti aging companies, focused on drugs and genetic engineering, seem to be pursuing this route. Can you explain this disagreement?

 

Aubrey: Great question. The short answer is that there is one exception to my comment, but it’s an exception that doesn’t seem likely to have much practical significance for humans. The exception is calorie restriction. The drugs and other simple interventions (including genetic ones) that companies are looking at are almost all focused on making the body behave as if it is in a famine. The motivation, of course, is that famine (and these drugs) can greatly postpone aging in short-lived laboratory organisms like mice, rats and (even more so) worms. But it turns out - and for very obvious evolutionary reasons - that this doesn’t work nearly so well in long-lived species as in short-lived ones. The most that I think humans can possibly benefit by that kind of approach is a couple of years.

Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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Presumably he actually read Michael's rebuttal of his "weather" paper, no? I think the unqualified "doesn't work nearly so well" statement is way too strong.

 

Me, too — we've almost come to blows on the subject ;) . It must be said, however, that the contrasting results of the NIH and WNPRC nonhuman primate CR studies came out after my "Weather" rebuttal, and do significantly tilt the balance of evidence in his direction empirically, even if I think his evolutionary reasoning is flawed (and even more so now, since my thoughts on the likely evolutionary basis of CR have changed since I wrote my earlier rebuttal).

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No question. Still, the unqualified "doesn't work nearly so well" statement is way too strong. "May well not provide the same percentage increase in maximum lifespan in humans" – sure, though.

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Well, that would pretty drastically understate his position ... his argument is that CR will yield 1-2 y of life expectancy at most, with max LS thus almost a moot point. The problematic element is the degree of confidence he asserts in drawing this conclusion, not the implied or explicit magnitude: ie, he should IMO be saying "I have argued, based on premises that I think are obvious for evolutionary reasons, that this won't work nearly so well in long-lived species as in short-lived ones. The most that I think humans can possibly benefit by that kind of approach is a couple of years, and I think that the current state of the evidence is consistent with that prediction."

 

And then I would hack his evolutionary argument and most of his interpretation of the empirical data to pieces, and then say that the NIA and WNPRC data leave us in a disappointing state of ongoing ambiguity rather than really providing any evidence one way or the other, whereas he seems to want to argue that they positively argue his case. At minimum, as I said earlier, the flaws that are now readily apparent in the WNPRC study clearly undermine what had previously seemed to be one of the stronger arguments for human translatability.

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Here is Aubrey once again dissing CR as a path to human longevity, this time in his answer to a question on Quora. Here is the question, and his response, with the bit about CR highlighted.

 

He says the two recent primate CR trials give "conclusive data to prove" that CR will work far less well in humans than in other organisms, and that it is "downright scandalous that people who should know far better are still pursuing that approach [i.e. CR for extending lifespan]." 

 

Aubrey really seems to have a bug in his bonnet about CR. Can't you reign him in Michael  :)xyz ?

 

Q: If you want to hasten the anti-aging research, why should you donate to SENS Foundation instead of others organizations?
 
Aubrey de Grey's Answer:
 
Thanks for the question, and to Tony for his very thorough reply. I don't have much to add, actually. SENS is a bona fide plan for defeating aging entirely, by repairing the accumulating damage that eventually kills us.
 
Almost all other approaches entail, in one way or another, slowing aging down by taking advantage of the genetic machinery that underlies the response to famine. That concept used to seem really promising, as a result of the impressive life extension demonstrated both by famine itself and by its genetic or pharmacological emulation in laboratory organisms, but for a long time it has been obvious to anyone who was really being objective that such an approach would probably work far less well in longer-lived species (I wrote a detailed paper to this effect in 2005), and we now have conclusive data to prove it in the form of the two huge monkey calorie restriction studies that concluded in the past few years. It's therefore downright scandalous that people who should know far better are still pursuing that approach.
 
