News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Alcor Conference – Christine Peterson


Read Richard’s current thoughts about transhumanism and related fringe topics here.

[Alcor Conference – Table of Contents]

Christine Peterson presented “Good News, Bad News, Surprising News” about life extension. She now spends about half time studying life extension as an enthusiast.

She began by stating that terminology matters. Which terms are best: life extension, health extension, anti-aging, longevity, immortality, or permanent health?

Since we are made out of meat, we enjoy the pleasures of life, but we end up aging and dying. Life extension enthusiasts want a pill to extend life, but nothing like that exists now. Medical doctors, researchers, and the FDA are not interested in life extension, in addition to the overall challenges of the biology of aging and possible research into ways to extend healthy lifespan.

She surveyed quickly those for and against life extension, including Leon Kass, Bill Clinton, Aubrey de Grey, and others. There are soft and hard approaches to the problem, including SENS and nanotechnology, and eventually nanomedicine.

A list of things that will help to buy some time until radical life extension technologies are available:

  • stress reduction
  • physical risk reduction
  • mood improvement
  • sleep, in a very dark room,
  • Sex (quantity M, quality F)
  • Laughter
  • Biomarker testing
  • Calorie Restriction
    • 35 few calories than normal
  • Reducing inflammaging
    • decreasing inflammation by reducing visceral fat
    • dieting does not work
    • Slow way – we eat for pleasure
    • Treat value = yumminess x amount
    • Pleasure = qulaity x quantity
    • Keep treat value high
    • Increase yumminess – healthy treats all the time (nuts, cheese, fruit, chocolate, cheese popcord every day. Then I can be good with other foods
    • 100 cal/day for one lb/month loss; these tweaks are easy to find.
    • The bizarre way
    • Shangri-La Diet – not a diet
    • Flavorless calories before a meal
    • Trick to feel full. Alientation from food
    • Be gradual
  • Supplements
    • Supplements can do damage
    • You can create conflicts and overdo it
    • Therefore more testing is required
  • Movement: require fun
    • Math and science teachers in charge of gym class, to get rid of evil coaches
    • Don’t look at calorie/minute displays on exercise machines
    • 10,000 steps per day
    • Spend money on a personal trainer
  • Uploading – more radical and possible further into the future.
  • Biostasis (cryonics) – conserving structure – many of us will run out of time, so this is the backup plan.

Finally, Peterson noted that it is important to get life insurance, even if you are not planning to sign up for cryonics until later. Death can be unexpected, and cryonics remains a last option if other current life extension efforts do not work out.

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