Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Longevity Escape Velocity Explained: Aubrey de Grey

There seem to be more people who are skeptical of the possibility of radical life-extension than there are who consider it to be worth pursuing. This sense I have is based only on my own interactions with others and could well be wrong. It may be that most people are simply oblivious to the concept and the theories that underlie it.

Hence the dissemination of information about radical life-extension by people like Aubrey de Grey becomes invaluable, for if the general public sees it as a worthwhile endeavor, it will receive the benefit of greater interest and funding, and will therefore occur more quickly than it otherwise might.

I encourage you to watch this video, simply because the concept of LEV (Longevity Escape Velocity), as explained by Aubrey in this video, is eminently well thought-through and easy to understand.

In a nutshell, the idea is that metabolism, or living, creates damage as a side-effect, and when the amount of damage created reaches a certain threshold, it results in pathology. Pathology breeds more pathology, causing a downward spiral leading to death. De Grey's proposal is not to tinker with metabolism, which is not well understood, or to focus on pathology, which ultimately overwhelms the body, but rather to focus on repairing the damage before it accumulates to the point of pathology.

He postulates that a somewhat effective rejuvenation therapy that could repair only half the damage existing in a middle-aged person could extend that person's healthspan sufficiently long to allow for technological improvements in rejuvenation such that the next one could repair 75 percent, which would extend healthspan again, allowing for advances to make an even more effective rejuvenation, and so on.

I hope you'll watch it.

Via Accelerating Future

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for your interesting post!
Perhaps you may be curious to see this info on related topic:
New Books Discussing Aubrey de Grey Ideas
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