Another approach is to optimise the effect of medicines that apready exist, using improved knowledge about individuals' genones and other omes - that's what Craig Venter's HLI is doing, basically - and again it's only going to have modest benefits at best.The other big reason to fund SENS Research Foundation is that some other organisations are indeed focused on damage repair, but only on the lowest-hanging fruit that will either make money or get publications really quickly. We respond to that by doing the opposite - prioritising the equally vital but hardest and thus most neglected areas. It definitely pays off - for example, six weeks ago we had our first publication in Science, arising from the work on crosslinking that we fund at Yale - but it takes a long time to do so, so it needs donors with just as much vision and patience as we ourselves have. And there sure aren't enough of those. My current estimate is that we are being slowed down by as much as a factor of three at present by shortage of funds, and that's in grave danger of getting worse soon, when the funds I donated in 2011 from my inheritance run out. So all in all, I believe we've made a strong case for being the right beneficiary for any donors who want themselves, their loved ones and humanity in general to stay truly heathy however long they live.

 

Whether or not he's right about the efficacy of CR in humans, I do think the SENS approach to defeating the diseases of aging and extending lifespan makes a lot of sense.

 

--Dean

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AdG: "...The other big reason to fund SENS Research Foundation is that some other organisations are indeed focused on damage repair, but only on the lowest-hanging fruit that will either make money or get publications really quickly. We respond to that by doing the opposite..."

 

Ring, ring, hallo Calico? What's y'all doing?

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All,

 

Bless his heart, Aubrey continues to beat the bushes in hopes of find a sugar daddy to fund SENS research. It looks like he's really scraping the bottom of the barrel now though. Yesterday he did an interview with the so-called "Bulletproof Exec" Dave Asprey (embedded below) called "Diving into the Fountain of Youth with Aubrey de Grey". At the bottom are the show notes by Asprey or his post-production person with some of the highlights and timestamps. I'll touch on a few low lights. 

 

Forgive me for being blunt, but Asprey is a real moron. And the worst thing is he doesn't know it. Instead he thinks he's God's gift to the earth. First, throughout the show it's clear he's reading from a teleprompter just above the camera. Very annoying. I'm not sure whether he or someone else writes his shtick, but it's pretty lame.  

 

Next, he opens the show (at 0:53) pitching not "Casper mattresses" as it says in the show notes, but by pitching his own "Bulletproof Upgrading Aging Formula" - a supplement cocktail which I haven't looked into but that he claims:

  • It "is one of our most popular supplements because it really, really works". (one really wasn't enough to capture how well this works...)
  • It "optimizes your daily brain function via four different pathways".
  • It "mimics the effects of fasting."
  • It "protects neurons in the brain from excess glutamate."
  • It "primes the mitochondria pump."
  • It helps "at the last step in the mitochondrial pathway before additional ketones enter the cycle."

Then Aubrey comes on and bashes all the supplement pushers. I wonder if Asprey felt conflicted. He obviously knows a lot of people interested in slowing aging would be turning in to this episode of his show to hear Aubrey - making it a great opportunity to hawk his crappy supplement formula. But at the same time he had to know Aubrey would be highly critical of this approach, and people who pursue and promote it.

 

But maybe not - and I mean that doubt in several ways.

 

"Maybe not" in that Asprey may have been stupid enough not to realize Aubrey would be highly critical of his (Asprey's) approach to anti-aging. After all, clueless Asprey, who BTW claims he has "know Aubrey for many years", nonetheless says "Aubrey's work on aging has been some of the most seminal work out there, where you [Aubrey] talk about the five big causes of aging" (2:40-2:55). What a moron. His Bulletproof™, butter-laden, high-octane brain-boosting coffee must have failed him that day. Perhaps he's lactose intolerant and his Bulletproof coffee caused his brain to fart. I can't understand how he thinks/knows Aubrey's work is seminal, but thinks Aubrey has identified five (not seven) fundamental causes of aging. Unbelievable. Doesn't he even do an ounce of homework on his guests? Aubrey all-to-respectfully corrects him immediately. Comical.

