Post human Network

A post on the PostHuman Network facebook page

I had the experience a little over 5 years ago of being told I was terminal melanoma, nothing known to medical science that could alter the probability of my survival, of being sent home “palliative care only” and being told to get my affairs in order, as I could be dead in 6 weeks and had a 50% chance of seeing 5 months, and less than a 2% chance of seeing 2 years.

Obviously I’m alive.

I have been tumour free for 4 years.

My undergrad training as a biochemist 40 years ago gave me access to a lot of information.

I chose a course of action that required retraining all of my neural networks – of overriding all of my likes and dislikes.

Looking to the past for choice is not really choice, it is more like habit.

Neural networks are great at forming habits, and also great at making distinctions. Both are necessary, and both come with traps.

We are capable of going beyond our habits, beyond culture, beyond the known.

When one actually starts playing in that domain, it is infinite, and contains infinite classes of variability. Boredom is not a real possibility, not if one has any real interest in exploration. There appears to be an infinite set of infinite and interesting domains available for exploration and experience, if one is willing to go there.

I have been living will the knowledge of the possibility of indefinite life extension since October 1974 – when the logic of the possibility became inescapable to me (neither bacteria, nor our germ line cells, exhibit age related senescence).

[followed by]

Hi Kelvin Anderson
I didn’t use books – just simple bloody minded determination.

It was clear to me that I needed to change my habits, so I just overrode the likes and dislikes, and ate stuff that I wouldn’t normally have taken past the first taste. After 4 months I started to like some of it. By 12 months I was enjoying most of it.

Not easy, and doable.

And one needs a context from which such effort of will seems worthwhile.

I have had a context of the possibility of living thousands of years for over 40 years. So for me it made much more sense than to most others.
Very few others I have talked to have been prepared to do what it takes, no exceptions.

I have studied many different disciplines, NLP amongst them, many forms of martial arts, many forms of mediation, forms of “magic”, forms of hypnosis, forms of pedagogy. I am an intentionally eclectic sort of individual.

[followed by]

Hi Jeffrey Lebowsky

Sort of.

Realising that we can live longer is simple in one sense. All one needs to do is to see that bacteria and our germ line cells do not show age related senescence (loss of function with age).

Once one can see that, then one gets to the next set of questions – what sort of social political and technical institutions are required to empower individuals with the sets of tools and freedoms to live a very long time in a low risk (yet interesting) fashion?

That enquiry is a very interesting one.
It seems that there is an infinite set of possible paths – none of which involve market based capitalism.

[followed by]

In 1974 I got clear that it was possible to extend life indefinitely, and I suspected it would be a reasonably complex process, with many complications, as has turned out to be the case. We’re not quite there yet, and we’re a lot closer than we were 41 years ago.

[followed by]

I should clarify. When I said there was no role for market capitalism, I meant that in the sense of being a dominant social paradigm. It is likely to remain a bit player – for those who choose to play, and it wont be something people will be forced to play.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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