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Dean Pomerleau

Growing Sprouts - Including Broccoli Sprouts

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Gordo, good luck with the surgery.

 

Dean, I'm sorry about your uncle. Being a bachelor myself, I sometimes think my fate will be like your uncle's: something happens that suddenly punctures my vision of a very long (into my early 90s), independent life. And there I am, alone, in a hospital bed... (hoping my niece or nephew can come up to see me).

 

I've never been extremely optimistic about Aubrey, Michael and friends, specifically, mostly because of funding limitations. "Non-friends", on the other hand, in part because of the selfishness and greed you note, are a different story.

 

I still stand by a prediction I made years ago: anyone born after 1960 or so with a healthy lifestyle and a bit more than average industrialized world–level of savings has a decent chance (a touch better than 50/50) of living a radically extended life. Caveat I'd add now, though: this is under the assumption that AI doesn't alter the course of history radically in the next few decades – a likely very unrealistic assumption.

 

Brian

 

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Hi Brian. Welcome back.

 

At 50/50 odds, you're much more optimistic than I am about the prospects for radical life extension for those of us in our 50s. But it sounds like we both share a similar level of concern for the future of the planet. So-called progress, both sociological and technological is happening too fast for humanity to assimilate and the wheels are starting to fall off. The rise of ISIS and Trump are just two examples of the increasing selfish and reactionary backlash against progress.

 

Time will tell, but it seems more likely to me now that things will spin out of control rather than ratchet ever higher towards Kurzweil's happy singularity in which we all live forever in a digital utopia.

 

Focusing on pursuits like growing sprouts in hopes of living a couple extra weeks isn't helping to change that trajectory.

 

--Dean

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Focusing on pursuits like growing sprouts in hopes of living a couple extra weeks isn't helping to change that trajectory.

 

I suppose that dig is aimed at folks like me, but it also illustrates what I regard as a rather flawed perspective. For one, it misses the point at the most basic level: I'm not doing it in order to somehow tack another couple of weeks - or really any amount of time - to my natural lifespan. The sequencing of my genetic data through 23andme & Genos threw up multiple red flags showing much higher odds of prostate cancer. I would feel irresponsible not to at least take the measures I can to at a minimum conduct a lifestyle and diet that can impact these awful odds. Broccoli sprouts are high in sulphoraphane which has been associated cancer prevention, prostate cancer in particular. Now I ask: am I not obligated to do what I can so that I am not a burden on the healthcare system, my wife, family and friends and the ecosystem in general? I am not looking to live a couple of weeks longer at 90, I'm trying not to tie up medical resources that amount to a much bigger footprint than my tiny broccoli sprouting efforts. Not getting a malignant PC in my 60's or 70's is the idea, not living 2 weeks longer at 90.

 

Which is why I repeat: how is my trying to keep healthy a selfish act? Or more pointedly: isn't taking personal responsibility for your health the supreme unselfish act? If I can live a healthy lifespan through my own efforts, not only do I spare the medical resources for use by others, but I have more time on this earth to hopefully do some good for the society around me. If I croak at 65 from prostate cancer that I could have avoided through my own efforts, I am not somehow making the planet a better place. Staying healthy, with a low footprint, engaged in my community as a contributor not a resource drain - seems like the unselfish thing to do.

 

I don't think my broccoli sprout growing is a selfish drain on human civilization derailing the world trajectory. I'm not even counting on the sprouts wrt. PC too much - I merely want to feel like I've done everything I could within bounds of personal responsibility, so should the worst happen for me, at least I can say: I did everything I could within my power, and my concience is clean, I can meet death without regrets, I have tried not to be a burden and took care of myself as best I could.

 

And for the record - I never thought I'd reach any kind of singularity, and regard odds such as Brian mentioned, as fantasy. Folks, the cavalry is not coming. Repeat: the cavalry is not coming. I am not waiting for it, and have no illusions. 

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I'm taken by this passage from philosopher Robert Nozick's book The Examined Life (pg. 27):

 

I understand the urge to cling to life until the very end, yet I find another course more appealing. After an ample life, a person who still possesses energy, acuity, and decisiveness might choose to seriously risk his life or lay it down for another person or for some noble and decent cause.

