Monday, July 02, 2007

Recent tech talk at Google: Aubrey de Grey

This is a Google Tech Talk by Aubrey de Grey, who has studied gerontology at Cambridge University. He has thought about ageing as a problem with an engineering solution. He has charted the course of the solution in broad strokes, and put together a credible plan to make good progress over the coming decades, with ideas about which science to pursue and how much money would be needed.

My health is good but not stellar and like many Americans, I'm overweight. I ordinarily assume that as my 50th birthday fast approaches, I've got 25 or 30 years left. That's how I try to plan my finances and other aspects of my life.

In this talk de Grey presents what he calls conservative estimates of what would be possible if we were to pursue his research program. If he's right, I've got a good shot at not just a few more decades of life, but perhaps a few more centuries, conceivably a lot more centuries.

I fear death as much as any normal person. Perhaps if I had more time, more youth, more energy, I could make some more important contribution to humanity than I've made. Certainly I have the selfish wish to have more freedom, travel more, make more money, play with more toys, read more books, have more sex, all that stuff.

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