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Dean Pomerleau

A New Leaf

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Hi All,

 

I'll keep this short and cordial since I know folks think I'm been too rambly, and/or too unkind lately. And I acknowledge I have gotten a bit carried away. My latest GIFs of Michael were definitely a bit over the top, I have to admit. Sorry about that. Just having a final flourish of fun to finish things off.

 

Yup. The CR Motivation Survey really got me thinking. The survey results and subsequent responses suggest to me two things:

  1. Many people have taken to heart the idea that serious CR is unlikely to provide much in the way of human health or longevity benefits compared to a healthy, obesity-avoiding diet and lifestyle. So in some respects, I've completed what I consider to have been my job here.
  2. The few remaining die-hard CR believers are unlikely to be swayed by any argument that I try to make.
The survey itself, and some of the stuff I wrote about it, both the hokey and the blunt, caused me to think seriously about the "bang for the buck" my forum posts are making when it comes to my purpose for existing on this planet, and what I'm missing out on experiencing and contributing by spending so much time posting to these forums.
 

It feels like I've pretty much said my piece about CR. I've talked until the cows came home, and now I've pretty much run out of mammals where CR has been tested and found to offer few if any significant benefits. The only way to learn more about the translatability of CR to humans will come if and when someone gathers together our death certificates several decades hence. Waiting around for that doesn't sound like much fun.

 

And lord knows I've droned on ad nausea about my own eclectic dietary and lifestyle practices... Plus my several secret projects are in definite need of more attention, so I can get them to the point of sharing them with everyone and hopefully making a positive impact on the world.

 

So after 2222 posts it feels like now is a good time to dramatically curtail my engagement with the CR Forums, at least as the primary driver of discussions and the chief rabble rouser around here, like I've been doing since my first post a little over a year ago. Seems like longer, doesn't it?

 

I'll still be around, and I still plan to continue actively posting cool stuff and engaging with people on several of my favorite threads in the other rooms of this old house, especially the ones on cold exposure, the ultimate purpose of life, and the singularity may be closer than it appears. Helping to spread the ideas in those threads is the real reason I've been doing all this blabbering on about health and diet anyway. And on that last one (the singularity thread), I owe Daniel (welcome Daniel!) and Pea responses that I'm excited to finish working on, after a couple-day hiatus to wrestle with Michael once more for old-times' sake.☺ 

 

And folks don't need to worry, this has absolutely no implications for the Costa Rica Retreat I've organized. I wouldn't miss that for the world!

 

Thanks for listening,

 

--Dean

 

balderdash 

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Bummer. Dean's losing chlorophyll. It's approaching fall here in NA, and I'm reading "new leaf" as "leaf changing color" -- orange, red, brown, dried up death and now leaf sailing wild in the breeze, now collecting in a pile, now rotting, beetles, worms, now mushrooms maybe sprouting again. But I do enjoy your writing, even though I feel mostly unequipped to respond in ways that aren't completely stupid and whimsical haha.

 

CR in humans has risks and benefits. Maybe you taught AGI something. AGI needs to get to work in mapping out metabolism in a model, and then start adding the chemical mysteries of carrots and kale and apricots to that computer simulation metabolism model, something like that. Because it's clear to me we ain't gonna learn jack shit as humans studying mice and macaques about what it takes to lengthen healthy human lifespans. That's an AGI modeling job like weather simulations imho...

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Thanks Sithra,

 

Nice metaphor. But hopefully I won't become a rotting pile of dung anytime soon!

 

Maybe you taught AGI something. AGI needs to [get to] work...

 

The first part has been my very public project here for quite some time. But I'm clandestinely working directly on that second part too, and that's part of my motivation to free up more time...

 

--Dean

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Flesh that out. Restate your very public project -- repeat it using different words, different vocabulary because AGI is still really stupid (and I am, too). I forgot -- what's your public project again? Look Ma: No links!

 

You're secretly working on getting AGI "to work"? Ain't it already doing that "on its own?" #whatyouadding

Edited by Sthira

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hiDean. You're an awesome pixel posting pal no matter the purpose. btw, I liked your cow pun (and, yup, Sthira's metaphor).  btw2, I still hope to make the CRica geographical trip somehow so keep a (creative)n eye out for options.  As for pixel / posting destinations, tell me briefly about the AGI topic and your part(s) in it. Wet our appetites!!!!  btw3, I've done several AGI patents for longevity-focused clients.

