Should we be thankful for the anti-ageing movement?

ageing stencilHuman life expectancy keeps increasing steadily, thanks not only to medicine and technology but to social and cultural progress, too. Potential next steps on the ladder could well come from both camps: an example from the med-tech side might be custom-grown replacement organs from pigs; whereas a change in dietary habits could probably be classified as a cultural change informed by science (although drinking ‘heavy water’ sounds a bit too much like snake-oil to me). [image by r000pert]

But the question is: how far should we go? Outspoken longevity evangelists like Aubrey de Gray claim a millennium-long life is not only possible but within our grasp, but such ideas have their opponents as well – some arguing from faith-based perspectives, others not. [via]

Would you choose to extend your life-span, and if so how far?

8 thoughts on “Should we be thankful for the anti-ageing movement?”

  1. I suspect that there will always be some new ailment that become more prevalent as the average age heads upwards. How do you age-proof skin cells, or the lymphatic system?

    Evolution will be no help, because once your kids are able to survive to have kids of their own, your evolutionary work on this planet is done, and your remaining years should be icing on the cake.

  2. Eternity. In my personal paradigm the older I get the more it makes sense. Which explains why it has all been so dishearteningly dumb so far. Plus, if it starts getting boring I can always decide to run a current in my special spot, and synthesize my own meaning. I’ll light up my pleasure centre like a christmas tree for all eternity.

    Now that should be a great song title.

    Damn all naysayers and deniers. People can refuse to make the conceptual bound into “as long as a piano doesn’t fall on me” – i.e., with western european safe lifestyles and no guns – on average over a millennium. Many can’t and I think that should be a treatable disorder.

    But …. we only need a century extra. By then everything will have changed and to me such change counts as extra information to make an informed decision.

  3. I plan on living to see the orbital elevator. Once we have cheap escape from the gravity well, my ass is out of here on a colonyship with my ideological siblings. We’ll stage from the Main Belt and build our own slowships.

  4. I think increased healthy human life span is necessary for the human race to become truly civilized. Part of our problem is that we live such short lives, while the consequences of our actions can affect things for centuries. Greater awareness of history coupled with the prospect of living to deal with the results of today’s bad actions will help us develop.

    That’s the philosophical reason. Me, personally? Hell, yes, I want to live as long as I possibly can, so long as I remain in reasonably good physical health and my mind still works. Life is just too damn interesting.

  5. I want to live as long as life seems to me worth living. I’d like the ability to make that choice, which none of us has now.

  6. I would love to extend my lifespan, but when this idea is scaled up to the human race as a whole, it becomes a huge problem. What do we do with all the people? Overpopulation and dwindling resources are going to be our most major problems over the next 75 years, and that’s at a current human lifespan. If we don’t have ways worked out of giving ourselves more living space and resources (like colonizing other planets, perhaps) that problem will become exponentially worse.

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