This is good. If it turns out how I'd like, I'll eventually throw down my life to protect a thousand year old tree, or a random stretch of salt marsh necessary as stop over feeding habitat for neotropical migrants. One mountain gorilla. A beaten and abused elephant. Better species than humans are worth our lives.

 

All this is glum, though. Aren't y'all watching advances in senescent cell clearing? Seems bright and shiny to me. Unless we all drown before something's released..

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Tom wrote:

Dean wrote:

Focusing on pursuits like growing sprouts in hopes of living a couple extra weeks isn't helping to change that trajectory.

 

I suppose that dig is aimed at folks like me, but it also illustrates what I regard as a rather flawed perspective.

 

It was meant more as a dig at myself - as the biggest proponent of sprouting in the CR Society (at least since Warren left), and the originator of this thread.

 

I merely want to feel like I've done everything I could within bounds of personal responsibility, so should the worst happen for me, at least I can say: I did everything I could within my power, and my concience is clean, I can meet death without regrets, I have tried not to be a burden and took care of myself as best I could.

 

If your aspiration is to the avoid being a burden and take care of yourself the best you can, I agree, maybe you'll have no regrets on your deathbed. But as my unfortunate uncle and his nursing home roommate illustrate, almost everyone becomes a burden on others at some point, since none of us are getting out of here alive.

 

Rather than simply postponing the inevitable, I'm intrigued by the possibility of, as Nozick puts it "not going gently into that good night or raging against the dying of the light but, near the end, shining [one's] light most brightly."

 

--Dean

 

97-9772-CCPZ500Z.jpg

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Dean, I'm very sorry to hear about your uncle - my heartfelt sympathy with wishes he recover including his independence as long as possible. You mentioned his strong will and though will cannot bend steel or change the laws of physics I have witnessed in my centuranarians a disproportionate representation of the kind yet determined mindset - and one dedicated towards family and/or a sense of meaning and purpose. This was also observed in Blue Zone cultures and in the gerenology research and portends as much optimism as can realistically be garnered for your uncle and I might add yourself for the long-haul knowing you from the boards.

 

Tom, I couldn't agree with you more.

 

In some of the pessimism in this thread ( on the state and nature of (wo)man- Humanity is but in its infancy and indeed technology has accelerated faster than our moral, cultural, and social development as a species with our tribal and self-absorbed short-term oriented cognitive and behavioral predisposition. Nevertheless just in the last century say no less of the serfs and lords of time past our racial, gender, sexual orientation / identity,etc. has while two steps forward one step backwards erratic progress, steady overall progress nevertheless.

 

Could you have imagined a black president? Arab spring? Yes, we can say the former follows by Trump, the latter by squashed resistance, etc, but the overall picture has been tremendous progress for humanity in the last few centuries. WW2, slavery, the 1950s attitude towards the division of labor between men and women were just moments ago in time-- the gradual increased dialogue on evertytthg from animal cruelty to agnostic / atheist and other belief systems and other examples above are at levels unseen before the last few decades domestically and globally. For all our thorns keep hope alive - it is precisely the ability to make a difference that creates opportunity for the greatest good to shine. The best times have followed the darkest, Trump's snub by a Republican Congress shows limits and the pendulum swings farthest from center before correcting.

 

In my work in medicine, I try to remind myself when I feel

Sorrow that it is only be allowing myself to feel empathy and pain by "putting myself out there" trying to help people that I can have the provaledge of taking care of vulnerable people with the chance and hope to help how I can, when I can, within the limits of my abilities, chance, and modern medicine. It is no different in grieving over the starving, tortured, the unjust and other ugliness of society. A belief in the potential to do good keeps us going, and the darkness motivates us to create light. I find this inspiring and seeing amidst the ugliness ask the beautiful and noble creates meaning and lets us participate in helping how we can. And do do such good we must also take care of ourselves not only so that we have the energy and ability to carry on, but also because a true positive future means rectifying the dark, and no bette place to start than what we can control, our candle within.

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Thanks for the well wishes everyone.  Dean -- from what I've read, people in the midst of "clinical depression" often can't tell that they are in said "fog" and I think you may be there.  In the very least, I think you have a distorted view of the world right now, possibly fueled by (self?) filtered media influence and difficult personal circumstances (sorry to hear about your Uncle).  