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Sthira (and Kenton!),

 

Your wish is my command. But not here. There are too many curmudgeonly gawkers in this room of our shared mansion. I don't want to bother them. They aren't part of the Plan anyway.

 

ekeHuda.pngviDceib.png

--Dean

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Thanks Mike!

 

I predicted you (or more accurately, the you of July 13th) would think that way, and wouldn't mind. But if you really have followed and figured out what's going on, you already know that...

 

--Dean

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I don't know the history, I'm new here.  I'm drawn to this site because of the science minded discussion.  And while science is undoubtedly our best guide our knowledge is incomplete, often flawed and in flux.  Evidence of the moment suggesting a lower level of CR than believed in the past to be most optimal doesn't mean the debate is over.  I prefer debating the science rather than people's individual lifestyle and diet choices which are based on factors even more complicated than the science.

 

It appears somewhat ironic to see a "severe" vegan chiding others for being too severe in their personal approaches to CR.  Dean, are you strictly vegan because you believe with all your heart (and mind) that it is the most healthful approach to longevity?  BTW, is there a discussion thread for this most interesting post https://www.crsociety.org/topic/11136-nutrition-and-supplementation-for-vegetarians/ by Michael?

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Todd,

 

I prefer debating the science rather than people's individual lifestyle and diet choices which are based on factors even more complicated than the science.

 

Sure, if science and your own personal health is all you really care about, which if you're willing to wring the neck of a chicken personally, seems pretty clear... Sorry.

 

But as I was trying to say at the top of this thread, I think we know (at least in broad brush) the diet almost everyone (you might actually be a legitimate exception Todd...) should be following. "Eat (real whole) food, mostly plants, not too much". As Sthira says, "yada, yada, yada. Get on with it". And that's what I'm trying to do, without much success so far...  

 

To wit - you wrote:

It appears somewhat ironic to see a "severe" vegan chiding others for being too severe in their personal approaches to CR.  Dean, are you strictly vegan because you believe with all your heart (and mind) that it is the most healthful approach to longevity?  

 

I don't consider a vegan diet "severe" in this day and age Todd. But I know what you're saying - it is quite restrictive, just in a different sense that I've been picking on Michael & others for advocating and pursuing. Fair enough.

 

But the answer to your question is no - I don't consider strict veganism significantly healthier than a diet that is almost vegan with a little bit (once or twice weekly) of carefully sourced fish, as I've acknowledged here (best link to start), here and here. While it's controversial, I'll even acknowledge that the kind of diet I eat, with a huge variety of hard-to-grow fruits and vegetables - rather than one dominated by staple crops like grains, legumes and refined sugar, may not be best for the planet.

 

The sole reason I'm a strict vegan is for ethical reasons, as my signature at the bottom of every post attests. Based on the evidence I've seen, you could be just as healthy (perhaps a tiny bit healthier, especially if you prefer to eschew core supplements) and have only marginally more impact on the planet eating a bit of fish on top of an otherwise vegan diet. But having said that, I was amazed when I went vegan (around 2003) how much it felt like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders which I'd been carrying around without realizing it during the many years of my omnivory. For that reason, and that reason alone, there is no conceivable way I'd ever go back, unless perhaps stranded on a deserted island with only fish and/or seagulls to eat...

 

BTW, is there a discussion thread for this most interesting post by Michael?

 

Uhhh - yeah. Like, did you actually get to the bottom of Michael's third post in that thread, where he says:

 

Again: if you have any questions or comments about the contents of this essay, please post them in the separate QUESTIONS & COMMENTS THREAD for "Nutrition and Supplementation for Veg(etari)ans."

 

And by the way, in case you don't notice, each of my links above is part of a thread discussing the merits of a vegan diet. Please follow-up over on one of those to continue such discussions. I can't promise I'll participate though, since damn, there I go again getting sucked into diet & longevity posts again, after promising I wasn't going to in this very thread.

 

Old habits are hard to break...