 

But the other sense of "maybe not" is a bit more depressing / mercenary / sinister - although that last adjective may be a little harsh. I respect Aubrey a lot, and perhaps he was just being diplomatic (I like to give him the benefit of the doubt). But listen to the soliloquy by Aubrey starting at 43:15 (direct link to that segment). In it, Aubrey says (my emphasis):

 

And to be honest Dave, I think you are right. I think that it's vital to convince people to support this [sENS research] work and I'm perfectly fine convincing them by arguments that I don't believe. The thing is that I'm not very good at delivering arguments ... [garbled - but probably something like "I don't believe." - DP]. So I'd rather you [Asprey] did instead... From a rhetorical point of view, I think it's fine. I'm very good at what I do, but I only do what I do, and I think we need a wide variety of voices out there explaining this concept and the importance of doing something about aging to a wide audience so that, you know, one of us will actually communicate effectively to these people. 

 

In short, Aubrey doesn't come right out and say it but nevertheless makes it pretty clear that in his mind, the ends justify the means (of getting funding). He's ok with saying (or having others say) whatever it takes to get the dollars he needs to fund SENS. It seems this would include telling potential donors / investors what they want to hear - namely that SENS research project could advance fast enough for the donor / investor to attain longevity escape velocity...

 

Asprey responds "I think you should keep doing what you're doing because I think it's working pretty well from where I sit."  What a moron. Aubrey wouldn't be on Asprey's inane show if it was "working pretty well". If what Aubrey has been focused on for the last few years (raising money) was "working pretty well" he'd already have the $50-100M per year to fund SENS research, rather than living off the fumes of his own (Aubrey's) inheritance in order keep SENS limping along.

 

But somehow Aubrey seems to be laboring under the same delusion that Asprey harbors - that things are going pretty well. Or at least that's how Aubrey is spinning it to the public in hopes of landing (rather than discouraging) his "sugar daddy" billionaire investor / contributor.

 

Case in point. At 48:45 (direct link) Aubrey tries to dodge Asprey's usual final question about what advice he has for listeners on how they can optimize their overall life performance. Instead he tries to answer the question "Why am I [Aubrey] good at what I do?" He says he's good at what he does because of three factors that can't be easily acquired. They are "charisma, determination and confidence". 

 

Aubrey's determination and confidence (at least publicly) are unquestionable. But his charisma is highly debatable. Granted, he's a good speaker and fun to listen to - at least for us geeks. But what I think he's (unfortunately) sorely lacking is a fourth characteristic critical for the success of SENS - namely "credibility". In the personal sense, Aubrey lacks visual credibility in a big way. For someone whose only 53 years old and advocating for indefinite lifespan, he looks like methuselah with his massive beard and greying hair. Not exactly the vision of living forever that most people are looking for. Right there I can easily imagine most people write him off. He certainly doesn't give the impression of being the kind of person an internet billionaire or venture capitalist is going to trust, believe or take seriously as a potential partner.  Here is a picture Aubrey next to two pictures of David Sinclair, who raised $730M for his (now failed) company (Sirtris Pharmaceuticals) to push red wine (resveratrol) pills. Now if your were a rich individual, foundation, or VC firm, who would you rather give your money too?

 

Sorry Aubrey, but you look like a homeless man. It shouldn't matter, but it does.

 

smn9zPH.png   456433a-i1.0.jpg  DavidSinclair_Phd_220.jpg

 

This, coupled with the fact that his ideas are on the fringe of (and threatening to) the huge pharma-gerontology industry designed to make big money selling useless pills to gullible sick and old people, means that he has almost no credibility to speak of in the scientific community either. 

 

Somewhere in the interview he says they are still scraping by on $4-5M per year, which means he hasn't raised significantly more funding above what he is chipping in from his rapidly dwindling inheritance. Checking the SENS.org website, their latest "Cntl-Alt-Delete" anti-cancer initiative has raised a whopping $11K so far via crowdfunding...

 

But wait, stop the presses!  

 

I see a new press release (dated yesterday) on the SENS website. Here is the full text:

 
Michael Greve Commits $10 Million
 
INTERNET ENTREPRENEUR MICHAEL GREVE COMMITS $10 MILLION TO SENS RELATED RESEARCH AND STARTUPS INCLUDING A $5 MILLION DONATION OVER 5 YEARS TO SENS RESEARCH FOUNDATION
 
$5 Million To Be Invested in Rejuvenation Biotechnology Related Startups

 

German Internet Entrepreneur Michael Greve today announced that his Forever Healthy Foundation will be committing $5 million in philanthropic support over the next five years to the SENS Research Foundation (SRF), a non-profit organization focused on transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease. In addition Michael Greve's company KIZOO Technology Ventures will be committing seed investments of $5 million in startups focused on bringing rejuvenation biotechnology treatments to market.
 
