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Spirited Debate About Life Extension

Don Ashley dashley at TENET.EDU
Sun Feb 19 08:20:40 EST 1995

Good energy flow in this thread.  Creative solutions come from 
ventilating apprehensions, especially utilizing effective dry humor.

Surprisingly, no mention of contraceptive vaccinations to be available to 
avoid the unwanted half of all pregnancies.

Funding, of course, is needed to accelerate research for LE, as well as 
the vaccination.  Where does your financial support originate for your 
laboratory work?  Scientists are typical of leaving that up to the 

Any suggestions of promoting funds for research will be well received and 
pursued if feasible.  Names of politically influential people who have 
already expressed favor, people who have already invested venture capital.

Any rationale that works or convincing comments to motivate people to 
catch on to the idea of supporting longevity research.  Please forward 

On Sat, 18 Feb 1995, Patrick O'Neil wrote:

> On 19 Feb 1995, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> > >> Drexler's ideas suggest a future of boundless wealth, opportunity and
> > >> adventure, not for a few billion, but for trillions. Drexler's science
> > 
> > >I know of his fantasies.
> > 
> > Fantasies? I'm afraid that you don't seem to have a rational viewpoint
> > here. Drexler's work is, sorry to say for you, a reality. STMs have
> > already been used to nanoposition individual atoms. Genetic
> > engineering already produces perfect macromolecules to nearly to
> > specification.
> Err, I know well enough about what has been accomplished within 
> nanoengineering and what is desired.  As for genetic engineering, I DO 
> that already so I know that stuff first hand.  In any case, there is no 
> such thing as perfection in any of our constructions, be they nontech or 
> genetically engineered.  My problem is not, be that as it may, with 
> nanotech and what it COULD mean.  My problem is the idea of desiring to 
> coat the planet with TRILLIONS of people.  Not a chance and NOT 
> desireable.  In any case, I even recognize this figure as outrageous and 
> never a thing to happen.
> > >I would just as soon engineer a virus strain that is aerosol 
> > >transmissible, perhaps a hemmorhagic flu, in order to correct the 
> > >population bomb downward towards the 2 to 3 billion mark than live in 
> > >utter muck with trillions.
> Yes, an admittedly outrageous statement on my part and specifically for 
> the purpose of baiting.  As it goes, neither I nor anyone else would even 
> need to engineer such viruses since they already exist in nature and 
> humans get exposed to them as they continue to encroach into erstwhile 
> open lands.  Regardless...high population density as you propose, or even 
> a mere fraction of that density is nothing short of an incubator of 
> epidemic and plague, a fact of evolutionary biology, and technology 
> cannot prevent it.  You set up the conditions for a plague, and by damn, 
> you'll get one.  THAT is certain, and it wont require evil engineers to 
> act as creator.  AIDs is just a poor first taste and it is spread by 
> human behavior mixed with a good dose of technologically-provided rapid 
> travel and high population density.  I assure you, there is more to come, 
> especially if population density goes up significantly and swiftly and 
> neither nanotech toys nor molecular biology can prevent it--they can only 
> try to react to it.  
> > Or are you simply one of those
> > disgusting lefty amoralists that thinks that mass murder is okay so
> > long as its for the good of the cause -- Pol Pot being one of your
> > fellow travelers.
> Ah now, there you go, frothing at the mouth.  Of course it is OK to kill 
> civilians when the greater cause is served:  In WWII, for instance, we 
> (the Allies - who I would ASSUME you would agree were on the side of 
> right) bombed the crap out of factories, electrical facilities, dams, 
> etc, each leading to suffering for the poor civilians who lived in 
> occupied lands AND many of the same were killed as collateral 
> casualties.  Is it terrible?  Yes, but it was part of the cost of getting 
> the job done.  HAD to be done.
>   As our tech gets better, we are able to cut back on the collateral 
> damage but it IS unavoidable to some extent and THAT means dead or 
> suffering civilians.  Call it part of the cost of allowing (or selecting) 
> a government that brings such conflicts into the fore.  The saying IS 
> true:  A people only get the government they deserve.  This applies to 
> any totalitarian regime just as much as it does to any democracy.  People 
> have to LET leaders do what they do, OR they allow a condition to persist 
> that brings it about.  In the end, they are partially responsiblw for 
> the fate that befalls them.  Harsh but it is reality.  
> I happen to be a Desert Storm vet, by the way.  Nasty, unpleasant work 
> but infinitely necessary.
> > I assure you that were I in the room with you right now, and if I
> > thought that you were seriously able to carry out your threat, I would
> > have no hesitation whatsoever about killing you in self defense.
> This is precious.  You are truly astute at the frothing business.  Let me 
> guess, a "Ditto Head" right?    
> > --
> > "Just another selfish, me first kind of guy."
> Obviously.  Sacrifice the OTHER guy...the Republican way (I just couldn't 
> help the dig against the greedy me firsters).
> We must do this again sometime soon.  It is terribly amusing and makes 
> for a humerous diversion.

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