March 15, 2004
Aubrey de Grey: First Person To Live To 1000 Already Alive
University of Cambridge biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey says the first person who will live to be 1000 is 45 years old right now.
The first person to hit 150, he believes, is already 50 now. And the first individual to celebrate 1,000 -- imagine the candles on that birthday cake -- is just five years younger, he contends.
Aubrey thinks aging is barbaric. Aubrey is right.
"Aging is fundamentally barbaric, and something should be done about it," said de Grey, who has published research in Science and other peer-reviewed journals. "It shouldn't be allowed in polite society."
Aubrey believes there will be a sea change in public opinion about the reversibility of aging once genetic engineering, stem cell therapies, and several other aging-reversal therapies allow mice to live much longer. Toward this end Aubrey is one of the founders of the Methuselah Mouse Foundation which offers cash prizes to scientists who develop techniques that allow them to set new records for mouse longevity. This work will lead to the development of a combination of treatments which will allow the attainment of engineered negligible senescence where the body effectively ceases to age from one year to the next. The major categories of approaches to reverse aging are called Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senesence or SENS for short.
Just imagine a retirement of 85 years or 935 years! How much shuffleboard can one person take?
Maybe the retired folks will have to get jobs, and we all know where they hire old people . . . would you like fries with that order? Who will last longer, the 1,000 year old McDonalds server or the old styrofoam boxes for their hamburgers?
Well at least the young workers of the future can look back fondly on the days that they only had to support 2 retirees, rather than the 200 per worker of this glorious future.
Seriously, can you imagine how robbed old people are going to feel when told that they can't retire at 65 and have to work at the job that they hate for another 55 years. Why they wont be able to see their great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren often enough to remember all of their names.
Nobody *has* to do anything, even breathe. That first post nicely illstrates one of the common preconceptions relating to healthy life extension - that people will be *forced* to live longer. This goes hand in hand with the Tithonus error, in which people automatically assume that an extended life means more years of being increasingly old, ill and infirm. Fighting common misconceptions like these is still a primary concern for myself and other advocates, as nine out of ten people you talk to still have them.
The aim of healthy life extension is to provide a choice that does not currently exist: to have the choice of seeing another tomorrow with the health and ability to enjoy it. If you don't want to live, don't take the medicine.
I think it's something of a sad statement on the nature of modern society that people immediately assume that they will be forced to do any new thing that comes along. (By the government, reading between the lines above). Somewhere along the line, the idea that plural solutions and choices can exist in harmony seems to have been excised.
The average American working person spends about 15% of their lifetime in retirement (i.e., age 65 - 75). If the life expectancy is 1,000 years, then the retirement period would be about 150 years!. How big would the "Social Security Lockbox" have to be?
Frank, The percentage of the lifespan spent in retirement would decline. Rejuvenation therapies will make people young enough in mind and body that they will be able to work many more years. The absolute length of the period of time intheir lives when something finally decays and kills them will be no more years than it is now or perhaps even a shorter period of time.
Frank and Randall,
Let's face it, SS needs to be overhauled even with current life expectancies. My thought is to give people 1 year off every nine years.
Many people worry about overpopulation, but I think that this may not be so bad. People want children in part so that someone will remember them in the future. But if everyone lives indefiniately, then your parents and siblings and friends will be around indefinately also. Very likely you can build a larger community of people who know and remember you than you ever could have before.
This reminds me of a talk I attended called "The Tithonus option is not an option." To summarise, it is impossible to get older and older and live forever, the older you are the more you die from accidents and breakage, so a group of elderly will die off with a half life of a hundred years or so, even if they are immune to disease.
Well, one thing we often forget, when we are talking about aging, is that the ears is the only organ, with is growing all the time in a lifetime... Hmmm
Hence Spock's big ears...Vulcans live to be about 250-300 years old.
Will it ever be possible to reverse the aging process? I know we will be able to slow it down, but how long before a person can actually become a younger age than they currently are? What I look forward to is the day that we can become a young age, and stay at that age forever. The only thing that could kill you would be a rare fatal accident.
The point that I think everyone is overlooking is that this is about reversing the aging process. There will not be any truly old people as we know the term to be right now. Plus, if you take a good look at what this means you would have an insurmountable time period to figure out how to accumulate wealth. Almost anyone can get rich if given the time to do so if one could live for a thousand years, unless one has no entrepreneurial skills at all, one could easily accumulate enough wealth to retire and do whatever he or she wanted. One would just have to develop a plan to manage and maintain that wealth. The only people that would not survive lucratively would be eliminated by natural selection. All in all I think that this will lead to a better world.
I've always been terrified of death
and as a young age I just kept myself at peace by imagining that by the time I get old there will be a pill or something I now "know" that ain't going to happen but now.....? Its piece of mind in the meantime anyway
I've always been terrified of death
and as a young age I just kept myself at peace by imagining that by the time I get old there will be a pill or something, I now "know" that ain't going to happen.
but now.....? Its piece of mind in the meantime anyway
Old saying : I wish I knew then what I know now . Sound familiar ? Quality of life often depends on how much money you have . With time to improve yourself by education you have more " stuff " . You will over time have more "stuff " than you need . You wil have extra "stuff " to give to others . Nobodysaid you have to work in a salt mine . What if you got paid for something you would do for free ? Then going to work to get " stuff" wouldn't be so bad , right ? Even stupid people learn from their mistakes given enough time . Time will be a friend to all of us instead of an enemy as it is now . The key to this is health , time , and energy . Who the hell is worried about social security when you look young , feel young and you could go "Do" a pretty blonde girl with big teats ? The future is so bright I gotta wear shades ....
is this idea actually possible? i'm still not sure. I hope it is. As for the "everyone could get rich given enough time" - this isn't the way money works! if everyone was rich, who would be doing all the menial jobs at minimum wage that support the country! Who would want to put their body at risk in any way (armed forces etc...) money would have no meaning if everyone had an abundance of it. All the banks would go out of buiseness!
Overpopulation would be a huge problem! Companies could not afford to pay pensions for hundreds of years- so you would be forced to work until you die in an accident or whatever.
I want this to work, i really do, but can it?
Imagine the queues at the post office.