"My goal is to provide support for the critical research of the SENS Research Foundation and to facilitate the development of the rejuvenation biotech industry and ecosystem. I think we should have more people contribute to the step-by-step creation of cures for the root causes of all age-related diseases. And we should have a whole rejuvenation industry based on the SENS treatment model including the self-accelerating feedback-loop of success stories and amazing opportunities for scientist, entrepreneurs and VC investors. This will truly accelerate both research and therapies. I have decided to lead by example and make this $10 million commitment," said Michael Greve.
 
Forever Healthy Foundation's initial donation will fund projects including Allotopic Expression of Mitochondrial Genes led by Dr. Matthew O'Connor at the SENS Research Foundation Research center and Pharmacological and/or enzymatic cleavage of glucosepane crosslinks led by Dr. David Spiegel at Yale University, SENS Research Foundation's Education Program led by Dr. Greg Chin and other SENS Research Foundation programs.
 
"Michael Greve's commitment shows that there is clear support for the critical work of the SENS Research Foundation. As the first donation in our Project|21 fundraising campaign, it will help enable us to build a bridge to the first human clinical trials of Rejuvenation Biotechnologies by 2021. This gift is an important cornerstone that we will be able to build upon," said Mike Kope, CEO, SENS Research Foundation.
 
For more information on the SENS Research Foundation visit www.sens.org. For information on Project|21 visit www.SENSProject21.org. And for information on Michael Greve visit www.kizoo.com and www.forever-healthy.org.
Companion Press Release: "SENS Research Foundation Launches $50 Million Project|21 Campaign".
 
About Michael Greve and Forever Healthy Foundation
Michael Greve is the founder of numerous successful Internet companies including Web.de and LastMinute.de. He is currently the CEO of Kizoo Technology Ventures and the founder and CEO of the Forever Healthy Foundation. The Forever Healthy Foundation is a private nonprofit initiative whose mission is to enable people to vastly extend their healthy lifespans and be part of the first generation to cure aging. In order to accelerate the development of therapies to get aging under full medical control, the Forever Healthy Foundation directly supports cutting edge research aimed at the molecular and cellular repair of damage caused by the aging process. Visit www.forever-healthy.org and www.kizoo.com.
 
About Project|21
Project|21 is a campaign of the SENS Research Foundation which will enable the delivery of human clinical trials of rejuvenation biotechnologies by 2021. Project|21 brings together the key elements - core research groups, key players shared knowledge, underlying tools - to create a globally recognized industry for rejuvenation biotechnology. The goal of the Project|21 is to raise $50 million in total funding. Visit www.SENSProject21.org.

 

 
Holy schmolly. You heard it hear first SENS fans!
 
I looks like SENS has gotten a bit of reprieve, and has in fact landed somewhat of a sugar daddy to help them keep going. $5M bucks (or maybe $10M if they play their cards right) is nothing to sneeze at. Great job Aubrey (and Michael) - congratulations!
 
I guess I'll eat crow and take back (rather than edit out) what I wrote above about Aubrey lacking credibility and therefore being ineffective at fundraising. Now if he could just round up 10x that amount per year, we all might have a snowball's chance in hell of of living forever...
 
--Dean
 
Footnote: Inexplicably left out of the show notes below, at 46:45 (direct link), Aubrey talks at length about cryonics. It was perhaps the most interesting part of the whole interview for someone already familiar with Aubrey and SENS research. Aubrey (unlike Asprey) is quite optimistic, and is already an Alcor subscriber. He thinks by the time he needs it, the technology required for preservation will be available, and based on hypothermia recovery cases, thinks reanimation should be possible as well, at least theoretically.
 
