Response to Hayflick

joe record jrecord at
Mon Jan 8 10:10:51 EST 2001

thanks julian.......this is neat writing.
hope you have more to chck down th hatch. all the best joe.

Julian Assange wrote:

> "John H." <johnhkm at> writes:
> > There's a worry:
> >
> > People can discuss and legislate all they like, if the technology is
> > possible it is going to be implemented legally or illegally; probably both.
> This widely used argument is arrant nonsense. It's important to
> recognise it and shoot it down where-ever it is seen; for it leads to
> complacency and fatalism.
> In every science/engineering development process there are many (i.e
> thousands or millions) of decisions to be made. Many of these
> decisions are finely balanced enough such that even small external
> forces (including the perception of external forces) can tip them one
> way or another.
> Every student, researcher and investor must decide to spend their time
> and money on one thing or another and it is rare that the difference
> between the top choices is large. When large differences
> occur, they are quickly exploited by market forces and made small.
> So, public perceptions, tax (dis)incentives etc do make a difference.
> Sometimes a very large difference.
> In fields that require substantial capital, educational and time
> investment, the participants are notoriously conservative and
> responsive to government censure. The best way to quell a revolution
> is to give people assets they can lose.
> > the more chronic assistance will be required. Eg. We're all slowly
> > going blind, imagine a world filled with 120 year blind people?
> Perversely, the most effective anti-aging technique yet invented might
> be UVA/UVB/IR screening sunglasses.
> > Most? The bait of universal life prolongation will be held out, in reality
> > it will be for a minority and may never be feasible for the vast majority.
> Like small-pox and oral sabin vaccine?
> Recombinant lactobaccilus bifidus and other gut flora could produce
> significantly beneficial anti-oxidative pre-cursors
> in-vivo. Automatic dosage control via feedback of cellular production
> of oxidative markers could make such treatments extra-ordinarily safe
> and as cheap as eating a container of yogurt every few months.
> There are dozens of potential solutions like this one, that have
> insignificant marginal cost. Some are achievable right now.  All
> that's needed is money and public acceptance. We have magic bullets in
> terms of delivery. If we had more money for micro-array experiments
> on the abnormally long lived, perhaps we would have more magic in
> the payload too.
> > It's easy to make a machine that lasts a long time and functions well, but
> > bodies are very different, there were never designed to last a long time in
> > the first place.
> On the contrary, we were designed to last as long as possible, given
> certain reproductive trade-offs. This is why the problem is hard;
> evolution has already found all the easy solutions. Yet, we can see
> that evolution needs gradual increments in its fitness landscape and
> does not take advantage of large scale co-operation. Vaccines take
> advantage of both our ability to think ahead and co-operate. They
> demonstrate that it is possible to significantly augment natural
> abilities by applying what was not within our evolutionary grasp.
> --
>  Julian Assange        |If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people
>                        |together to collect wood or assign them tasks and
>  proff at          |work, but rather teach them to long for the endless
>  proff at  |immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint Exupery

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