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Re: [bafuture] "Future" - weblog - navigation bar

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  • wayne radinsky
    ... I ve been getting my nanotech news from NanoDot, http://www.nanodot.org/ I think everyone on the bafuture list already reads the kurzweil site. ... I don t
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 1, 2003
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      > here's a news site you might like to add to your navigation
      > bar on the "Future" site. http://nanotech-now.com/ i have
      > been following nanotech, off and on, since 1992 and this
      > site, along with Kurzweil, are the only places i go on a
      > weekly basis.

      I've been getting my nanotech news from NanoDot,
      http://www.nanodot.org/

      I think everyone on the bafuture list already reads the
      kurzweil site.

      > every now and then, i ask this question. what is the
      > latest estimate as to when we will all be young and
      > beautiful and live forever? being old, this is all i
      > really care about at the moment. i mean, if you're dead,
      > the rest of the wonders of the future don't mean much.

      I don't think there is a "latest estimate as to when we
      will all be young and beautiful and live forever". I don't
      think there is any consensus. There's a variety of
      "experts" with a variety of "expert opinions". (Rumors are
      that if you look at when the "expert" says immortality will
      be possible and when said "expert" turns 70, they are about
      the same...)

      If you want *my* opinion, my opinion is never. It'll never
      happen. While life expectancy has increased over the last
      100 years, you can't just extrapolate life expectancy out
      exponentially to predict what it will be in the future.
      Remember people predicted that we'd have personal
      supersonic airplanes and nuclear vacuum cleaners? If you
      put the assumptons that immortality predictions are based
      on under the microscope, you'll find that they aren't solid
      and don't hold up. Perhaps we can lower death rates and
      improve life expectancy so that most people can live the
      full 100+ year human lifespan, that might be realistic. But
      saying we will extend the human lifespan much beyond that,
      we will be immortal, we will all be young and beautiful and
      live forever ... I just don't see that happening. Our
      bodies are literally not supposed to live forever. The fact
      is natural selection has chosen the lifespan that we have
      because that's the optimal lifespan over the evolutionary
      past. The way to immortality is reproduction. Life is about
      survival and reproduction, not immortality. True, you don't
      survive intact, you get recombined with someone else. But
      that's life.

      Having said all that, there's always the possibility that
      I'm wrong. I've been wrong about other things before. It
      makes perfect sense to me that you would sign up with
      Alcor, give the immortality thing a chance, and see what
      happens.

      Wayne





      --- Marilyn <marilyn1mew@...> wrote:
      > here's a news site you might like to add to your navigation
      > bar on the
      > "Future" site. http://nanotech-now.com/ i have been
      > following
      > nanotech, off and on, since 1992 and this site, along with
      > Kurzweil,
      > are the only places i go on a weekly basis.
      >
      > every now and then, i ask this question. what is the latest
      > estimate
      > as to when we will all be young and beautiful and live
      > forever? being
      > old, this is all i really care about at the moment. i mean,
      > if you're
      > dead, the rest of the wonders of the future don't mean much.
      >
      > ^_^
      >
      > marilyn
      >
      >
      >


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    • markfinnern
      Hi Wayne, Marilyn was referring to our weblog navigation bar at http://finnern.com/future where NanotechNow was missing. I added it just between KurzweilAI and
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 1, 2003
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        Hi Wayne,

        Marilyn was referring to our weblog navigation bar at
        http://finnern.com/future where NanotechNow was missing.

        I added it just between KurzweilAI and NanoDot.

        So all major Nano sites just nanos, well mega-nanos, away from each
        other.

        Enjoy, Mark.

        --- In bafuture@yahoogroups.com, wayne radinsky <spodware@y...> wrote:
        >
        > > here's a news site you might like to add to your navigation
        > > bar on the "Future" site. http://nanotech-now.com/ i have
        > > been following nanotech, off and on, since 1992 and this
        > > site, along with Kurzweil, are the only places i go on a
        > > weekly basis.
        >
        > I've been getting my nanotech news from NanoDot,
        > http://www.nanodot.org/
        >
        > I think everyone on the bafuture list already reads the
        > kurzweil site.
        >
      • wayne radinsky
        ... Assumption #1: You can extrapolate life expectancy in the same manner that you can extrapolate computing power as per Moore s Law. Assumption #2: That
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 1, 2003
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          --- Chris Phoenix <cphoenix@...> wrote:
          >
          > wayne radinsky wrote:
          >> Remember people predicted that we'd have personal
          >> supersonic airplanes and nuclear vacuum cleaners? If you
          >> put the assumptons that immortality predictions are based
          >> on under the microscope, you'll find that they aren't solid
          >> and don't hold up.
          >
          > Which assumptions are these?

          Assumption #1: You can extrapolate life expectancy in the
          same manner that you can extrapolate computing power as per
          Moore's Law.