Asprey Interview w/ Aubrey Show notes:
What You Will Hear (note: timestamps represent audio, video may differ)
    0:00 – Cool Fact of the Day
    0:54 – Casper Mattresses
    3:28 – Introducing Aubrey de Grey
    4:21 – Aubrey’s definition of aging
    8:35 – The seven things affecting aging: Cell loss
  12:32 – Cell division & death-resistant cells
  17:17 – Mitochondrial mutation
  19:57 – Waste products inside the cell
  22:39 – Waste products outside the cell
  25:08 – Elasticity of cells & amino acids
  31:23 – Aubrey’s take on cancer
  38:43 – Compression of morbidity
  45:52 – The ethics of immortality
  52:38 – SENS’ goals for the immediate future
  59:45 – Top 3 Recommendations to kick more ass and be Bulletproof!

 

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Yeah, ole Aubrey is looking a bit rheumy-eyed there at 53, bad luck genetics I suppose. I have an acquaintance who looks 65 at 45, and his father was the same way. Btw. there was a study somewhere that linked how fast you age with apparent appearance of age vs calendar age and they found that what you see is what you get - i.e. the older you look vs your real age, the faster you age too.

 

I do think it's a shame more money is not flowing toward research like SENS (even if I personally have my doubts about SENS - I suspect the problem of aging is found even deeper in our genes and unlikely to be solved by a SENS approach). SENS whatever you may think of the odds of success for its ultimate goals, would unquestionably bring many benefits to at least ameliorate some problems of aging and most certainly illuminate the science behind it. That alone is more than a worthy goal. Only reason I wish I was a billionaire would be that I'd have the means to support projects like SENS, at much grander scale.

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AMA link to Aubrey:

 

https://m.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/4t65ay/aubrey_de_grey_ama_ask_about_the_quest_to_cure/?utm_source=mweb_redirect&compact=true

 

 

First of all, a big thank you to Dr. De Grey and Dr. Silva for doing this AMA. You and everyone else involved with SENS are truly heroes, even if the majority of humanity doesn't recognize this yet. Here are my questions:

 

Will the human clinical trials resulting from Project|21 address all 7 categories of aging damage? If not, what is their goal?

 

You've mentioned, Dr. De Grey, in your last reddit AMA, that you expect to see robust mouse rejuvenation in 6-8 years. How does recently announced Project|21 fits into this? Wouldn't successfully achieving the goal of human trials by 2021 make robust mouse rejuvenation redundant? Or should we expect to see both things in parallel by 2021?

 

In a few of your recent lectures, you've said that in 5 or so years the subject of human rejuvenation will become mainstream and talked about by the likes of Oprah. Could you please elaborate on specific reasons for why you expect this to happen?

 

Dr. George Church has been quite outspoken about the feasibility of his work to reverse aging in humans in under 5 years. Recently, he even said that he thinks we'll be seeing the first human trials in under 2 years. What is your opinion on this, and if it turns out to be successful how will it interfere with the work SENS does?

 

Aubrey de Grey:

 

1) No. The goal of Project|21 is to clear the path to the first genuine clinical trials in rejuvenation biotechnology. This will involve building better collaborations, better regulatory frameworks for rejuvenation clinical work, and pushing the first technologies specific to rejuvenation that are available and at a stage where early clinical work is truly feasible. We think this will involve technologies in intracellular damage repair, and technologies in senescent cell work, and other likely candidates for the first clinical work. The comprehensive solution, however, will require a larger selection of technologies and the investment and development power of more industrial partners (and the early successes of project 21 will be used to precipitate that).

 

2) Apples and oranges. RMR will probably require simultaneous, high-quality implementation of all the SENS strands in mice, because the omission of any one strand will probably cause tthe mice to die on schedule. Project21, on the other hand, is only about getting part-way to the equivalent stage in humans: first of all we would only be implementing a subset of the SENS therapies, and secondly we’d only be beginning the experiment (the clinical trial), whereas RMR is defined in terms of the outcome.

 

3) Mainly because the extent of progress in the lab will allow (or force!) mainstream gerontologists to say publicly that it's coming.

 

4) George is awesome, and what he's saying is absolutely in line with what we're saying. I don't think the trials that will be possible in as little as two years will be all that comprehensive, but maybe things can get started by then. For sure there is no interference.

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I don't know if this has been posted here somewhere or not. It's a great interview with him, maybe this was recorded in May, 2016, it's well worth several listens, particularly the Q&A portion at the end.

