De Grey Havens

Aubrey de Grey – what to say? Messianic, yes. Exuberant – for want of a better word – facial hair. A ponytail. Either an extreme ectomorph or seeking eternal life through good old calorie restriction. Or he might forget to eat. Bloody skinny anyway.

At least he talked about stuff that was recognisably science. I certainly don’t know enough about the subject to tell if it was good science, or even plausible science, but at least it was something other than motherhood statements and pious hope.

Not that it would have mattered anyway. This wasn’t a science-y audience. This was a Lourdes audience. 

A few quick points: he’s looking at telomeres, transgenic microbial hydrolases, and using the techniques of bioremediation, hoping to use bacteria to break down the foam cells he believes are implicated in call ageing and death.

I have to say that this geronto-utopian vision leaves an awful lot of practical questions unanswered. Or even more amusingly, glossed lightly and carelessly over.

This vastly extended lifespan will be available to everybody. Obviously. Leave it to one side that for someone from say, Chad, a standard Western lifespan would look to be near enough to eternal life as to be effectively indistinguishable. Now far be it from me to suggest that perhaps we might like to solve that problem before we start indulging our over-privileged selves with an extra 920 years or so of life. I know, I know. Picky of me.

But such things are as nothing to the geronto-philes. The whole political economy of the world – not to mention its stock of resources –  will just obligingly change so that they can live to be 1000 while remaining nice people with principles. Easy as.

Dear god, I didn’t realise how much of this I’d saved to share with the sane. But I really DO have to cut the rant short and go to bed. Hang around if you’re perverse. De Grey was the sanest bit of a mad weekend. The real lunacy is to come.

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