 

Regardless of what you may see/read (especially from social media) the world is currently pretty much the most peaceful and prosperous it has ever been in all human history.  Terrorist attacks worldwide have been in decline for a long time, murders and crime in general are near all time lows, despite the media frenzy it seems even deportations under Trump are LOWER than they were under Obama.  Trump has little real power, anything crazy is easily overturned by the courts, the president doesn't make laws, set budgets, control spending, and cannot even declare war.  Heck, congress couldn't even replace Obamacare.  I see a lot of people freaking out about nothing, its depressing to watch other people being depressed!  ;)

 

In the meantime, there is a lot to be optimistic about.  I still believe technology will continue to make our world better and better as it has been for hundreds of years.  The pace is accelerating and that is both a good thing, and very exciting!  I can't wait for the rise of machines, its so easy to be negative about it, but unwarranted in my opinion (and also fueled by a negative entertainment industry).  

 

Comparing life today to any time in the past, we live a lot better than the "Kings" of old, and I'm grateful for that.  Solutions to problems like environmental issues, energy, food, and climate will emerge, I'm certain of it.  Already I get 100% of my net energy from solar by the way, and work remotely (greatly reduced driving), and grow lots of food, plant dozens of trees, heat my house with renewable waste fuel, and generally minimize my "footprint" on the world.  Eventually the tech will be compelling enough that everyone will have a small footprint.  As for life extension, its fantastic that so many big players and big money are now involved in this pursuit, things are in motion, progress is definitely happening.

 

-Gordo

 

p.s.  TomB - I too have elevated risk for prostate cancer, my Dad had his prostate removed not long ago.  I'm hoping I can avoid that, but so far my family history of "organs needing removal" track record isn't so good, haha.

Edited by Gordo

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Gordo wrote:

Dean -- from what I've read, people in the midst of "clinical depression" often can't tell that they are in said "fog" and I think you may be there.  In the very least, I think you have a distorted view of the world right now, possibly fueled by (self?) filtered media influence and difficult personal circumstances (sorry to hear about your Uncle).  

 

I've actually introspected a lot on this, and no I'm not depressed. I actually rather enjoy my simple life. What I think I am is hyper-rational.

 

Getting enjoyment out of life has never really been my goal. All my life I've wanted to have the biggest positive impact I could, to leave the world a better place for having lived. Life extension through a super healthy CR-ish diet and exercise regime has been a big part of that for the last 17 years, figuring the amplificatory effects of life extension technology might pay off in a lot of extra years to have more of an impact.

 

Now that I'm not very sanguine about the prospects for radical life extension, or that there will be a world worth living in in a few decades if we continue along our current trajectory, I'm much less inclined to equate a long life with an impactful life, especially after seeing my relatively long-lived bachelor uncle and his roommate first hand. Even amazing centenarians happily riding their bike or jogging at 105 leave me pretty uninspired. Is that all there is to life? After long and careful deliberation, I've decided I'm willing to entertain the possibility of foregoing a few years (or decades) of life should there arise an extraordinary opportunity to benefit others or a cause I believe in, especially if it might inspire others.

 

Socrates, Jesus, Lincoln, MLK, Gandhi - Few of those who have made the biggest positive difference in the world have died peacefully in their sleep of natural causes.

 

--Dean

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Socrates, Jesus, Lincoln, MLK, Gandhi - Few of those who have made the biggest positive difference in the world have died peacefully in their sleep of natural causes.

 

I'm not a paragon of modesty, but I do try to keep a healthy perspective on my place in life, and exceptional individuals on the scale of exceptionality such that they can make the impact of the names mentioned above, are so rare as to not merit actual reference in such discussions. The odds that anyone here can make even a fraction of a fraction of the impact that these people had, are astronomical indeed. Plus, don't forget, in pretty much all of those cases, it wasn't because they were that much more worthy and hardworking - it's more than a little due to plain dumb luck. There were undoubtedly scads of people far more talented, hard working, dedicated and ethical than those names - but they didn't happen to win the lottery of history and so nobody knows about them today.

 

I am under no illusion that all my efforts will get me even an asterix in any history book. Even if I was a thousand times more worthy than I am, there is the element of luck needed too, to be in the right place and time and opportunity - and the odds are far more remote than winning the lottery (1:14 million) - so, yeah, no hope whatsoever.

