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Chip Walter, "Immortality, Inc" (book talk)


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The author (Walter) is on book tour promoting  "Immortality, Inc." Probab will appear at Talks at Google, etc, soon. Here he is at Politics and Prose:

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Chip Walter discusses his book, "Immortality, Inc", at Politics and Prose.

Living forever has always been a dream, but with today’s science, technology, and visionary billionaires, it may be a distinct possibility. At the very least, as Walter reports in this compelling investigation, immortality researchers are changing the way we view aging and death. Looking at the science, business, and culture of this radical endeavor, Walter, a science journalist, author of Last Ape Standing, and former CNN bureau chief, lays out the latest research into stem cell rejuvenation, advanced genomics, and artificial intelligence; talks to key thinkers such as Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey; and takes us into the Silicon Valley labs of human genomics trailblazer Craig Venter and molecular biologist and Apple chairman Arthur Levinson. Walter is in conversation with Hilary Black, executive editor at National Geographic Books.

 

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I did somehow force myself to watch this video thru the end. I was hoping that from the title. "Immortality, Inc.", this would be a polemic about how Silicon Valley arrogance (however true that is) thinks that massive gains in LS are just around the corner. (Kurzweil, et. al., were saying the same thing over 20 years ago; indeed, one of the three "heroes" of this book is RK). 

The book -- from what can be gleaned from the talk -- is the usual over-optimistic essay on the topic of immortality. The same been-there-done-that treatment that serves the CEOs and venture capitalists well .... and it sells book. One more book for the publisher's bean counters.

In the book talk, a lot of attention is given to Calico ... the grim thought is that if Arthur Levinson (chairman of Apple and Calico, = very deep pockets) can't pull out the rabbit in the next few years, ending biological aging  will sound like a scam. And that loss of confidence will ripple in legitimate academic and organization efforts. 

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