 

At least I was helping do Michael's job for him, and not picking on him...☺

 

--Dean

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Dean, there's a lot to respond to in the details of your initial post in this thread but the main thing I want to say now is: thank you! Your posts have contributed to a virtual (in several senses) encyclopedia of knowledge related to CR and health regimens in general. Whatever you may think -- your work constitutes an enormous contribution to the general welfare and health of those who regularly read or stumble upon this forum.

 

And I'm glad to hear you won't be disappearing entirely!

 

Sincerely, your friend,

Brian

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Brian!

 

So wonderful to hear from you here on the Forums. Seriously man, we've really missed you, me especially. I hope life finds you well. 

 

[What] I want to say now is: thank you!

 

Thanks Brian. That means a lot to me. I know how the CR Society was, and has been, "your baby" for so many years - pretty much since Roy died, although the genesis of the CRS is so far back in time I don't know all the history - you'll have to tell it to me over our favorite beverages sometime.

 

You, along with the other long-timers who are still around and (semi-)active, like Michael, Saul, Al, Khurram, Kenton, TomB, and so many others who've drifted away (Sherm, Warren, Conrad, TimT, TimC and a cast of at least 10s I know I'm missing), built the CR Society into a community - in every sense of that word except direct face-to-face interactions. And I think we've done a pretty good job showing facetime isn't strictly necessary. I hope I haven't left this old house we built together in too much of a shambles. The kids can get a little unruly when their parents aren't home... ☺. Maybe you've returned now and can help tidy up the place...

 

Whether CR works to extend any of our lives or not, and wherever our paths will lead, I'll always cherish the good times we've (virtually) spent together, and all that I've learned about health, diet, and longevity, both directly from you guys (and a couple gals...), and on my own - inspired by the challenges posed by a few of the more persnickety among you ☺, and facilitated by the tools of rational thinking and scholarly research that everyone here has taught me. 

 

Your posts have contributed to a virtual (in several senses) encyclopedia of knowledge related to CR and health regimens in general. Whatever you may think -- your work constitutes an enormous contribution to the general welfare and health of those who regularly read or stumble upon this forum.


And I'm glad to hear you won't be disappearing entirely!

 

Thanks Brian. And no, I won't be disappearing entirely. I haven't quite figured that one out yet, although I'm working on it with a little help from some friends... ☺.

 

You may not believe this, but your simple statement has just set off another massive volley of fireworks inside my brain.  And My God... It's Full of Stars

 

I've just realized the 4th, and perhaps most important reason for my having poured so much of myself into these forums over the last 482 days, since my first post last May, which ironically enough was a reply to you about macadamia nuts...

 

Sorry Daniel, my long-percolating reply to your thought-provoking post just got bumped once more. It looks like I'm going to be spending the remainder of the day cogitating and writing about what I see with newfound clarity to be the four reasons why I've been doing all this, and where it is headed.

 

But I want to keep this post short and not go all metaphysical / philosophical here, since I know that stuff isn't everyone's cup of tea.

 

So I'm going to do it in one of the other rooms where I've been squatting and plan to continue to do so (moderators willing), in order not to clutter up this one with any more far out thoughts and ideas. This time I promise to leave a direct link for anyone who is interested in following, and not just elaborate breadcrumbs... ☺

 

Thanks again for your kind words Brian, my friend.

 

--Dean

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Hi Dean,

 

I want to express my heartfelt thanks for sharing all your wisdom and gathered knowledge. It had made a big impact on my life. Your professionally written posts encourage me to write more clearly. I've told many people in my personal life about, "this guy Dean on the CR Society website who is such a rational and scientific thinker." I hope to develop more of your characteristics as I grow. Your coming posts on our ultimate purpose and satisfaction in life are ones I will find most interesting as time goes on as I feel more certain the way I eat, exercise and live is what's best for my physical health.

 

So thank-you again Dean. I'm sure there are many more lurkers like myself who have appreciated your contributions.

James

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So wonderful to hear from you here on the Forums. Seriously man, we've really missed you, me especially. I hope life finds you well.

 

Life's been a challenge, but I'm getting there....

 

I think we've done a pretty good job showing facetime isn't strictly necessary.

 

Definitely not!! But see post about suggested Northeast get-together.