 

I therefore limit my ambition to making a difference in line with my abilities. I want to feel that I have used my abilities to the fullest in service of more than just myself. And that's good enough for me - to expect more than that, is to not understand how reality works, or even basic statistics. Somebody needs to do the "unimportant" stuff, even if it doesn't make the history books. As an example, one of the things myself and my wife have been involved in for decades now, is rescue of animals - a lot of time and money and effort that we've expended and sacrifices made (vacations foregone etc.) - but this is not something that's visible, no animals are going on TV to give testimony to lives bettered, political marches are not being organized and so on. And yet, somebody has to do it. Not everyone is in it with the expectation of landing an entry in history books - doesn't mean they make no contribution.

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Tom,

 

I never said it was easy to identify a way to make a big & lasting positive impact and have the courage (and yes, luck) to pursue it. Nor did I say those who don't make no contribution.

 

We aim above the mark to hit the mark. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

--Dean

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one of the things myself and my wife have been involved in for decades now, is rescue of animals - a lot of time and money and effort that we've expended and sacrifices made (vacations foregone etc.) - but this is not something that's visible, no animals are going on TV to give testimony to lives bettered, political marches are not being organized and so on.

This is beautiful, you guys are awesome, and the world needs more of y'all.

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This thread is the best of what the CR forum has to offer. Starting with sprouts we are now off to the meaning of life.

 

Dean thanks for the Nozick quote. I've never much liked Nozick, but that's an excellent passage and I agree wholeheartedly. I've been thinking along similar lines lately.

 

I've noticed that it is easier for me to be hyper-focused on health lately. I feel like watching the news is like watching a horror movie where you can see the character walk into a dark basement and everyone in the theater screams at the screen "don't go in there!" Gordo's facts about how good things are right now are not exactly wrong (although also very partial), but it takes some willful blindness to not see the red flags everywhere. We seem to be going into the dark basement and no amount of screaming at the screen will be able to change it. But I can care for myself, at least a little, bit, and a few people near to me. Notice how many radicals from the 60's became health nuts in the 70's and 80's when the revolutions they worked so hard to realize never came. Despite their best efforts, it's hard to change the world. Much easier to change yourself for the better if you can. And of course the two are entangled with each other to some degree. Gandhi's experiments with diets prefigured his experiments elsewhere. And he was the kind of experimenting type. Even if it is just a cooping mechanism, it is important to coop so that you're ready when the high risk action is required.

 

But there is a tension to the whole health thing. If I had any talent at all as a writer I would rewrite "Death of a Salesman" to be about student debt. I am young but already a burden to those I care most about. If I died tomorrow, their financial situation would dramatically improve. It feels especially selfish to just keep living. But it feels a bit like an act of resistance to try to keep living and outlive this debt, and even try to live well, with some flourishing now and again. It's not hard to let your mind drift towards that Nozick quote. If being alive hurts others but you could sacrifice your life in a useful way to help others wouldn't that be a good way, precisely, to affirm life and say yes to it.

 

I've recently started sprouting again. I got a new set up. I'll try to take pictures soon.

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Well I find that the mere fact that I'm actively following the longevity-related  practices discussed in this forum has rejuvenated me. Seriously, at least mentally, and the body often follows the mental attitude.

 

I also believe that, like most of the other guys here, an higher life expectancy will grant me more time and energy to do whatever I wish to do to leave my contribute to society: being a political activist (not my case), helping others and so on. In such a context worrying about one's lifespan cannot be called futile, unless the end of this world is considered to be very close. Probably this is the grim outlook envisaged by Dean.

Well, we don't know, we may be discussing IGF-1 and mTOR and turmeric now and tomorrow global hell may break loose and plunge society in a state of collapse.

Our legitimate excuse is that we are not clairvoyants. At least, I find I have this irritating flaw not to be able to foresee future.

Edited by mccoy

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This thread is the best of what the CR forum has to offer. Starting with sprouts we are now off to the meaning of life.

 

...