 

The more I listen to Aubrey De Grey's passion and work, the more I like and respect him:

 

https://youtu.be/qsNNUEx5OkU

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Sthira,

 

I too respect Aubrey a lot. But did he say anything new and specific, or is this the same old "rah rah SENS" talk that we've all heard repeatedly. Anything in particular in the Q&A that struck you as especially interesting?

 

--Dean

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Sthira,

 

I too respect Aubrey a lot. But did he say anything new and specific, or is this the same old "rah rah SENS" talk that we've all heard repeatedly. Anything in particular in the Q&A that struck you as especially interesting?

 

--Dean

Right well, the reason perhaps he's not saying much of anything "new" is because his message is so tight and refined there's little remaining to add. My only question is how do I help personally. Clearly what's needed is money, and money is what I don't have. He's not saying anything new because what he needs most is major fund raising, and how do we help with getting more money into this organization. For all their brilliance, SENS isn't doing well enough to raise more money. So: how?

 

Building a bridge to Calico would seem like the insider job that's required. And maybe this is happening, or has already happened.

Edited by Sthira

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Sthira,

 

He's not saying anything new because what he needs most is major fund raising, and how do we help with getting more money into this organization. For all their brilliance, SENS isn't doing well enough to raise more money. So: how?

 

My vote would be to get an additional, more photogenic, younger-looking spokesperson... For all his eloquence and passion, IMO Aubrey's appearance distracts/detracts from his effectiveness as a fundraiser, as I've mentioned before.

 

Building a bridge to Calico would seem like the insider job that's required. And maybe this is happening, or has already happened. 

 

Ah yes, that other Google-owned company, Calico. Aubrey is not very optimistic about Calico's prospects, or a SENS/Calico collaboration (Aubrey says they've pretty much blown him and SENS off), as he pointed out in the interview discussed here.

 

--Dean

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Sthira,

 

He's not saying anything new because what he needs most is major fund raising, and how do we help with getting more money into this organization. For all their brilliance, SENS isn't doing well enough to raise more money. So: how?

My vote would be to get an additional, more photogenic, younger-looking spokesperson... For all his eloquence and passion, IMO Aubrey's appearance distracts/detracts from his effectiveness as a fundraiser, as I've mentioned before.

Well, maybe, maybe not. This approach might work in the world of ballet or Cirque, but does it work here. For example, I love the work of Dr. Greger but not because of his personal appearance. I love his work because he presents short, pithy, science-based arguments, updates them constantly, provides new arguments near-daily, and makes them widely available for free on YouTube.

 

I'm suggesting this idea is not nirvana for SENS, but perhaps they could experiment and play a little. Sending De Grey out to speech after speech all around the world is probably great fun for him, but it seems dated.

 

Dear SENS: post small, regularly updated video spots about your awesome work. Then give people the opportunity to engage with you, react, respond, question, doubt, debate.... In short, please update yourself, dear SENS.

 

Their website is terrible, it's not readable for people mobile users without laptops, and doesn't offer much forum vibrancy. I say the same for Reason's website, too, at least make it readable for mobile users.

 

Ah yes, that other Google-owned company, Calico. Aubrey is not very optimistic about Calico's prospects, or a SENS/Calico collaboration (Aubrey says they've pretty much blown him and SENS off), as he pointed out in the interview discussed here.

 

--Dean

Well, then it's time to get more optimistic. Calico might respond if SENS updated their stuff. Frankly, while I love Aubrey like a dear friend in spirit, he needs to update not his personal appearance -- which is awesome! His personal appearance only chases away the shallow and the unenlightened corporate fucks that are too stupid to donate anyway -- but he needs to update his online presence.

 

Again, Dr. Greger's site ain't perfect, but it's maybe a closer model than their current outdated site.

Edited by Sthira

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Sthira,

 

I agree, SENS's online resources are pretty scant and not very compelling. While interesting for technical geeks like us, even Michael's 'Question of the Month' (<sic> more like quarterly at best) posts to the SENS Research Blog are usually not very inspiring (sorry Michael).

 

Frankly, while I love Aubrey like a dear friend in spirit, he needs to update not his personal appearance -- which is awesome! His personal appearance only chases away the shallow and the unenlightened corporate fucks that are too stupid to donate anyway -- but he needs to update his online presence.