 

 

 

So I'm going to do it in one of the other rooms where I've been squatting...

 

Remember, our Chitchat forum is precisely for this sort of discussion. A community, by definition (well, if understood in Simmel's sense of Gemeinschaft, as opposed to Gesselschaft), must be total, so it's not only acceptable, but vital that we communicate about things other than CR, and things that matter deeply to us.

 

Brian

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James,

 

Hello, and welcome to the CR Forums! So nice of you to step out from behind that plant you've been hiding behind, and introduce yourself! ☺

 

It warms my heart to hear I've had an impact with you.  Positive, I presume!? ☺ Seriously, I've always suspected there are more who benefit from our conversations than meets the eye (see "Most Online: 296"). Hopefully our influence will only grow.

 

Speaking of growth:

I hope to develop more of your characteristics as I grow...

 

I hope I do too. ☺

 

Your professionally written posts encourage me to write more clearly. I've told many people in my personal life about, "this guy Dean on the CR Society website who is such a rational and scientific thinker."

 

Wow. For once I'm speechless ☺. <long pause>

 

Thanks you for complimenting my writing. I try hard to express ideas clearly, especially when sharing difficult concepts. Honestly though, I sometimes don't entirely understand where some of it comes from (see footnote to this post).

 

 

Your coming posts on our ultimate purpose and satisfaction in life are ones I will find most interesting...

 
I'm finding those most rewarding these days as well, as expressed in my intro post to this thread.
 
But you (cleverly?) worded that to be quite ambiguous. Was it intentional? Do you find them interesting now or do you think you will once you get your sea-legs with the whole healthy diet & lifestyle thing? Consider it a rhetorical question, unless you feel like elaborating. I think I get what you mean, and either way, I'm glad you look forward to them.
 

[When] I feel more certain the way I eat, exercise and live is what's best for my physical health.

 

Please feel free to start a thread like Daniel did, or add to Daniel's if you feel comfortable introducing yourself. Or step back behind the potted plant if you prefer....

 

Take care!

 

--Dean

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Brian,

 

Life's been a challenge, but I'm getting there....

 

So I've heard. If you ever want to talk, you know my (virtual) door is always open. We never finished that Skype conversation when were in the of so many months ago, when the connection dropped. 

 

 

I wish you were joining us in Costa Rica. It promises to be a rockin' time! I'll keep an eye on when you schedule your Northeaster get-together. Maybe I'll be able to make it, schedule permitting.

 

Remember, our Chitchat forum is precisely for this sort of discussion. A community, by definition (well, if understood in Simmel's sense of Gemeinschaft, as opposed to Gesselschaft), must be total, so it's not only acceptable, but vital that we communicate about things other than CR, and things that matter deeply to us.

 

Glad to hear it. I figured you'd feel that way and wouldn't mind some rather unusual (but never NSFW!), conversations / speculations over in ChitChat. I hope you can join us over there. We never did have a chance to have that Nietzsche chat at the Conference as we were planning.

 

BTW, I must compliment you, Michael & TimC (others too?) for so strongly advocating the shift of CRS communications from the old email list(s) to these Forums, over the objections of many stubborn CR folk, including me (and especially Saul!). This is so much nicer a place to hang out than a linear email list. We can all (usually ☺) coexist peacefully in different locales to serve our varied interests. And we can have hundreds of conversations going at once, most of them dormant for a while, but there and ready to pick back up at any time.

 

I for one really appreciate it. I think even Saul has finally come around to liking the forums better than the old email list! Speaking of Saul, I hope his OGTT went well today despite the (virtual) crow I'll be munching if he passes with flying colors ☺. 

 

--Dean

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Dean, there's a lot to respond to in the details of your initial post in this thread but the main thing I want to say now is: thank you! Your posts have contributed to a virtual (in several senses) encyclopedia of knowledge related to CR and health regimens in general. Whatever you may think -- your work constitutes an enormous contribution to the general welfare and health of those who regularly read or stumble upon this forum.

 

And I'm glad to hear you won't be disappearing entirely!

 

Sincerely, your friend,

Brian

Well said, Brian!