          Assumption #2: That because immortality is physically
          possible, allowed by the laws of physics, it will happen.

          Assumption #3: That technology is created for human benefit
          (and immortality would of course be the ultimate human
          benefit).

          I approach the question with a different set of
          assumptions. I assume that change happens by evolution by
          natural selection driven by competition for greater energy
          leverage. Because the system is driven by using computation
          to compete for energy, we see Moore's Law, MEST
          compression, or whatever you want to call it -- you see
          greater computation with less energy, and you see the
          "software" that directs the computation "crossing
          substrates" from DNA to language to digital computing. The
          competitive aspect is important because it's what gives
          evolution its "directionality"; without it, evolution would
          just be random, and go in no particular direction, but as
          we all know, a quick glance at Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar
          will show you it isn't so.

          From this frame of reference, assumption #1 fails because
          each organism evolves an ideal lifespan; yes the lifespan
          could be longer (and in some organisms it is much longer)
          by laws of physics, but natural selection does not favor
          the longer lifespans so we don't have them. Moore's
          Law/MEST compression transcends the lifespan of any
          particular species.

          From this frame of reference, assumption #2 fails because
          many possible things are never created. Such as personal
          airplanes and nuclear vacuum cleaners. Natural selection
          could have evolved a primate with a foot on its head,
          right? It's allowed by the laws of physics, but no, natural
          selection is never going to create it.

          From this frame of reference, assumption #3 fails because
          natural selection does not favor any particular species.
          Species are created and species go extinct all the time.
          The human species dominates the earth right now, but there
          is nothing special about the human species in the big
          picture. I will grant that you could say right now
          technology is created to benefit humans, because for any
          technology to succeed, somebody (human) has to be willing
          to buy it. The assumtion, however, is that this situation
          will persist forever. I think it won't. (I'd also point out
          that just because humans buy something doesn't mean it's
          beneficial -- it may give an immediate benefit but have
          long term costs and unintended side effects.)

          So you see, which prediction you believe in depends
          entirely on which underlying assumptions that you make :)

          This is why I think immortality is a pipe dream. Why would
          natural selection create humans with an infinite lifespan?
          I think it wouldn't, so I predict it won't. Even if we get
          the computing resources needed to upload our brains into
          computers, why would natural selection favor immortal human
          brains in computers? If we do transfer brains into
          computers, they will probably not be immortal. Being in a
          computer does not mean being immortal. Ask Michael Korns
          how many of his genetic programs are immortal.

          > I'll deal with biology below. But societal and
          > technological factors are mostly indicating that we will
          > want to, and will develop tools to, engineer the body at
          > least enough to achieve good health as long as possible. We
          > didn't get many of the techno-toys because, basically, we
          > didn't want them. They wouldn't have made a big lifestyle
          > difference. Extended health will.

          Oh, I agree that we will want to. I just disagree that "we
          will want to" will mean it will happen. This is what I'm
          trying to get at with my explanation of assumption #3.

          >> Perhaps we can lower death rates and improve life
          >> expectancy so that most people can live the full 100+ year
          >> human lifespan, that might be realistic. But saying we will
          >> extend the human lifespan much beyond that, we will be
          >> immortal, we will all be young and beautiful and live
          >> forever ... I just don't see that happening. Our bodies are
          >> literally not supposed to live forever. The fact is natural
          >> selection has chosen the lifespan that we have because
          >> that's the optimal lifespan over the evolutionary past.
          >
          > There are many highly developed species, in a variety of
          > families, that do not appear to age. Sure, our genes let
          > us age. But we know it's possible for a vertebrate not to
          > age. All we have to do is figure out how, and then tweak
          > our chemistry (possibly including DNA). Do you doubt that
          > we'll be able to develop the appropriate chemistry-tweaking
          > tools?

          No. I agree with you, I think we will be able to develop
          the appropriate chemistry-tweaking tools. I tried to
          address this issue as assumption #2, "can happen" != "will
          happen".

          >> The way to immortality is reproduction. Life is about
          >> survival and reproduction, not immortality. True, you don't
          >> survive intact, you get recombined with someone else. But
          >> that's life.
          >
          > Now you're arguing philosophy, not practicality.
          > Reproduction is one way to preserve a part of yourself. Art
          > and other creative endeavors are another. What's wrong
          > with simply not dying?

          Nothing is wrong with simply not dying. That's why I say,
          you should gamble that I'm completely wrong and sign up
          with Alcor. Why not?

          Wayne

          p.s. Maybe Mark should change the bafuture list reply-to
          setting?