 

I think you give the 'corporate f*cks' too little credit wrt their ability to donate - as I pointed out in the contrast between both the appearance and fundraising success of Aubrey vs. David Sinclair here.

 

--Dean

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I disagree. And I think your judgemental comments about others' personal appearances are dated. Judge your own personal experience and let others be the more creative people they choose to be.

 

Again, SENS should post daily short videos on YouTube with chances for more people to interact and possibly donate. But this is just one arrow, and they need many more.

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Sthira,

 

I disagree. And I think your judgemental comments about others' personal appearances are dated.

 

I personally don't judge Aubrey by his appearance. I was simply observing that other people who are no less eloquent than Aubrey, and have no more compelling a story than Aubrey, nonetheless get tons of venture capital funding thrown their way. I was speculating that the difference may be Aubrey's "earthy / crunchy" (some would say "homeless guy") appearance. But heck, I could certainly be wrong. But the proof is in the pudding. SENS appears to be holding their own with the recent infusion of $5M. We'll see if they can ramp it up from there as Aubrey says is required to make significant and rapid progress.

 

--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. And you keep dodging my point anyway, which is that SENS needs to have a more current and engaging online presence to the YouTube masses. But again, this is just one road to fundraising, and there should be many more, including the suit and tie crowd of Sinclairs you seem to personally prefer.

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Suit yourself Sthira. Perhaps I do judge Aubrey and Ray a bit based on their appearance. We all do, if not consciously at least implicitly. I bet you do to. Have you ever tried testing your on implicit biases? It is really eye-opening and I highly recommend it. Give it a try here. I'll be curious about how you score on social biases. Overtly I consider myself free from prejudices based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, but learned that implicitly, I'm as prejudiced as the next guy. Really eye-opening...

 

Anyway, it doesn't matter a hill of beans whether or not I (or you) judge Aubrey by his appearance. It's the people with the big bucks. 

 

And you keep dodging my point anyway, which is that SENS needs to have a more current and engaging online presence to the YouTube masses.

 

Huh?! Do you even read what I write in response to you? e.g. when I said:

I agree, SENS's online resources are pretty scant and not very compelling. While interesting for technical geeks like us, even Michael's 'Question of the Month' (<sic> more like quarterly at best) posts to the SENS Research Blog are usually not very inspiring (sorry Michael).

 

YouTube videos would be one way to accomplish a more appealing online presence for the masses. But then again, they masses don't have the kind of deep pockets Aubrey is looking for, and a daily YouTube video would be a pain in the ass to put together. Dr. Greger has a staff of at least 7 full-time people, and scores of volunteers (I know I was one of them for a while) helping him generate content. I personally don't think such an outreach effort as producing daily video content would be a good way for SENS's to allocate its scarce resources.

 

But hey, what do I know.

 

--Dean

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Suit yourself Sthira. Perhaps I do judge Aubrey and Ray a bit based on their appearance. We all do, if not consciously at least implicitly. I bet you do to.

Oh good grief. Of course I judge people based upon appearances. And I've been judged on every aspect of my external appearance since I was what like five. Something like Misty but way less awesome: https://youtu.be/ZY0cdXr_1MA

 

But my point is that here your comments are mean and unnecessary. AdG is entitled to whatever personal expression he feels like, and if growing a wicked beard is his thing, that's totally cool, and if dislike of his haircut is what's preventing Calico from building a bridge to SENS, well, I guess it doesn't surprise me, but that's stupid and sad. The man is trying with all his heart to prevent suffering and disease, and you want to say his appearance looks like a homeless man. Lovely. Then you want to say no I'm not judging him, haha, can you say passive aggressive?

 

YouTube videos would be one way to accomplish a more appealing online presence for the masses. But then again, they masses don't have the kind of deep pockets Aubrey is looking for, and a daily YouTube video would be a pain in the ass to put together. Dr. Greger has a staff of at least 7 full-time people, and scores of volunteers (I know I was one of them for a while) helping him generate content. I personally don't think such an outreach effort as producing daily video content would be a good way for SENS's to allocate its scarce resources.

