Quora – Is extreme human life extension possible?

Is extreme human life extension possible?

[ 20/8/20 ]

Clearly yes – and it is a very difficult set of problems.

Why clearly yes?

Because it seems beyond reasonable doubt that all cells alive today came from a single cell some 4 billion years ago. When cells divide, both cells are essentially the same (each will have some minor variation, minor variation occurs continuously).

Thus the default mode of cellular life is indefinite.

Now we get to complex multicellular life like us.

We are a huge cooperating colony of about 10,000 times as many cells as there are people on the planet. Those cells cooperate through an amazing array of signalling pathways. Many of the systems encoded in the genetics that make that possible have fractal patterns that evolve over time. There are many levels of antagonistic pleiotropy present that will need to be countered, and systems reset periodically, by some very high tech interventions. That technology does not yet exist, and it could be developed quite quickly.

Why do it?

Because unless it does actually become in the personal long term best interests of individuals to put reasonable effort into the consideration of the long term effects of actions, we are quite likely to self destruct as a species, because we did not evolve with the sorts of technological capabilities we are now developing.

We need that technology to mitigate a whole series of well characterised risks, but it comes with whole new sets of risks. Having indefinite life extension seems (beyond reasonable doubt) to be the most systemic stabilising factor we could introduce. And it is extremely complex – many levels of.

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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