 

I agree completely; it's hard to overstate the valuable contributions that Dean has made to the Forums -- changing them from a failing, dying ember, into a thriving, lively multi-topic CR-related discussion group.

 

:)xyz

 

  --  Saul

 

  --  Saul

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Hey Dean, this house sucks without you flipping around in your sandals and dropping carrots as bait for fellow freak vegans and skinny hungry people. What the hell are you doing that's more important than spending hours and hours POSTING HERE, anyway?!

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Sthira,

 

What the hell are you doing that's more important than spending hours and hours POSTING HERE, anyway?! 

 

Good question. I could be wrong but from what I see/know, there is a pretty good chance that strong AI will emerge within the next decade or two, given the rapid progress happening now in machine learning and deep neural networks. When/if that happens, it will almost certainly to be the most important event in human history.

 

I'm attempting to help steer the develop of AI in a direction that will benefit humanity, rather than turning us into the pets (or worse, pests) of super-intelligent machines we can't even begin to fathom.

 

--Dean

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Peer pressure - a force sometimes used for good. We miss you ????

 

Dean has always been a force for good for underdog sentient and/or conscience creatures on our planet. Homo sapiens may be the next species meeting that description sometime following the singularity...

Edited by Mechanism

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Follow your dream - if it's AI, then that's valid! You are missed around here for sure. I go by instinct on this. I've investigated AI back in the 80's (ancient history) when I was a young philosophy student, and looked at what they were doing at MIT. I was not impressed. Maybe things have changed greatly since then, but I remain somewhat skeptical, based on my conviction that human intelligence has not even been characterized accurately to date, let alone translated into technology. Aspects yes, but only aspects. Admittedly I don't follow developments in AI closely (or really almost at all), but reading the occasional pop press on the subject (such as Scientific American etc.), I see the same problems persist as existed from the beginning of the AI push: massive conflation of "data processing" with "intelligence". We are creatures that evolved in a specific environment that has shaped our intelligence, based on tools available to us (our senses etc.). As far as I can see, the technological approach to AI so far remains mired in "learning" and other data processing aspects of intelligence, which are a tiny part of what makes up motivated intelligence. The various musings by Elon, Hawking and other amateur dabblers, about the "dangers" of AI are mostly an example of a peculiar variant of the Dunning Kruger effect: just because you are an accomplished individual in one field does not mean it translates into competence in another, and your conviction that it does, is quintessential Dunning Kruger - you are blinded to what you don't understand and hindered in being able to see your limitations precisely by your accomplishments in a related field. This happens more strongly the more closely the field is related, and less strongly further away. Thus, Einstein f.ex. understood that even though he was a great physicist, his violin playing quality would be of little interest to a classical musician. But if the field is somewhat related, trouble starts - and so we've had distinguished physicists embarrass themselves. It would be hard to be any more accomplished scientifically than multiple Nobel prize winning Linus Pauling - yet, just because you are a super genius chemist and almost hit upon the structure of the dna helix, doesn't mean you now know everything about human biology, cancer and vitamin C. But he was 100% convinced and utterly blind. That's how I see Hawking and the rest. No understanding of the field. And I personally remain extremely skeptical about "strong AI" emerging in the lifetime of anyone alive today (including a baby born seconds ago). Wake me up when we have overcome challenges that are infinitely better understood and characterized, like fusion power - which is conveniently always 10 years into the future, seemingly forever - and then we'll talk. In comparison we know probably less than 1/10,000 about AI than we do about fusion - and yet. For that matter, wake me up when we've done something of interest to actually extend human lifespan for real. Meanwhile I can only laugh - science today still doesn't fully understand the function of sleep in human beings, something that occupies 1/3 of our lives and exists in so many species. We don't even get that, and now you're telling me that "deep AI" is around the corner? LOL, as the kids say. At best what is happening in AI is some nifty work in ways to process data, play chess, develop expert systems that might displace an astounding number of human professionals (such as medical doctors!), but that is not in any way an approach to human intelligence, or for that matter a threat to the human race: data processing is not the same thing as "motivation", no matter how skilled at data processing, all that doesn't translate into as much motivation as putting on your shoes. Different things. Anyhow, everyone needs a hobby and a purpose. I am the last to deprecate that - it is the essence of what life is about. My best wishes!   

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