 

But hey, what do I know.

 

--Dean

Well, I do think expanding the SENS message in a friendlier manner would be a great way to spend resources. The idea is SENS must get its message out to more people. Say it short, fast, fetchingly, and keep it fresh. While Aubrey himself is beautifully effective, the SENS website needs to tell us in simpler, easier words what's going on and why anyone should bother to help them. And while I'm sure Michael Rae is a really nice, committed person, he's not a good writer for the common people who control the fate of SENS (we the lay community). We need easier, friendlier, nicer videos and words that tell us what's going on.

 

And if SENS has money to fly him all over the world to deliver long speeches, then SENS has money to hire some skilled millennials to create daily short videos on both the SENS site and YouTube to garner more money and attention.

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Sthira,

 

The man is trying with all his heart to prevent suffering and disease, and you want to say his appearance looks like a homeless man. Lovely. Then you want to say no I'm not judging him, haha, can you say passive aggressive?

 

If you want to call me passive-aggressive, mean-spirited or judgemental, that's your prerogative, and I won't flat out deny it. I'm sure Aubrey doesn't give a rat's ass about what I think, nor should he, since I'm not in a position to positively impact is fundraising imperative. Aubrey has every right in the world to look any way he wants. More power to him. Lord knows I don't fit the American standard for a handsome male either. 

 

All I was observing is that people in general judge others by their appearance either consciously or more typically, unconsciously. This is especially true when someone is asking for money and especially when you're talking about reversing aging, which nearly everyone at least implicitly equates with looking younger.

 

From that observation I was drawing the natural conclusion that perhaps Aubrey's fundraising challenges stem in part from his refusal or inability to "look the part" of someone who is serious and competent when it comes to the challenge of reversing aging.

 

Is it a stupid conclusion to draw from Aubrey's appearance? Absolutely. Does it happen nonetheless? Probably. That's just the way the world works.

 

If Aubrey really is as serious as he claims to be about helping the 100,000 people who die unnecessarily each day, he might take this fact about the world to heart and either decide to clean up his appearance or hire someone to help with fundraising who has the stereotypical appearance of a competent and responsible person. Otherwise, he's letting his god-given right look like the lead singer in ZZ-Top, and to snub his nose at the people who judge him for his appearance, get in the way of his quest to help humanity.

 

If he choses to ignore the fact that the world judges by appearances, that's fine too. But then he (and we) shouldn't be surprised if/when SENS runs out of money.

 

--Dean

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You've got to hand it to Aubrey - he really does try hard to communicate his message to anyone who'll listen. Here is a new interview with him by a 13-year-old for Kidspiration.

 

Here is my favorite part of the video, Aubrey response to the question "Who would you want to meet, anyone alive or dead?"

 

He said if he is able to live an awful long time, you don't have to make particular priorities.

 

"I'm going to be able to meet everyone I'd like to meet. So I'd like to meet Lady Gaga. She's as good at what she does as I am at what I do, and there aren't many people like that. So it would be nice to meet her." 

 

Aubrey certainly is confident in his own abilities and that shines through all the time, regardless of the venue... His response is amusing, and kind of frivolous - would he really rather meet Lady Gaga than Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton? But perhaps well-targeted for the demographic of the audience of this video.

 

I had to listen again, but he literally said he was "socially retarded really for a long time. I really didn't get much of a handle on how to interact with people until I went to boarding school when I was 13." I'll refrain from commenting on this one...

 

Finally, he prefers Star Trek to Star Wars, although he waffles a bit at the end between them.

 

It's only 5 minutes long, and is a good illustration of Aubrey speaking outside of his normal academic setting. 

 

--Dean

 

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That was a really nice interview. Thank you for sharing, Dean. :) 

I've only met Aubrey the once, but I thought he was quite charming. Very likeable person, and easy to get along with!  

 

I'm not sure if his image is what's holding back people putting money into SENS. With his contacts, I would have expected more money by now, though. Unless there is a fundamental disagreement about the approach Aubrey is taking or very skeptical. Aubrey's best chance, regardless, is to show these intervention having a significant age-reversal effect in animals.. When that happens, I think it'll take off.

 

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?

Edited by Matt

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