If Aubrey de Grey is right, you could live forever

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/17/if-aubrey-de-gray-is-right-yo.html


Well good luck with that.


What kind of stupid name is Aubrey?

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Funny, I hear futurists talking about this from time to time, but I don’t hear any, yknow, actual scientists agreeing with them. I guess futurists don’t need no stinkin scientists.


To quote that one Spartan general, “If.”


Spoiler alert: after he dramatically confronts death himself he returns to this realm as the even more powerful Aubrey de White.


Making the very generous assumption that de Grey is right (one I’m happy to make) there’s another, darker explanation for the lack of urgency about ending ageing. Until we colonise and terraform Mars an ever-growing population of immortal people doesn’t jibe well with the Earth’s carrying capacity, especially if all those immortals expect at least a ca. 1999 middle-class American lifestyle to go along with their endless lives.

I’m sure there are billionaires (e.g. Peter Thiel) who are expressing a great deal of urgency about ending ageing right now, but only for a select few “deserving” candidates: call them “de Grey’s Vampires.”


The body is made of atoms. Atoms can be moved around. Some configurations of atoms correspond to “me,” and some if those are “me but younger or older.” Over time, humans are getting better at putting atoms in desired configurations.

What would it mean for a scientist to disagree with the premise that we can learn to stop or reverse aging? Or is that not the part you’re questioning?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


To understand how hard this is here are his 7 categories of damage. Solving #2 means curing or preventing cancer. Not that hard problems haven’t been solved in the past, we keep making leaps all the time. Just pointing out that some of these are really hard.

  1. Cell Loss and Atrophy
  2. Division-Obsessed Cells
  3. Death-Resistant Cells
  4. Mitochondrial Mutations
  5. Intracellular Junk
  6. Extracellular Junk
  7. Extracellular Matrix Stiffening

I fail to see what is extraordinary about the claim, except arguably the timeline.


Not so good at reversing entropy though.


1,3,4 and 6 are maybe a tech generation away; 2 and 5 however are deserving of the capitalized ‘X’ in the description “eXtreme complexity”.

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Oh this guy. There was a Netflix documentary on him which the filmmaker used his personal life to sort of mess with the viewer. (He and wife are polyamorous, which they shock you with after spending a lot of time getting to know his much older wife)

I did not much care for the film. It seemed more about the eccentric mad scientist shtick than his actual research

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I’m not interested in living forever.

If I max out my memory capacity, will I wake up not remembering anything since 2030 everyday? Will evolution continue & we be the equivalent of living Australopithecus?

What quality of life will you have with an eternity of concentration of wealth?


Inconveniently, “eXtreme complexity” is perhaps the only “eXreme” thing not decisively and exhaustively explored in the 1990s.

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Great, can’t wait!!!



next several decades? bound to be followed by several decades of only the rich getting this treatment. I’m going to miss this fucking bus, I know it.


Reversing entropy locally is possible. Refrigerators manage.


Man this hits all the charlatan notes.

I’m not selling anything…check
He’s charming…Check
Not bonkers…seriously. not bonkers for sure. Trust me. Check
Not selling anything…well except a book and funding a org. Check
One million in bitcoin donation recently. https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/12/16/1262995/0/en/SENS-Research-Foundation-Receives-1-Million-Bitcoin-Donation-From-Pineapple-Fund.html
I hope he sold those at a profit this month.

And he still looks 54.