Living forever is inevitable – get over it!

17/12/2008 at 14:44 Leave a comment

This seems to be part of the message John Harris presented together with John Sulston and Richard Dawkins here. I sympathize with one of the commenters on Dawkins’ site: “I can’t decide if Harris is stunningly and brilliantly prescient or simply completely off his rocker!”

Not only is Harris blessed with inhuman amounts of optimism about technological development, he also seems to be contradicting himself. In a talk last year here in Basel he agreed that it is not old age that is killing us but the diseases of old age. (Might be only semantics.) Curing these diseases will probably become more and more costly as we will not run out of these kind of diseases even if we cure the ones that are bothering us now. Even if the wealthy can afford the new treatments as early adopters, I don’t see how we can collectively afford to invest larger and larger proportions of our gdps into this kind of research. Even more so in light of the business models and “innovation” track-record of the pharma companies.

The bloggingheads devoted their last science saturday to the same topic and interviewed Aubrey de Grey who might be even more “completely off his rocker”. The video is also worth watching because the nerd-factor is through the roof. (Watch as de Grey’s face changes color because his computer monitor is his main light-source and suddenly goes into stand-by! (17:20) At the end of the interview he seems to be so bored that he starts to answer emails simultaneously.)

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Entry filed under: Medicine, Philosophy. Tags: , , , , .

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