4.19.2006

Dying, Out of Fashion
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Surging Longevity is threatening to break the curve carefully plotted out by population ecologists over the past century. As Dr. Ashford will tell you, there has been a 2 year increase in life expectancy every decade since 1900.

What this means is that your chance of living longer, even without radical interventions propounded by individuals like Aubrey DeGrey (cutting down to 1,000 calories per day through caloric restriction) is certain to increase. For me, this soylent-green like scenario is not very fun.

With the reduction of heart disease and cancers in a stepwise fashion - the greatest threat to longevity then becomes Alzheimer's Disease which is closely connected to age. In fact, the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's is indeed age.(Aricept.com).

Therefore, exercising the brain and body will be key to avert this outcome. Tremendous progress in cybernetics is happening and biomechanical storage (Seagate, anyone?)will eventually let people store memories. There are a number of technical and biological issues to overcome including just settling on a unified theory of memory creation and storage in the brain which would then allow researchers to 'write' memory to a device that could be accessed. You could then google whatever memory you wanted to replay it. It is not known if you could store new memories in the same fashion.

Live long enough, and it may be possible. By then we should have 100 million members.



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