 

I am young but already a burden to those I care most about. If I died tomorrow, their financial situation would dramatically improve. It feels especially selfish to just keep living. But it feels a bit like an act of resistance to try to keep living and outlive this debt, and even try to live well, with some flourishing now and again. It's not hard to let your mind drift towards that Nozick quote. If being alive hurts others but you could sacrifice your life in a useful way to help others wouldn't that be a good way, precisely, to affirm life and say yes

This is how a feel,too: stubborn resistance: so it's nice to connect to someone else. The system is rigged against us, nothing is affordable -- school debt will never stop hanging there, and rent, the utilities, and insurance, this stupid cell phone that without how would I keep from just wandering away into oblivion, transportation costs, and yet we live in the best of times say the people who live in the best of times because they read history books from the comforts of their fortunate luck. People who make it maybe they chose wisely, yes for them, or born on third base, hooray, I'm so happy they succeeded, the rest of us we matter dont matter very much, just here to service your casually barked wants and keep our useless suffering to ourselves, or: CryBaby. Shoved into inelegance here in the boom times aplenty comuntity with others to be desposed of, too, later, when we're useless to service them, this isn't any help either, thoigh, because of course then we're judged that misery loves company, and they smile from above as they say

 

Get out of your head the wise mutter are muttering right on cue, trained that way, of course, and muttering from heights above me, from the privilege of being lucky enough to have the option to just breathe, meditate, eat well, and of course the monkey mind is our entire problem.

 

Moving the body helps, yeah, then look to the future at the body's general progression as it wears itself to pieces, nothing anyone can do, millions of pain pill addicts, big surprise. So you're right -- it feels totally selfish to keep living -- and the decision within me nearly always (unless asleep or moving the body)

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The system is rigged against us, nothing is affordable -- school debt will never stop hanging there...

Hey you there sad sthira y'all never quite learned very well from those high school CBT ladies and sensitive bearded counselors to moderate words like nothing, never, always, did you? Remember: extremity in words leads to extremity of action.

 

and rent, the utilities, and insurance, this stupid cell phone that without how would I keep from just wandering away into oblivion, transportation costs, and yet we live in the best of times say the people who live in the best of times because they read history books from the comforts of their fortunate luck. People who make it maybe they chose wisely, yes for them, or born on third base, hooray, I'm so happy they succeeded, the rest of us we matter dont matter very much, just here to service your casually barked wants and keep our useless suffering to ourselves, or: CryBaby. Shoved into inelegance here in the boom times aplenty comuntity with others to be desposed of, too, later, when we're useless to service them, this isn't any help either, thoigh, because of course then we're judged that misery loves company, and they smile from above as they say

This is all so bitter and sad that I'm looking to make a joke out of it. I can't because I'm not funny now: little help from my comic brothers and sisters in CR? Any y'all funny, cuz me I'm here on day 9 of a ten day fast and I notice that the emotional pendulum swings sometimes hysterically but humorlessly. I scowl, my ugly face drawn down tight, the Arctic melts anyway as my mysterious unfathomable body wretches through another healing crisis? What am I healing again, lack of lightness and humor? Hunger strike to rebel against what's what? Like, am clearing out the heavy metals from all that healthy raw cocao?

 

 

I'm taken by this passage from philosopher Robert Nozick's book The Examined Life (pg. 27):

 

I understand the urge to cling to life until the very end, yet I find another course more appealing. After an ample life, a person who still possesses energy, acuity, and decisiveness might choose to seriously risk his life or lay it down for another person or for some noble and decent cause.
This is good. If it turns out how I'd like, I'll eventually throw down my life to protect a thousand year old tree, or a random stretch of salt marsh necessary as stop over feeding habitat for neotropical migrants. One mountain gorilla. A beaten and abused elephant. Better species than humans are worth our lives.

 

All this is glum, though. Aren't y'all watching advances in senescent cell clearing? Seems bright and shiny to me. Unless we all drown before something's released..
No one commented on senescent cells. Oh wait this is a thread about growing sprouts of Brassica oleracea var. italica so I'm off topic haha... I'd open another thread but there are only four or five of us here anyway, and this thread has some momentum. I see bright fruit up on yonder senolytic trees, when's harvest?

 

Mitteldorf: "This is a fast-moving field in which researchers are in a rush to publish and (presumably) pharmaceutical companies are taking pains to keep their results hushed up. Sharing of information and resources could push this research over the top and give us the first full decade of human life extension."

 

Edited by Sthira

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