          --- Chris Phoenix <cphoenix@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > wayne radinsky wrote:
          > > Remember people predicted that we'd have personal
          > > supersonic airplanes and nuclear vacuum cleaners? If you
          > > put the assumptons that immortality predictions are based
          > > on under the microscope, you'll find that they aren't solid
          > > and don't hold up.
          >
          > Which assumptions are these? I'll deal with biology below.
          > But
          > societal and technological factors are mostly indicating that
          > we will
          > want to, and will develop tools to, engineer the body at least
          > enough to
          > achieve good health as long as possible. We didn't get many
          > of the
          > techno-toys because, basically, we didn't want them. They
          > wouldn't have
          > made a big lifestyle difference. Extended health will.
          >
          > > Perhaps we can lower death rates and
          > > improve life expectancy so that most people can live the
          > > full 100+ year human lifespan, that might be realistic. But
          > > saying we will extend the human lifespan much beyond that,
          > > we will be immortal, we will all be young and beautiful and
          > > live forever ... I just don't see that happening. Our
          > > bodies are literally not supposed to live forever. The fact
          > > is natural selection has chosen the lifespan that we have
          > > because that's the optimal lifespan over the evolutionary
          > > past.
          >
          > There are many highly developed species, in a variety of
          > families, that
          > do not appear to age. Sure, our genes let us age. But we
          > know it's
          > possible for a vertebrate not to age. All we have to do is
          > figure out
          > how, and then tweak our chemistry (possibly including DNA).
          > Do you
          > doubt that we'll be able to develop the appropriate
          > chemistry-tweaking
          > tools?
          >
          > > The way to immortality is reproduction. Life is about
          > > survival and reproduction, not immortality. True, you don't
          > > survive intact, you get recombined with someone else. But
          > > that's life.
          >
          > Now you're arguing philosophy, not practicality. Reproduction
          > is one
          > way to preserve a part of yourself. Art and other creative
          > endeavors
          > are another. What's wrong with simply not dying?
          >
          > Chris
          >
          > --
          > Chris Phoenix cphoenix@...
          > http://xenophilia.org
          > Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (co-founder)
          http://CRNano.org


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        • Peter C. McCluskey
          ... There s certainly no consensus. I posted this url on the subject in May: http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens/ Here s a more concise summary of those ideas of why
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 8, 2003
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            spodware@... (wayne radinsky) writes:
            >I don't think there is a "latest estimate as to when we
            >will all be young and beautiful and live forever". I don't
            >think there is any consensus. There's a variety of

            There's certainly no consensus.
            I posted this url on the subject in May: http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens/
            Here's a more concise summary of those ideas of why we might be able to
            cure aging in mice within a decade, and in humans shortly after that:
            http://www.speculist.com/archives/000056.html

            I suspect he's being a bit optimistic about the effort required to get
            solutions to the right places in our bodies. Most attempts in our evolutionary
            past to alter our biochemistry have come from hostile forces such as viruses.
            This means that our bodies are rather clever at resisting externally imposed
            changes, and people who take an engineering approach rather than an
            evolutionary approach to understanding medical problems tend to underestimate
            this difficulty.

            >If you want *my* opinion, my opinion is never. It'll never
            >happen. While life expectancy has increased over the last
            >100 years, you can't just extrapolate life expectancy out
            >exponentially to predict what it will be in the future.
            >Remember people predicted that we'd have personal
            >supersonic airplanes and nuclear vacuum cleaners? If you

            I agree that extrapolation of life expectancy trends is not a good way
            of supporting predictions that aging will be cured.

            >put the assumptons that immortality predictions are based
            >on under the microscope, you'll find that they aren't solid
            >and don't hold up. Perhaps we can lower death rates and

            True immortality (surviving wars, the heat death of the universe, etc.)
            is beyond my ability to predict.
            But the assumptions behind predictions that aging will be cured this
            century seem sound:
            a) We have identified most or all of the important mechanisms by which
            aging causes harm.
            b) None of them look impossible to fix.
            c) The costs of fixing any given medical problem are declining, and the
            resources being devoted to fixing them are increasing at an exponential rate.
            Few medical problems have taken more than a century to solve once the
            mechanisms by which they cause harm have been understood.

            >improve life expectancy so that most people can live the
            >full 100+ year human lifespan, that might be realistic. But
            >saying we will extend the human lifespan much beyond that,
            >we will be immortal, we will all be young and beautiful and
            >live forever ... I just don't see that happening. Our
            >bodies are literally not supposed to live forever. The fact
            >is natural selection has chosen the lifespan that we have
            >because that's the optimal lifespan over the evolutionary
            >past. The way to immortality is reproduction. Life is about

            That's not because staying young for centuries would have had negative
            consequences for our genes, but because devoting resources towards
            reproducing and towards avoiding lions was more productive than devoting
            resources towards staying young. We now have enough resources that we
            can afford to devote more effort towards staying young than was optimal
            a million years ago.
            --
            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Peter McCluskey | "To announce that there must be no criticism of
            http://www.rahul.net/pcm | the President, or that we are to stand by the
            | President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic
            | and servile, but morally treasonable to the
            | American public." - Theodore Roosevelt
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